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The developers at MangaPage kindly took a break from work in order to answer the questions for this month's interview:
Q: What are Kino One’s unique selling points?
A: It's a clash of styles. A mix of 80's arcade gameplay and music and 70's anime style. It may sound odd but it works.
Q: What are the characteristics of the “system requirements” PC?
A: Cpu: At least P4 1Ghz. Memory: at least 256 Ram. Video Card: 64 Mb video card. We're using A6, so the requirements are low.
Q: Can you describe for us some of the enemies that will appear in the game?
A: Everything from unmanned turrets, to space fighters, to cruisers, battleships to torpedos and mines. Of course, you can't forget the big bosses.
Q: How did you create those great looking laser effects?
A: It's an alpha shader which uses an alpha map and a texture to move across it; as for the muzzle, it's an animated model.
Q: What is the maximum number of particles that can be found on the screen at the same time?
A: See the stars moving toward your ship in the background? The tiny little dots. That's it, every other effect is a sprite.
Q: How did you create those full screen explosion effects?
A: Two glowing sprites that are going at two different speeds, they are just set to be on top of all the models (my.near).
Q: You have managed to finish PreVa (an anime-style mecha game) about 6 months ago and it looks like Kino One is close to finish as well. What are your efficiency / productivity secrets?
A: We still are a few months away from finishing, but for one thing, it's easier to make than PreVa. Working on a 2D plane is a lot easier than doing 3D. As for efficiency/productivity, a lot of what we learned on PreVa helped us to streamline the process, plus we wanted to make a 2D-style shooter.
Q: Please give us a few tips for the beginners.
A: First of all, have a good idea of what you're getting yourself into. It's not going to be easy all the time or fun for that matter. You can't just jump into the game head-first, and don't expect it to be a walk in the park - it won't be easy. It's good to do some code tests, but don't jump in until you've followed these important tips; write a script first, do all of your planning before you start the project. Make sure the game sounds good on paper before starting. Take the time to write out characters, dialogue, concept art, and what all you would like in the game first. Of course, stick with it and don't give up in the middle, too many projects die that way. If you're going to start a game, finish it.
Thank you a lot, Glen.