Computer Repair Simulator (COPY)

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Michael Schaefer, the leader of the small team who produced Debugger 3.16: Hack'n'Run, kindly tool the time to answer this month's interview questions.


Q: How would you describe Debugger 3.16: Hack'n'Run? What type of game is it?

A: At first sight, Debugger 3.16 is a a puzzle platformer. It is a game like Metroid or Castlevania: You’re discovering a huge world and have to overcome all its dangers.

On the other hand you can also manipulate the enemies, the world or even the hero of the game itself using program code.


Q: How big is your team and what does each member do?

A: We are four people. Two are responsible for the graphics, another one is a shader programmer and I am doing the rest (interface graphics, programming, animation, music & sounds, … )


Q: Your game looks really polished. How did you achieve that?

A: Much testing and trying things out.


Q: What's the hardest part when it comes to building a game like yours?

A: The hardest part for me was the code that analyzes the stuff the user can enter in the programming console.


Q: How does the "Learn and use program code!" feature work?

A: You have to  use basic coding stuff in the game in order to finish it. For example, at the beginning of the game, the user has to decide if he wants to help Debugger 3.16 with his mission to defeat all bugs in the game of his developer. For that, he has to use the code „printf(„yes“);“ or „printf(„no“);”. After entering this, a text box appears with his answer, and so the Debugger can see it.


Another central part is using the X/Y parameters to help players understand how the placing and moving of objects is working in a game. Pointers are also used. If the Debugger 3.16 is standing near a hackable object, he can use for example “my.y+=4;” to change its position. The usage and understanding of how variables are working is also a big thing in the game. The user can for example manipulate the life energy of the Debugger 3.16 when it’s low.


After completing the game, the player gets access to a step-by-step tutorial in which I will go more into detail and show him how to create a small game from zero with the things learned in the game.


Q: Congratulations for winning the "Best Serious Game" award at Deutscher Computerspielepreis! What made it possible, in your opinion?

A: I think that this was possible because other Serious Games are often boring and are no fun to play. My goal with Debugger 3.16 was to create a game which is entertaining AND helpful to get an understanding of programming too.


Q: How do you enhance your chances of getting a game Greenlit?

A: This is not necessary anymore. Greenlight has been recently discontinued, and now everyone can publish his game on Steam for a one time payment of $100.


Q: Please give us a few tips for beginners.

A: If you are a real beginner who don’t knows much about game programming, buy Debugger 3.16 and play it! After that use my tutorial to dive more into detail!


By the way: All players who finish the game will get a code. With it, they get a discount of 30% for all A8 editions!


Here is the link to get Debugger 3.16:


Thank you, Michael!