As part of Games On Deck's "Road to the IGF Mobile" feature, we talk to Dingoo Games CEO Tang Kai about their IGF Mobile 2008 Technical Achievement finalist Hell Striker, a 3D hack and slash action adventure in which players must battle hordes of demons to rescue three divine swords and bring about an age of peace.
What kind of background do you have in the game industry or in making games?
Tang Kai: Our members are all from the game industry, and have many years experience on console, PC and mobile games. Our company was founded in 2006, and now we develop mobile games, especially in 3D. Many of our games have won prizes, from some competitions in China, to some international awards like the IMGA.
What motivated you to make your game?
TK: Obviously passion of creation! First of all we are all gamers, crazy fans of games! When we see some good games on PC or other platform, we may think: Hey! This idea is cool! Can we put it into the mobile phone, or even expand it?
Where did you draw inspiration from in its design and implementation?
TK: The original idea of Hell Striker is from a small PC game, Crimsonland. We hoped in Hell Striker that players would be able to slay monsters without mercy like in Crimsonland. But the mobile phone is a really limited platform, and we failed to achieve that, so we made many modifications, and that is what you see in Hell Striker now.
However, we still think we drew inspiration from Crimsonland!
What sort of development tools have you been using in the production of your game?
TK: First, we develop on Windows, so the VC.NET is a must, and Nokia's SDK of course. Then we spent a year or two and created our own 3D engine, Soft3D, and many other tools; level editor, max plugin, etc. We used these tools to develop Hell Striker.
What do you think the most interesting element of the game is?
TK: Culture I think. Hell Striker has a particular oriental culture background, its concept design and level style are all based on it.
How long have you been developing your game, and what has the process been like?
TK: About one year, the core developing time is about half a year. Hell Striker is our first 3D game, of course we ran into many problems, and we learned a lot. We were happy, because we finally finished it!
If you had to rewind to the start of the project, is there anything that you'd do differently?
TK:Too many. I just mentioned it's our first 3D game, so there are many flaws, and all the flaws could be improved or fixed. We can do better graphics, better puzzle design, better storyline... In fact, by now we've already made better games than Hell Striker. You can refer to our game named 7Days. As this games has not been finished, we didn't submit it to IGF, so maybe next year?
What are your thoughts on the state of independent game development in the mobile industry, and are any other independent mobile games out now that you admire?
TK: More and more outstanding games, some have stunning graphics, some have very addictive game play... About the games that I admire, One for the NGage-QD. They implemented amazing graphics, and another game, also made by a Chinese company, Lament Island.
You have 30 seconds left to live and you must tell the mobile game business something very important. What is it?
TK: Only 30 seconds? Okay! We make outstanding mobile games, we have excellent technique engine, please remember us: we are Dingoo Games.