Like I said in my last article I was hoping to bring you some more exclusive interviews. Well here I am with our latest one with Nicholas Mamo from Nyphoon Games, a young upcoming developer who designs freeware games. Anyway hopefully you’ll enjoy this interview as much as the last, so get reading.
So Nicholas you’re quite a young developer and very new in the gaming industry scene. What was it that made you want to work with computer games?
As a kid, I loved playing games. However when I was 12 (four years ago), I asked myself what it would be like if I could create my own perfect game. I continued exploring that question, and when I searched on Google, the first thing that came up was Game Maker, YoYo Games’ game development tool. That night I finished my first, very small game, and since then I haven’t looked back.
That’s great. Give us a little background on Nyphoon Games for those out there who don’t know who you are; what motivated you to create this company and why are you called “Nyphoon”?
Nyphoon started on the 21st of March, 2008, and Swipe will be a celebration of five years of game development. While I work on the games alone, I get a lot of help from friends. Many test my games and a friend of mine will also be directly helping me create Swipe.
After I created the first game, I continued to learn. Initially I joined a friend of mine to develop games, although we soon went our own ways. At just 12, my games weren’t anything you’d want to play for more than a few minutes.
Over time, I continued learning and found my inspiration at Caifox, Caiman’s official forums. Caifox is a site dedicated to offering its users freeware games, in fact I found a lot of help from their Administrator. The name I first chose was too long and therefore Rudy, Caiman’s Administrator, gave me a simple name – Nyphoon. Unfortunately, Rudy was suffering from a serious sickness which led to his death. His help was vital for me to strengthen my passion towards game making and to learn new things from his experience. As a result, I kept ‘Nyphoon’ as the company name in honour of my friend and mentor!
That’s a lovely tribute to your friend. So what is a typical day of work like when you are working on your games? Do you have a lot of spare time or, considering your tender age, do you have to juggle working at Nyphoon with your education?
I usually work six to eight hours every day during Summer, but that goes down to an hour every day when school starts. I usually tackle one, or two problems daily and don’t stop until I finish what I’m working on. Sometimes, that means I stay up late at night.
The real problems start when the lack of work leads to a lack of motivation. In fact, for this reason, just two years ago I dropped a project I had been working on for months. So yeah, unfortunately, sometimes education does get in the way.
Well education is important it’s just a shame it can sometimes have a negative impact on you developing games. Moving on, since the creation of Nyphoon Games what do you consider to be your greatest achievements and biggest challenges that you’ve had to face so far?
My greatest achievement is when I released my first real game – The Ark. Although it’s a relatively simple mini-game, I wanted to release something as I hadn’t done so for two years. Another achievement I value is when I switched over to jME3 to create my games. This way I learned how to create 3D Models, a great leap to more professional developments.
On the other hand, the biggest challenge was to actually work on The Ark. Before I released this game, I only used to get about 20 visits every month on my website (http://nyphoon.tk/) so my motivation had hit rock-bottom.
Well lets hope you never lose that motivation completely because we need young developers like you to keep the future of gaming alive. You’ve decided that your games for now are going to be Freeware, which should appeal to a lot of gamers as they can play your games for free. The first game you’ve released is called The Ark. Tell us a little bit about the game.
The Ark is a simple space shooter mini-game. I mainly developed this game as warm-up before my next, bigger project (Swipe). Its simplicity means that players can play it during short breaks.
It was also significant in my progress because I built a few, very important engines which I will be using in future games.
Cool. In one sentence sum up why those visiting Invision Game Community should go and download The Ark?
The Ark is a simple, yet enjoyable and challenging mini-game.
So not too long ago you announced your next Freeware game called Swipe. Tell us a little bit about the game. What inspired you to develop it? What should the gamers who download it expect following its release?
Since I was young, I’ve played a lot of RPGs and this made me want to create a simple one myself. This game is influenced by The Elder Scrolls franchise in the graphical aspect and in some gameplay elements.
Swipe, an Action RPG currently under development. I want to make an RPG where the player feels like he’s the hero, where the game revolves around you. The features I released about the game aim to make this a reality.
I firmly believe that RPG gamers will enjoy this game, particularly because of the fighting mechanics I will introduce (more info about this: http://www.invisioncommunity.co.uk/review/swipe/ ). To show gamers what the game’s graphical quality will be like, I will be releasing a video teaser before the end of the month. This will show exactly how the graphics will look like in-game. They will be much better than The Ark’s since Graphics are my priority for this game.
Well it looks like as a developer you are definately growing, and we can look forward to some great games coming from you in the future. What are you planning next for Nyphoon following the full release of your current project? Are you going to take a break or will you be looking to start working on another game right away?
I’ll take a week-long break to gather and evaluate the feedback with regards to Swipe, see what went right and what can be improved. After that I’ve got three projects in mind, and will most probably create three prototypes and see which will be better. I’ll decide which one of the concepts I will develop following that.
Good idea. Well as Invision Game Community is powered by students we like to know what advice developers can give to our students about getting into the gaming industry. Being a young person in the gaming industry, like many of the students who visit Invision Game Community, what experiences can you share about your journey into the gaming industry?
My advice is to start developing small games and get feedback. Lots of it. It helps you get better and also motivates you – which is essential when working on larger projects. Creating your own site and showing off your creations helps a lot. However, it’s also important to play games. For many developers, games are what inspired them to start creating their own. Don’t forget your roots – give yourself a break once in a while, and play a game.
I’d also like to remind everyone of three things I found of the utmost importance – work, rest, dream. It’s equally important to work and rest, keeping your aim fixed on the end product. But one also has to keep up the motivation. Dream what it would be like to finish the game, to have people play it.
Don’t be discouraged by mistakes, use them at your advantage, correct them and show gamers playing your creations that you care about their advice. Also, don’t stop researching, reading and getting tips from tutorials and forums all over the internet! That’s how I gained knowledge and learned new things.
And one last random question; do you have a lucky number?
Well that was a really great interview from Nicholas, and he has asked me to add to this interview that Nyphoon are looking for people to create quests and dungeons so that his game will have varying quest and dungeon designs. If you want to help (you will be appropriately credited), please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks.