HPP Interviews the Talented Director Behind Floppy Knights
As a fan of indies, I’ve been friendly with Rose City Games for a while. They have some great games coming down the pipe, including the crazy twin-stick Cat Lady and the SRPG Floppy Knights. So when the opportunity presented itself to interview the Creative Director behind Floppy Knights, Marlowe Dobbe, I jumped at the chance. I asked her several questions, both about her artistry and the game itself. Below are my questions and her thoughtful answers.
Hey Poor Player: How did you get started with Rose City Games?
Marlowe Dobbe: I met Will and Corey (the co-founders of Rose City Games) through The Portland Indie Game Squad when I was just starting out as a freelance artist. We eventually found some excuses to collaborate together. I worked as a technical artist on The World Next Door and a couple other Rose City Games projects, and more and more of my freelance work steadily came from them until we decided it was just time to make it official!
HPP: It’s obvious you’re a talented artist. Your artwork is bursting at the seams with personality. What influenced your unique style?
MD: Thank you! The foundation for my style definitely developed while I was in college, and I drew a lot of influence from mid-century illustration. I think that’s why I’m so drawn to bright flat colors and shapes. I feel like my style is always kind of mutating in small ways, but I certainly pull inspiration from a mix of print illustration, anime, and other modern artists and character designers.
HPP: Do you prefer pen and paper or electronic media when you draw? What are your reasons?
MD: Preference is hard to pin down! I love digital and analogue equally for different reasons. In my day-to-day work I work in all digital medium. It’s quicker and certainly easier to accommodate for games and animation. I used to do a lot more analogue art professionally, but I still make time to keep my sketchbook practice alive on the side.
HPP: I’ve seen your work in at least a couple different games – Dicey Dungeons and now Floppy Knights. Have you worked on other games before those?
MD: I have! Although I would consider Dicey Dungeons my first commercial release (and Floppy Knights as my second) I did character art for a lovely web game called Lost Wage Rampage a handful of years back, in addition to my own personal small hobby games I’ve made.
HPP: From your Twitter, it’s clear you’re also a gamer. What’s your favorite genre, and why?
MD: My favorite genre is probably RPGs. Chrono Trigger, Dragon Quest, Skies of Arcadia, etc. I’m really big into strategizing in my games, so any sort of planning and math combinations are welcome to me as a gamer. I really do play a variety of genres, but RPGs are always my mainstay!
HPP: If you had the opportunity to work on any AAA series, what would that be?
MD: It would have to be Pokémon. Being able to do any sort of design for that series would be a dream come true. It’s been a lifelong dream of mine just to illustrate a Pokémon card! And who knows? They worked with Toby Fox on a track for Sword and Shield. Maybe more indies can get a foot in the door in the future. (Pikachu are you reading this? HMU.)
HPP: On the other hand, what’s one niche or indie series you would love to contribute to?
MD: I’ve dreamed about one day doing a mod with my own art for Stardew Valley, and designing a ton of costumes for Among Us. Does that count?
HPP: What’s your favorite deck style in Floppy Knights? Which one was the most fun to design?
MD: I think my favorite deck style to play (and draw) is the Hooligans deck. We haven’t really showed them off publicly yet, but they’re pretty much a rag tag group of monster delinquents and I love them.
HPP: Any secrets you can reveal about Floppy Knights?
MD: The world of Floppy Knights is actually something I developed with Rose City Games AGES ago. It sat on the backburner for a while cause the circumstances didn’t align for us to work on it. I was probably drawing Phoebe and Carlton in my sketchbook idly for about 2 years before we had the opportunity to bring them to life!
HPP: When you aren’t illustrating video games, what’s your favorite thing to do?
MD: I’ve always been a crafty person, but I’ve really dialed it up to 11 during the pandemic. I spend a lot of time making ceramics, sewing, painting, and modding game boys and switch joycons. I’m always looking for something physical to create!
HPP: Though I’m aware you’re not the official representative for Portland, I’ve always been curious – why is Portland so cool?
MD: Portland is definitely a complicated place. We, like many cities, have a lot to reckon with that goes hand-in-hand with the cool aspects of it. It’s hard to describe the city in one broad brush stroke because it’s certainly easier for someone like me to live here than it is for many folks. I can say that there does seem to be this vibe of the entrepreneurial spirit in Portland that I really resonate with. There are a lot of creative people here that are trying to make their own things, and I think that’s what a lot of people find attractive or cool about the city. The Portland Indie Game Squad nonprofit is kind of an example of an independent creative community that flourishes in Portland. I find a lot of value in helping organize our events and facilitate what game developers are doing here.
HPP: Anything you want to leave our readers with?
MD: I’d encourage people who are interested in making games to try it out! There are so many tools available, from Bitsy to Unity to Aseprite to Clip Studio Paint. It’s never been easier to practice making games, and it’s always best to get as many diverse creators as possible in a medium! Games are really powerful vehicles for storytelling, and I think it’s very rewarding to be able to connect to players with your stories. No matter what I do professionally over the years, I’ll always be making games.
I want to thank Marlowe for her time and Rose City for the opportunity. And as always, thanks to Greg for the radical Featured Image. Be sure to stay tuned to HPP for more Floppy Knights coverage as it hits!