One issue many indie developers struggle with is the ability to get their game out there and noticed, and being in Perth doesn’t always help with that. It’s for this reason I’m grateful that the Perth Games Festival now exists, as despite being regularly involved in the local scene, there are always quite a few games on show I’ve not seen before. Naturally, as the local press, I want us to cover as much as possible, but with a growing number of games on show, we don’t always get to see everything. Sometimes it’s easy to miss a few, and for this reason, I’m grateful someone introduced me to Amos Wolfe of Moss Wolf Games. Despite being a modest fellow, Amos had some really great insight to share!
As a Perth-based developer, could you tell us how you got involved with the local industry and about your studio, Moss Wolf Games?
I started by mucking around with my own games. After school I completed a Computer technology degree and a Masters in Games and Simulation Programming at ECU. This was a great way to learn how to work with others on games. It was only when I started attending shared space sessions and game testing events like Playup Perth that I got more involved with the local industry.
At PGF this year, you were showcasing two games: Rocketnauts and City Dash. Let’s start with Rocketnauts, how would you explain it to someone whose never played it?
Rocketnauts is an orbital battle arena game that, as the name suggests, combines rocket launchers and astronauts. It’s a deathmatch between four players orbiting around a destructible planet, where the recoil from your weapons is the only way to move around. Powerups follow this same design, with the recoil from the shotgun and rocket engine weapons propelling the player around the arena.
I’m a fan of one-button games that are simple to play but a challenge to master. I noticed both of your games followed this philosophy, what inspired this approach?
I wanted to make games that were easy to pick up and play; however, neither Rocketnauts or City Dash started out with just one button controls. Certain controls were cut out during development as we began to focus on the key fun aspects of each game. For example, originally in Rocketnauts players had control over their movement, but we found it was actually a bit confusing. Once we cut it, we were able to hone in on the core of the game – the weapon recoil movement. Similarly with City Dash, we experimented with swipe controls, but cut them out before the festival, as they added a layer of complexity that detached from the gameplay.
I enjoyed the idea of combining navigation and the firing of your gun. Kind of like SK Games’ Gun Dash, but in a unique space-combat kind of way. Where did that idea come from?
I started with the concept of jumping from planet to planet. Navigation was originally going to involve jetpacks. Since another concept I wanted to add included rocket jumping, I decided to combine the two. Many players were confused with the idea of rocket jumping, so I made the game about using recoil to move instead.
Rocketnauts is currently in early release and available for purchase, where can our readers go to download and check out the game for themselves?
My game is now available for download on itch.io at http://moss-wolf-games.itch.io/rocketnauts, and is available on PC and Mac.
City Dash is my personal favourite style of mobile game: i.e. endless runner, high score, elegant controls. How do you think your game stands out from others in the genre?
City Dash takes on more vertical movement, where many endless runners use horizontal lanes. The art style is also less cutesy than usual endless runners, and has a more ’90s futuristic vibe. We are also intending to incorporate a leveling system as well, which will add a new dynamic to the endless runner aspect.
Game development has its share of difficulties, and being in Perth can add a few more to the pile. What has been the greatest challenge working on either of your games so far?
The biggest issue I’ve had so far is publicity. This is mainly due to my inability in marketing, as well as my reluctancy to show my work publicly. Recent events such as the Perth Games festival really helped in terms of publicity. I have not shown my games at Playup Perth yet, but I will now that I know that games in any playable state can be presented there.
How did it feel showing your game to the general public for the first time, and what were your impressions of the Perth Games Festival as a whole?
It felt great seeing how my games worked in a festival setting, and I learnt a few things in the process. The event was marketed well as many people attended, and many of the games added a great atmosphere.
Can we expect to see your games at local playtesting events such as Playup Perth next year? Also, what release timeframe and platforms are you aiming toward for both games?
We will be developing City Dash further, and it is expected to be released sometime in 2016. I am planning on presenting both City Dash and other experimental game prototypes at Playup Perth next year, and will be looking forward to the feedback I can get.
Are there any other ways our readers can support your games and continue follow their development? Social media, blogs, etc. would be great if you have something?
My website with all of my contact details can be found at www.mosswolfgames.com, and my twitter is @Amos_Wolfe.