We got the chance to sit down and speak to game developer Jose Pantrigo from Randomize Studios. We discussed indie game development, the latest trends in the games industry, and much more.
Born in Sitges, Barcelona, Spain, 42 years ago. Jose has been a game ‘freak’ since he was a child. He doesn’t know which word came out of his mouth first: “Mario” or “Mom”. After several attempts at working in the games industry, he decided to go full indie on his own when smartphones became the ‘thing’. He has developed and published Meal on Wheels, Space Deactivator and Diary Of Zombie Apochalypse.
What inspired you to get into game development?
I have always loved videogames. I felt extremely curious when playing them, constantly questioning how things worked to get them moving. I would think: what kind of sorcery is that? So I started programming simple games with the Spectrum in Basic – that’s how I fell in love with the Randomize command…
What games have you created and which is your favourite?
I developed Meal on Wheels, Space Deactivator and Diary Of Zombie Apochalypse – all of them for iOS. Now I’m working hard on Beat Crisis Up for PC and Mac. I actually started working on it when I was a kid. It has been my ‘dream project’ for my entire life, and it has changed a lot, but it’s finally getting some shape. I can’t believe that the Beta is finally out. It’s easily my favourite game. Space Deactivator is in second place.
What advice would you offer for those just starting out?
Tough. If you plan to get a job at a big company, get a computer science degree. If you want to go full indie, don’t think you’ll make money straightaway – you won’t, plain and simple. You have to love and learn, and learn and love the craft, and do whatever it takes to make your games good. Really, really good. Don’t publish something average for the sake of it. Make it good!
What do you think is going to be a key trend in the games industry this year?
It’s going to be VR, and 4K too. I think that graphically we will see some absurdly good-looking games. The graphics cards these days are amazing!
What’s your favourite platform to sell games on?
PC and PS4. Personally I love the Switch, but I can’t see my latest game, in which you beat-up pixelated politicians and bankers to death, coming to a Nintendo console. Ha.
What are your favourite tools for game development?
I used Game Maker, Game Salad and now Unity. I’ll go with Unity, it’s quite flexible. I haven’t tried Unreal yet, but I’m tempted…maybe for my next game.
How do you stay motivated to achieve your goals?
Staying focused is all about having a clear vision. Making a game can be a daunting task and usually there are no rewards besides doing what you love. You have to stay focused.
Which events do you recommend indie developers showcase their game at?
At the beginning it’s your local events with an almost-finished game. In Beta form at least. Don’t go to E3 just with a title written on a piece of paper! You have to start from the bottom…
What do you think about VR?
It’s awesome, but it still has some hurdles to overcome to become the ‘thing’; dizziness…headaches…and also there’s still a lot of people who don’t like to move a lot when they’re playing games. VR has to convince people to get their butts out of the couch!
Games console of choice?
I’m a Nintendo guy, I love their franchises, especially Zelda and Metroid. Sony usually has a very strong library on their consoles too, so PlayStation 4 and Switch for me. I think Xbox One is largely awesome too…but I’m not keen on Microsoft exclusives.
Thanks for your time Jose
Thank you. It’s been a pleasure.
Beat Crisis Up, a 2D Metroidvania Beat ’em up, is coming to PC and Mac this Winter. The Beta for the game was released a few weeks ago. You can download and play it here.