The Cost of Video Games, How to Make Money in the Video Game Industry. Gumshoe's Gamer Podcast S2-ep5 (Ft. Stephen Anthony from Stegosoft Games)

We all like video games, but every game comes at a price. Wether that be $20 or $60 (with microtransactions), every game has its price. And would you believe that making video games come at an even BIGGER cost? Well, strap yourself in as me and my guest take you through the wacky world of budget cuts and appealing to stockholders.

Hope you all enjoy…

Thanks to Stephen Anthony for coming on to the podcast! Make sure to check out his game, “Ara Fell” on Steam and the Stegosoft website!

Fatherhood in VideoGames: God of War, Yakuza 6, Wolfenstein, and More! Gumshoe's Gamer Podcast! Season 2, ep4 (ft SpongeBrain)

I might be out of my element with this topic but what the heck, I’ll give my 2 cents on it! Fatherhood can be an interesting topic/theme to explore in games and now seems to be appearing in more games. My good friend Spongebrain and I talk about some fantastic fathers, daring dads, and powerful protectors.

Hope you all enjoy…

Thanks to Sponge for being on the podcast! Make sure to check out his Twitter!

Signal Boost: “An Aspie Life” by EnderLost Studios Interview with indie video game developer Bradley Hennessey

Has there ever been a game that has emotionally moved you? Well everyone this here is one of those games for me. “An Aspie Life” is a wonderful indie video game made by Australian dev team EnderLost. Now some of you might recognize this game as it has won several accolades including the “2017 National iAward Senior Student” award. You also might have seen this game on steam as it was not only an early access game but free as well. It came out of early access to a full release on March 29th, 2018, and is still free! I know I am a bit late to the hype of this game but “An Aspie Life” is a wonderful game about what it’s like to live with autism. I had a chance to talk to the indie dev behind it all, Bradley Hennessey, about the game and its development.

Gumshoe: What got you into video games?

Bradley: Playing games as a kid, Open TTD, Minecraft, etc. Just liked playing games. Then in Highschool, I found ‘gamemaker‘… and have been making games ever since.

Gumshoe: So what drove you to make An Aspie Life?

Bradley: The current misinformation that is surrounding autism, and the fact I wanted to try something different and innovative

Gumshoe: Were there any challenges or difficulties when developing “An Aspie Life”?

Bradley:  Yes. Firstly – Trying to turn autistic traits into gameplay mechanics was hard. It took some time to get it working correctly and make the ‘flow’ work. Secondly – Animation… I’ve never done so much animating in my life to the detail present in An Aspie Life. Took a lot of time. Finally – BUGs….. BLOODY BUGGS!

Gumshoe: Were there any ideas or scenarios cut from the game?

Bradley:  Yes, a few. They were mainly cut due to time restraints. A few cutscenes were cut because there was no need for them. As the game already goes across its info. I cut a lot of Sams content. He was originally going to also have another ending if you found him again on day 2… but I realized since he was inhospitable, it won’t make any sense.

Gumshoe: What do you hope players will get out of playing “An Aspie Life”?

Bradley:  I hope if anything players will get at least a better idea of what autism really is.

Gumshoe: Lastly to all the other indie devs, what advice would you give them?

Bradley:  Work out your save system before anything else… Sounds small but it will save you a massive headache later on.

Talking with Bradley has really cemented the fact that video games can do what books and even movies can’t fully do, give you an interactive experience. While playing An Aspie Life, I couldn’t help but notice how well the gameplay reinforced what it is like to be living with autism. Even the little details such as making all the NPCs blacked out, how the main character writes in his diary, and a whole lot more really showcases what it is like to live with autism to some degree. I truly think this game made me understand autism more than just reading about it could ever do. That is really the power video games have. But if you have not played this game, WHY NOT?! Go play it right now! It’s free on steam!! Also, make sure to check out EnderLost Studios’ website and social media to keep updated! With all that in mind, thanks for reading…

 

Play the Game! It’s Free! http://store.steampowered.com/app/786410/An_Aspie_Life/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mebradhen

EnderLost Studios Website: https://mebradhen.github.io/index.html

EnderLost Studios Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheAspiegame/

Are Violent Video Games a Problem? Gumshoe's Gamer Podcast! Season 2, ep3 (ft SpongeBrain)

Well, I guess you all saw this one coming. Today on the podcast, I bring my good friend Shaun AKA SpongeBrain on to talk about Violent Video Games.

Hope you all enjoy…

Thanks to Sponge for being on the podcast! Make sure to check out his YouTube Channel as he has some great videos on there!

Signal Boost: “3 Minutes to Midnight” by Scarecrow Studios A 2D Adventure style indie game with a dedicated team behind it

Have you ever played any of the Monkey Island games? Maybe you’ve missed those sorts of classic point and click adventure games, I know I have. Well, there’s a new adventure game called “3 Minutes to Midnight” that might scratch that itch. This indie game is being developed by Scarecrow Studio, a team that is destined to make this game the best it can possibly be. I was able to contact the head of Scarecrow Studio, Jan Serra, for a quick interview about the game and his experiences working on it.

Gumshoe: How did you get into video games?

Jan: I was working on engineering for like 15 years. Then I had a change of heart and wanted to do something more fun… and I started investigating how I could make a video game with a little budget. I always loved video games and mainly adventure games, so I wrote a story … created some cool characters and hired a team to bring it to life

Gumshoe: You are working on your first game, a point and click adventure titled “3 Minutes to Midnight”. So what made you want to make this game?

Jan: I really missed the old games like Monkey Island and Loom … there are many adventure games but they are not the same… so I wanted to give it a try and do something in that direction but with a more actual look.So the idea was to update the graphics and animations … but keep the humor and the style of puzzles. I really think that it’s something adventure gamers miss.

Gumshoe: Scarecrow Studio has a good sized team, what has it been like working with others on “3 Minutes to Midnight”?

Jan: I started this project alone for a few months writing the story and defining the characters. Then I hired a small team (without going into details, they were not big fans of the genre so the things didn’t work out). Then I was about to give up but decided to keep going, and hired a more professional team with more experience. I have to say working with this team is amazing, every single member of our Studio is a big professional and great human beings. It’s a pleasure to walk into the office every day. I’m really glad they decided to work on this project.

Gumshoe: What would you say are some challenges that come with developing a game like “3 Minutes to Midnight”?

Jan: We always have a hot potato, this week, for example, we were dealing with organizing the E3, a few weeks ago we had to cut some scenes and puzzles to keep the timing on point… Now we are working really hard on the demo, and it’s a big pressure because it’s a trial by fire… this will be a kink point for the project so we hope everything goes well.

Gumshoe: Lastly, have any advice for other indie devs?

Jan: I would recommend, before starting any project, to write everything down. The story, characters, screens, mechanics, software to make the game… Try to give it an estimate of time, that would give you a very good picture of the size of the project and will help you see if you can bring it to life or not. After that make a list of all the tasks you have in mind (even if it’s not all of them) and try to keep them on track. Stick to the plan, don’t make changes (unless they are easy) changes take time and can kill a project.

Well, I got to say, I am hyped for this game. Scarecrow Studio will even be at e3! How cool is that! I hope that the development goes smoothly and I wish the team the best of luck. If you want to follow the development or just want to know more about Scarecrow Studio, I recommend following their Twitter, Facebook, and joining their Discord. They even have a great website that is full of information about their game and team. With that said, I am Gumshoe, and thanks for reading.

Scarecrow Studio Twitter: https://twitter.com/scaringcrows

Scarecrow Studio Website: scarecrow-studio.com

Scarecrow Studio Discord: https://discord.gg/kXg9fx7

Scarecrow Studio Facebook: https://facebook.com/scarecrowgamestudio/

Romanic Relationships in Video Games, the Good, the Bad, and the David Cage Gumshoe's Gamer Podcast! Season 2, ep2 (ft Artful Dodge)

Time for the next podcast! Today we get to talk dirty and get on a big tangent about Life is Strange with special guest, Artful Dodge!!! Oh yeah, BIG “viewer decision is advised” here because we do talk about doing the do. More accurately, whether or not its ok to have these scenes in video games or if it’s better to leave them out of our games.

Hope you all enjoy…

Thanks to Dodge for being on the podcast! Make sure to check out his Twitch as he streams there like every other day, and Twitter if you use that.

Signal Boost: NetherWorld by Hungry Pixel A Kickstarter, Indie Video Game with Dark Themes

Kickstarter, a site that has its ups and downs but overall is a great platform for up-and-coming independent video game developers. Heck, just look around the site and you will find a good number of games that need backers. Here is one such game, NetherWorld, and boy let me tell you this one is an odd game indeed. I was able to get in contact with Daniel Barreno, the founder of Hungry Pixel, to talk about NetherWorld and its dark subject matter.

Gumshoe: What got you into making video games?

Daniel: My passion for them since I was a child. Both me and my coworker Isabel have enjoyed playing all kinds of video games, but indie ones woke up emotions in me that I’d never had before. Most of them are fresh and different proposals that want to go beyond mass-produced entertainment. I’ve always wanted to leave a mark in this world… Why not do it by giving people a piece of ourselves through an indie video game? That’s what are we doing now, and we’ll continue doing in the future.

Gumshoe: Why choose Kickstarter instead of other crowdfunding sites?

Daniel: We considered different crowdfunding platforms such as IndieGoGo, but finally we chose Kickstarter for being the most popular and reach the biggest public.

Gumshoe: So NetherWorld has some dark and themes and content. What made you decide to make a game with these themes?

Daniel: From the beginning, we thought about NetherWorld as a different video game concept. We wanted to do something grotesque, a sinister world full of ghosts and creepy creatures with real-life problems. And then, take them to the extreme in an outlandish way. A condemnation to our own world and its prostitution problems, drugs, mistreatment and corruption among others. We thought the best way to confront them was through black humor and eccentric situations. But never forgetting its condemnation background. In the end, NetherWorld is a game about life, and how people face its darkest side to get through difficult situations.

Gumshoe: When it comes to the art of NetherWorld, what are some of your interpretations and why choose pixel art for the style?

Daniel: I’m a huge fan of retro video games. My first console was the NES, and I love how pixel art looks in the games. An example: Metroid Fusion for Game Boy Advance. I think its artistic design is awesome, in pixel art and with the limitations they had. Pixel art has other benefits: creating beautiful scenarios, its low-weight files, and the final game size. This is the key to certain platforms. In Nintendo Switch, for example, would be insane to upload a 30GB HD game in the E-shop when console’s internal storage has 32GB.

Gumshoe: So you are from Spain, what would you say are some challenges or differences working in Spain then say somewhere like the US?

Daniel: In Spain, the world of game development seems to be challenging. Nowadays it’s more difficult to create a business in Spain than in the US. We have a lot to learn and improve. However, lots of little projects and indie studies are starting to make a space for themselves in the industry.

Gumshoe: Lastly, would you have any advice to give to other indie devs?

Daniel: Hard work, lots of hours and effort, and good luck. It’s a tough path, but it will be worthy for sure.

Overall this game has so much potential and NEEDS to be funded. If you want to check out this game a link to their Kickstarter and well as their Twitter and website are below. I highly recommend backing this game if you can, it’s unlike any other I have seen before.

 

NetherWorld KICKSTARTER!: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1522665641/netherworld-drugs-sex-and-pixels-adventure-game?ref=user_menu

NetherWorld Twitter: https://twitter.com/NetherWorldGame

NetherWorld Website: http://www.netherworldgame.com

Signal Boost: An Interview with Indie Game Developer Logan – OneShark Dev behind Forbidden Clicker Party, Chicken Assassin, and MORE

I personly don’t play a lot of clicker games, but when one of my good friends got me a little game called “Forbidden Clicker Party” from this small indie team named OneShark, I was hooked. This has to be one of the best clicker games out there and I mean it. The great presentation to the addicting gameplay it’s a blast to play and cheap too. In any case, I was able to contact one of the developers named Logan via the team’s Discord server to conduct a short interview…

Gumshoe: What made you want to make video games?

Logan: I made video games on paper my whole life. As a kid, I first played Final Fantasy 1 on NES and was very much attached to it. I liked to know how all the intricate parts worked and imagine how it would be built if I were to do it. So that game pretty much lit the fire for me.

Gumshoe: How would you describe the process of making a game?

Logan: The OneShark way is pretty unique. Here’s how we do it… Designer + Artist + Coders talk about projects that make us excited and have an “anything goes” brainstorm and start to figure out the grand picture of it. From there, the first prototyping takes place with single characters and simple stats to try and see if we found any fun mechanics. This part can go back and forth for awhile as the ideas in our heads don’t always translate perfectly to the game. Once we do have the fun mechanic and theme down, we go and apply what we call our “Game Template” this is all of the base scripts for our tools and everything we’ve generated along the way from creating multiple games. This template gives us basic functionality for Saving, Audio, Animation, Character Controlling, Text/numeric formatting of all kinds, etc. So the rest of the process is basically week sprints where we add features+content in bite-sized chunks and test them out. We develop very rapidly so there is little downtime in our process. Each member of the team is going full speed from day 1 of the project. We love the team and the stride that we have going here!

Gumshoe: There’s a good number of games One Shark has made, what would you say is or was your favorite to work on?

Logan: Always the latest game is our favorite because I learn so much from the last project that the code is kind of “out-of-date” to me. I would say the strongest built game so far is certainly The Terrible Beast from the East. With a Skill Tree, Multiplayer, Crafting, and so many unique features – it is the biggest and best effort we have ever put into something. We are happy to finally be working on multiplayer projects and have people who can play along the way with us.

Gumshoe: On that note, you are now working a new game titled “The Terrible Beast from the East”, a 2D Side Scroller MMORPG. How would you describe the development of that game?

Logan: We originally were aiming to take a multiplayer approach to a successful past game Chicken Assassin. So we did that and we started to test out with players and it seemed like the action was dull after awhile. So we wanted to try going a bit further and introduced running in the dungeon environments and then it started to get fun. We then began to see ourselves as a dungeon crawler and decided to aim higher for this game. Now we have players putting countless hours into it and exposure is starting to build. The development was completely gutted after that first round so we lost a lot of time, maybe 4 months of work that we just stripped away and rewrote. If you know our team, that means we could have built 2 more fun minigames in that time. So we weren’t happy about that but in the end, the process and discovery was important. So we are coming up on a year of work with this game and it’s glowing. We are very happy with our process now that we know exactly what we’re doing and where we are headed.

Gumshoe: What are some of the difficulties or challenges would you say comes with making a game?

LoganThe biggest difficulty is all of the Unfun that creeps into a project or team. Example: Starting an LLC, getting the bank acct set up, trying to write + return invoices, tracking it for taxes. Other than that, it’s the best career in the world if you can make enough money at it to be stable!

Gumshoe: Lastly, do you have any advice you could give to other indie devs?

LoganFind a team of people who have similar ideals, values and most importantly work ethic. Don’t worry about skills as much as personality because by the end everyone wears many hats. Friendship and respect will build more than genius will.

Overall Logan and Oneshark are making some amazing games and there is even a mobile port of Forbidden Clicker Party in development! If you want to keep up to date with Oneshark I recommend joining their Discord and following them on Twitter. There is also a link to their next project “Terrible beast from the East” which is still in development and playable! They update frequently and have a great community of players all on their discord. With that said, my name is Gumshoe and thanks for reading.

 

Terrible Beast from the East: https://oneshark.itch.io/terriblebeastonline

Forbidden Clicker Party (Steam): http://store.steampowered.com/app/783200/Forbidden_Clicker_Party/

Oneshark Website: http://oneshark.com

Oneshark Discord: https://discord.gg/T48a2Y5

Oneshark Twitter: https://twitter.com/onesharkcom

Meta Madness!!! How the Meta of Overwatch has Evolved Gumshoe's Gamer Podcast: Season 2 - Ep1 (Ft. Quab)

Hey everyone, time to start doing these again! This is the start of season 2 of the PODCAST! It’s time to reminisce about 2017 and talk about E-sports some more with special guest, Quab!

Hope you all enjoy…

Thanks to Quab for being on the podcast! Make sure to follow him on his Twitter or watch his stream over on Twitch!

Signal Boost: An interview with indie game dev Felix – Blob Games Studio The developer behind the game Geneticognito

Recently I was given a code for a game called “Geneticognito”. Being a fan of indie games and stealth, I decided to try it out. To my surprise, I really came to like the game even if it was a bit short and repetitive at points. The bosses were the highlight of the game for sure, all fun and challenging in their own way. Anyway, I was able to get in contact with Felix, the developer behind Geneticognito and many other games from Blob Games Studio. I had a chance to interview him about his experiences as an indie dev and the development of Geneticognito.

Gumshoe: How would you describe the process of making a game?

Felix: For me, it’s a messy one. I try my best to stay organized, keep to-do lists, communicate with the team, etc. However, I still largely follow my motivation, and I have a lot of projects. So I often switch what I am working on, sometimes suddenly, and it can be a bit hard to follow. On the plus side of it though, I don’t have many cancellations under my belt, so I always come back. And at least a lot of my ideas get some attention this way.

Gumshoe: So, why did you make Geneticognito?

Felix: I’ve been making another game, Super Gear Quest, for close to 3 or 4 years now, and I decided to make a different, smaller story set in the same world. So I basically used what I had made for Super Gear Quest, took a portion of its story, and made a different game out of that, which resulted in Geneticognito. The two games don’t directly overlap, but if you know their stories and the world they are in, it’s obvious where they are connected. Though that said, it’s smaller size is also why Geneticognito was essentially just a few months of hard work and not years. Which is why it’s already out there even though it’s not nearly as old as several other projects. However, I was still lucky that motivation stayed around long enough to finish it efficiently.

Gumshoe: When developing Geneticognito, were there any difficulties or challenges?

Felix: Geneticognito went fairly smoothly due to the context of why and how it was made. Though, most effort went into the plot, the main character, and the boss fights. The rest of the game is fairly simple, and Super Gear Quest was the base for the game, meaning I didn’t actually have to code a lot of it, as I had already done that previously while making Super Gear Quest.

Gumshoe: You have made a good number of games, which would you say was your favorite to work on?

Felix: Kinda hard to say, especially since a lot of them are not even done yet. But I’ve had a lot of fun with certain projects like Super Gear Quest and Solarblade; they are two examples of games that I would really like to perfect. In fact, that is why they are taking so long, and why my goals for them are so high. There are a few others like this too, such as The Legend of The Artifact (or rather, the remake of it). Other than that though, I mostly do have fun with every single project I create, mostly because I create them entirely based on very specific ideas I have. It also helps that I am very attached to some of the characters and that I generally try to work on whatever I feel like, rather than forcing myself to work on a project I don’t want to work on at the time. Though of course, the latter is a strategy that definitely also has its downsides, haha. Gotta force myself sometimes.

Gumshoe: Lastly, do you have any tips you could give to other indie devs?

Felix: I don’t feel like I am the best at giving out great advice, all I can really say is to work hard. It sounds cliche, but it does work pretty effectively, especially if you work alone. Your games won’t finish themselves, and there is nothing quite like feeling the satisfaction of releasing a project you are happy with. Plus, when you have done it once, it only becomes easier to do it again, especially as your experience grows as well. But like many others have said, I recommend starting small and not aiming for a very big project as your first one. It’ll get you going a lot faster than if you aim for something really big, so save your big ideas for when you think you are truly ready to create them.

Overall I enjoyed talking to Felix and really enjoyed playing Geneticognito. If you interested in the game or keeping up to date with Blob Games Studio and Felix, links to their twitter and discord, as well as a link to the game Geneticognito, can be found below. With all that said, my name is Gumshoe and thanks for reading.

 

Felix’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/FelixBlobDev

Geneticognito (Steam link): http://store.steampowered.com/app/655490/Geneticognito/ …

Blob Game Studio’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Blob_Games

Blob Game Studio’s Discord: https://discordapp.com/invite/blobgamesstudio