This is our super fast 7 question interview with Pinebox Games the developer of Mogu Man! *Please feel free to leave a comment down below if you have an idea for a future question!
How did you get into game development?
At high-school, we learned LOGO and how to make office-type applications in Visual Basic. I was able to make some simple game-like “toys” almost immediately. I also did DOOM modding in my spare time. That was how things started.
Later, as a teacher of I.T. myself, I taught my students VB and Flash, creating games in both software packages in order to better learn them and as examples for my students.
Recently, I got back into it as a creative outlet and to tell some stories I’ve wanted to tell.
What software do you use to make your games?
I presently use RPG Maker MV. It’s much more flexible than people imagine. For example, I’m close to finished making a side-scrolling beat-em-up called ‘Moreau’ entirely in RPG Maker.
In future, I intend to develop in Game Maker Studio, with a view to hopefully releasing something for the Nintendo Switch at some point.
To create the visual assets for my games, I still work in Flash, along with Photoshop and a Windows app called Graphiter for initial sketches.
What hardware do you use to make your games?
My Lenovo Miix 510 idea pad is where I make my games. It’s a similar machine to the Microsoft Surface, with a ‘smart pen’ and detachable keyboard. That, along with a Bluetooth mouse, is all I need, as my present skill set limits me to producing only 2D games.
If you could choose only one “item” that makes development easier what would it be?
When it comes to producing visual assets, I find the Lenovo Active Pen indispensable. It feels incredibly natural to be able to draw directly onto the screen. It also saves a lot of time and effort.
Name one quote that motivates your development!
“Every act which has no heart will be found out in the end,” from the novel ‘Cities of the Plain’ by Cormac McCarthy, is one of my favorite quotes. When it comes to game development, I employ this as a reminder to instill meaning into my work.
Most of my games have a strong narrative focus, with the intention of communicating a message or exploring a theme. Even with my smaller projects like ‘Mogu Man’ though, I don’t create games solely to make money. Just as well, really…
Any books (or guides) you would recommend to new game developers?
There is no one single right way to make a game, so I would actually suggest reading devlogs, project post-mortems and interviews by/with developers you admire, particularly those creating games similar to the ones you hope to make. I particularly enjoyed reading an article detailing the development of Team Cherry’s ‘Hollow Knight’.
Of course, books/articles on game design theory, as well as practical guides/tutorials on how to develop using your engine of choice are always invaluable.
Lastly, your advice to new game developers!
• Keep your projects manageable.
• Decide on your games’ “sales point/s” early and make sure they’re great.
• Focus on one or two core mechanics per game.
• Use original or customized assets to give each game a unique identity.
• Have critical friends playtest your game early and often. Kids and non-gamers are the best play-testers.
• Marketing is tedious but important.
• Play the long game. Success never really happens overnight.
This was our interview with Pinebox Games the creator of Mogu Man.
If you like their work, please feel free to leave a comment or check out their latest release on iOS or Android