Germany is not only the country of Kraut Attack and Blitzkrieg, there are also a lot of skilled young indie Android developers like Christoph Skorupa, Matthias Lange or Sven Frese located in Germany. The latter developed the game “RoboWorks“, which we honored with 15 points in our review – and a very humorous Review video.
Now it’s time to talk with the lord of the robot factories, here we go!
Interview by Frederik Schrader.
10 Questions for Sven Rese
1. Please introduce yourself.
My name is Sven Frese. I’m a student and hobby game developer from Darmstadt, Germany.
2. What made you want to be a game developer?
As a kid I spent quite a lot of time playing video games. I think everyone playing video games often misses features in games or has ideas for new games based on the ones he or she plays. At least that was the case for me and also the reason why I became interested in game design. Then later at school I learned some basic programming and started to create small games with the little knowledge I had. As I had lots of fun with that I began thinking that becoming a game developer would be awesome.
3. What platforms do you develop games for and why?
Currently I am developing for PC and Android. What I like most about Android devices is playing with the touch controls. It gives you the opportunity to really become creative and invent new game concepts which are not possible on PC and consoles. On the other hand the PC also provides you great opportunities for designing games regarding performance, screen size and controls. Another very important factor is the fast that it is comparatively easy and cheap for indie developers to implement and publish for PC and Android devices.
4. What are your experiences in porting games between two platforms?
Since I have never developed a game which I could image to work well on both, Android devices and PC, I have never ported games between platforms.
5. How do you get inspiration for a game?
The initial idea for a game can come from anything I encounter in my everyday life. Especially when I’m taking the bus or train I start thinking about what would be cool to play now. But of course there are also many influences from other games I have played myself.
6. How long does it take for you to write a game from start to finish?
Since I have never considered a game of mine to be finished, I can’t tell. In the case of RoboWorks I started working on it in summer of 2011, but I couldn’t work on it as frequently as I wanted to. Now, more than one year after that there are still many many things I want to add and even less time.
7. What are the biggest technical challenges when you develop a game?
In case of Android the biggest challenge is the variety of devices. You have to support all kinds of devices from small first generation android smartphones up to high resolution tablets. You also have to support as many Android versions as possible as well as the different surfaces and additional software from the vendors.
8. What do you think the future of gaming will look like?
As we have seen in the recent console generation move controls already work pretty well, but they are not yet applicable to most kind of games and too stressful for many people. So I think the way most of us have started playing games with keyboard and mouse or gamepad will live on for another couple of years. A very positive development is of course the rising popularity of indie games. I think there will be a lot more creative games from independent developers in the future.
9. What is your favorite game at the moment and why?
Currently that would be Civilization IV. It provides incredible depth and every match you start is different and challenges you from anew. It’s just perfect for the evenings when you just want to forget about work and other tasks.
10. What is your advice for new developers?
Take your time and don’t give up! The first game is always the hardest since there are many things that don’t work as you expect them to do. If you are stuck try to get a little distance to the problem and continue with other parts which are more fun to work on. This will help you to clear your mind and at some point you will find a solution to your problem with a different approach.