Interview: Greg Lobanov

Greg Lobanov (AKA banov) is a game developer who has created games such as Wolf, Assassin Blue, and Cowboy Killa. You can follow him on his blog or his twitter.

Introduce Yourself:
Hello! I’m Banov, and I make really awesome video games.

How did you get into game development?
When I was a lil’ kid, I used to make board games and card games with colored pencils and scissors and a crapload of paper. When I first got a computer, I quickly found ways to make games using buttons in microsoft powerpoint and made a few choose-your-own-adventure games and even a rudimentary space shooter (with the buttons disguised as moving ships); so I guess those would count as the first “computer games” I “developed.” I guess I’ve always been attracted to making games and it has always been a lot of fun to me.

Of all of the games you have made, which is your favorite, and why?
What an impossible question! My games are all my babies, and I love them all equally for a variety of reasons. I know it’s lame, but I honestly can’t pick one.

Between your two current W.I.Ps (atleast according to your site), Dubloon and Solid, which are you most anxious to release? Why?
Solid really isn’t “my” game; I’m only helping with the level design. Brod is the real star of that project. So, naturally, I’m way more excited to put out Dubloon. I imagine it’s going to make a big impact on the Game Maker community… RPGs made in Game Maker are notorious for going unfinished, so Dubloon will be a sort of trend breaker. It’s also an abnormally large game, and it’s nearly finished! I started nearly 11 months ago, and I’m really excited to finish it and get it out soon.

Are you working on any “secret” projects currently? If so, care to share some info?
No, and no. 🙂

How do you think that Cowboy Killa stacks up against its competitors in the 5th YoYoGames Competition?
I think it stacks up very, very well. I spent a lot of time playing other entrants and there’s certainly some scary competition! It really all depends on how the judges weigh it, but it definitely has a shot at the top 3. If it gets anything less than “honorable mention” I will probably flip out in total rage.

What was it like collaborating with Andrew Brophy with Cowboy Killa?
It had its ups and downs. Andrew would sometimes not work for huge chunks of time and we were pretty behind at times; we started the game back in January and designed the second half of the game in the last 10 days before the deadline. But when when he was on, Andrew was on. He brought a lot of really great ideas and spirit to the game. Our timezones were also pretty radically different (East Coast US to Melbourne, Australia… 16 hours!) so our usual work times were never conflicting… I could go to sleep just as Andrew was getting to work, and vice versa. When Andrew did work, I could wake up to a myriad of new stuff in the game.

Do you have any tips/pointers for others looking to collaborate on a game?
There’s this amazing program called Dropbox we used which let us share the files on our computers so we could both edit the same game files, which was awesome. I’d recommend it for any collaborative project. Andrew runs a forum called Braingale, and we had a secret board on there where we discussed/planned stuff for CowboyKilla. Having a discussion forum was really helpful, especially since we weren’t on IM at the same hours usually. Other than that, I guess I should say something about pulling your own weight since that was the biggest problem I faced. However, I don’t really have anything to say about that which you shouldn’t already know.

Pull your weight.

Any other comments you would like to add?
I am awesome.
Play my games.
Pull your weight.

Thankyou for doing this interview
Oh, no problem. I love doing interviews!

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3 Comments on “Interview: Greg Lobanov”

  1. Time Says:

    I actually made my own first “game” in powerpoint too! Surprises me that someone else started there too. Gotta say, I’m looking forward to Dubloon and I hope that Cowboy Killa does well in the competition; I played it both as a demo and the final release and it looked great both times.

    I’ve done a few collaboration games before using Dropbox, and it’s great. I completely agree that it’s a great tool for making games between multiple people.

    By the way, the second question isn’t bolded: “Of all of the games you have made, which is your favorite, and why?”

  2. Broxter Says:

    I made my first ‘game’ in Excel. Never really liked PowerPoint. 😛

    That was a nice, fun interview. :3

  3. Great interviewee as always, banov. 🙂

    Look forward to playing Dubloon when it’s finished.

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