All aboard this week’s Arcade Highlight: Chu Chu Madness. If you’re looking for quick and fun action, then you’ll want to jump on and enjoy the ride. Will you defend the train from its relentless pursuers, ensuring its freedom? Or perhaps you hate large metal transports that travel on a predetermined paths and feel the need to attack. You’ll have to be a cunning chaser and use all of your abilities at your disposal to take it out. We’ve got a new Arcade Highlight video you right here:
We talked to game creator ‘Kildare’ to learn more about his game and the design process.
Traysent: Please introduce yourself!
Vincent: Hello. My name is Vincent Hong, a.k.a. Kildare. I’m currently 25 years old and residing in Melbourne, Australia, though I’m originally from Malaysia.
T: How did you get started in game design?
V: Well, I’ve always liked imagining and making things since I was young. I used to enjoy designing paper based games. Then as I got older, I got into modding with editors. However, I only seriously got into modding when Warcraft III came out with the World Editor, and then I eventually got into StarCraft II, which boasts a more complex but flexible engine. I’m also currently a software engineer career-wise and have been doing some game development on the side, mainly with the Unity Development Kit, with the ultimate goal of being a full-fledged game developer in the future.
T: What made you want to make games with the StarCraft II editor?
V: Well, as I mentioned above, I had enjoyed working with the Warcraft III editor. With the World Editor, making games became so much easier, and I could experiment with many different ideas that I wanted to try. However, the World Editor was still somewhat limited and there were many things I couldn’t work on. The Starcraft II Galaxy Editor changed that. Despite the challenges with the complexity of the editor, the possibilities of what one could achieve with it expanded exponentially.
T: What was the inspiration for Chu Chu Madness?
V: I actually got the inspiration for this when I saw another game that had a similar but simpler concept. I thought to myself that there were so many ways that I could improve upon the idea, and what better way but to make it on StarCraft II? Hence “Chu Chu Madness” was born.
T: How long did it take to complete Chu Chu Madness? How many people worked on it and what roles did they have?
V: This depends on how you define something as “complete”. If you’re talking about just the time it took to come up with a playable version, then probably a few days? However, even as it is now it’s not at the “complete” form that I have originally envisioned it to be. As for how many people worked on the project, it was only me with the exception of a friend who assisted with improving the terrain. However, it would not have been possible without the feedback and support of the community as well as the testers that assisted with the development process.
T: What do you feel makes your game compelling?
V: Unlike my other projects, Chu Chu Madness was designed to be simple and easy to play, with one theme in mind – MADNESS! I wanted the game to be hilarious and chaotic, and it seems I have managed to achieve this to a certain degree, and the StarCraft II community seems to have taken quite well to it. It was really quite a surprise for me as I hadn’t expected it to go so well, especially since I had originally only started this project on a whim.
T: Besides keeping things small and simple, what advice would you give to someone who is interested in using the StarCraft II editor to make their own game?
V: Actually, keeping things small and simple wouldn’t be my advice at all. For anyone who is interested in game development and in using the StarCraft II editor, the most important traits to have are perseverance and the desire to EXPERIMENT. Throughout my time as a modder, I’ve met many mapmakers who either give up too early or rely on other more experienced modders to solve their problems for them. This is not a healthy mindset as it doesn’t really help you understand the engine properly and you don’t learn how to solve problems on your own. Sure, if you’re really stuck, asking for help is okay, but do at least try to make an honest attempt at figuring out the problem on your own. There is never only one way to solve a problem. Therefore, you should always try to come up with different possible solutions, even if you’re not sure it’ll work. You’ll never know until you actually try.
T: How did you get people to notice your game once it was released?
V: I used the network I’ve created. I have my own personal army of “minions” (as I like to call them) in my personal StarCraft II group which I keep for testing and social purposes. I will constantly organize games with these people and it tends to draw in others naturally. This isn’t as potentially effective as relying on social media to advertise your games but it’s certainly a method that would give you quick and definitive results.
T: Do you have any plans for other games or future goals as a game designer?
V: Yes I definitely do. I have literally dozens of projects in various stages lined up for StarCraft II. How long they will take to complete or if they’ll even come to fruition is another matter. I’m also planning to create a Kickstarter project for my Fleet Assault map to turn it into a full-fledge 3D game, though this will be in a more distant future. I’m also hoping to be able to either join a proper games company such as Blizzard or start up my own independent studio in the future.
T: Do you have any favorite games on the StarCraft II Arcade?
V: I do enjoy maps such as Undead Assault 3, Mafia and Hive Keeper.
T: What’s the best way people can follow you and your work (Twitter, Facebook, Website, etc.)?
V: The best way to keep track with my work would be to personally add me on StarCraft II (Kildare #555 on North America) and join my tester group.