Interview: pulsemeat

pulsemeat is a game developer who has made games such as Cave and Dungeons of Fayte.   At the moment he does not have a website but is working on one.  You can find his games on his YoYo Games page.

Please introduce yourself:
I’m pulsemeat – indie designer and big time Game Maker fan.

How did you get into game development?
As a lifelong gamer, I pretty much just decided that this would be the most interesting creative outlet for me. So I went to school and received a degree in the subject, and now I’m a professional designer doing indie stuff in my free time.

How was it participating in the Assemblee Competition?
Assemblee was perfect for me since art is usually my biggest limiting factor in making games. When you’re doing everything yourself – programming, design, content, sound, etc. – the whole process can be pretty exhausting. And since I’m not really very good with paint tools, that’s generally what I enjoy the least. So when I saw the set of sprites that Oryx, Oddball, and Geeze put together, I felt like I had a golden opportunity to make an awesome game without having to worry about the headache-inducing parts.

I actually spent a lot of time thinking about the concept before starting implementation, and that’s where I hammered out things like the overall structure and how to fit four players into a time management game. Then I pretty much just spent 8+ hours a day on the game during Christmas vacation, with my girlfriend filling in whenever I decided to take a break (she did the event writing and dungeon design). I had trouble sleeping with all the game details flying around in my head every night, but the game was really a lot of fun to put together and I’d probably jump on another Assemblee if it came up.

Have you accomplished everything you wanted to in Dungeons of Fayte (any more updates?) and are there plans for a sequel?
I think I succeeded in my primary goal, which was to show that this typically-niche style concept that I love, the time management-RPG, can be made accessible to anyone. But it is definitely more a proof of concept than an end in itself. There are a few major things I didn’t get into the game due to time constraints, like unique item rewards and multiple end bosses. I’d also love to do better planning on the content side, so players have more and longer threads to follow throughout the campaign.

Basically, I want to make the game a lot deeper, but most of these things require me to start over from scratch. So while that means I probably won’t be putting out any more updates for the Game Maker version, I’m planning to start a new one in another engine (XNA, most likely) that should address what I think was missing. I guess you can consider that my sequel plan!

Do you plan to make any more horror games like Cave?
I love playing and making horror games, but it’s very draining and not something I like to start without inspiration. If I have a particularly interesting dream, I might do another game like that. I actually find it a lot easier to do horror in 3D engines like Radiant or Source. It’s fun to take a game’s assets and tweak them around in a surreal, unsettling fashion, or drop a player into the dark and build up tension before sicking a monster on them. Of course, if I had to make all the surrounding assets myself, I probably wouldn’t think it was so easy.

Do you know any other languages besides GML?
I’ve worked with a number of game editors, and I’ve done some simple games in C++ and Lua. Game Maker’s my favorite though, since it’s just so ridiculously easy to work with and I can focus more on design. If it were a little more flexible (support for more than two controllers, for example) and worked on different platforms, I’d probably stick with it for eternity. As it is, it’s still great for prototyping and experimentation, and I think anyone who wants to make games should start with it.

What is your primary reason for making games?
I love the logical and creative challenges involved in game design and scripting. Plus, like in any creative endeavor, there’s a great deal of satisfaction to be had from releasing a game and seeing how others react to it.

Which game developer(s) do you most respect or admire and why?
In the indie world, my first pick would be cactus, because one way or another, his games always make you feel something. He has a way better track record in that department than most AAA titles. Other than him, I’d say Rodain Joubert, the creator of Desktop Dungeons, is pretty admirable. DD is a perfect example of how to distill the fun from a niche genre into a form anyone can enjoy.

Sid Meier is probably my favorite designer in the industry. He makes exactly the kinds of games that I’d like to make, where the narrative is formed by the player’s actions within the system, rather than by a linear story or campaign.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Never underestimate the value of community! Dungeons of Fayte wouldn’t have been possible without the TIGSource forum crowd.

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One Comment on “Interview: pulsemeat”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by T-Dub. T-Dub said: DesertDweller just posted an interview with pulsemeat on #IVGMU. Check it out – […]

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