This being my first time at the Perth Games Festival, I didn’t know what to expect aside from an array of student showcases full of potential. While this was the case for most of the exhibits I saw, the first game I dug in with was not only a fully fleshed out product being sold digitially, but one developed by a single dude. It also happened to be the display I spent the most time with, and that game was the mutant co-op shoot ’em up, Final Days.
This game is a lot of fun. For those who’ve yet to try it, can you tell us a bit about Final Days?
Final Days is an intense co-op shooter where you battle against massive hordes of mutants. Dirty warfare has left most of the population mutated and thirsty for blood, and now you must fight for your survival. You can go it alone, or team up with as many friends as you can muster.
How long have you been working on Final Days?
I’ve been working solo on Final Days for three years now.
You attended last year’s PGF. How much has it changed since then?
To me, it doesn’t feel like it’s changed much because I work on it every day. However, people who saw it last year commented on how much better it is now. And looking back at all the updates I’ve put out since last year, admittedly it has changed quite a lot!
Left 4 Dead was mentioned by some of the people playing alongside us, as something they felt as an influence on your title, but what games would you say have had the biggest influences on your design?
Yes, definitely Left 4 Dead has been an influence. Other titles which have had a big influence would be Killing Floor, Grand Theft Auto 1 & 2, Smash TV, and Gauntlet to name a few.
You’ve been a software developer for a long time. What made you decide to pursue games development?
When I was a kid, I taught myself how to code so that I could make my own games. So my career as a software developer kind of progressed from there. But after doing that professionally for almost 13 years, I wanted to try something different. So I focused back on my original passion for video games and decided to make a go of it.
Games development is hard. I can only imagine that being doubly so developing solo. What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced working on Final Days by yourself?
Yes, it definitely is! The toughest thing I find about working solo is motivation. You basically only have yourself to keep pushing you forward, which can get really difficult at times!
What was the feedback like from PGF this year, and can you say it will have any effect on the development of Final Days?
The feedback was quite positive. I got quite a few good suggestions and ideas which I will definitely consider incorporating into the game.
In the time spent on Final Days, can you say you’ve hatched any ideas for new projects, or are you waiting until you’re out of Early Access to begin brainstorming your next game?
I do have an idea for my next game brewing away in the background. But I’m leaving it on the back-burner so that I can focus on Final Days.
What would you say has been your biggest challenge in launching a title on the Steam marketplace?
Just getting noticed. There are a lot of small indie games on Steam these days, and it’s easy to get lost amongst them. Admittedly, I haven’t been promoting Final Days much while it’s still in Early Access. This is because I want to wait until it’s a bit closer to being finished first. So hopefully this will change when I do start promoting it.
If you could offer any sagely advice to any would-be games developer, what would it be?
Making games is really hard work! But if you’re passionate about it, stick with it and don’t give up. Also, marketing and promotion is very important! Don’t underestimate it. It doesn’t matter how good your game is. If no one knows about it, then no one’s going to buy it.
What are your plans for the game going forward?
I have been constantly working on Final Days and releasing updates regularly since it launched on Early Access. The core mechanics are now done and are unlikely to change too much further for the full version. From here, the main updates will be related to expansion of game modes, maps, and other content.
If you’d like to follow the development of Final Days, please check out the following links: