As with most of the designers I talk to on this site, I first discovered Riv Hester through Twitter. More specifically, through a gif of his gnarly game Pepper Grinder which was retweeted onto my timeline (I forget by who, but clearly someone with good taste).
Aleks Kuzmanovic has been working on his debut title Unworthy over two and a half years now. He’s (hopefully) a couple months away from release and isn’t sure if leaving his civil engineering job to pursue his passion for game development full time will be viable. But with his savings from his time as an engineer to support him, he’s pursuing a career as a full-time indie developer.
As with most of the awesome game designers I interview, I first saw Victor Agren’s work on Twitter. At the time, I didn’t know his name- his Twitter was simply “DeadToast” which piqued my interest almost as much as his game did. The first clip I saw was from his upcoming side-scrolling action game My Friend Pedro: Blood Bullets Bananas and, well, take a look:
I’m always interested in the designers working outside of our North American centered industry. You almost never read about the game development scene outside of America, the US and UK. I don’t think I’ve ever read about the game dev scene in Eastern Europe and especially not the Ukraine. It’s important to understand we’re in a global industry, and in an age of the internet, we can collaborate with and learn from developers across the globe. So when I found the opportunity to talk to SignSine, a Ukrainian game studio working on their first project, I was super thankful. SignSine is making PROZE, an immersive 3D adventure game focused on telling a compelling story “about friendship with massive Cold War conspiracy background” and providing an immersive experience.
On the last day of PAX West 2016, I had some time before the day started. I was walking past the booth for a company I’d never heard of called Gambitious and I saw it, on the biggest, loudest TV screen possible. It was a flash of colour and thumping rhythms- I was immediately sucked in, transfixed. As I sat down and handed the controller, I was told “left trigger shoots down, right trigger shoots forward” and that was all I needed to hear. I immediately fell into the flow of shoot down, shoot forward, die and repeat. I played for only a couple minutes but it was easily the most memorable game from the show. Before I had to leave I quickly asked “What is this?!” and the woman giving me the demo smiled and said “RunGunJumpGun.”
The first time I heard about GoNNER was when indie developer Rami Ismail tweeted out a picture with a shirt he was wearing that had the game’s logo on it. I was immediately intrigued. I wanted to learn more about this mysterious title and the designer behind it. I had been following the developer simply known as “D!TTØ” on Twitter since I saw Rami’s shirt. From his Twitter, I discovered a treasure trove of lovely prototypes on itch.io that sold me. After a quick search I learned that GoNNER was a gorgeous roguelike platformer coming out soon- so of course, I pre-ordered it immediately. I was not disappointed.