By Anni Simpson on March 9, 2014 at 12:00pm
If you follow original content uploads to sites like Kickstarter or Reddit, you're probably familiar with games in the very early stages of development, but very few games get the spotlight while they're still conceptualizing the ideas behind their big project. But have you ever wondered what goes on during those early stages? We have!
Indie developer Nik Sudan, who posted an animated GIF of early gameplay for his cyberpunk game to Reddit last week was kind enough to let us in his head about his game and the work behind it.
PT: Tell me about your game. What’s the end mission for a user playing your game?
NS:I have no name for the game yet, but it involves the player controlling a female rebel trying to escape from numerous law enforcement units that are trying to stop her. She is on a motorbike, and has access to a few weapons. The game will take place at high speeds on the endless highway in a central metropolis. It will take a lot of elements from your conventional shoot-em-up games, but I'm applying my own little feature with it - you can only shoot in four directions, with a precise laser beam shot. I want to try and put in an ending after you get a certain distance, as well as an endless mode. You'll be judged on your score, which will probably be gained from destroying vehicles. Hoping to get online highscores with it too!
PT: What was the inspiration for the cyberpunk theme? What about your inspiration for your choice in graphics?
NS: I love anything cyberpunk. I recently got into it a lot from Jack King-Spooner's and Jake Clover's Sluggish Morss, which takes place in a dystopian future where many beings struggle to survive. The atmosphere and story created in it really made me want to make something in that setting. I am actually working on another Cyberpunk game that was started before the jam. I'll get back to that after the jam's finished.
With my jam game, I have gone with a more traditional cyberpunk approach. I have taken the bright neon colours, the rebellious attitude of certain individuals, the constant growth of technology and the ultimate demise of it taking over humanity. There's so much you can add to it, and I don't think you see enough cyberpunk games nowadays. I've gone with pixel art because I am quite quick at producing nice things with it, as well as I think that it will go well with my style of game.
PT: How far along are you in making the game? What’s next?
NS: Right now I have been working on the engine a lot. I plan to add more enemy designs, as well as actual scenery. I am really looking forward to the music and sound design stage... I love the sound of the 80s movie synthpop you get.
PT: How has the community reacted to what you’ve showcased so far? How do you plan to promote it in the future?
NS: I've been posting my work on twitter primarily, and it's received quite the response. People are really liking my art and GIFs, and I'm really grateful for that. I've also been posting on reddit in various communities (r/IndieGaming, r/Cyberpunk), and the reaction to those has been overwhelming. I guess reddit really likes the fluid animated GIFs I've been posting. I think that this has been the project that has had the most well received reaction that hasn't been released yet. The game will be hosted on a few sites when it's out, and I plan to probably announce it over twitter and reddit. If it gets mentioned on any article, I'll be over the moon.
PT: What got you into development and design in the first place?
NS:I have been making short games and projects for approximately seven years now. I have been using the development tool Game Maker, and the community has really driven me to make games like I do today. I've always wanted to make games. I used to plan out ideas and such when I was young, rather than actually playing games. In fact I think I've spent more time making games than actually playing them. I don't think that is a good thing...
The feeling you get when everyone plays your game and gives good feedback about it is great. I want people to have fun when playing my games, and when they do I am extremely happy. Making games is all about the end product and how well it gets on with the player, rather than how well it looks or how well it performs.
PT: Is this a one-man job, or are you working with others?
NS:I'm working on the jam game by myself. I tend to do things by myself, because I can really. I like to have control over everything so I don't have to rely on anyone but myself, especially in short time periods. I have been practicing in all areas when making games - art, programming, writing, sound, etc. I do enjoy working with others too, as you get a lot of constructive input and a lot of different approaches.
Much thanks to Nik for his unqiue perspective on early game development, as well as an exciting prospect for a new game. If you're interested, you can follow him on Twitter at @NikSudan. We wish the best of luck to you and can't wait to see what you have to offer when the game is ready!
Reddit.com: Pow pow! An animated GIF of some early gameplay in my Cyberpunk Jam game