Today’s Game Developers Like You interview is with Mystery Corgi – real name Morgana – a 23 year old developer making games in northern California.
Q: For starters, what do you do?
A: I’m a gaming-centric artist, musician, writer, and programmer. I prefer to write scripts and stories for games, but I occasionally do logos, GUI, and soundtrack work. I want to get better at programming and sprite art. I live off commissions for indie games and also run a small bookkeeping business to help independent game developers.
Q: What’s a typical day in your life as a developer like?
A: Get up, make tea and breakfast, turn computer on and check email and Twitter, make more tea, do some work until lunch time, more tea and lunch, work until I can’t, more tea, play videogames, tea, take medicine, pass out.
Q: How and when did you start making games?
A: When I was younger I stumbled upon games on DeviantArt by a user named Zeiva. I enjoyed those games and decided to try to find more like them. I later found out the games were stylistically similar to visual novels, which I fell in love with. I decided that, as a story writer, I too could make visual novels. In 2011 I made my first game, Frequencies, after helping on several other projects.
Q: Any game development role models or heroes?
A: My hero is my fiancé, as cliche’d as that might sound. He makes great games but rarely publishes them, which is a shame. But he just keeps creating, almost every waking minute of every day. He believes in my abilities and that inspires me.
Q: What are some of the videogames that you’ve worked on?
A: The first game I assisted with was That Cheap and Sacred Thing, a Visual Novel. You can download That Cheap and Sacred Thing here. I colored most of the sprites and helped test it.
My first original game was a Visual Novel called Frequencies. You can check out Frequencies here. While I’m happy that I finished it and I learned a lot from it, I mostly glad that I’ve improved so much since I made it.
The first game that I made a soundtrack for was my fiance’s game, XD83C8. You can play XD83C8 here. It’s a local co-op game. It was a lot of fun to test.
The game I’m currently working on is Culina. I’m programming the story scripts for it.
Q: Which tools, technologies, or platforms do you use? Why?
A: I use Unity and Ren’Py for engines, Fungus in Unity for programming, and FL Studio for music. For art assets I use Paint Tool SAI, Adobe Illustrator. and Photoshop. I back everything up on Google Drive, which is usually where I write my scripts and have spreadsheets for everything.
Q: Is your game development non-commercial, commercial, some hybrid of the two?
A: I used to make free games, but now I’ve turned to the Pay What You Want model in the hopes of supporting myself. I believe firmly in this payment model, as someone who has had to go without games because of the starving artist life I lead. However, despite having very little income, I still try to support others who use PWYW because I believe it’s the right thing to do.
Q: Do you still play Has your experience or preference among games changed since you became a developer?
A: I play and review visual novels for my review site. I also play some action games and strategy games. When I get nostalgic I play the .hack games on my PS2 and old Pokemon titles.
Since I’ve become a developer, I try to study how other Visual Novels go about doing things, so that’s what I now predominantly play.
Q: Do you have education or specific training related to game development?
A: I am completely self-taught.
Q: How do you choose which ideas to develop into a full game?
A: If the idea sticks in my head and screams to be made for over three months, I’ll take it out of my “idea dump” and make it a more permanent option for “future games.”
Q: Any projects currently in development that you’d like to talk about?
A: I’m currently working on AIdol. Here’s the synopsis: Idols are the most popular thing in the media right now, and the rising idol company Lyriq has a convention to run this weekend. There’s one catch – the virtual idol, Aiko, is malfunctioning. Only one thing can fix Aiko: finding the person who programmed her. But it isn’t easy for a sapient computer program to find her creator. That’s where super fan Hana and a ragtag team of convention attendees come in to save the day.
Q: What do you do to get word out about your games?
A: I find Twitter a great platform for game developers. Gamejolt is also great for getting news out about free games. If you work on story-heavy interactive games or visual novels, try the Lemmasoft forums for the Ren’Py engine. They’re a pretty friendly group.
Q: Long(er) term what are your aspirations or goals as a game developer?
A: I hope to help Visual Novels flourish as a game genre with my creative works.
Q: What’s your website, Twitter handle, or other links about your games?
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