Interview with Sotaro Otsuka the creator of TIME LOCKER

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Have you played TIME LOCKER? If you haven’t we strongly encourage you to download it “after” you’ve finished reading this interview.

Cram packed with new and intuitive concepts and features we’ve never seen in a mobile game before, today we’re going to blow your mind by sharing with you our interview with the man who single handedly developed this game from the ground up⁉️  (Mr Sotaro, we want your talent 😭 )

Original Review: Check it out!

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

Now without further ado our interview begins…

 

The Interview

Ok first up, why did you decide to make TIME LOCKER?

Originally I worked for a major IT company developing mobile games.
The games I worked on were mostly based around “Dragons”, “Swords”, “Magic”, and of course “Japanese Moe Culture.” Basically parameter filled “Japanese Social Games” that evolved out of Japanese RPG’s.

Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy these such games. I wasn’t a character that stood out in the company I worked for, and I always felt somewhere that there must be a better place where I could exhibit my skills.

Thinking that leaving things the way they were wasn’t the right thing to do, I submitted one of my game ideas at an In-house competition but unfortunately wasn’t selected.

After these experiences I decided that to create the games I truly desired, the only choice I had was to do it all on my own.


So why did you decide to make a game based around the concept of time? This is probably our most anticipated question😉

As everyone has probably already guessed, this game is heavily influenced by the game SUPERHOT (I’m guessing this is what you wanted to hear?)
In 2013, by chance, I stumbled upon SUPERHOT and after playing the demo version of the game was blown away by how interesting it was!

A few years after this, Crossy Road and Shooty Skies by Matt Hall (from the HIPSTER WHALE Teamhit the App Store. Instead of having a “THIS IS A GAME!!!” like feel, these games had the sort of funness found in the Flash games I played (When Adobe Flash was most popular) and made me think “This is the type of game I want to make.”

A little after this, when looking for an interesting idea I remembered SUPERHOT and wondered, “If I made an overhead view style arcade game you can play single handedly together with SUPERHOT’s Time Control system, couldn’t I make a new and interesting game?”


Wow, so that is how TIME LOCKER was born…! So what programming language and or software did you use when making TIME LOCKER?

I used Unity for the Game Engine and Blender for the modeling. Both are free tools and work amazingly.

I’ve used Unity for years at the company I worked at so there were very few problems there, and Blender and MAYA aren’t all that different.

In order to remove as much “work” as possible I wanted to create the game using as few tools as possible and so I hardly used Adobe AI or PS throughout the entire game development process. I even designed the UI in Unity.


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

Doing absolutely everything alone.

While I’m modeling the coding stops; when I’m creating the sounds, the design is left behind.

However, what I devoted myself to most and am most proud of as “my new invention” is TIME LOCKER’s “scroll controls.” I feel that trying to “replicate” consumer games on a mobile platform – although a popular mindset among developers – isn’t the correct way to create games. I believe that it is important to create games that work with the different characteristics of the device it is targeted for.

For people who use smartphones every day, scrolling is the most natural gesture used and is the best method of input on a touchscreen device. On top of this, for TIME LOCKER, a game where you can adjust both time and movement at a macro level, I believed that scroll controls were the best method of input for my game.


Up until now we have reviewed numerous games that use a high level of 3D graphics in their game design. We suspect that creating all the 3D assets featured in TIME LOCKER must have been a high wall to overcome…

Yes, I think that the most time and resource consuming parts of game development are the graphical aspects. From past experience I recognised this and thus worked to reduce as much of the troublesome graphical work as possible.

To reduce work I designed all my characters with an Ultra Low Polygon Count, and removed the need to draw textures by coloring them all with a single color. In the end the game got an overall Fashionable finish, but this wasn’t necessarily planned or aimed for from the beginning.

To complete TIME LOCKER all alone this was pretty much the only option I had.


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

Movies, manga, and of course games.

Although it is important to play high quality best seller games, I believe that it is important to also play not so interesting minor or even boring games.
For instance, if I find someone saying on the internet, “I made a game, please try it!” I will always give it a try.
A lot of the time the games you’ll find aren’t the best, but by actually playing them you can figure out why the game isn’t interesting or successful.


A few words to TIME LOCKER fans on Edamame Reviews.

I have a few new ideas for my next game/s, but unless I can spread TIME LOCKER’s popularity and make money, these ideas will forever stay as ideas.

Right now it’s all or nothing for me.


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

Thank you so much for featuring my game.

Edamame Reviews sought out and reviewed my game based on their own honest opinions.

Please continue to search for truly remarkable games.

I am very grateful for what you have done.


Let us know what you thought in the comments section below, and as always thanks for following reviews.edamame.club

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