Irish Developer Week
Interviewee Dan Kenny
Studio: Eyesodic Games
Since your first interview with Bone-Idle, there were three people on the team. What kind of changes have occurred between then and now?
Eyesodic is still very much the same. The biggest change would have to be having a lot more people actually playing the games Eyesodic puts out there. The community that has built up around some of the games, especially the Life After Us series has been amazing. The fans of that series have been so great in helping shape its development and support Eyesodic as a whole.
You initially started making games as a hobby, and releasing them for free on various sites like GameJolt and IndieDB. Tell us what it’s like now to work on a professional level as a game designer in studio?
The great thing for me personally is although I aim for that professional level, it still feels like a hobby, it still excites me and I have a huge amount of fun working on games and sharing them with people.
There’s obviously a great deal of passion involved in wanting to create games – when did your “Eureka!” moment come about, when did you realise you wanted to design games?
For me, I’ve always loved games. Growing up, I was playing something any chance I got from Mario on my GameBoy to Metal Gear Solid 1 on the PS1 all the way up to today. The moment I knew I wanted
to make games is a tricky one to pinpoint but I think it would have to be when I started messing around with some basic game making tools when I was about 14 and when I made my first little crappy game that was in the first person perspective, that’s when I fell in love with how it added to the immersion of a game. The thought of being able to make worlds that you could be apart of just excited me so much that I knew I had to make them.
You all have your specific job titles for a game, like programming, art, music, character design, etc., but do other skill sets you’ve acquired give you any advantages in your current roles?
Being a small independent developer tends to mean I have to do a bit of everything in terms of making the game but as of late, I’ve been trying to focus more on the depth of writing for games. Story is a huge part of games but doing something new or taking the path less traveled in terms of writing is not something we see enough of in games. Strong subject matter is something that needs to be explored
more in games and from those who have played Life After Us: The System know it’s something I want to do in my games and not shy away from strong topics in games. It’s a skill I hope to improve on and put it
to good use in a future projects.
“Days of Extinction” and “Haunted Dreams” were still in development when we had your first interview. Since then you’ve released them both, and a heap of other titles, like “Legends of Dorin: Ravenshelm”, “The Battle of Clontarf” and your most recent title, “Life After Us”.
Of course it’s a big workload but I’m a big believer in being ambitious. Every game is a new learning experience and over the course of developing those games, I’ve learnt so much and the Life After Us
series is the most popular game series Eyesodic has developed with countless lets plays on Youtube including the likes of Markiplier and Yamimash playing them. It can be a big workload at times but it’s an
awesome feeling to see so many people on Youtube playing and enjoying something you’ve made and as long as folks are enjoying them then Eyesodic will keep making tittles for those awesome gamers.
Using Unity for building games means for high quality work, but you’ve upgrading to Unity Pro recently – how much of an impact will this have on your future projects?
Unity is one of the best tools out there for game devs and since the upgrade its meant more features and more power to do the kind of games Eyesodic wants to do. Games will look better visually as folks
can see from Life After Us: Fading Light and performance is much improved allowing for games to have more going on in a scene now.
It’s fantastic to be able to play and support home grown games like “Ravenshelm” and “Life After Us”– where can we find you hanging out on the interwebs most often?
For folks who want to check out any of the Eyesodic games, they can head over to eyesodicgames.com to find links to all the games. Folks can also find Eyesodic Games on Twitter and Facebook or just get me directly on Twitter @Dansodic.
What’s in the works now after releasing “Life After Us”?
Life After Us has been an exciting and fun game series to develop but for now I’ll be working on a project that I hope will build on what I’ve learnt and challenge something new.
Finally, bonus question – favourite game of all time (outside of your own creations!)
My favourite game of all time? Man, that’s a hard one. I’m going to have to cheat and say my favourite games of all time are Fallout 3, The Elder Scroll series and Last of Us. All because they focus on creating such great interesting worlds and providing amazing stories.