Our interview with Martin Magni the creator of Fancade

Here we are, back with another developer interview! This time with Martin Magni the creator of Fancade. Before we start we’d like to thank Martin for participating in our interview and for answering all of our geeky questions! Thanks!

/// Thanks for taking the time to talk to us about Fancade! Could you kick-start this interview by telling us a little about your studio, yourself, and what drew you into the gaming industry?

I’ve been making games for two decades. I’ve tried to do more “serious” things, like research and business, but it somehow turns into games anyway.

So I stopped resisting and started making mobile games full-time. There’s a short YouTube documentary if you’d like to visit me and my tiny Swedish town.

/// Ok, let’s start talking about Fancade. What are the highlights of your latest game?

Fancade is the fanmade arcade!

For players, it’s a collection of mini-games in a cute voxel art style. Start with the Quest, which has more than 50 games and 1,000 levels. Then explore the Arcade, where new games pop up every day.

For creators, it’s a quite powerful tool for making your own games, complete with instant publishing so everyone can play what you made!

/// What was the core idea or inspiration behind Fancade? And perhaps more importantly, where do you find inspiration for your games in general?

User-generated content. All of my games include it, to some degree, but Fancade takes it further. Some games are by me, but most are made by users, and they’re the lifeblood of Fancade. We have a Discord community full of creative people who make awesome games and help each other with questions and play-testing.

I see a lot of inspiring user-generated content on PC (Doom, Minecraft, PICO-8) and some on console (Mario Maker, LBP, Dreams). But on mobile? Not so much! Well, I’m gonna change that.

/// How long was Fancade in development for? And are there any interesting and/or exciting moments or experiences you would like to share with us from that time?

4 long years. And counting.

It started with a set of pre-defined building blocks, like LEGOs, which you could connect with wires to make interactive games. As I added functions it became quite powerful, kind of like a programming language. That’s when it struck me. What if… what if these building blocks were *also* programmed with building blocks?

Heck, what if they were *built* with tiny voxel blocks too? Then users could make not just games, but new building blocks to make games with! Well, that idea was just too good to pass up on, even though realizing it meant I had to throw out my previous work and start over.

/// What software, developer-tools, or black-magic(?) did you use when making Fancade? Is there anything you would like to share with the developers who read Edamame Reviews?

I try to keep it simple, just a lot of C code in a text editor. (C++ is super scary, and modern IDEs are so complex I want to cry.) And most of Fancade’s art is made in Fancade itself. The sound and music… need work. 😅

/// Is there any secret “developer-advice” you can give our lucky players who read this interview?

You only need to complete 50% of challenges to advance in Quest. If one of the games is too hard (and some of them are *way* too hard), or just not your type of game, skip it!

The completionists will go for 100%. But that’s the exception, not the rule, and the rest of us shouldn’t *feel* like we’re *expected* to. I’d love to somehow make this more clear in-app, so let me know if you have any ideas on how!

/// What can we expect to see in Fancade or from Martin Magni in the not so distant future? What do we have to look forward to next?

Fancade is still in beta, first priority is official release of version 1.0!

That’s the *beginning*, the start of the improvement and update cycle. I’ve learnt that mobile players are highly demanding, and expect devs to make full use of the super-fast publishing platforms Google and Apple provide devs with. If a game has not been updated in a long time, it’s considered “dead”, and I can kind of see why.

If Fancade is successful, I expect this to keep me occupied for… forever. If it fails miserably, I shall have to change my life plans.

Thanks again to Martin for participating in our interview! We look forward to hopefully talking with you again sometime soon!

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