Monday, February 14, 2011

Developer Interview: Jared "Deraj" (Radius Engine/Avoision/Falling Blocks Game 2)

Avoision & FBG2

Avoision and Falling Blocks Game 2 were reviewed 5 weeks ago in the Simple & Polished post and I got curious about the perspective of a small-foss-games developer (the interviews we have had so far were rather with big project developers). Their developer Jared "Deraj" agreed to a short interview.

Hey Jared! Where are you from? How's the weather? What do you do in life?

I'm from Washington (USA). Right now, it's cloudy outside, but somewhat warm (considering it's winter here).

I work in software development for a large technology company.

Did you create Radius Engine as a first step towards a game you want to make or was it more of a programming exercise? What is the next step? Adding engine features?

The Radius Engine as it exists today is indeed a stepping stone towards my eventual goal of creating an extensible scrolling shooter ("shoot 'em up"). Avoision and Falling Block Game were both games I wanted to create, but they were also both attempts at ensuring that the Radius Engine has the features I'll need down the road.

Additionally, the entire process was a great learning experience for me (e.g. I had never really written audio mixing or collision detection code before).

Did you ever contribute to any foss game projects?

Other than the ones FOSS games I've created, I think my only (very minor) contributions have been to a (formerly?) defunct emulator many years ago. Does moral support count? :)

Sure does! Ever heard of LÖVE? It's a 2D Lua-based game engine. Did the knowledge of LÖVE affect Radius engine development in any way?

Unfortunately, I had not heard of LÖVE back when I started working on this project (originally in 2003, but then I started over in 2008), but it looks like a great engine with a permissive license, simple programming language (Lua), and comprehensive feature set.

Having recently completed two games using a simple OpenGL+SDL+Lua game engine (Avoision and Falling Block Game), I can safely say that LÖVE sounds like a great idea for a game engine (and one that I need to look at more closely).

What are the chances of you abandoning Radius and becoming a LOVE2D developer? (Completely hypothetical :) )

Heh, interesting question. Given that I haven't had the time to fully dig into LOVE2D, that's a tough call to make. I'll certainly look into that since it looks like LOVE2D is fairly mature already.

How come Avoision and FBG2 have such smooth controls? Lucky shot or days of tweaking?

Both :)

Do you have a laid out plan for making progress towards your shmup project?

I have goals in mind (namely extensibility/modding), but only a very rough plan. Since I'm mostly doing this for fun, I tend to work on whatever seems fun/interesting at the time.

Soo... how about a sneak peak?

Screenshots are really all I have at the moment. I try to participate in Screenshot Saturday each week. You can watch my progress on Twitter (#RadiusEngine).

Jared's super secret shmup WIP screens

Got any questions to Jared aka Deraj? Ask them in the comments, perhaps he'll answer! :)

Also, this link will let you browse all the interviews on Free Gamer so far.