Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Developer Corner: Emberheart Games

Hi Everyone,

Check out this week's Developer Corner. Fangirl Review gets a chance to actually talk to a developer for an upcoming game. Check out the thoughts of Emberheart Games and definitely download the demo for Courier of the Crypts. 

Tell me a little bit about your company and the founders?
After years of modding and game development of small games/prototypes, I’ve decided to start making my first commercial game under my own emblem. That’s how Emberheart Games was born. It’s a one man team founded in December 2011.

What made you decide to get into your field?
I always had a huge passion for games since I was a kid. When a game had an option for modding, I did that. I was making maps for Sokoban (1982), did a lot of modding on Duke Nukem 3D, Doom and Quake series, maps for strategy games like Red Alert, Settlers 2 and more. After I’ve learned programming basics I’ve started my game development path. I knew what I want to do when I grow up since I was a kid, game development is my passion for sure.

What is the vision of your company? What do you hope to achieve?

I want to create games which will stay in players’ hearts for years after finishing them. I believe that can be made only with a huge passion which I share with players through my games. Nowadays I see that “idea development craze” where developers create games of popular genre. Eg. zombies, horror, roguelike...I don’t want to do this, I want to create what I feel like doing, something unique, something personal.

What are your thoughts on the Gaming Industry and rise of the Indie Companies?

I see more and more games being developed for money instead for fun. We all need to eat of course but everything is getting out of control. Huge amounts of money are spent on top notch graphics instead on the gameplay. That’s exactly why Indies are rising. I can’t explain how much I’ve enjoyed VVVVVV and yes, I rather pay 10$ for that game than 50$ for Far Cry X. Of course, Indie side isn’t that shiny as well. With rise of the mobile games, people are entering this field to create clones, low quality games in hope to get rich. Market is getting flooded with everything, I’m afraid games are getting devalued because of the bundle. I have like 220 games on Steam and I still didn’t try like 180 of them. Us Indies will have to work harder than ever to get our games out in front of players.
Overall I’m quite sure Indies carry the future of video games.

Tell us all about Courier of the Crypts?

Courier of the Crypts is no ordinary 2D pixel art dungeon crawler for the PC. It’s an action adventure game about a Courier, a magic torch and a letter.

In this game you have to survive as a courier on his first errand to the guardian of the crypts. Your main tool to achieve your mission is a magic torch which you use to illuminate your path, defend from evil spirits and solve puzzles.

In Courier of the Crypts you don’t level up or gather equipment for your hero. There are no swords, axes, and awesome blizzards to destroy your enemies. Instead you are equipped with a magic torch which is the core mechanic in the game. Environment reacts differently to the state of your torch. You must make sure you don’t lose all the flame which forces you to turn off the torch throughout the game but that’s not always a safe thing to do. Some enemies will leave you alone as long as your torch is on fire while others will try to drink your light if it’s on. There are also many puzzles that requires you to handle the torch flame wisely. You can use everything you learn in your advantage. Turn off the light and let the spiders follow you into the trap. Next to your torch you can find some rocks and oil urns which you can throw at your enemies.

So, rather than hack-and-slashing through the crypts you’ll have to use your mind and progress carefully watching over your flame and survive. All the maps are carefully crafted without random generation and I’m doing everything I can to give the players an awesome ambient and challenging maps. Game will feature a lot secrets (including secret and bonus maps) so the true explorers will have lots of fun with the game.

I’m developing the game for almost 4 years now. Since I’m a solo developer and working on the game next to full time job and studies the development progressed slowly. Of course there was also a long prototyping phase where I was looking for the right style and game mechanics. Now I have the final idea and I’m ready for the final push which is why I started an Indiegogo campaign 2 weeks ago.

Words are hardly enough to tell you about the game so I invite you to download a demo preview version and give it a spin. 

What is your website? Contact information? And Indiegogo URL?

Official game website: http://www.courierofthecrypts.com
Greenlight: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=339621580

Download demo: http://emberheartgames.itch.io/courier-of-the-crypts-preview

Fun questions time! What is your first memory of gaming?

If we are talking about the PC or Console games then it must be when I was 8 or something. Dad bought our first PC (Intel 486) at that time. His co-worker gave us those big floppy disks where we found 3 of the first games I’ve played. Pentix, Sokoban and Epic Pinball. My sister was the best at Pentix and at some point I’ve found out about the highscores file and deleted it. I won’t forget how mad she was. Epic Pinball will stay in my mind forever as well because it was a shareware version with one map (Android) and when you quit the game you can see what maps are there in the full version. I wanted to have those so badly.

Favorite Video Game of all time?
That’s one of the hardest questions I could get ever. And I answer differently every time. I’ll mention 3 but there are many many more.
- Settlers 2 (the most unique strategy I ever played)
- Gothic 1,2 (my favourite RPG games)
- Bastion (one of the best Indie Games)

Additional Comments?
I would like to thank you Victoria, for the interview opportunity and invite everyone to try out the preview version of the Courier of the Crypts. Cheers! ;)

Thank you to Emberheart Games for the awesome interview and showing us the insight into the mind of a game developer. 

Post by Vikki
Twitter: ProfessorWhite

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