Welcome to another edition of Developer Diaries! This week, I caught up with Bilge Kaan, developer of Indecision. and stikir, and successful freelance game dev.
WHY NOT START OFF BY INTRODUCING YOURSELF?
Hi! I'm Bilge Kaan, a Game Developer from Istanbul. I make HTML5 Games as a freelancer, Game Templates for purchase (Scirra Store, Codecanyon), and I've done a few small personal projects you might be familiar with.
I started making games with Construct in 2012 and I have used it for more than 100 small projects. I also create pixel art and my wife does the vector graphics for our games, you can follow her work on Behance.
WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE CONSTRUCT?
Construct is super easy to start and you can make games very fast when you get used to it. I've tried other game engines but can't find a better workflow than Construct's Event System. I love how it looks, it's somewhere between coding and visual scripting. And the best thing is you can do almost anything with keyboard shortcuts without touching the mouse. This makes the workflow super-fast and fun.
Construct's HTML5 export is the best. File size and performance are crucial for web games. Almost all of my web games are under 5 MB in size and run well on all up to date devices. My low-end test device is an iPhone 5s and the games are still playable on it.
YOU'RE A SUCCESSFUL FREELANCER USING CONSTRUCT FOR CLIENTS. CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE JOURNEY TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I've started to make games as a hobby in late 2012 and at the time, I had no idea that you could make money with small HTML5 games. I was making and sharing games in places like the Scirra Arcade, Gamejolt and Newgrounds.
In the summer of 2013, I needed money, so I did some research and saw Construct Templates on Codecanyon. You couldn't set the price back then. Templates were ~8 USD and there wasn't any content, so I was able to sell some small and bad game templates 😁
In the same summer, I learned that you could license web games. HTML5 was a new thing and Spil Games was investing $5 million into it. I was lucky and able to sell 7 exclusive titles until 2015.
Then I was back to making templates. In 2015, Construct Team opened the Scirra Store. Looking around, I found out that the best seller on GameMaker's Store was a platformer template. So, I made a similar template for Scirra Store and it has also become the best seller 😁
While I was making templates, I was also trying to sell non-exclusive games to the game portals. I couldn't sell many but thanks to those games and templates, some great clients reached out to me, asking to make games for them.
Since 2016, I've been making web games as a freelancer and I've had the time to work on small personal projects too.
YOU'VE RELEASED A COUPLE OF PERSONAL PROJECTS ON STEAM, WHICH WAS YOUR FAVOURITE TO WORK ON?
I have two small games on Steam, Indecision. and stikir.
Of the two, I think I prefer Indecision. because it was a more philosophical game, and I learned some cool stuff while making it. I call Indecision. a 'haiku platformer', and it's got a very positive review summary on Steam!
If you finish the Indecision. several times, the game will tell you that you have won a free sticker. So, I made stikir to give away in Indecision. 😁
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT ANYTHING YOU'RE WORKING ON CURRENTLY?
Right now, I'm working on a personal game and two freelance projects. Unfortunately, I can't share any information about the client games, but you can have a short video of the personal project I'm currently working on:
WHAT'S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST DEVELOPMENT HURDLE SO FAR?
When I started making games, mobile technology wasn't the best. Most of the phone browsers couldn't handle HTML5 games well at all.
There were various issues, like I wasn't able to play two sounds at the same time – so no simultaneous music and sound effects. And if I put more than ten objects on a scene, the game would have performance issues. It wasn't fun but it was a good excuse to make bad games! 😁
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE DOING THEIR OWN GAME PROJECTS?
I have some general tips and tools that help me a lot.
Taking regular breaks is great both physically and mentally. I use a tiny piece of software called Workrave that forces me to take regular breaks by locking my computer.
I use RescueTime to track my activities and it helps a lot with time management. For example, I learned that I was spending way more time on YouTube than I thought. So, I used a browser extension to block YouTube's recommendation section.
I also use Clockify to track my projects to see how much time I spend on each one.
Personally, I believe that learning a little bit about the human brain and psychology can be helpful in managing your stress and avoiding procrastination.
I always try new methods and tools to increase my productivity. We're all different, so I recommend you try different things and see what helps you to get the job done.
ANY FINAL THOUGHTS?
I don't think I would be making games If I hadn't found Construct. Thanks a lot for the great software and regular updates!
I also want to say thanks to the Construct Community. They helped me a lot when I started, and even now I still search for things on the forums.
And thank you for having me on Developer Diaries 🙂
Thank you for reading 🙂 If you want to contact me or find more about my work, you can visit bilgekaan.com