In this edition of developers Insight, I had the opportunity to interview South Korean indie development studio, Turtle Cream, about their new game Sugar Cube: Bittersweet Factory, how they got into game development and what advice they would give to a potential game developer.
Q) How did you get into game development?
A) I want to do something creative. At first, I studied ‘advertisement’ in university. However I felt attractive for ‘creating world’, so quit advertising & became game developer. While I learned Game Design at Sogang Univ. Game Education Center, I made Game Studio Turtle Cream. (I Graduated at 2011.)
Q) Where would you advise people who want to become game developers to start?
A) I’d like to tell 2 entirely different advises. Firstly, ‘play many games’. Secondly, ‘do not play too many games’.
For several decades, some kind of ‘Grammar’ appeared in making video games. I’ve not played so many games, so I felt hard to make games with ‘Grammar’. However it’s not so good only to stick to ‘Grammar’ It could be better to build own creative philosophy, based on movie – animation – novel – etc.
Q) What is the most essential skill to a game developer?
A) Wow. Isn’t this question for ‘Peter Molyneux’? I think it is most important, ‘to enjoy making game’. For me, it’s more interesting to ‘make’ games than to ‘play’. Game development project takes a lot of time & effort. So if you don’t enjoy, it’s really hard & frustrating.
Q) What engine would you recommend someone starting out to use?
A) I’m just Game Designer, I don’t know much about coding. Recently I started studying Game Maker. With that, I can make game without coding. That tool is not-so-expensive. We are making our next game ‘6180 the moon’ with Game Maker. Of course, I’m doing design only, haha.
Q) How did you come up with the basic idea for Sugar Cube: Bittersweet factory?
At first, I wanted to make a platformer game which use ‘every keyboard’. While I did prototyping, I became to think “Wow it could be cool to make background flip to proceed next level.” I like that ‘flip background’ idea. So I gave up basic idea, started making ‘flip background’ based “Sugar Cube’ as Freeware. That gained good feedback as IGF China 2010 Best Game. So I started making ‘Sugar Cube: Bittersweet Factory’ as commercial game.
Q) What engine did you use for Sugar Cube: Bittersweet factory?
A) We didn’t use 3rd. party engine. We used custom build with C++. We used audiere(open source) for sound library.
Q) What limitations did you find using that engine?
A) We needed to pay money to use any kind of engine, so we decided not to use any other engine.
Q) How did you combat those limitations?
A) Every game making project is, to struggle against ourselves. We can’t be all genius. We must make best game within our own ability. We fought to each other very tough, edited a lot.
Q) How long did it take you to make Sugar Cube: Bittersweet factory?
A) From Mar. 2011, to Feb. 2012. It took around 1 year to release commercial version. We were 3 members for Game Designer – Artist – Programmer.
We also have a Steam copy of Sugar cube: Bittersweet Factory to give away to one lucky winner! To enter simply follow @Bitscreed on Twitter and press the tweet button at the bottom of this article. The closing date for this competition is the 8th December 2012. Please read our terms and conditions before entering.