Hello everyone and welcome to Indie Insight, the official podcast of Gaming Sandbox!
Indie Insight is a semi-consistent podcast talking with some of the best that the indie gaming scene has to offer! Whether that be sitting down with a developer, content creator, journalist or just amongst ourselves, we aim to hopefully intrigue and enlighten you in this amazing industry we all know and love!
This week Odhrán caught up with a previous guest on the podcast, Dan McGrath. After last speaking with Dan back in April we were keen to see what he had been up to since the release of Dread X Collection: The Hunt
Since our previous chat in April, you’ve passed 100k views and over 21.1k downloads on itchi.io. Given one of your first experiences with game development was being exposed to one of your neighbours editing the sprites in a top-down dungeon crawler game, how accomplished do you feel in your game development journey so far and what piece of advice/ words of encouragement would you give to your younger self now after that initial experience?
I’m feeling pretty good about my development at the moment. I feel like I’m finally starting to break into and understanding what my strengths and weaknesses are in Game Development. The last 2 years or so have been a massive confidence boost, so I’m just going to keep riding that wave and see where it takes me. Words of advice for my younger self? Keep it simple. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing or what types of games are popular. Come up with an idea for a game and keep the mechanics bare bones. This way you can refine your techniques and learn something in the process. Also, don’t make an RPG as your first game.
Given you made a phenomenal title such as The House of Unrest for the most recent Dread X Collection and then followed it up with Hell Awaits, a classic first-person shooter for the E1M1 Jam, do you prefer the longer period of creating a more polished title for something like Dread X or do you enjoy the more chaotic thrill of rushing to get a game out the door for a game jam?
Both have their pro’s and cons of course. A longer period of time gives plenty of room for more polish and refinement of mechanics, level design etc but that also comes with its own shortcomings. There’s the danger to over-analyze or over-complicate something that could be more straightforward. I definitely enjoyed designing a level and taking a step back and thinking about how a player would tackle the puzzles or enemies in a level instead of saying “Hey I only have 3 more hours to get this game jam done, let’s just leave it like this.” On the other hand, Game jams just breed creativity. Time constraints seem to always make people do their best work and it can be quite exciting trying to push something out before the Jam ends. Tough one to answer!
What have you been working on since our previous chat? Have you been making much headway at the moment or do you find yourself having less time to focus on game development now that the world is slowly starting to open up again?
The day job is definitely getting in the way for sure as the world opens back up, but it’s a necessity I guess. Gotta pay the rent somehow! I’m working on a couple of things at the moment, maybe too much. Some I can’t talk about just yet, some I can. I’m working my way through a Football themed Horror game at the moment (or Soccer for our American friends). I haven’t seen many horror games set around sports and I grew up playing a lot of sports so I thought it would be cool to blend my love of horror games with something like football. I’ll have more to show on that soon. I’m also working on a “Four Stories in One” horror game, which is a more abstract trippy kinda experience, but that’s kind of a side project that I plug away on whenever I get a spare few minutes. Other than that, I have some secret stuff going on but there’s not much to say on that right now. But I can say it’s very very cool.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out any of Dan‘s games yet you can find them over on his itch.io. If you’d like to check out his entry in Dread X Collection: The Hunt you can find it over on Steam and finally if you’d like to take a look at our previous discussion with Dan back in April you can do so down below!
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