The Team:

Graham Jans
Designer / Progammer


Lara Kehler
Artist / Designer


Mike Labbé
Developer / Progammer



Hearts are about to EXPLODE as independent developer Octo Industries brings the beloved Zombie Minesweeper: A Love Story to Google Play...just in time for Valentine's Day!  Honestly, what could be more sweet?

Roll up your sleeves and prepare to test your Brains against some explosive minesweeper puzzles and apocalyptic zombie slaying action in this extremely juicy new game for your Android Phone or Tablet!


Get it HERE for your Android!




Why Zombies? -- Big Decisions in Design

The Zombie Minesweeper trailer was recently featured on What an extremely proud moment! Getting posted there has been one of the little tick-boxes on my list of 'things to do before I'm a real indie.'

However, there was a fairly strong sentiment running through the comments:

"Bleh.... zombies." ~Briker Ed

Zombies are a funny theme: They've been going strong for a long time, and regardless of how much fatigue players express, developers keep making these games, and players keep buying them! But that's no excuse for us to jump on the bandwagon and pump out 'yet another zombie game'. No, in fact our choice of zombies was fairly carefully considered, and it's just our burden that we have to push past all the 'me too' zombie games out there.

So why zombies?

The first thing was that, making Minesweeper, we wanted some kind of slow, clueless enemy. This would allow us to keep it a puzzle game where the enemies are there to add pressure, rather than having fast, smart enemies, which would have turned it in to more of an action game. We thought of a few different kinds of enemies, and zombies just seemed the most 'right'.

The second was that land mines are kind of a touchy subject, so we wanted an enemy that would be 'okay' to blow to bits. Again, there were a lot of possibilities, but zombies seemed to strike the right balance between 'okay to destroy' and 'make a big mess when you destroy them'.

We did try to inject our own flavour in to it though by making the zombies cute animals, and even plants (cue zombie mushroom). Although there are probably other games that have done this (there are a LOT of zombie games. ;) ), we felt that at least that was an aspect of zombies that hadn't been done to death.

But here is, I think, the most important part: We decided that we wanted zombies, and we threw ourselves into it fully. We considered the ramifications and alternatives, put our own style on it, and ensure that it was made to the highest quality. It's important to never get caught in the flow and do something without intention. Make a choice! Even if it's the wrong choice, being conscious of the decision allows you to evaluate the outcome and make better choices in the future. This is the only way to improve and be happy with what you've created!


 - Graham Jans


Art Direction with Design

Being the artist and co-designer of this game I found that I wanted to focus more on the mechanics and overall experience than creating a unique visual design.  That being said, I am pretty happy with the overall style we used and I’ll step you through some of the reasons why it looks the way it does:

 Here is a comparison of my initial idea (left) and what we ended up with (right)

Unity: we made a 2D game in a 3D environment.  I created the assets and characters in either Flash or Photosphop, then exported them into sprite sheets.  We created cast shadows from skewing a sprite, flattening it to the ground plane and setting a low opacity.  I think it worked out pretty nice.  At times the perspectives are a little off due to the hand drawen nature of the art, but I think it just adds it's own charm.


The Experience: I wanted players to feel a little creeped out and afraid for the cute girl who’s running through a minefield full of zombies. To achieve this I chose to make the environments feel dark and a little more realistic than the other elements.  You’ll notice shading, some spec lighting, and textures on the ground, trees, rocks, buildings, etc.


Simplicity: Unifying the zombies through the same monochromatic colour pallet really made them POP out from the environment and draw clear relationships between them and the Girl. It made it clear that it was GIRL vs ZOMBIES not Girl vs, dogs, cats, snails, etc.


Death: I wanted players to both cringe and laugh when they or a zombie steps on a landmine. After some ingame testing we decided we liked the cartoony characters coupled with more realistic sounds and particle explosions to give a very satisfyingly juicy explosion with out making you feel guilty for loving it.  At least not too much :)

Minesweeper: Explosions = Awesome so we toyed around with what type of explosion style we wanted and in the end were happy with the particle effects in Unity.  With the help of Graham we got the particles looking good on the first pass and had semi realistic looking explosions complete with giblets and blood particles.   Kaboom!!!  Loud, bright, juicy explosions in a minesweeper game was one of the reasons WHY we wanted to make this game in the first place!


  - Lara Kehler


Zombie Minesweeper's first FAN ART - Jesse Turner

FAN ART of Zombie Minesweeper, a love story - by Jesse Turner


OFFICIAL Zombie Minesweeper TRAILER!!!

Keep your children safe! Educate them with this wonderful educational film on the perils of becoming a part of the Zombie Food Chain.

Get it on iPhone & iPad!


Blood, Sweat, Tears and More Blood

We're taking a step away from the fanfare in the run up to Zombie Minesweeper: A Love Story's launch to introduce ourselves.

The three of us have been working together for five years at various companies creating a remarkably broad set of games. The minute we found ourselves moving on, we conspired to work together on the next project, damned be the need to find a company to hire us first. We sat in coffee shops that would have us, coming up with the project that would be our first indie collaboration.

Vancouver has its champions: it's a great city to be a game developer; it's a great city to be an entrepreneur. So we were living the life when we decided to make a game about landmine puzzles filled with zombies. Working out of our homes, we have been hammering away on Zombie Minesweeper for the better part of a year. (Our partners have been very patient and understanding.)

How far are you willing to go to see your creation find success? Would you write blog posts about it and talk about it with your friends? Probably. What about eschewing immediately gainful employment to spend the extra hours polishing it? Maybe... lots of talented people certainly have. How about turning game development into a performance art? Uh. Observe as Graham (design, programming) dresses up as the very zombies in the game for a promotional photoshoot:



- Michael Labbé