We reached out to the top 5 winners to ask about their inspirations and experiences developing last month's top games on Kongregate!
EPGstudios, developer of 5 Step Steve: Hello, everyone! I'm Ethan Clark, a high schooler/game developer.
5 Step Steve started out life as a game jam entry made in 2 days. After the positive feedback I received, I decided to turn it into a full game. This game was pretty challenging, from both a design and technical standpoint (this was my first big project using C++ and WebAssembly). Overall, I'm happy with the way it turned out.
Due to popular demand, I'm going to make a small-ish sequel to 5 Step Steve. You can expect that in 4-8 months.
To close this out, I'd like to thank everyone who made this game possible (see the credits of 5 Step Steve). Until next game!
Fluffy_Lotus, developer of Magirune: Thanks for all your support and the awesome Kongregate community! Players here are great; they give constructive criticism and can be very funny. For my first published game, I have to say, Kongregate was a great place to start. Their APIs and documentations are easy to understand and I had no problem uploading the game.
As for me, when I was younger, I loved creating small DOS games but publishing them back then was difficult. Then, life came by. Job, family, kids, it was hard to have any free time to work on my projects (or my free time was spent playing a bit here lol). One day, I decided that I should really finish developing a game. With the support of my family, I worked a little bit on it every day (even if it was just 15 minutes in my car). I loved the dungeon crawling mechanics of Magic Tower and the battle system of Fairune, so I decided to find a way to combine both features and eventually ended up with the game Magirune. After creating the game, there were still a few little things that bothered me but I couldn't put my finger on it. The great comments I got from here helped me polish the gameplay and now I can say the game is in the state I wanted.
Time to go back to the drawing board and figure out my next project.
MontiGames, developer of ANOVA: Hi, everyone! Thanks so much to all of you who rated ANOVA so highly and helped us achieve a goal we didn't even know we were shooting for! It was quite a surprise (but a very pleasant one!) to see we'd won 3rd place for the whole month of May when we didn't even realize we were in the running for anything at all!
As far as who MontiGames is and where we came from, it all started about 8 years ago doing a variety of porting projects as a member of Lemon Team in Alicante, Spain. It's almost impossible to recount just how many ports we worked on, and the range of platforms we ported to was huge! Windows Store, iOS, Android, Amazon, Steam, all 3 major game system stores, and HTML5 were all on the table, but it was really the HTML5 work that set the stage for MontiGames to become independent. Early on, we were making some original casual games for iWin for their new HTML5 games initiative, including some casual skill games on mobile for the Skillz platform. This experience culminated in a new relationship with Pogo.com, where we continue to help work on original titles but also port a number of their legacy Flash titles to HTML5.
As if that wasn't enough to keep us super busy, we came up with the idea for ANOVA about a year ago and have been slowly making progress on it as our work (and sleep!) schedules allowed. It's extremely gratifying just to see the game up and running anywhere at all, let alone getting such great and helpful feedback and winning an award along the way! We're really just very thankful that everyone liked the game so much, and the community here has a lot of great insight that we're already taking into consideration for our work on future Episodes for the game. It may sound odd, but we really do appreciate all of the feedback -- even when it sounds bad on the surface -- because it tells us there's more we can do to improve our craft and make a better product for everyone to enjoy!
Again, huge thanks to the whole Kongregate community and the 10,000+ plays they've put into ANOVA so far! We're already moving ahead with our next Episode and hope everyone who gave us a try will come back and play it when it's ready! And of course, thanks to Kongregate as a whole for giving developers like us a chance to do something original and a wonderful community to broadcast it out to!
Gun_Safety, developer of When he jump, he go up like this: Thanks to everyone on Kongregate who played, rated, and gave feedback for WHJHGULT so far. It's a project I've been working on since last year -- although I started and stopped quite frequently. In reality, it was probably about 3-4 months of work if I count the time it took me to get started with unity, since this is the first project I've released with it. I previously just made little programs using nothing but MSVS, and before that, I used Adobe Flash (back when it was still relevant).
The thing that helped me 2nd when learning how to make games was going to college. The thing that helped me 3rd was probably dropping out of college and just going through as many tutorials on Unity as I could, and experimenting with it, and teaching myself how to make things work the way I wanted in it.
The thing that helped me more than anything is learning how to ask the right kinds of questions, and who to ask. Knowing when to search Google, or when to browse Stack Overflow, or when to go to the Unity Discord, or when to ask one of my professors or a friend. And knowing WHAT you're trying to ask can mean the difference between fifteen minutes of bugfixing and getting frustrated on your project and giving up.
In summary, I think everybody learns differently. So it's important to experiment not just with the kind of things you make, but how you learn to make them. Thanks again to everybody who helped me, and good luck to anyone who is working on a game right now!
NoaDev, developer of FireBlob: Hello again!
I'm continuing on my journey making games, and the Kongregate platform and user base have been very helpful on this trip :). Thanks to the developer support from sites like Kongregate I'm having more freedom to develop my games, and thanks to the general user feedback that point out to me some of my mistakes (although sometimes in a funny way) I was able to make bigger and better games much faster. FireBlob comes in as a result of this; even as a simple game it escalated my old ones in all aspects and it was done in less time than them. The results were present, with a better user reception and rating, but the contest was harder this time (although I almost got the 4th place by a very little margin); but that doesn't matter very much, after all, there was an improvement here, and if I continue through this path someday my time will come :).
Again, there is much more to be done and a lot of things that I can do better, but now the road is much more clear than before. All of this started thanks to the Kongregate platform and community (although sometimes I rage a little bit with the last one; but I'm getting used to it. Jeje); you were the boost I needed to start this trip.
Thanks for all, guys.
Congrats to the rest of the winners below!