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Jesse Venbrux Interview

I learned a lot from the following interview with Jesse Venbrux (2Dcube)–the most popular game maker at YoYoGames.com. He has won two YoYo Games Competitions. He worked at YoYo Games for a few weeks and now works at Q-Games. Five of his games are part of the top 50 most played games on YoYo games. You can find his work at www.venbrux.com. He has now graciously given some of his time to give some advice on game design. I hope you learn as much from the interview as I did.

another 2dcube game

 

What do you think is the most common mistake GameMaker users make?

I am not exactly sure what most Game Maker users do, but I think in general people often make the mistake of adding too many features to their game instead of polishing what they already have.

Do you plan on developing any other games soon?

I’m currently developing new game ideas on iPhone and iPad. I’m also working on an unannounced title at Q-Games. Information on some of these should show up within the next few months. All of these are quite different from what I usually make.

What is the most important part of game design?

Having clarity in the game rules and representation. You should try to get rid of all the “noise”, anything that obstructs or could give people a wrong idea. Present your core idea in the most elegant way possible. Every element of the game should work towards supporting one single idea.

Other things that are important in general are thinking about the kind of feeling you want people to have when playing, and letting people play your work in progress (especially people that haven’t played it before).

Jesse Venbraux on game design   Is there anything you wished you had done differently as you were learning to create and sell games?

I wished I had discovered Game Maker earlier! But no, there isn’t much I can think of… I wish I understood myself and my work process better, so I wouldn’t waste time on unnecessary things. Still, I am glad I was able to complete and release a lot of games and the feedback helped me improve. If there’s anything I can say to beginner Game Makers it’s to make small games and be really lazy (so don’t waste time on complicated features) and release as many games as you can.

So if your developing for iPhone and iPad your not using GameMaker. Would you use GameMaker if you could port your games to iPhones and iPads, or have your experiences developing games in lower level programming languages at Q-Games convinced you that it’s better to not use GameMaker once you get good at making games?

Although I’m getting more of a hang of C-like languages they can’t ever replace easy languages as GML for me. GML is just much quicker when prototyping and making big changes; it’s more flexible. I’m excited about Game Maker Studio Edition and would love to use that.

a Jesse game

What are your goals as a game developer?

This is a very difficult question but ultimately I think I just want to make people have fun and feel like they experienced something new, fun, quirky. What I really like about some board and card games is that they can help bring people together and get to know each other. After all, playing games together is a way of socializing. Some day I’d like to be able to do something like that with digital games.

How do you plan out your games?

My official title at Q-Games is “planner” (the Japanese use it in stead of “game designer”) but I’m pretty terrible at planning itself. In fact I don’t really plan much and just let it develop. This is one of the reasons I like the flexibility and ease of use of Game Maker. It’s really hard to predict how a game concept is actually going to feel, so while I’m developing lots of unforeseen things pop up and lots of big changes are made all the time. Always with the end goal to get the most fun and unique experience.

Thank you for giving some of your time to do this interview.

Thanks for the interview.

good game design

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  1. Thank you for that interview Mr. Me.

    I played “They need to be fed” on iPhone and it is a great game with great level design.

    • I’m glad you liked it. I will be publishing some more things to do with game design soon.
      I liked Frozzd better than They Need to be Fed, but it still is a great game. All of Jesse’s games are fun.