Interview with Space Pirate Cat, the creator of Skilly Shooterstars

Do you love soccer! “Yes?” Awesome! because you have just been chosen to defend our planet from an ancient space god using your amazing soccer skills! Congratulations!

If you’re thinking “This totally makes sense…” you should probably read our original review…😉

Read our full review here.

Today we’d like to share our awesome interview with Space Pirate Cat, the creator of Skilly Shooterstars. 

Before we start, we’d like to thank Costantino Gallo for participating in our interview, and for spending some of his valuable time answering our questions. Thanks Costantino!

Now without any further ado our interview begins.


Ok first up, why did you decide to make Skilly Shooterstars?

Hey All!

I’m Costantino, the only man behind Space Pirate Cat (for the moment, at least), and Skilly Shooterstars is my first game ever. The story behind Skilly is a little strange, because when I started working on it, I was not expecting it to be played by anyone except me.

I have a deep passion for video games, as I’ve grown up in the ’80s and lived through nearly the whole history of this incredible media, from arcades to home consoles to mobile gaming. So, after a life as a gamer, in September 2015 I decided to put myself to work and go behind the other side of the screen.

After reading many books and watching tons of tutorials to learn the basics, I started working on this very simple game where you had to shoot a ball at the right time. You know, just a simple exercise to improve my coding skills. The graphics were awesome though: a little stickman player with a 1 frame animation for kicking, a square ball and a total blue background!

Anyhow I needed to further improve coding, so I started adding deeper mechanics and after a lot of free time spent on this little project I found myself with a pretty fun and challenging game (with a total blue background). I love to draw though, so, why not try to make the game look better? I challenged myself and decided to learn how to use my drawing skills for making pixel art, thinking it would be awesome to give this little project a heavy retro gaming vibe.

I must say, after a lot more free time spent on the project (and risking being left by my girlfriend), I was really satisfied with the results. I polished the game to make it look as professional as possible. It just missed a great soundtrack now. I love music though, so, I challenged mys…no, no, just kidding…😆

I found this great guy on reddit, Juhani Junkala, and fell in love with his chiptunes! I really do believe his music makes the game 100% better. This is pretty much how Skilly Shooterstars was born.


Wow! What an amazing story! Starting from scratch and creating Skilly Shooterstars is more than impressive. Costantino you are Awesome!

So what programming language and or software did you use when making Skilly Shooterstars?

I worked with Game Maker Studio. It may be the most user friendly tool for a beginner who wants to start diving into game development. I didn’t use any of its Drag’n Drop features, though, as I went straight to learn GML – the game maker scripting language which is pretty solid but also “forgiving” if you make small syntax mistakes.

The only problem with it is that it is pretty slow for supporting newer technologies, at least when we talk about mobile gaming… It may take months after the release for Game Maker to fully support newer OSs or SDKs. They should definitely put up a tech team to work on this serious issue. Also, there’s a much smaller community if compared to other prominent engines like Unity or UE4.

But again, I think it’s an amazing tool for beginners and in the right hands it can be used to make awesome games: Hotline Miami, Downwell, Undertale and Hyper Light Drifter just to name a few…


Ok, here is a difficult question. What was the hardest problem you needed to overcome when developing Skilly Shooterstars?

If I think of the time of developing, I remember many different moments where I felt I was facing an overwhelming problem. At first it was setting up game maker to work with iOS certificates, then it was making the game compatible with all the available mobile screen ratios, then it was setting up IAPs and AD providers. But the most difficult part was finding the time to complete the game.

Game development is not (for now) my full time job and trying to keep yourself motivated is not as easy as it may sound. In my case, it would not have been possible without Marta, my girlfriend, who supported me (well, mostly bore with me) during the time of the development. Thank you, Marta 😊


Last question. Where do you get your inspiration or ideas from?

As I said I love gaming, and I think I mostly owe this love for games to Nintendo. NES and SNES classics where I look for both great aesthetics and gameplay. It’s very important not to just be a copycat, but try to improve on those aspects to be able to make a good retro game which doesn’t feel outdated. I think there’s one game which summarizes what I mean, it’s called Shovel Knight. I know it’s not for mobile, but if you haven’t played it, do it as soon as you’re finished reading this interview! 😃


A few words to Skilly Shooterstars fans on Edamame Reviews.

At the moment I’m working on many things! Since Skilly Shooterstars has been featured on the AppStore I started working on more consistent updates for the game. As you read this the latest version of Skilly should be available on the app store, with a new EASY MODE and some awesome iOS 10 iMessage animated stickers as a freebie!

Also, there will be two seasonal updates for Halloween and Christmas, featuring new themed stages and characters! In the meantime I’m also working on the publishing of a very promising game, developed by a great guy who definitely deserves some visibility… I’ll be ready to tell more in a few weeks. In the two minutes of spare time I have daily, I’m working on the layout of a hybrid platformer/shmup game which will be developed with Unity. Stay tuned!


Lastly a few words on how you feel about Edamame Reviews and our service.

I really must say what you’re doing is incredible… Giving small mobile developers like Space Pirate Cat visibility is something priceless for our community! Keep up with this awesome job!


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