Selasa, 13 Januari 2015

Indie gamedev interview: Half Heart Games

Halo semuanya! Minggu lalu aku sudah mulai menghidupkan lagi segmen indie gamedev interview, di mana aku menanyai game developer indie dari berbagai belahan dunia dan meminta mereka untuk berbagi pengalaman mereka. Kemarin kita sudah kedatangan tamu dari Belanda, kali ini target interview kita adalah developer dari US, tepatnya dari Minnesota.

Saat ini game yang dia kembangkan masih dalam tahap awal pengembangan. Mungkin kalian berpikiran: "Apa menariknya game yang masih belum selesai?" eits, jangan salah sangka. Justru kita paling bisa banyak belajar tentang proses game development dari game yang masih dalam pengembangan. Kita bisa tahu dari mana developer mendapat inspirasi, bagaimana proses prototype dibuat, dan semacamnya.

Apa kalian mengira proses prototype itu selalu dalam bentuk software? Ternyata kita juga bisa membuat prototype dengan kertas dan kotak pizza lho! Kotak pizza! (disclaimer: semua gambar di artikel ini diambil dari halaman facebook dan blog Half Heart Games, link facebook dan blog akan diberikan di bawah)

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Pizza box prototype

bagaimana, menarik kan? Untuk tahu lebih detil tentang proses pengembangannya, langsung saja kita simak hasil interview di bawah ini. Seperti biasa, interview akan dibiarkan dalam bahasa Inggris supaya tidak ada makna yang terlewat.

To start our interview, why don't we talk about yourself? What can you tell me about your group? How many people are involved? Where are you guys located? Stuffs like that.

Half Heart Games is currently mostly just me. I do hire on programmers when I can, but I can only offer them rev share. So I mostly get students who are eventually get too busy to help. However, with their combined effort I do have a small prototype.  I plan to pitch to a few investors that I know this month which will help hire on more permanent programmers.

I am an artist (3D to be specific) so I handle all the art for the game. I am also located in Minneapolis Minnesota, but the programmers and additional artists that have helped me thus far range from California, Michigan and even South Africa.

What can you tell me about your game? Is it an Android title or iOS? How long is the development of the game?

Fleet Calamity is a sci-fi strategy game. (think of Magic the gathering meets battle ships). Each player builds a deck and uses their cards to bring out vessels, traps and upgrades to conquer their opponents fleet. Life is measured by population on each respective ship the players own.

The game is being made for PC, but I would like to port it to mobile devices. But one thing at a time for now. I have got a long way before I jump into that pit of snakes.

The game is scheduled for 2 years (assuming I can get funding from the investors). If I can't the game will take much longer depending on how much help I can get.

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Assembly drone
What can you tell me about the inspiration for your creation? Does it come from your favorite game? Are everyone in the team gave their suggestions on it?

The game was actually spawned from the t.v. show Battlestar Galactica. Its one of my favorite shows. It also had some inspiration from deck building games like Magic the gathering, Scrolls and the like. When the game was first being developed I was the only one working on it. Now that I have gotten it to a play-able version I do ask for help from every one involved, such as play testers, programmers and artists. Each one has shaped the game into what it is now. No matter what game you work on or how much you try to refine it yourself there is just no way other people won't influence it. Every one on the team has their own ideas and inspiration and they will want to add their own little tweak. If it helps the game in the end, I don't see why you'd hinder them.

The year 2014 just left us, what kind of thing did you achieved last year? Any achievements or milestones broken?

Oh jeeze! lets see here. Since I'm the only 3d artist all of the models are created and textured by me. Last year I created over 40 models and textured them all. Aside from that I also got a play-able version up and running and have been regularly testing it and making plenty of tweaks and changes to make game play more involving and fun. I also got a quick prototype up and running for the actual digital version. so considering in 2013 I didn't even have a fully developed game I think I have come a long ways.

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Paper unit prototype

It's the beginning of 2015, and people are having new resolutions this year. What do you want to achieve in this year?

Funding! Funding! Funding! I've been making steady progress with a budget of zero, but its getting harder and harder to make real substantial progress without paying people. And I really do want to pay those who help me, their contribution is making my dreams a reality and they deserve something in return! So early this year I'm hoping to get enough funding for a full time programmer for a few weeks. Then return to the investors and show them what can be done in a short amount of time with just two people working on the game.

 Aside from that I still have 100's of models to make and more play testing to refine and polish.

If beginners in gamedev read this article, do you have something to say to them? Some advice, tips, or anything?

Stop reading and start doing! Get involved, ask questions, start a project! There are tons of game jams that you should be checking out. Find one you like and jump right in.

Also, if you have a game idea make a physical copy first and start play testing. No body wants to work with you unless you can prove you have a product. For me I used pizza boxes for game boards and note cards for cards and folded pieces of paper for the ships. I've even heard of people running around their house/office pretending to shoot each other for FPS's.

Lastly, but not least, Play test your heart out. Once you get any type of prototype up and running begin play testing with your friends, with yourself, with your mom and dad, Any one! Find out whats wrong with your game early and save yourself the headache later. With the type of prototype I just talked about you can refine your game quickly and without spending much money. Spend maybe 100 bucks on card board and paper or spend 1000's on a programmer to re-do half their code.

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Mech cruiser
Lastly, is there anything you'd like to share with the audience? Doesn't have to be technical.

I think I said most of whats needed in the tips, and I've probably talked your ear off enough. But I would like to plug my dev blog. It just shows the progress we've made on Fleet Calamity and lets you know whats on the agenda.  We are still very early in the development process, but it might be interesting to see how things progress from the beginning. The blog can be found @

Yap, itulah dia hasil interview kita hari ini! Bagaimana? menarik kan caranya pihak developer membuat prototype dari kertas dan kotak pizza? Membuat prototype seperti ini akan lebih mudah terlihat hasilnya daripada membuatnya dalam bentuk code, dan lebih mudah diubah kalau kalian merasa game kalian perlu modifikasi.

Kalau kalian ingin mengunjungi langsung developer kali ini, kalian bisa ke halaman facebook: atau twitter: untuk update yang terbaru.

Kira-kira sampai di sini blog post kita kali ini, sampai ketemu di tulisan berikutnya!

Selasa, 06 Januari 2015

Indie gamedev interview: Lionade Games

Halo semuanya! Beberapa bulan yang lalu aku punya sebuah segmen sendiri dalam blog ini, yaitu Indie gamedev interview, di mana aku berusaha menanyakan beberapa pertanyaan kepada gamedev dari seluruh dunia tidak peduli apakah mereka studio besar atau kecil. Ini aku lakukan untuk membantu mereka mendapat lebih banyak pemain, karena aku tahu bahwa mendapatkan pemain untuk game indie adalah hal yang sulit.

Beberapa bulan lalu rubrik ini sempat terhenti karena kesibukan ku menulis buku. Tapi sekarang aku akan berusaha membangkitkan segmen ini lagi, dan membantu para gamedev dalam mendapatkan pemirsa. Tamu kita kali ini datang dari Belanda, yaitu Lionade Games. Mereka adalah para pelajar yang baru saja mendirikan game studio mereka bulan Mei 2014 lalu, tapi biarpun begitu mereka sudah mendapatkan penghargaan bergengsi dalam bidang gamedev.

Game karya mereka adalah Check-in, Knock-out di mana kalian berperan sebagai tamu hotel yang memperebutkan kamar dengan tamu lain. Trailer dari game ini bisa di lihat di bawah:

jadi tanpa menunda lagi, teks lengkap interview ini ada di bawah. Sama seperti biasanya, aku membiarkan teks dalam bahasa Inggris, supaya tidak ada makna yang hilang.

First, why not start with yourself? Can you tell me about your studio? How many people are in it? How long have it been around? Stuffs like that

Sure! Lionade Games is our Dutch independent game studio. We are the trio of Nick Aarts (me), Menno Stas and Tijmen Tio. Menno and Myself did a Game Art and Game Development course, since then we became good friends. We had always talked about starting our own company together. We dreamt about the whole wide world playing our little games. And about working together in our way too small house until the break of dawn. Tijmen was already making games when he was being spoon-fed. When the three of us met at our current course at HKU University of the Arts it was love at first sight. Tijmen was the missing glue that firmly fixed me and Menno in place. Lionade Games was officially born on May 30, 2014. So we are a pretty new studio.

I've seen the video for your game? It looks great, can you tell me more about it?

Check-in, Knock-out is a game where you and the other hotel guests are double booked. You decide to settle it with an old fashioned brawl in the hotel room! You can knock-out your friends by throwing pieces of the hotel at them. By doing so, the level gradually gets smaller. Each character has a distinctive playing style, derived from its personal special abilities. The game is fast to learn but there is depth for those who seek it in the form of advanced techniques.

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It looks like a local multi-player game? Is it an android console exclusive? Or will it be available on other platforms?

Yes, it is local multiplayer only. This is because of the fast twitchy gameplay, which is not possible over the internet. Well, not with our expertise. We are aiming for a Steam launch in May 2015. It will come to the consoles somewhere in July 2015.

It looks like you used pixel art graphics to its full potential, with destructible stages. Where did you get your game idea?

We did a school assignment in which the goal was to make a game in one week and add polish and juiciness for 2 weeks. One of the first ideas was ‘Let’s make a game in which you throw your environment at each other!’ We love multiplayer games so why not? We worked really hard for 3 weeks. When the assignment was over we were all individually playing the ‘finished’ game with our friends until for a few consecutive days. We honestly had a lot of fun playing our own game. We then knew that we had a solid base and that we really wanted to continue the development, so we did.

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With 2014 ended a few days ago, did you have a great year? What special impressions or achievements that last year left you?

We had an awesome year! We never thought we would have our studio this fast. Especially since we are still students. What was also pretty bizar is that we were nominated for 2 out of 3 student categories of the Dutch Game Awards. Best Student Art Direction and Best Student Game Design. We won them both! What we also noticed is that the indie games industry is super lovely. Everyone wants to help everyone. We had tons of help from our new industry friends.

We're now just beginning 2015? It's the time where people usually make resolutions, what's your gamedev resolutions for this year?

Good question! We would love to get some more international recognition. We are pretty known in The Netherlands now, but that’s about it. We hope to achieve this with our booths at PAX South, PAX East and PAX Prime which our new publisher, tinyBuild arranged for us!

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If this interview is read by people who just starting out in gamedev, what advice can you give to them?

Talk to people! Go to events! I think the most important part of being a successful game developer, is people actually knowing that you exist. Because it’s impossible to play a game you don’t know. Like I said before, the indie games industry is a very welcoming family! Oh, and go to events. Lots of them. Also, be active on social media, it really helps connecting with your fans and fellow devs.

Lastly, is there anything you'd like to share with the audience? doesn't need to be technical.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter! We post relative updates on Check-in, Knock-out and our little side projects. We’d love to have you there :) 

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Dan itulah tamu pertama kita kali ini. Semoga kalian semua bisa terinspirasi dari apa yang sudah dicapai oleh Lionade Games, dan kalian juga pasti bisa membuat game kalian sendiri, walaupun masih sekolah. Sampai ketemu di blog post berikutnya!

Senin, 05 Januari 2015

Bukuku sudah terbit!

Oke, kelihatannya ini post yang agak telat karena bukunya sudah terbit dari akhir desember kemarin tapi aku baru menulis ini awal januari. Tapi kan lebih baik terlambat daripada tidak sama sekali. Jadi yah, kalau kalian sudah lama mengikuti blog ini kalian pasti tahu kalau selama beberapa bulan terakhir aku menulis buku, dan bukunya sudah selesai enggak lama kemarin.

Sesudah melewati beberapa proses oleh penerbit (aku enggak tahu gimana prosesnya, tapi itu kayaknya enggak penting buat dibahas), akhirnya buku itu selesai juga! Dan sudah bisa dipesan baik versi e-book atau pun versi cetaknya di alamat ini!

Buat kalian yang ingin bisa tahu lebih dalam tentang Construct 2, aku kasih penjelasan yang lengkap (banget) di buku itu, jadi kalian pasti enggak menyesal deh beli bukunya!

Jumat, 02 Januari 2015

Happy new year!

Halo semuanya! Karena masih tanggal 2, jadi masih dalam semangat tahun baru, saya mau mengucapkan: Selamat Tahun Baru 2015! semoga tahun ini jadi tahun yang hebat, dan sukses bagi kita semua!

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Gambar diambil dari pixiv: