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INDIE GAMES

INDIE GAMES:

BACK TO THE FUTURE? Wandering around AVCon recently we stopped and chatted to a few of the indie developers who were demonstrating their latest games. A couple of our conversations revolved around indie game developers being a little like those developers back in the early 90s when PC gaming was really taking off with the new 486 based systems allowing coders to really push a lot of pixels and activity on the small screen. Those days were exciting in that each upgrade of the processor from the 386 to 486 and so on, saw leaps in what our PCs could handle with regard to graphics and sound and gameplay. Today, developers are pushing mobile platforming along with desktops and consoles. But it’s in the mobile platforms of phones and tablets where we’re focusing on today. Small one and two person teams are working away just like the legends of old like Geoff Crammond and Sid Meier.

devil's doom First up we talked to Tom Aldahn from RUNGO Games about their title, Devil’s Doom. Tom can you tell us about your game, Devil’s Doom. What’s it

about, and how long has it been in development? Devil’s Doom is a retro inspired, single screen action game where you catch feathers, avoid baddies and grab power ups to get the highest score. I liked the endless runners like Temple Run etc so I took that idea and applied it to my favorite genre, platformers. People have been calling Devil’s Doom and ‘endless platformer’. If you want to go deep, it’s a story of redemption, the little devil is trying to catch the falling feathers (souls) in hope of redeeming himself and getting out of hell. It’s taken about seven months part time to build and I’m still adding a few features. Although it is based off a prototype I had been tinkering with in flash about a year and a half ago and I probably spent a month or two on it at that stage. Tell us about being an independent developer, it’s challenges and rewards... I work a day job and have two small children so game dev happens at night, usually after the kids have gone to bed. I try to get in a couple of hours a night. I break it up into tasks, so some nights I do art, other nights I code. I try to fit in the other stuff around that too, social media, marketing etc. I guess that’s the challenge, as an indie you have to

wear many hats and it sometimes feels like you’re a ‘jack of all trades’ but then when the game is done and folks start playing your game, it all comes together and its totally worth it. Seeing an initial spark of an idea and following it through to fruition is the ultimate reward. Being able to tweak and make changes and to work at your own pace are benefits too. If I want to do some pixel art one night then I do that, If I’m in the code zone or have a particular problem I’m trying to solve and I want to work on that for a week straight I can do that too. I don’t think I would find it half as satisfying working for one of the big players as ‘the guy that did the grass’ or whatever. Not that there’s anything wrong with that :) It reminds me a bit of the old days of PC gaming and the 486 or even earlier with the Amiga and Atari systems, those times when lot’s of developers got creative and started developing for systems without the need for expensive dev kits… do you feel there are similarities? Yeah, I remember gaming on the Commodore 64. There were lots of games that were from individual developers. I think that died down when the consoles came in and then when the big publishers and their marketing budgets took over but I think that with the advent of the iphone and the app store and then the

August Live Magazine  

Live Magazine goes RETRO! We take a look at video game music - the best from yesterday & today, TONS of game reviews & previews PLUS intervi...

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