Here we are, back with another developer interview! This time with Jellyo Games the developers of Stare Out! Before we start we’d like to thank the Jellyo Games Team for participating in our interview and for answering all of our geeky questions! Thanks!
…and without further ado, our interview begins…
/// Thanks for taking the time to talk to us about Stare Out! Could you kick-start this interview by telling us a little about your studio, yourself, and what drew you into the gaming industry?
Glad to have a chat with you! My name is David Cutts and I’m the sole developer and founder of Jellyo Games, based just outside London, England.
Stare Out is the first game released by the studio. My background is in fine art, painting and sculpture, and have been working in the arts industry for the last 10 years.
Yet, there was always a part of me that wanted to make video games. It’s a bit of an obsession. I think it stems from when I was at a theme park as a child and I first played F-Zero in the arcade. All around were these huge awesome rides and all I wanted to do was play this futuristic!
/// Ok, let’s start talking about Stare Out. What are the highlights of your latest release?
The highlights? Well, there’s a man with an eyeball for a head, a pigeon wearing a monocle and a baby T-Rex. For me though, it’s the simplicity. I always knew I wanted the game to be simple to play. When you break it down, all the best games have one or two simple elements that make you come back for more. I think it’s a skill to make it simple and a hard skill to translate, as the natural temptation is to add in as many features as you can.
/// What was the core idea or inspiration behind Stare Out? And perhaps more importantly, where do you find inspiration for your games in general?
Ideas flood my head most of the day, the tricky thing is to try to capture them. In a car, walking – anywhere where you have a chance to think without restrictions. Also, I’m a terrible daydreamer (or a good one – depends on how you look at it). Sometimes it’s a collision of ideas which, by themselves aren’t particularly interesting, but when put together just make sense!
Artwork for the game I make instantly, while the ideas are still fresh, so that I go with my gut instinct rather than over-thinking the premise. However, because making a game is so involved, I left the idea of Stare Out for a while – if I still loved the idea after that time, then I knew it was the right one for me!
With Stare Out, I liked the idea of making a game from what was essentially an unusual activity and making it as intense as possible. Then adding an array of characters that I found amusing – maybe it’s my quirky English sense of humour!
/// How long was Stare Out in development for? And are there any interesting and/or exciting moments or experiences you would like to share with us from that time?
It took about 5 months from mocking-up the movements and mechanisms of the game to the final version being released.
It might sound geeky, but I found all the little things exciting. Not being from a developer background, having to decide on the sound of a button click, the style of the soundtrack or how to transition between events were all things I hadn’t needed to consider before. To have complete choice over every element of the game was really exciting for me.
/// What software, developer-tools, or black-magic(?) did you use when making Stare Out? Is there anything you would like to share with the developers who read Edamame Reviews?
The artwork was made largely using Photoshop and Illustrator. Making games it seems is the same as making fine art, the product has to be something which, above all, you enjoy yourself.
I used countless forums and tutorials to make the game, which are invaluable in their resources. The game I initially had in my head is the same game which has been released, so I think if developers have an idea but are struggling to implement it just stick with it and think of creative solutions around the problem.
/// Is there any secret “developer-advice” you can give our lucky players who read this interview?
In Stare Out there is a powerup called Hypnotic Glare which slows the opponent down like a trance. Once the powerup has ended though, the opponent takes a while to recover to full speed, so it’s like getting twice the amount of powerup.
/// What can we expect to see in Stare Out or from Jellyo Games in the not so distant future? What do we have to look forward to next?
I’m not sure if a developer ever feels like a game is fully finished so I will continue to make improvements and tweak Stare Out. The aim with Jellyo Games always was to make unique and interesting games and there is a whole host of games ideas which I would love to make but there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
/// 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?
Places like Edamame are vital for both new and established developers alike. I was delighted for you taking the time to chat with me. Thank you for your interest in me and my game and it was great to be able to talk about what it’s like to be a game developer.