[Interview] 10000000 Game Dev Luca Redwood Talks About His New Game, You Must Build a Boat
Last week I had the opportunity to catch up with Luca Redwood, the one-man dev team behind the hit game 10000000. With a new game in-development, Luca shares some advice for people getting into the game dev business, and gives us a few details about You Must Build A Boat.
Editor's Note: All bold was added for emphasis.
What was your inspiration for creating 10000000?
There were really a bunch of things. One of the things that spurred me in is that once I became a grown up and had to work my gaming time really diminished.
There were games that I could play in short sessions on the tube to work, but I wanted a game with a beginning, middle, and end that I could beat - albeit over weeks of short sessions. So I set out to make a game that I could do that with.
I wanted a game with a beginning, middle, and end that I could beat - albeit over weeks of short sessions.
What went right/wrong during development?
I decided to update Unity and 3rd party libraries without backing up. That went very wrong and took about 3 weeks of evenings and weekends to recover, but other than that nothing went majorly wrong. There were lots of changes, but I don't think that's a bad thing.
What went right? Having my wife support me while I was working these constant evenings and weekends so I could really get focused.
What aspect of game development is your least favorite to work on?
In game dev, there is never a right answer, there is never a right answer, there is never an objective "yes this is done".
That's a good question. Before I started doing game development, I did development at a normal, serious, non-game company. Game dev is better, but one thing I miss is that you'd get requirements, and then you'd plan a piece of software that fit those requirements and.... that was it.
In game dev, there is never a right answer, there is never an objective "yes this is done". So I just have to iterate and iterate without really having a clue when something is going to be finished and fun.
It's great when it goes right and you end up with something fun and unexpected, but rubbish when it goes wrong and that feature you thought was cool is actually rubbish.
Did the reception of 10000000 surprise you?
Yeah, I couldn't have expected it at all. I honestly expected to sell 10 copies to sympathetic family and friends. But it wasn't just that it sold well and became a success that surprised me - it was that people liked it. I don't know why but that was what confused me most.
Tell me a little bit about You Must Build a Boat, the sequel to 10000000.
It started out as an update to 10000000, then became a DLC, then an expansion pack, but kept growing and growing and took on a life of its own and became a whole new game.
With YMBAB I want to keep the core experience similar, but just have all the things I would have liked to have done if I had the time when I was making 10000000.
How does YMBAB expand and/or improve the experience of 10000000?
(Spoiler) So, in 10000000 you were locked away and everything was similar. In YMBAB there is much more exploration in the game visiting different environments and that changes how the game is played. Each time you run a dungeon it will have different procedural modifiers that affect what the best way to play the dungeon is.
The Monster capturing system is really cool too. If you are up against a dungeon with infrequent, but beefy, monsters -- something like a Sand Dragon is really good at countering that, but that means you are going to be weaker in other areas.
One of the hardest things to deal with is--at least when you are breaking into the industry--nobody has any expectations. Now I need to make sure this games lives up to them. Eek.
With over 300,000 copies sold of your first game, how do you think You Must Make a Boat will be received?
Bloody hell, I'm terrified. I still feel like I somehow duped people into liking 10000000 and this will be when they finally realise. I hope it's really good; it should be since I'm spending so much more time on it, right?
One of the hardest things to deal with is, at least when you are breaking into the industry nobody has any expectations. Now I need to make sure this games lives up to them. Eek.
Do you have plans for more games once You Must Make a Boat is finished?
So I've been working on 10m and YMBAB for a few years now, all put together. And I've built up a backlog of around 30 ideas that I want to prototype and see how they feel. I think I'll try to take on a few smaller projects before another big one, but I'll probably get carried away again.
Anything else you would like to add?
Play 10000000! :)