The making of WarriOrb a game made in 4 years by a team of 5

Tell us more about your game, what is it about? Share your story with us, contact info@gamedevelopertip.com

Today we interviewed the guys of the Not Yet team. Thay made an amazing game called WarriOrb and they have an incredible story to share!

Tell us more about your game, what is it about?

 

WarriOrb is a hardcore action platformer where you play as a demon who is trapped in an unlikely body.

The game mixes the difficulty and level design of Dark Souls with an unique ball-based platforming mechanics.

Which platforms did you target?

The game is available on Windows and Linux for the time being.

We already started to port the game to Nintendo Switch and Xbox One while we worked on the PC version, but due to our limited resources and technical issues, we decided not to release simultaneously.

Skills

What kind of skills did you already have when you started working on the project?

At the beginning of the project, the team was just my brother and I.

He already knew the basics of modeling as a self-taught 3D artist, and I just finished my Software Engineering degree. I had a pretty decent understanding of the coding part, but the game design and management side was a huge mystery back then.

Do you have any past experience in the game dev industries?

Just before my last semester, I spent the summer working for a medium-sized game developer studio, and I stayed there full time even during the semester.

By the time I was done with the degree and started to work on the project I already had 6 month full time experience. I also had smaller related works before.

Tools

Which software tools did you use to make this game?

We use Unreal Engine for the game. The 3D art is done in Blender, the 2D art is done in Krita. For source control we use Git with a client application called Sourcetree.

Have you found out any plugins or tools absolutely amazing to speed up your workflow?

Found? No.

But we created some amazing plugins for Unreal Engine, one of them being our custom Dialogue System, which is also used by Backbone.

Organization

When did you start to develop your game and how long did it take?

In January 2016, the PC version was released in April 2020, 4 years and 5 month after start.

What was the most difficult part you faced during the development time of WarriOrb?

Crossing the finish line – the final bug hunt and polish phase is a very hard process.

We played through the game and found about a hundred bugs and issues to fix. We fixed them, then we played again – and then we found another hundred bugs. The process feels endless, and it lacks any sense of progress.

Do you receive any external help? If yes, how do you find collaborators and which criteria do you use to find the best ones?

We collaborated with two different composers for the soundtrack and with a co-publisher responsible for our release in Asia.

At first we mostly asked friends to test the game, but later we were also looking for testers on the internet.

Some of them spent a lot of time playing our game and reporting issues and giving us suggestions.

Without their help the game would be much worse. We also worked with volunteer voice actors for the gibberish VO we ended up using – their voice had a drastic impact on the atmosphere of the game.

About five month before release we were selected to receive Epic MegaGrants. We used the financial help to localize the game to additional languages and to hire a marketing/pr company.

How did you organize your work/daily tasks?

We mostly used Google Sheets for task management, and communicated through Discord. Pinning discord messages about tasks also became a thing after a while.

Did you have other jobs or did you work full time on the game?

We tried to spend as much time working full time on the game as possible, but had to do other jobs to keep us running.

In the first two years I worked on the project next to a full time job. My third year was full time on the game. In my fourth year I started to do contract works as well.

Our 3D artist spent 3 full time years on the game, that was the longest we could allow.

Opinions

Do you have any tools, software, or books you want to recommend?

The Art of Game Design from Jesse Schell is the best book about game design I have ever read.

Going back to day one of the development, is there anything you would have done differently?

It is a hard question. There are things I would do differently – things I will do differently for the next project.

But more often than not there were things we had to learn the hard way, and I am not sure if we would have been capable of learning them any other way.

Now you have launched this game, what do you think about the future, would you continue to make games or “you’ve had enough?”

We still have to finish the console ports, but I already started to work on the prototype of the next game. We have better understanding of games and game development as ever, we want to use the experience we gained from our first game.

How did you feel on day one of the launch? Can you briefly describe your emotions?

I am not sure. Confused and scared? We assumed the release will go bad, but we did not assume that it will go this bad.

I feared that there won’t be anyone else left from the team who would want to make another game, but that was fortunately not the case.

Feel free to add whatever you think is relevant or important for our readers.

I think the biggest lesson we learned was that the game has to be designed to be sellable, and player trust must be earned.

Every design decision we made, every feature we ended up implementing was optimized to make the game feel better to play. Unfortunately we never cared about how the gameplay would look on a gif or on a trailer – and since this is our first game and we did not have a follower base, this resulted in poor sale numbers, even though our players seem to like the game.

If you want to play and have a look at WarriOrb, have a look at it here:

A special thanks to the guys of Not Yet team and be sure to not miss the other interviews.

Thanks

Mark

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