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The Podcast: Shorter games and quicker releases, with Mike Bithell

The acclaimed indie developer joins us to discuss the challenges and creative freedom of his Circular text adventures

The latest episode of The Podcast is available to download now, and will be of particular interest to developers looking to shy away from the 40-plus hour epics that seem to dominate the market.

We're joined this episode by indie figurehead Mike Bithell, developer of Thomas Was Alone and Volume. Back in September, Bithell surprised the industry by releasing Subsurface Circular, a previously unannounced text adventure designed to be a shorter experience that can be enjoyed in one or two sittings.

The game turned out to be a success, recouping its development costs within a week, and a spiritual successor Quarantine Circular was launched (again, without warning) back in May.

Recorded just a few days after this second surprise release, we speak to Bithell about the advantages and potential of releasing games without any marketing build-up.

We also discuss the benefits of developing shorter games, the limitations this creates, and why embracing these limitations is the key to crafting a tight and easily digestible experience.

You can listen to our latest episode below, subscribe to our RSS feed, or download the file directly here. It is also available via iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Overcast, Player FM, TuneIn and other widely-used podcast platforms.

All our previous episodes can be found here.

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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