Nick Udell

Note: We won’t be posting interviews during June… We will be on holidays! Cheers you all people!

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Nick Udell is “a hobbyist British independent game developer who has been making games for his whole life – but only officially for the last couple of years”. Hyper Gauntlet is his most well-known game. And guess what? It’s awesome. Now he answers our questions!

Nick Udell by Aldeguer!

1. How long have you been making games?

Well, I’ve been making really awful games since I was about 10 years old, using Logo to start with, and then moving on to Visual Basic, but I didn’t properly start making games until I was in my early twenties.

2. Where do you find ideas for your games? Tell us something about your creative process.

I tend to get the ideas for my games by playing other games. I’d been playing XCOM a lot when I got the idea for my most recent Ludum Dare game, for example, and some of the turn-based elements made their way into it.

3. Hyper Gauntlet is a a fast-paced, arcade first person infinite runner featuring blocks. Where did its idea come from?

For Hyper Gauntlet, I’d been playing Super Hexagon and Temple Run quite a bit, and wondered what it would be like if you combined them. The blocks mainly stemmed from the fact that I really suck at 3D art, and I was enamoured by the minimalist look of Hexagon. The game was never intended for release, but when I asked people for feedback, the response I got was overwhelming, and so it quickly became my main focus.

4. Hyper Gauntlet was really well received by both press and players. Any favourite feedback you remember?

Nathan Grayson‘s review in Rock Paper Shotgun floored me. I wasn’t really expecting much media interest from my first real game, so reading that review had me grinning from ear to ear for weeks.

5. Hyper Gauntlet is a frantic avoider (game genre where the objective is to avoid things and players usually die very often). Besides Super Hexagon, any other avoider you like or enjoy playing? (We love avoiders, and we love your game!)

I love Boson X, that’s great fun and a really funky idea. I’ve already mentioned Temple Run, which is a great example of it on mobile. Slightly unrelated (but of a similar genre) is Sonic and the Secret Rings, which was one of the earlier avoiders I’d played. Just a real shame about the story in it…

6. In which project/s are you working on right now?

I’m working on loads right now! I’m still working on Hyper Gauntlet, I’ve got a big update to high scores that I’m working on right now. It’s about half-way done, but there’s a long way to go yet before it can be released. As for other games, I have a calming puzzler I’ve nearly finished called ZenCell, you can see a video of gameplay here. I’m also working on a few small games, such as a Wario-ware style game themed around Hollywood’s idea of hacking, a cyberpunk shooter set in the world wide web, and my most recent ludum dare games.

7. If you have to choose three and only three game developers to follow their work closely, which ones would you choose and why?

The first would definitely be Peter Molyneux. He’s a great ideas man, even if execution often can’t keep up with him. Secondly, I’d say Mike Bithell, it amazes me how varied his games can be. Lastly (and I know it’s sort of cheating), but I’m a big fan of the developers of Legend of Dungeon, because their live streamed development is really interesting and entertaining.

8. Are you a heavy gamer? What games are you playing now?

I used to be a really heavy gamer, but since starting game development I find I just don’t have the time. I recently completed XCOM: Enemy Unknown at least! I also play a load of indie games. My recent favourites are Steam Marines by Worthless Bums, and Quarries of Scred by Noble Kale.

9. One last random question. If you could change the scoring system of any sport, which one would it be and why?

Tennis. What the hell is wrong with 1,2,3,4,5? Seriously?

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