Here we are, back with another developer interview! This time with BadToxic the creator of Fizhy Zen! Before we start we’d like to thank the BadToxic Team for participating in our interview and for answering all of our geeky questions! Thanks Guys!
…and without further ado, our interview begins…
/// Thanks for taking the time to talk to us about Fizhy Zen! Could you kick-start this interview by telling us a little about your studio, yourself, and what drew you into the gaming industry?
I always loved games as a child, especially building my own levels with editors in various games and seeing others play them was more fun for me than playing myself.
Early on I began experimenting with creating my own games. I taught myself programming and tried different things. I specialized in the game development software Game Maker and implemented different games. Planning on improving more and more I started studying Informatics. On this path, I discovered different aspects such as in artificial intelligence, robotics, and edutainment.
After finishing my university Master of Science in 2013 I founded my one-person business for developing games in Germany. But I decided to let it be a hobby at first so that I could build a solid base with a full-time job as a Software Engineer in the beginning. So far I only release my games for free, but I’m planning “big things”.
Besides games, I also release freeware, edutainment, and open source stuff. I’m working voluntarily as the editor for an online magazine about Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch as well, where I publish game development diary entries about my current project.
/// Ok, let’s start talking about Fizhy Zen. What are the highlights of your latest release?
I would say it’s the relaxing character of the game and its simplicity. You will find yourself in a Japanese zen garden where you can lay back and forget the real world around you for some time.
It’s a puzzle game you probably won’t want to play for long gaming sessions, but you may want to come back to every so often. I tried to coordinate everything to get the perfect relaxation balance. Simple graphics without too detailed textures or too many effects that could disturb the atmosphere.
/// What was the core idea or inspiration behind Fizhy Zen? And perhaps more importantly, where do you find inspiration for your games in general?
The first version of Fizhy I created some years ago for my grandmother because she liked Dr. Mario so much. So the game mechanics are similar to Dr. Mario with some little differences.
Back then it was a 2D version made with Game Maker. Fizhy Zen is 3D, done with Unity3D and concentrates much more on the atmosphere. I also published the old variant as “Fizhy” to the App Store and because of a small fan base liking it, I decided to create a new one for some special persons. My general inspiration I find in seeing, playing and testing many games and observing reactions of other players. I see games as art and culture and I’m often thinking about how they could have been made better.
/// How long was Fizhy Zen in development for? And are there any interesting and/or exciting moments or experiences you would like to share with us from that time?
My time tracker listed not much more than 100 intense working hours. Of course, it is just a small game and I could reuse much of my experience from the old version. The hardest and most interesting part in this time was the creation of the world – not the programming.
Much in the 3D modeling field was very new to me. Especially creating trees that dynamically swing in the wind and are efficient enough for mobile devices while still looking good, were a big challenge.
Even more interesting and really exciting was the development of an artificial intelligence. But this I started after Fizhy Zen and it may only be the next version. Yes, there will be another version, build in another big game project I’m working on currently.
/// What software, developer-tools, or black-magic(?) did you use when making Fizhy Zen? Is there anything you would like to share with the developers who read Edamame Reviews?
As mentioned I used Unity3D together with Visual Studio and implemented everything in C-Sharp. To be exact I used the old Unity3D version 5.6.5 to keep my code compatible for Nintendo 3DS development. 😆
Everything else was done with free tools like Gimp2 for graphics. Many 3D models, textures and all music titles are partly from different websites that offer assets free for commercial use, but I still had to do much by myself.
/// Is there any secret “developer-advice” you can give our lucky players who read this interview?
While you progress on clearing the levels you will recognize there are 20 of them. But… that’s just how it looks. There may be more. 😆
/// What can we expect to see in Fizhy Zen or from BadToxic
in the not so distant future? What do we have to look forward to next?
I mentioned “big things”, another project including a version of Fizhy and my game development diary. The name is GameMaster, a game about collecting and mastering many mini-games.
The special clue is, you have to “catch” these mini-games just like wild Pokémon so you can play them. While playing them you can gain experience, level up and develop new features. So from a nostalgic primitive retro game, you can develop each game into a better version with better graphics, mechanics and other things. For example, you can add the ability to play against a harder AI that will give you more experience and so on. Or you will enable playing together or against more human players in multiplayer. This really is a big project that will take much time. But I think while developing it, I also will release more stand-alone versions of the coming mini-games.
/// Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to our awesome team of Writers, Developers, and Supporters who keep Edamame Reviews up and running?
I was very happy to be asked about an interview even when Fizhy is just a small free game. I’m still new to your community and I’m excited to see how our connection may develop.
I liked what I saw and read on your site so far and want to thank the supporters. I’m looking forward to bringing you more games in the future and becoming a supporter myself.
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