Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
December 5, 2019
arrowPress Releases







If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


 

Interview with the former valedictorian that is behind a unique new fantasy game that is looking for streamers!

by Ashley Kreuer on 08/14/19 10:14:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

If you’re a streamer with some followers and you like classic Zelda you should get in contact with this developer. He’s looking to give away some Beta keys to streamers who want to stream it on Twitch or make YouTube videos.

Your name:

Dan Beckerton (aka The Cheesemaster)

Twitter Handle/ Other Social Media:

[@CheeseMaster_Pr] on Twitter, [Cheesemaster Games] on Facebook

One interesting and random fact about you that people would not necessarily guess:

I was valedictorian in my high school graduation.

What country you live/work in:

Just got back from teaching English in Korea for 4 years.  Now living in Canada.

The video game company producing the project:

Cheesemaster Games

The name of the project:

Fables of Talumos

Estimated release date:

September 2019

link to website/blog/steam page/Youtube/other:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1085570/Fables_of_Talumos/

The completed Kickstarter Campaign can be found here:
http://kck.st/2Fqli61

Demos can be found on itch.io and Gamejolt

The itch.io page is: https://cheesemaster-games.itch.io/fables-of-talumos

The Gamejolt page is: https://gamejolt.com/games/FablesofTalumos/311918

How did you get into making video games?

While I was teaching over in Korea, one of my British friends told me about Udemy, a website where you can take courses on just about anything.  He told me there was a big sale and that he was learning how to make apps for his phone so I checked out the site. I bought a course on how to make games using Unity and, in my spare time after work, started learning a little about C#, Unity, and game development. 

I’ve always been a big gamer, but it was around this time (I guess 2 or 3 years ago now) that I started looking at games in a new light.  I didn’t just consume games anymore, I wanted to learn how to make them, so I developed a sort of developer-mindset as I played through games.  I remember watching a Crash Course video (on Youtube) about how this is important for developers, so I tried to develop it myself. 

As I worked through the Udemy course I began to comprehend how much work goes into game development, especially 3D games.  I decided to switch to a 2D game engine to start with. That’s when I discovered Game Maker Studio 2. Fortunately, there were tonnes of great tutorials online, both from YoYo Games and on Youtube.  I was a big fan of pixel art games, like the classic NES, SNES and Gameboy games, though my family never owned an NES or SNES. Still, I liked their aesthetic and by this point I’d heard of developers like Toby Fox and Eric Barone who managed to essentially create successful pixel art games on their own! Though I felt (and still feel) like I was super out of my element, I figured if other people could do it then I could too.  

I wanted to start small, as this is the advice I kept reading when it came to new game developers.  So, I planned on making an adventure game with simple graphics, much like the original Legend of Zelda game (I was also a huge Zelda fan).  So, using online tutorials and trial and error I began my adventure into game development.  

What is your background in?

I’ve had all sorts of jobs while growing up.  Every summer my parents would get my siblings and I to look for a summer job to work during the summer.  I got my first summer job the summer before I went into grade 9 and have been working all over ever since.  In university I studied Biological Sciences and I went on to do a Masters degree in Human Health and Nutritional Sciences.  Later on, I decided to switch things up again, and moved to Korea to teach English for 4 years. Now, I’m giving game development a go!

Blurb about game:

Fables of Talumos is a top-down pixel-art adventure game set in the fantasy world of Talumos.  The game’s combat is fast and frantic with a variety of enemies, bosses, weapons, and armour sets to keep things fresh.  The game has a lot of optional content and the player can learn a lot about the world of Talumos if they so choose. 

What inspired this game?

The game is inspired by my three favourite game franchises: Zelda, Dark Souls and Warcraft.  The game was originally supposed to be very simple graphically and in terms of gameplay, much like the original Legend of Zelda.  Over time, however, it slowly grew and morphed into something unique, despite my best efforts to avoid feature creep.  

What makes it unique?

I think the most unique thing about Fables of Talumos is the world it’s set in.  Talumos is a setting I spent many nights daydreaming about. While in Korea, I would usually go for a walk around 9:00pm, when the city is quiet and the stars are out.  I probably seemed like a madman because I would often speak my thoughts quietly but out-loud. I would daydream about what kind of place Talumos would be. Who would live there?  What would people do for fun? What sort of conflict would there be? And over time the world gradually took shape. 
I enjoy games with more fast-paced gameplay, so I kept that in mind when designing new weapons or enemies.  I also didn’t want to rely on the typical fantasy tropes of elves, goblins, orcs, etc, so I tried to make the races and species of Talumos unique.  All of the enemies you’ll encounter are different, and have their own ways of attacking the player. In addition, I tried to change up the gameplay a couple of times throughout the game, including a puzzle, a maze, and other things as well. I liked how Nier Automata shook things up like this, so I guess I was probably inspired by that.  

How are you handling art?

All of the in-game art is being done by myself. My wife is an extremely talented artist and I’ve asked her to help me create the HD wallpapers promised to some of my Kickstarter backers.  She also created the cover image for Fables of Talumos (as you can see on the Steam page). Along with my game I’m also releasing an art book showing my rough sketches and the final versions you can find in-game, as well as including the art done by my wife. 

Excerpt from the accompanying art book

What will make it a success?

Hmm, at this point, I guess it all comes down to marketing!  The game is essentially complete, though I am still scouring it for bugs.  I wanted to make my first game all on my own so I could get an idea of what the various areas of game development are like.  As a result, all of the art, coding, music, and marketing has been done by me. When you’ve got so much on your plate, marketing can easily slip off the radar, however I know I have to keep at it.  I’m proud of the game I’ve created, and I think many people will enjoy it. It’s just a matter of letting them know it exists!

Who do you think it will appeal to?

I think this game will appeal to general lovers of snes/nes-style graphics, older top-down Zelda fans and people that enjoy fast combat and environmental storytelling (as can be found in Dark Souls).  

Number of people working on the project and skillsets:

1, just me!  I loved drawing when I was young, but pretty much stopped when I was in university.  So, I’m trying to pick it up again as well as try my hand at pixel art. I studied piano for 7 years in elementary school, so I have a bit of a musical ear (though composing has proven to be a whole new monster).  As I mentioned before, programming and working with a game engine was totally new to me. I feel a lot more confident about my next game, as I’ll have a solid foundation and knowledge set to fall back on. That being said, I’ve learned so much during the development of Fables of Talumos, which is something I’m very happy about.  

What tech/stack do you use?

I’m using Game Maker Studio 2 (GML, not drag-and-drop) to produce the game.  For art I mainly use Aseprite (and before that I used Krita). For music I use Reason 10.  

Are you full-time? If so how did you make the switch to working full-time in game development?

I’ve been working full-time on my game since I came back to Canada in March 2019.  I’m planning on moving to Vancouver next month, at which point I will likely have to do some part-time work teaching English online to help with the costs.  It’s tough seeing all of your savings gradually diminish over time. I know you’re not supposed to do it this way, but since when have I ever done things the way I was “supposed to” 😉 .  

Is this your first game? If not how many and what other sorts of projects have you worked on?

Yep, it’s my first!

What’s been the hardest thing about making this game?

The hardest thing?  Hmm…it’s tough to choose just one, haha.  The whole thing has been a huge learning process.  Coding can be a real headache when you just can’t figure out why something isn’t working.  The good news is when you do finally figure it out, it’s usually because you were missing some basic understanding about either the game engine or the coding itself.  It feels good to know you’ll not make the same mistake twice. Composing has been really tough too. As I mentioned before, I studied the piano back in elementary school but haven’t kept up with it at all.  Playing is also so different from composing. Sometimes I’ll have a tune in my head when I’m trying to create a song, and I have to think “is this my own idea or have I heard this song before somewhere?”. Listening back to some of the songs I’ve created can sometimes be a pleasant surprise.  I sometimes think, “Wow,this is pretty good! I can’t believe I made this!”. The last big challenge has been marketing the game. It’s so hard to get people to see or care about your game. Social media is essential for this, but it only goes so far. Back in April when I had my Kickstarter I had probably around 1400 followers on Twitter.  My Kickstarter ended with 55 backers (a large number of them being family or friends). Luckily I was successfully and had a pretty modest goal, but still, I certainly thought “Where are all of my Twitter followers?” when I was running the Kickstarter campaign. I did have lots of support from a few followers, however, so I am extremely grateful.  It’s just interesting to note that Followers != Backers.  

Anything else you would like people to know about you or the game?

The game is a challenging, interesting, and enjoyable experience all-in-all.  I’m very proud of my creation and I think that, if you give it a try, you’ll be happy you did.  It is my goal to create quality, and most importantly FUN, games and experiences, much like the ones I experienced in my youth. 


Related Jobs

Sanzaru Games Inc.
Sanzaru Games Inc. — Dublin , California, United States
[12.05.19]

Systems Designers
Sanzaru Games Inc.
Sanzaru Games Inc. — Dublin, California, United States
[12.05.19]

Level Designer
Romero Games
Romero Games — Galway, Ireland
[12.05.19]

Senior 3D Environment Artist
Deep Silver Volition
Deep Silver Volition — Champaign, Illinois, United States
[12.05.19]

Principal Writer





Loading Comments

loader image