Effective Nerd is about to be one year old! In that time I have learned a lot and met a lot of great people. I am truly grateful to be learning from and sharing with all of you. This has been the most productive and creative year of my life.
I give a lot of advice about productivity and creativity on this website. While I try to make a convincing argument, there is no better evidence than seeing it all in action. This is why I decided to begin interviewing creators that are out there getting things done!
This is the first of many Creator Spotlights. Everyone has their own style of creating and working. Each creator has their own story to share, and I want to hear them. I am excited for the opportunity to learn more about other effective people.
This week I had the pleasure of speaking with Vijesh V. the founder and programmer of Freakout Games.
An Interview with Vijesh V. of Freakout Games
Aaron Iara: Thank you for taking the time to chat with me. Tell me a little bit about your company.
Vijesh V: It’s an indie studio where we want to make games for various platforms. At present we have started off with Mobile platform. It’s based out in India with two full time members and we have team-mates working from remote locations as well.
AI: Freakout Games is a great name, how did you come up with it?
VV: It’s bit tricky and funny as we were thinking of some names which will be easy to remember and make people excited when they read it. Also with our games we want player to feel excited, relaxed and get a good sense of experience. So combining everything – we came up with term”Freakout” 🙂
AI: What are your inspirations for Solbot?
VV: We drew inspiration from a previous game jam theme while designing a game around color changing mechanics. ‘Solbot: Energy Rush’ used this as its core mechanic, along with drawing inspiration from Megaman for character design. The result was a game which tests the player’s reaction skills, engaging gameplay, and a unique way to learn facts about renewable energy.
AI: I noticed there are links in the game to a few organizations that advocate for green energy/energy conservatism. I thought this was a great touch to the game. What made you decide to do this? Will your other projects have an educational/informative component?
VV: We felt that game is always looked as an entertainment medium with no value addition to the users who are interacting with it. Having a game purely based on education model can drive away the usual gamers. So we thought to blend things in such a way that the educational part will have its own importance but it will not force on to the players.
In today’s world scenario we are facing with lot of acute social, economic and environmental adversities. As a studio we want to contribute to the society in all possible way that can create awareness among player when they engage with our game. For that reason we have included a “fact section” so that the player can get some information about energy sustainability which relates to the global cause of ‘Climate Change’ movement.
Yes all our future games will have these informative components. 🙂
AI: What were your biggest obstacles when making Solbot? How did you overcome them?
VV: Our biggest challenge during production was to have something different in terms of challenge for the player, but not complicating the design. After brain-storming we thought, playing with different colors will resolve this issue of keeping the challenging factor with simplified design. So as a result we introduced the scenario where the “collectible” orbs color will change every level matching to robot’s suit.
AI: I found the color-based mechanics of Solbot to be very interesting. I also liked the use of keys for continues. Could you tell me a bit about the development of the game’s mechanics?
VV: As mentioned earlier regarding the obstacles while making Solbot – the idea was to keep balance between simplicity of design but at the same time keeping the challenging factor good enough for the player to be engaged. So taking one aspect of the game, i.e color, and using it in right way was our core idea.
AI: Does your company have a philosophy about productivity/time management? How does your staff work to meet deadlines?
VV: We do try our best to keep things simple and try to reach our milestones. Having some of our team-mates working remotely from different time zone sometime brings complexity in time management but things are getting more streamlined.
AI: What do you see in the future of Freakout Games? Do you have any big goals or content in the works?
VV: We want to take one step at a time. We do want to get into PC and Console games – but before getting into it we want to create a good foundation for our studio in terms of team and other resources.
At present we are working on multiple mobile games and also trying to collaborate with other service providers.
AI: Game development has a lot of moving parts (animation,coding, testing, etc.). I’m sure each person/role has their own unique takes and ideas for projects. How is creativity handled at Freakout Games?
VV: We want to further expand our team so that different areas of development can be tackled in a better way and reduce the outsource dependency.
AI: Do you have any advice for those looking to get into game development, or following their passions in general?
VV: There are two group of people – one who are taking game development as full time work and second who just want to do it as a hobby.
For the first case as indies and doing full time game development one needs to have patience and keep a proper balance between sustainability and expenditure. It’s easy to get frustrated and switch to different profession as monetary return to pay of bills can be really tough task from initial releases. They just need to know their resources well , target a particular audience and keep working on it. Also give Marketing the same importance as you do for development. Marketing is core for any business which applies to game industry as well.
For hobby developers – just keep working on projects and try to get it completed. Game completion should be the main priority rather than keep on adding features and getting into a endless loop.
Also try to help indies, fellow developers and try to work in a group. “Freakout Games” is always open to help and promote indies in all possible way.
Freakout Games seems to be on the path to success! I had a great time speaking with Vijesh about the work behind the game. It is great to hear an indie developer supporting other independent creators. This is why I have always been drawn to independent media. While big-budget projects can be great, there is nothing better than communities of artists working hard and working together.
More information about Freakout Games can be found at their official website.
I want to hear from you! If you are an independent creator and want to talk about your work, please message me on social media.