We're back with another edition of Developer Diaries! This time, I caught up with Mateus Ferreira, the developer behind several great Construct games including Rabisco which I streamed a while back.
WHY DON'T YOU START OFF BY INTRODUCING YOURSELF?
Hello world! My name is Mateus and I’m the founder of Green Dinosaur Games, a small game development studio based in São Paulo, Brazil. I've made Pinkman, Duck Souls and Rabisco using the Construct 3 game engine and all three are available on Steam. Duck Souls is also available on consoles, thanks to help of the great people at Ratalaika Games.
I’m here to share a bit of my story using Construct 3 and I really hope what I’m about to say is somehow helpful for you all!
WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE CONSTRUCT 3?
Like many other aspiring game developers, I’m more of a visual person and kind of scared of “abstract” concepts like the things traditional programming can present to users sometimes. So, as soon as I heard about Construct’s visual scripting solution, I decided to give it a try and I enjoyed it a lot!
But I guess the more important question is “What made me stay with Construct 3?”.
There are quite a few tools with visual scripting solutions available in the market, but the way Construct 3 handles it is what makes it stand out in my opinion. Even more so when combined with other great design decisions, like the behaviors and plugins structure. This all results in a very dynamic environment that scales with the developer needs and knowledge.
YOU'VE GOT THREE RELEASES SO FAR ON STEAM, WHICH HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE TO WORK ON?
It was a joy to work on all of them, and they have all helped me learn new things through their development challenges. But my favourite one was definitely Pinkman because of the way it literally changed my life. Developing both Duck Souls and Rabisco required me to implement old but important features again and again, but when I was working on Pinkman every single day taught me something new and exciting.
WHAT'S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST DEVELOPMENT HURDLE?
The internet has grown a lot in the last ten years which has made many things more accessible, like books and video tutorials about all sorts of topics including game development. Of course, with more knowledge, comes more developers and the competition on platforms such as Steam has reflected that growth, resulting in a world where marketing is not a “bonus” of product development, but a necessity! And sometimes it can be really hard to stand out in the crowd, even with good games in hand. Marketing is definitely one of my biggest hurdles to this day because of how much it requires from the developer.
YOU'RE DOING SOME FANTASTIC WORK CREATING EXAMPLE PROJECTS OVER ON PATREON. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO CREATE THESE PROJECTS AND CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT ANY IN THE PIPELINE?
Aww, those are some very kind words, thank you!
Well, I think it’s very important to keep myself active on Twitter, since it’s a great place to build a fan-base and meet other developers. However, I was struggling to keep putting out a stable amount of interesting content. So, I went and created a Patreon page, to force myself into the habit of developing something new every week, because some people would be expecting such content to drop. It’s working very well for me, not only because I’m now able to keep my social media active, but because I can also test many game design ideas, learn new things in the process and help other developers. And actually, I'm going to take this opportunity to also talk a bit about a specific template that I really enjoyed making.
Z elevation has quickly become one of my favourite new features from Construct. Right after it was implemented, I saw it as a fancy way to create backgrounds with interesting visuals, like star fields. However, after replaying Star Fox from SNES, which is a very rudimentary 3D game, I started to wonder if it would be possible to implement a somehow similar gameplay system by using Construct 3's native features. Guess what? It only took me a few hours to create a very solid template using Z elevation. Manipulating a single value in the object properties is more than enough to create this feeling of movement, and that’s just one of the many reasons I think Construct 3 feels so great to use.
Check out this tweet if you can't see the GIF!
TALKING OF HAVING THINGS IN THE PIPELINE ARE YOU WORKING ON ANY NEW GAMES?
Of course! Since July of last year, I have been partnered with the amazing people at Ratalaika Games to bring my games to consoles and the results have been great for me. They have literally changed my life and now I’m finally able to keep working on new games fulltime. I’ve plans to show our new project to the public by the end of the year, but for now I don’t have any names or images to share. You'll have to wait and see!
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE DOING THEIR OWN GAME PROJECTS?
The absolute best advice I can give is: always make sure that you actually enjoy playing your own game.
Sometimes we can get lost in a sea of “features that sounds cool” and forget the most important ingredient: fun. I believe that if you enjoy playing your own game, even if it’s only 1% complete, it’s worth the ride to create the other 99%.
ANY FINAL THOUGHTS?
I’m very, very thankful to Scirra for inviting me for this interview and for creating Construct 3! If you’re trying to join the game development world and are a bit on the fence on which engine to choose, then try Construct 3! I’m sure you won't regret it.
If you would like to see more of my work or just chat about game development in general, you can follow me on Twitter (@BonzerKitten). I'll see you around!