We reached out to the top 5 winners to ask about their inspirations and experiences developing last month's top games on Kongregate!
flori9, developer of The Final Earth 2: Hi everyone! I’m very happy to have won first place in this contest! :)
Before I started making The Final Earth 2, I made quite a long list of features I wanted to have in it. Then, after making the very basics, I threw that list out the window and just started making whatever I liked to work on. For example, I thought horizontally connected sprites for parks would be cool, so I added that. After that, I thought vertical connections might be nice too, so I added the botanical gardens. At first, teleporters were the only transportation option. But I thought a building category with only one building was a bit silly, so I added landing pads too, which are now my favorite feature of the game. Near the end of development, I thought the game needed an end-game addition, so I created the Secret Society of the Key. Most of development was like this: I just repeatedly added something that would be fun to make and that might be nice in the game.
This method may have made the game a bit less cohesive and definitively made making it take longer. Also, some features may not really have been necessary (does anyone ever change the door color of Houses?). However, it did make it really fun to work on the game. I do hope that shows, at least a little bit. :) So my tip to other developers: don’t plan your game too much. Just see where it takes you and maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Plans aren’t completely useless, though; at the very least, they are always a nice source of inspiration to fall back on whenever your game doesn’t really take you anywhere.
In the end, I’m very happy with how the game turned out, and I’m definitively planning to expand it a bit further. Thanks everyone for playing and rating The Final Earth 2!
zephybite, developer of missed messages: Hi Kongregate! Thanks to everyone who rated my game, I appreciate it a lot.
missed messages was made for the last Ludum Dare in 3 days. Later on I fleshed it out to what it is now and published it on Steam. It's been really rewarding seeing its mostly positive reception. I'm glad people like it as much as they do.
I've made more than 10 games previously, mostly for game jams and mostly free. It's really more of a hobby while I do software engineering for my full time. Oh yeah, and being a student, but that's not as fun.
VasantJ, developer of Demented Shadows: Prologue: Demented Shadows is a concept I have been playing with since 2009 believe it or not. I can't reveal much without spoiling the next episode, but there are hints in the prologue that on closer observation will reveal something important to players. The new series is connected to both Medieval Cop and Antivillain, taking place in the same Universe but in the distant future.
This game is my very first trial into full 3D and it has obvious flaws which I will fix in the future games. It is a highly experimental concept but will definitely get better with time. The current trial game is inspired by a mix between "Tales from the Borderlands" and "Red vs. Blue". But only after the public response I realized that it needed voice actors to have a similar impact. The overall design felt bland in comparison due to it. Nevertheless, the fan support was great as always and I am going to keep trying to make a good 3D game while keeping up with the Medieval Series. Thanks for the support for the game to everyone.
FeatherHatGames, developer of A Pirate and his Crates: Ahoy Kongregate! It was summer 2018. Sabo from FeatherHatGames had been making 1 game a week for a couple months now, and he realized he wasn't getting further anymore, so he asked his friends from Game Dev Daily for game design advice. One of the members, Jeroen Wimmers, mentioned that Sabo's games had space for improvement in the area of elegance. With that Sabo started looking into the Art of Game Design, Lens #43: The Lens of Elegance. Initially starting off as a study project, Sabo started with a sword-fighting platformer where you slice bats in 2 and then use their remains to jump over gaps. The game slowly got more focused and progressed into a game that revolved solely around solving puzzles with a crate. After uploading an earlier prototype of the crate game on Newgrounds and getting featured, Sabo decided to make a fully fledged game of this study project and turned it into A Pirate and his Crates. With this study project Sabo intended to get better at game design as well as getting experience making a good puzzle game. Rewards for completing this game include: Sabo will be allowed to use his real name for game dev and develop games in a team.
Speaking of developing games in a team, making games on my own can be rather lonely and there’s only so much I can do on my own. Hence I would like to finish with a shoutout.
Hi, my name is Jaswir and I want to make really awesome new games. When I was a kid I played oldschool (Flash) games like Stick RPG, Motherload and Swords and Sandals, and these kind of games greatly enriched my childhood. Are these the kind of games that you want to make too? Maybe I can help you out with your project. It doesn’t have to be a big task; we can start small and see from there, like a 1 weekend game jam. I am a diehard low budget worker who can live on noodles.
With little to none game dev experience and being mostly self thought I figured out how to make a game from scratch and win a prize on Kong with Tough Growth within a year. And the next year I figured out how to make a game in a completely different genre with no experience making puzzle games before and won a prize again, which suggests I must possess at least some skill more than beginner’s luck.
To get in contact with me, here’s my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
saantonandre, developer of Overlord's New Mansion: Hi fellow devs, I'm Andrea Santona, a 23-year-old guy from Italy, who happened to discover his passion for programming just one year ago.
Since then I've made VERY small games to deepen my coding knowledge, and I wouldn't recommend anyone to search for them. But this one I'm very proud of.
Making a game is without doubt the most interdisciplinary form of art; I've learned tons of stuff thanks to this journey. All you gamedevs should take pride in what you do.
Don't overwork yourselves and set small goals to get things done. :)
Huge thanks to Kongregate for the monthly contest; having to compete against other amazing developers has been a big incentive to do my best.
Congrats to the rest of the winners below!