We got the chance to sit down and speak to game developer Daniel Sun from Sun-Studios. We discussed indie game development, the latest trends in the games industry, and much more. Enjoy.
Melbourne developer Daniel Sun runs a one-man operation called Sun-Studios and is best known for his monochromatic hack ‘n slash series: Armed with Wings. The latest game in the series Armed with Wings: Rearmed spent 2 years in Steam Early Access before releasing completely on June 1st 2017. Daniel is also co-director and art lead at Dime Studios.
What inspired you to get into game development?
My passion for media is what drives me to create. I grew up playing tons of Nintendo and PlayStation, fostering my love for video games from an early age. Gaming aside, I’m also a huge fan of movies and animation. All these interests ultimately inspire the work I do. I’m most satisfied when I get to create things inspired by what I love, and I find video games to be the best form of media to do so as I take deep interests in all aspects of game development.
What games have you created and which is your favourite?
Besides the Armed with Wings titles – Zombie Mayhem is my favorite game developed by myself and a close friend. It’s a fast-paced, wave-based lane shooter available to play on Newgrounds.com.
Otherwise Armed with Wings: Rearmed is my favorite game I developed.
What advice would you offer for those just starting out?
Participate in lots of Game Jams! It’s a great way to meet people while gaining rapid experience.
What do you think is going to be a key trend in the games industry this year?
The overall indie game experience is getting better and better – at a rapid rate. The line between AAA and indies will become blurred as a flurry of super indie titles hit the market. The talent pool of independents is scarily good, and younger developers are more skilled than ever before.
What’s your favourite platform to sell games on?
Steam is both easy and worthwhile to sell your game on if you are professional. Itch.io is fantastic if you are just getting started – it’s even easier than Steam but has a smaller user base.
What are your favourite tools for game development?
I love using Flash/Animate CC and AS3 for desktop development. It’s essentially the same flash game technology that powered the web before the rise of HTML5 and WebGL. The advantage is being able to create graphics and animation directly into Flash, then using AS3 to program functionality for those assets quickly. There is rarely any need to transfer/parse any data from one program to another: graphics, animation and code all happen in Flash.
How do you stay motivated to achieve your goals?
As a developer, Early Access is a great way to keep you on your toes – you must deliver frequent updates or people will get bored. I think 2 years of Early Access has forced me into a working-habit.
Which events do you recommend indie developers showcase their game at?
I think PAX is usually a safe bet. I showcased Armed with Wings at PAX Australia and it was a very positive experience.
What do you think about VR?
I don’t know what to think about VR. On one hand, it is the potential future standard of gaming. On the other, it seems really cumbersome and impractical. As a consumer, VR isn’t interesting to me. However, I don’t want to entirely disregard anything that has demonstrated potential.
Games console of choice?
I love them all equally.
Thanks for your time Daniel
You can find our review of Armed with Wings: Rearmed right here – we liked the game quite a bit…