Here we are, back with another developer interview! This time with Tiempo Libre
the creator of Shootin’ A Round. Before we start we’d like to thank Tiempo Libre for participating in our interview and for answering all of our geeky questions! Thanks!
/// Thanks for taking the time to talk to us about Shootin’ A Round! Could you kick-start this interview by telling us a little about your studio, yourself, and what drew you into the gaming industry?
I’m just a software developer that enjoys spending some spare time making games. There is no studio as such for the time being, you may have noticed there’s no mention about it in the game. Actually Tiempo Libre is just Spanish for spare time.
Ever since childhood I’ve always loved playing videogames, back in the day I toyed with the idea of using some videogame maker software but it never happened. That dream came back to life in recent years, especially with all the cool tools available nowadays.
Edamame: Wow, we would have never guessed “Tiempo Libre” means “spare time” in Spanish if you hadn’t told us! 😂Great name!
/// Ok, let’s start talking about Shootin’ A Round. What are the highlights of your latest release?
To be honest the highlight of my last release to date was a bug fix. Not very exciting I know, but I am considering introducing a short in-game tutorial with the basics to kick start the game in order to complement the existing, and very often ignored, “how to play” section.
/// What was the core idea or inspiration behind Shootin’ A Round? And perhaps more importantly, where do you find inspiration for your games in general?
I guess inspiration mainly comes from playing different games, here and there you sometimes see some cool mechanics you like and you can use or adapt, sometimes if you are lucky they can even show the way to something totally new.
In the case of Shootin’ A Round, the whole project was heavily conditioned by my inexperience. This was my first attempt at a game, learning as I went. However I did have something clear, I wanted to make a touch-based game and I didn’t want to have on-screen controls, that’s what’s behind the core gameplay.
Edamame: You definitely succeeded on that, because the controls in Shootin’ A Round are nothing short of excellent!
/// How long was Shootin’ A Round in development for? And are there any interesting and/or exciting moments or experiences you would like to share with us from that time?
I’ve been dedicating time to this game since late 2015, but there were several periods of inactivity until its final publication in April this year…
I guess I could have finished it much earlier, but then I decided to add the enemies’ speech bubbles, then different types of weapons, then bosses, and music – a game is not complete without music (a special mention here to Eric Skiff) – and a “how to play” section could be useful, why not dynamic character shadows… and so on!
After all that definitely my best reward was getting good feedback from friends that actually liked the game and suggested improvements.
/// What software, developer-tools, or black-magic(?) did you use when making Shootin’ A Round? Is there anything you would like to share with the developers who read Edamame Reviews?
It’s no secret this game was made using Unity, after all that’s the first thing you see when you launch it 😅 Unity may be a bit overwhelming at the beginning, but there are plenty of tutorials and videos to get you started, and well, it’s free if you don’t make a lot of money, and I’m making none from Shootin’ A Round since it is totally free 😃
For the graphics I use Aseprite, it’s quite powerful. I’ve only scratched the surface though, most of the animations I’ve used in Shootin’ A Round are made of 4 frames, and the character sprites are 32 by 32 pixels, I tried to go with something simple that looked nice enough.
/// Is there any secret “developer-advice” you can give our lucky players who read this interview?
I guess there’s nothing you cannot find out by yourself if you play long enough.
That said… I would suggest you ditch the default fireball weapon as soon as you have the chance, except for the first stage. The fireball is probably the easiest weapon to use, but it’s not very convenient for later boss fights.
No matter what weapon you go for, use power shots whenever you want the best damage/energy cost ratio. Last but not least it’s very important to practice the charge mode since you’ll need it more and more as you progress through the game and run out of energy more often.
Edamame: Charge mode is one thing we really need to practice more… 😅
/// What can we expect to see in Shootin’ A Round or from Tiempo Libre
in the not so distant future? What do we have to look forward to next?
I mentioned earlier I’m considering an in-game tutorial for Shootin’ A Round, but on the other hand, I have some other game ideas in mind I want to try, I get that feeling of leaving the old behind and starting something new. I would still go for small projects since it’s only me and only in my spare time!
/// 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’m glad there are communities like this one, it’s very hard to get noticed unless you make some sort of investment in marketing for your game. It’s nice to be able to reach people that share your same interests and passion. Keep it up!
Edamame: Thank you! Come visit us again in your tiempo libre (spare time)! 😆