We reached out to the top 5 winners to ask about their inspirations and experiences developing last month's top games on Kongregate!
VasantJ, developer of Medieval Angel 4 -My Uprising- (Part 2): Medieval Angel (previously known as Medieval Shorts) is now coming to a close, as the last episode of the season will be released soon. We have come a long way from Medieval Cop, where a drunk cop goes around solving mysteries to fighting against supernatural beings of epic proportions. But the reason the series did not lose its charm is because the fans helped me out a lot. Thanks to their honest replies, I knew exactly what to add and what to remove when making the episodes, and that is something game developers should do when we make games, as we do not make it for ourselves; we make it for the world to play and enjoy.
Beranek, developer of Tales of Nebezem: Golden Scepter: Having created several Flash games in the past, I recently felt a desire to make an RPG game. Flash is certainly great for small games, but tends to be unstable if you work with lots of data. It’s also less supported by browsers than it used to be. I was therefore looking for another engine. I happened upon RPG Maker, which turned out to be not very well-suited for RPG games (at least the kind of an RPG game I had in mind), but I liked its cuteness, so I decided to write an Adventure game (with puzzles and an interesting story) instead.
Nebezem is a world I created a few years ago for pen-and-paper gaming. It has a relatively detailed lore, geography, and history, so it serves as a wonderful setting for a series of Adventure games (and hopefully RPGs as well, in the future). The series begins with Tales of Nebezem: Elemental Link, which is now available on Steam. To give potential players a taste of what the game is like –- as well as to provide more background for the world’s nations and characters –- I made Golden Scepter and Mind Trial, both of which are hosted here on Kongregate. The main gods of Nebezem are elemental in nature. While Elemental Link focuses on the nations of water and fire, Golden Scepter takes places in the Western Kingdom (the earth element), and Mind Trial is set in Tietola, the capital of one of the two air nations. More Tales will come soon!
somethingggg, developer of NGU IDLE: NGU has been my first real crack at game development! I'd done the usual coursework you'd expect for my CS degree, but I'd never built a major project like this from the ground up. It all started out last July as me experimenting in Unity and seeing what I could do, and it all fell into place over the next few months. I was heavily inspired by idle games such as Idling to Rule the Gods by Ryu82 and Anti-Idle by Tukkun, which I recommend everyone try out. For NGU, there wasn't ever a specific plan going into development other than I wanted make an incremental game that was completely self aware of the genre and more than a little crude. I've been winging it this whole time.
For any new developers I'd like to say: Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone! There were a lot of challenges in bringing NGU Idle up to a playable state (Cloud saves!), but you have to be prepared to put in the time banging your head against a wall until you solve the problem. And don't be afraid to ask for help. I don't think NGU would have seen the light of day if it wasn't for Ryu82 helping me through some rough patches early in development. If anyone is having some troubles making a game in Unity I'd be glad to help, if I can. Feel free to pm me! :)
robertwahler, developer of SiNKR: SiNKR is an intentionally minimal game. There is no written text in the game. The last game I worked on was very tutorial and text heavy; there was a big push-back from users, so I set out to create a game that can explain itself. I've heard from others that I've succeeded at that. Also, no text makes the game international without added effort.
SiNKR was developed solo; I've worked on teams before but chose the scope carefully so that I could manage it myself. Music is really important to me. I'm a big space music fan and listen to HOS on PBS. I picked the main track and then added real piano samples to go with all the actions in the game in an attempt to create a relaxing soundscape.
For the visuals, I decided to not use bitmap textures as a normal 2D game would and I created vector graphics for all the foreground contraptions. Developers will be interested to know that I use Unity's Text Mesh Pro for displaying the in-game vector graphics. I've not heard of anyone else doing that to the same extent. I'd like to thank everyone in the Kongregate community. I recently launched on mobile and the feedback and support here has been tremendously helpful!
IriySoft, developer of Road of Fury 3: Road Of Fury is the series of games that we started in 2013. We always try to add something new in sequels of our games, but this time was different -- part 3 is an HTML5 game made with Phaser/TypeScript, and it's our very first game made with this technology. The budget was pretty tight and since we couldn't reuse the existing code, we couldn't add too much new stuff and had to focus on creating the game engine.
So the initial plan was to make a very simple game -- one endless level with 3 fixed unlockable and upgradeable cars. But then we realized that it will look like a step back compared to the previous games, and it may ruin the whole series. So we added 2 more unlockable levels with unique enemies and a boss at Level 3. A short story was added too. Balancing the boss took some extra time, but we thought it was an important addition to the game.
Launch was not the final point of the development process -- we collected players' feedbacks and made some important changes in the update. For example, the game had an experience system -- the car, weapon and device had experience and levels and could be upgraded only if the next experience level is reached. Players disliked this feature and it was removed.
Another feature that we had to tweak was the energy shield device -- if all 3 cars had it, the team could become almost invincible, because the device affected all the cars in the team. Now it affects only the car where it's installed.
Overall, with the budget we had and taking into account the fact that the game was re-created from scratch with the new tech, I believe that the result is pretty good and it may become a great basis for the future series' development.
Congrats to the rest of the winners below!