#182: Game Designer Mike Bithell – Thomas Was Alone

Mike Bithell – @mikebithell, mikebithellgames.com
Harrison Pink – @GilesPink, harrisonpink.com, harrisonpink@gmail.com
Dirk Knemeyer – @DKnemeyer


In this episode, Dirk and Harrison have a chat with Mike Bithell, designer of games such as Thomas Was Alone, Volume, EarthShape, and Subsurface Circular. They discuss Mike’s path to success and how he’s been able to make such a variety of games.

Episode Outline

  • 0:17 Background on Mike
  • 1:23 How did Mike get into games?
  • 3:43 To what does Mike attribute his success?
  • 5:55 Was it really all luck? How about the marketing side? – How Mike ended up on Steam
  • 7:49 For the game, Thomas is Alone, how did narration get added to the game?
  • 11:54 What about games more recent than Thomas is Alone and their great reviews?
  • 15:24 What makes a game, an Bithell company game?
  • 18:46 What’s next?
  • 21:11 Did lack of marketing actually help?
  • 22:59 How do you balance making customers happy against sales volume?
  • 25:01 Design process
  • 27:47 Advice for aspiring indie game designers
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