This post is part of our Tips For Creators series where we are asking questions about gameplay, monetization, community and other topics related to making great games on Core.
You won the Invitational with your game Dead Rush, what do you think are the reasons your game stood out from the rest?
There are 2 reasons that made us win in my opinion: the right scope and the right team. We had the right scope because our game has very specific and focused gameplay and all we had to do is build around it. We were only two so we had to find a game idea which we could develop in the limited time of the game jam.
We also had the right team for the job because being only two made communication so much easier. Our real advantage was that we are both versatile: we can both code but we can also both create levels, kitbash props, etc. We both have an artistic sensibility so we were autonomous most of the time, we weren’t dependent on each other the way a programmer is usually dependent on an artist and vice versa. We have also taken any feedback we have received seriously because after working on the same project for so many days, one can become blind to some problems.
Finally, the time that was not wasted because of the reasons I exposed, allowed us to polish all the aspects of our game.
What important advice would you give that could help a beginner that wants to make their first game with Core?
The best qualities to have in my opinion would be confidence and patience, as in everything else, not just Core. Try lots of things, create stuff, even if it’s bad at the beginning. Core makes it so much easier to just test an idea and toss it away if we don’t like it. Make prototypes, lots of prototypes, test everything, familiarize yourself with everything that Core has to offer.
Ask and listen to feedback. Everything that you read, everything that you learn, everything that you test will serve you in a future project. Core is evolving rapidly so be sure to check those patch notes when they’re out! Something that was impossible to make last month may have become possible with the last patch.
Playing other video games usually brings to my mind a lot of thoughts about gameplay mechanics. Like many, I have played video games since I was a little child, but now when I play, I also mentally analyze the game I am playing. This or that could be improved, this or that could be removed, and what if we changed that, and why did they do this instead of that? etc.
I think we never invent something truly new, but we build upon what others have done, we remix and we rehash until it feels new enough. I also like to play old 8-bit and 16-bit era games: there are thousands of forgotten games with interesting mechanics just waiting to be modernized and reused.
My work process is very incremental. Again, Core makes it so easy to test things that the fear I had in the past of starting a new project on other platforms has now turned into excitement. But what I usually do is I try to formulate what I want to achieve with plain, everyday language words, and that is why my code is usually full of long comments at almost every line, because before I even type a line of code, I have already typed the comment which really is a note to myself. Then all that is left is to test things again and again. I usually let Core tell me when and where there is an error in the code. I often forget to type this or that syntax bit, or change this or that variable name, etc., and so I am usually(!) happy when I see that red text in the Error Log, because it means there is progress.
We have all been beginners and in a way, we are still all beginners, because there is always more to learn. If I had any advice to give it would be: try to be well rounded. Our society is full of people so specialized that they don’t see what’s outside of the scope of their magnifying glass. Don’t see yourself as a programmer or as an artist only, but see yourself as a game developer.
Jams are a precious tool to help you progress, they force you to do many jobs at once and to have a viable product. Be like a renaissance man, a polymath, someone who is interested in learning about every aspect of what he is working on.
Thank you Czinczar for answering our questions.
Try Dead Rush here: Dead Rush by DeadRushTeam - Core Games