“When I first moved into the old farm house after living in the city, I was surprised at how dark it got at night…”

This is how the instruction manual for the game Bear in the Snow begins. This game, along with the album it accompanies, was created by Dan Goldberg, who performs and publishes his music under the name The Spookfish. Each of the ten levels of the game centers around one of the songs from the album. This atmospheric musical and gaming experience draws on Dan’s experiences living in a cabin in rural Northeastern United States. Bear in the Snow features many haunting and beautiful moments, and contains many secrets to be uncovered.

In the first No Small Games developer chat, Kate and Emily talk with Dan about his journey creating this game. When Dan set about creating Bear in the Snow, he started with zero game dev experience. Kate and Emily learn about his process of learning game development, which he set about in parallel with creating the game itself. Dan also shares the heartfelt backstory behind his love of indie games and discusses which games inspired him the most. We hope you love this episode as much as we loved chatting with The Spookfish!

Meet the Game Dev

Dan Goldberg aka The Spookfish (he/him)

Dan is a musician and game developer who created Bear in the Snow, the album and accompanying indie game. You can read more about Dan’s music in this feature from the New York Times.

Play Bear in the Snow on Itch.io

Find The Spookfish’s music on the following platforms:
Bandcamp | Spotify | Apple Music

Meet the Dev - The Spookfish

Dan’s Bio:

My name’s Dan and I make music as The Spookfish. I am really interested in dreams and nature and other parts of reality that feel magical, and have always tried to share this in the music I make and in the events I put on. I regularly put on concerts on mountains or strange places like on rocks in rushing streams in the dark of night. Recently, I have become fascinated with indie video games and the freedom and passion that I see in a lot of work. Some of my favorites are yume nikki, undertale, kentucky route zero, tux and fanny, dark souls, detention, rain world and cave story.

I spent the last 4 years or so making a game of my own called “bear in the snow” and it’s the first real game I’ve ever made. It comes out on September 7th, 2023. I also did the sound for Ezra Szanton’s “Be Honest” and hope to work on more games in the future.

Keep in touch with us on social media:

Kate’s Twitter ✦ https://twitter.com/katerblossom

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No Small Games Twitter ✦ https://twitter.com/NoSmallGames 

No Small Games Instagram ✦ https://www.instagram.com/nosmallgames 

Want to learn more and weigh in on what games we should play in future episodes? Contact us and let us know what you’d like to see us play!

No Small Games is an indie game recap and review podcast brought to you by hosts Kate and Emily! They became friends while streaming on Twitch and bonded over their love of indie video games. In each episode of No Small Games, the two will discuss an indie game they both played independently. They’ll compare their experiences: the good, the bad, their most memorable moments of their playthroughs.

In this installment, you’ll hear their interview with game dev and musician Dan Goldberg, about his new game Bear in the Snow.

Learn more about the podcast and its hosts on the About page.