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‘Chicken Enters the Door’ is a fun, bizarre mobile game from Pinoy indie developer

When it comes to video games, it’s usually the strangest, most innovative experiences that stand out and endure the test of time. You wouldn’t exactly call “Super Mario” and its obsession with mushrooms normal. “Street Fighter” has warriors who can shoot fireballs out of their hands. Even “Metal Gear Solid” isn’t your typical military action game.

Face it: weird is good, weird is memorable. Package that with great gameplay, and you’ve got something truly special.

“Chicken Enters the Door” is one such game. Created by Pinoy indie game developer Roan Contreras a.k.a. ToadieTechnika, it’s funny, it’s colorful, and it’s exceptionally bizarre. It also happens to be one of those “just-one-more-try” experiences, so be prepared for some gaming binges.

Hold the door

“Chicken Enters the Door” gives you but one simple task: help a chicken through a seemingly infinite number of doors. All you have to do is tap the screen the moment said chicken crosses each door’s threshold.

Sounds easy? Well it isn’t. The chicken must be in some kind of hurry, because it races towards those doors like its tail feathers are on fire. Tap too late or too early, and the chicken explodes. There are also ghostly chicken clones, fake doors, and teleporters disguised as doors, all of which will trick you into tapping at the wrong time. The game is easy to pick up, but grows challenging quickly, testing both your wits and reaction time.

“Chicken Enters the Door” wasn’t always so quirky and tough.

“Before the released version of the game, it was literally too boring, and way too easy,” explained Contreras.

The game’s initial version only involved the chicken sliding through the door. While it didn’t take Contreras long to realize the experience would be far more interesting with the addition of ridiculous elements—such as the aforementioned clones and teleporters—he admits designing the core gameplay remains the biggest challenge for any game developer.

Contreras was also responsible for the game’s visual and sound design.

“I did everything for the game,” he said. “The look of the game was [inspired by] a combination of the layout of the games from Ketchapp and those that are pixelated.”

Pixel art has grown popular among indie game developers, so much so that it’s become necessary to confirm that your visuals don’t look like anyone else’s lest you be accused of theft.

“The situation came to the point that I was avoiding producing rip-off art from games involving chickens. There are lots of chickens out there.”

As for the audio, Contreras chose to go with the 8-bit route so that the music and sound effects would blend with the retro aesthetics. He also believes the wacky sound design helps contribute to the game’s humor.

Contreras worked on “Chicken Enters the Door” for a month before circumstances forced him to put it on hiatus. This break lasted for 3 months. When he finally picked up where he left off, he added two more weeks to the development period to ensure the game would be as good as he envisioned it to be.

Bending reality

Inspiration is necessary for any creative endeavor, and game development is no different.

Like most developers, Contreras finds his motivation from playing other games. He describes the process by which this inspiration helps him come up with a game’s core concept:

“The inspiration is a stairway towards the game idea. First, think of a game: ‘Crossy Road.’ Second, think of a quote related to it: ‘Why does the chicken cross the road?’ And third and last, change [the idea to] something different that would sound decent to the ear, from ‘cross the road’ to ‘enters the door.’ ”

Contreras admitted he enjoys thinking of new, and even weird, reality-bending concepts. This never fails to help him generate fresh and unique themes for his games. Sometimes, observing things he finds interesting also does the trick. He also visits his favorite website,, for additional inspiration. Said website often runs game jams, which prove valuable sources of great ideas.

Contreras described game development as enjoyable and “addictive,” which explains why he’s made so many titles over the years. But creating games such as “Chicken Enters the Door” has also been rewarding for a surplus of other reasons.

“I’ve made clusters of realizations [about game development], enjoyed great experiences, and most importantly, seen wonderful—positive and negative—comments from the players. They’re a part of the game development experience which helps you become motivated to be a better developer after all your hard work.”

Though Contreras works well with other game developers, he is more of a lone wolf.

“I prefer to develop my games single-handedly,” he said, “If I work with other developers, it only happens when I’m employed in a company that makes games, or rarely in game jams.”

A dreamer and a game developer

Contreras grew up aspiring to become a game developer.

“I wanted the things I drew on paper to interactively run wild, and game development was one of the interesting processes that can make this happen,” he explained. “The old-fashioned games—especially the ones for PlayStation, Famicom and Gameboy—also inspired me to become a game developer.”

He received no formal training in game development; he had to learn everything on his own. This, of course, came with a slew of challenges.

“I have 0% education in game programming,” he said. “Before 2010, it was depressing because no one at my side believed or knew about this kind of craft. I ended up just discovering most of the processes all by myself, and I kept moving forward.”

The first time Contreras touched a game creation software was in 2005. Systems such as Adventure Maker and GameMaker Studio (formerly Game Maker) proved beneficial to his self-study:

“Regardless of the difficulties I’ve faced, Game Maker contributed most [to my learning] the fundamentals of making games… It also gave me a huge amount of confidence that I can learn these kinds of skills even outside school.”

Contreras started making his own games in the summer of 2008. Ever since then, he has developed “a lot of minigames filled with nonsense,” and some that would have “some sense.”

Presently, Contreras is the one-man team behind the ToadieTechnika brand. He has been using Unity to develop his most recent games.

Now that “Chicken Enters the Door” is… out the door, what’s next for Contreras?

Well, back in his high school days, Contreras developed a series of games called “Blockstix,” which had you assuming the role of a block whose mission was to brave the dangers of a dungeon and rescue stickmen. In 2009, he released the game’s third installment which he, unfortunately, isn’t very fond of.

“My dream is to develop the fourth game someday,” he said.

Contreras also has a more ambitious dream of creating a deeper game experience—one that would reveal to people great truths about the world we live in, and one that should end with happiness.

For more information on Roan Contreras and his games, visit his ToadieTechnika website and Newgrounds page.

You can play “Chicken Enters the Door” on your PC through this page, or by downloading the game from Google Play. — BM, GMA News