We reached out to the top 5 winners to ask about their inspirations and experiences developing last month's top games on Kongregate!
Lu_Muja, developer of ZS Dead Detective - Rats in a Hole: First of all, as always I really have to thank my fans for their great support, the nice comments, and the opportunity they gave me to win the first prize once again.
And, as always, I'd also like to thank Kongregate and its staff, too. Being part of this large community is an incredibly good feeling.
Working on “Rats in a Hole” has been particularly fun, and I guess it showed. I poured all my love for detective literature into this episode (it goes without saying that I wouldn't be able to write good whodunit stories if I wasn't a fan of the genre in the first place).
Coming up with parodies of my favorite famous detectives was especially amusing. As most players have noticed, detectives “Poiroar” and “Miss Marghle” are heavily based on two characters from Agatha Christie's novels, Poirot and Miss Marple respectively. Wooh is based on Nero Wolfe, by American writer Rex Stout, while Sighret was inspired by Inspector Maigret, a fictional French police detective created by Georges Sinemon.
And Lugroan, of course, is based on the very famous thief himself, Arsene Lupin. I love detective stories, but I've always been fascinated by the stereotype of the gentleman burglar, too. As a matter of fact, once I'm done with this series, I might very well “move over to the other side of the law”.
But I'm digressing. What I wanted to say with this month's blurb is this:
Read books. Play games. Watch (good) TV shows. And don't stop there. Study!
If you want to be a game designer, or a story writer, you really need to “consume” as much content as you can. Inspiration and good ideas mostly come from studying the work of the most talented people you can find.
With that out of the way, thank you for reading this, and see you on the next episode of “Zombie Society Dead Detective”!
eddynardo, developer of Sticky Sorcerer: Yaaay, second place for Sticky Sorcerer!!!
Thanks everyone for the love you've shown towards my games, it really keeps me going.
This time with Sticky Sorcerer I tried to answer the question everyone had: "Why are those people locked in the chests?"
Now we know who did it, but we don't know why. Is he just a villain that enjoys putting random people inside chests?
Maybe, but that doesn't explain the fact that he only locked ogres, and there were no ogres in the previous games.
And what about the ending? It was a bit confusing for most players; some tried to guess the meaning of it, but I haven't seen a comment that is close to the right answer yet. There will be more clues in the next game but we'll have to wait a couple more weeks for that.
So my advice to other developers is this: "Find the story your game can tell" (even a very basic one), it helps the game world feel alive and gives the player an extra reason to play it.
That's all from me now; I was hoping to write a few things about designing games for speedrunning, but that turned out to be a really long post.
Maybe I'll find a way to compress it in fewer words and write about it some other time.
Thanks again and congratulations to all other developers who submitted a game this month. Even if you weren't in the contest winners you managed to finish a game, which is always worth celebrating.
Tenfor, developer of Landor Quest 2: Hi!
My name is Zsolt Fekete, AKA Tenfor. I am a student of a Hungarian university, where I am learning math and computer science. Since I was a little child it has been my dream to become a game developer.
First of all I would like to thank the Kongregate team for the oppurtunity and to all the players for the votes, support and feedback. Creating Landor Quest was an awesome experience; I believe I learned a lot during the process, and I enjoyed every part of it. But the best part was reading the feedback, especially the detailed ones. It was great to see that people actually loved the game, and some players even contacted me to share the love or give me ideas for the upcoming episodes.
I am a beginner at game development, but I can give a few tips for my fellow beginner developers:
1) Learn to finish your projects.
2) Become a fan of your own creations.
3) Play a lot; get experience and inspiration from other games.
4) Find joy in what you do.
5) Listen to your players' feedback.
Some of you folks asked me when part 3 comes out. I can't tell you an exact date yet. I am trying to make it much bigger and less similar to the first 2. But I can tell you that The Dark One will return, and when he does, he will be stronger than ever :) !
RecastStudios, developer of Re:Archer: We're very excited that our Re:Archer placed 4th in the monthly contest! It has been very engaging and satisfying to work in the Kongregate platform. A big thank you to all our players who have supported us at launch and all the way from K+ Beta! We've always wanted to make our own game, with the inspiration for the main character drawn way back when we were in high school (we're working now).
It wasn't until 2 years ago that we decided to do an idle RPG with an emphasis on combat. We believe there are 3 keys to the success of Re:Archer. Finding the right team to collaborate with, playing a lot of games (in this case idle games) to get a grasp on the genre, and most importantly, listening to your players and taking in their input (positive or negative) and applying that to your game.
We will keep on updating Re:Archer in the months to come, and we look forward to the continued support and feedback by our players and the Kongregate community.
UpturnGames, developer of Supply Chain Idle: Hey everyone! Thanks for your support! We're thrilled that Supply Chain Idle is received so well. The idea of a "supply chains" game of some kind was my idea of the "dream game" for a very long time, I think back from school, which was some 20 years ago. In recent years the incremental genre came out of nowhere and I loved it from the start. I think I've played every single idle/incremental game on Kongregate, and I've gotten inspiration and ideas from many of them. Factory Idle, in particular, was what pushed me to finally create my "dream game". It gave me some fresh ideas I was missing, and something just "clicked" in my mind, so I've got a clear picture of what my "dream game" could look like. That's how Supply Chain Idle was born. It turned out to be exactly the dream game I always wanted. I'm really glad that my dream game is fun for other people as well!
We first put the game in Beta 2 years ago! Feedback from Beta players was fantastic! We highly recommend any developer to put your game in Beta if you want to polish your game before releasing to the general public. We've got all kinds of suggestions on both features and the user interface, many of which we've implemented/changed/fixed. Unfortunately, multiple things happened in my life and I didn't have any more time to work on the game, so I've had to postpone it. I didn't really think it would take 2 years, but finally this year I've had time to see what to do with the game. Making the game more complex (with a lot more features) turned out to make it not as fun as it is now, so I decided to just release the game as it was in Beta, just fixing balance and a few minor things (keeping the "improved" version for the future Supply Chain Idle 2).
My tips for Kongregate developers:
- Play a lot of games, especially in genres you like/want to work on. There are so many ideas and so much inspiration to get from it! Don't be afraid to spend a week playing games instead of coding something; that's how the best game ideas come to mind.
- Simple is good! Don't make the game too complex, as often it becomes less fun to play or outright confusing even if there is more depth in it. At the very least, let your game be as simple as possible from the start; you can add complications later in the game.
- If your situation allows, try Kongregate Beta! We have only great words to say about it -- suggestions and detailed feedback from players before public release is priceless!
Congrats to the rest of the winners below!