Guest Post

Cubes: My Journey into the Indie World

About the Author: My name is Marc, I live in Barcelona and in the past year I founded the indie studio Kinematic Games and I created my first game, Cubes. If you want to read more about the process I recommend following my blog Indie Thoughts or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

(1200x600) My Journey into the Indie

My journey began in late 2014, after my university graduation as a multimedia engineer. I was looking for a job for some months, but I knew deep down I wouldn’t find anything that fit what I wanted to do. In the end, I decided to create my own game and with the game came the studio.

My professional experience until then wasn’t related to gaming and the only experience I had was making a game with four colleagues for the videogames subject in my last year of college (that’s when I heard the word Unity for the first time in my life) and my final project. The project was a VR horror game made for Oculus Rift and that’s what really gave me the confidence necessary to start developing a professional game on my own. kg_logo_alpha

It was a decision that I was half super confident with and half totally crazy because I had never done anything like that. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to face the next months, but the idea of creating a game all alone was super exciting to me and I became unstoppable.

The process taught me a lot, but my first lesson was to keep it simple – very, very simple. That meant having to start all over about three times because my first apparently simple ideas were too complex. And while simplifying the ideas I realized that I had to boost my imagination to create a great game with no resources. After that, I brainstormed a bunch of new ideas and days later I was back to the game!

During the development process I also needed help from other people, sometimes a friend who was a designer would give me advice, sometimes a colleague or family member to test the early versions of the game or most of the time the two life savers of the game, were: the developer communities (Unity answers, Stackoverflow, etc). I was able to find or ask any question I had about any problem and other developers would help me. SOOMLA was also a lot of help and brought my game to a whole new level. Even though I created the game all alone, it’s been crucial having other people near because one always needs a hand sooner or later.

I consider myself a casual gamer with a strong artistic sense, so I wanted my game to fit that description. I set out with 4 main goals to achieve.

1. Find a funny, engaging and challenging game mechanic.

I wanted the player to have fun while playing and at the same time feel: “I’m sure I’ll do better next time.”

What I did:

  • I started with a basic mechanic, but I ended up making six variations of it (Arcade, Continuous, Epileptic, Expert, Inverse and Shooter).
  • I thought about more mechanics to try in case some didn’t work or in case I want to expand the game someday.

2. Define a very specific visual style.

My goal was to make the player see something nice and clean at all points in the game.

What I did:

  • I very carefully picked the color palette and the combination of colors.
  • I created a global style and made variations for each mode.

3. Maintain my values.

I think that values are one of the most important things to remember while developing a game because it’s where you put your personality as a game designer.

What I did:

  • For example, one of the things I knew from the beginning was that my game wouldn’t have any ads in it.

4. My worst critic.

Even though you have incredible ideas in your head, sometimes when you try them they aren’t as good as you thought they would be. So this usually starts an internal debate about leaving the idea as it was or throwing away days of work to search for a better one.

What I did:

  • Always went for the second option. If I wasn’t completely satisfied with the result I started again until I was.

In brief, that’s how I ended, more than a year later, with my game Cubes.

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