The Adventures of Ambages

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This month we explore the tale of two gifted GameStudio users and their new game, in which you play the role of a... cow.


Q: How big is the team behind Die Abenteuer von Ambages? How much time did it take you to finish the entire project?

A: The team consists of myself and Slin. I did the graphics, music, levels and stuff and Slin did a good job with coding and debugging the thing. Took us seven months to complete the entire game from scratch.


Q: What is the object of the game?

A: Basically, its a dungeon crawler based game. You walk from dungeon to dungeon and just have to find the exit. But thats not so easy, because the exit is blocked. To remove the barrier, you have to find the blue orb. You need to step on switches, activate/deactivate blocks to get over holes or through walls. Some walls can be moved, while others are passable. There are teleporters, you can control some water and lava by making it rise or fall and of course you have to battle various enemies.


Q: How many different types of enemies will Ambages have to deal with?

A: Just a handful of them. Various goblin types, skeletons, ghosts and of course a few bosses. The main focus of the game is solving the riddles; fighting battles is reduced to a minimum to keep the game fresh.


Q: What shaders do you use and where?

A: My love for the Cell Shading technique is well known amongst the older Forum users, and naturally, the game uses Toon Shading. This is the only shader we use, even though Slin is a shader god to me, so its not because I had no other opportunities. It fits the game and that's my style. All Models are using the Toon Shader.


Q: What tools (besides GameStudio) did you use to develop the game?

A: Photoshop and Sony Acid. All levels are done in WED, all models are done in MED.


Q: What would you change if you’d have to start developing the game again?

A: The Camera and Battle system. I am not happy with those two. At first i thought its a great idea to have the levels open, but after a few levels, you realize its not that good of an idea. Also, Ambages just has one attack, so that limits combat a lot. If there's a sequel, we will definitely change that...


Q: Is it true that you have signed a contract with a publisher already? When will we be able to buy a copy of the game?

A: Yes, that is true. I don't know the final release date yet, but since the game is finished and everything is set in stone, it should not take longer than around the end of may.


Q: What is the most important piece of advice that you would give to a beginner?

A: Get real. I know it sounds harsh, but its just the truth. 3DGS is a great tool for what it is. I know it; I completed games with it. And I'll complete more games with it. But the truth is, you just WON'T do a game like Zelda or Half Life. Or whatever big budget game you fix your mind on. Won't work. Those games cost millions to make and take a truckload of people to make, and you're not gonna make it with just a handful of people and A7. NOT. GONNA. HAPPEN.


Stay small, know what you are doing and especially LEARN STUFF. And one last thing: learn to live with critics. I had my fair share of problems with that. I know how one feels if someone talks bad about your work. You get angry, feel betrayed, you put so much work into it and someone tells you its bad. But it's not. Those people just want to help you. I had a hard time learning that. I know what it feels like. But if you learn that, you're one step closer to a good project.


Thank you a lot, Spike.