Who doesn’t like a good fast-paced shooter game? 60 Second Strike is just that. Your time is your life. Damage decreases your time while powerups add more. The player gets a variety of weapons to mix and match as they battle their way through the levels. Your objective? Survive.
Kanon “WereCoder” Wood has been working on the game for about two and a half years, since April 1st of 2015. I got a chance to chat with him to find out a bit more about the game’s production:
Q: You’ve worked on some pretty big AAA titles. How has being an Indie developer differed from your previous experience in the industry?
A: In my AAA days, I was a gameplay programmer. That means that I worked with designers to implement their visions for the game. I spent most days writing code for things like projectiles, weapons, and inventory. If other problems came along, there were specialists that took over those issues.
As an indie developer, specializing is no longer an option. My responsibilities extended well beyond gameplay and even beyond code. I’ve become the AI programmer, the UI artist, the lead designer, the CFO, the janitor, and everything in-between. If something is going to get done, I’m the one to do it, so I wear all of the hats now.
Q: What inspired you to become an Indie developer?
A: I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to make games; that desire is embedded in every childhood memory. What I do remember was the 2014 realization that I had the means to do it solo. I had been mentoring some new programmers for several weeks. As they asked questions I began to realize that, although I didn’t have in-depth knowledge of any particular field, I did have a basic working knowledge of most game development aspects. From there I started to wonder if I could create a game from scratch and that idea set my mind on fire. When I realized that I could do it, the seed idea for 60 Second Strike was planted.
Q: What is something you wanted to do differently in your game than in the other titles you’ve worked on?
A: I wanted to provide a replayable shooter that was also incredibly accessible. I wanted something that players can, on a whim, fire up and enjoy without worrying about how much time they have. I wanted to provide a sense of growth and accomplishment without being limited by how much you’ve already played. To that end, 60 Second Strike will take you from your Windows desktop and into a firefight in less than 30 seconds and every round earns rewards which are necessary to fight in more difficult sectors.
Q: What was your goal when creating this game?
A: I’m not sure if I should admit to this but, as it was originally envisioned, the game was supposed to fail. It was designed as a one year project that would give me the experience and lessons I needed to succeed on future projects. The game itself was expected to be fun, but not successful; more of a learning curve than a commercial endeavor.
As I got the game working though, I kept adding features and polishing beyond the original scope. When the game finally came together, it was fun! And not just a little fun — it was incredibly fun. At that point I reevaluated my stance and redesigned the game with professional expectations and standards.
Q: You’ve mentioned on Twitter that Tron was an inspiration in the game. Was there other media you drew inspiration from?
A:Tron was the biggest visual inspiration. The early Doom, Quake, and Unreal games inspired most of the shooting mechanics and FPS gameplay. The droves of enemies surrounding the player came from bullet hell games like Geometry Wars.
Q: Was there anything you wanted to put in the game that you decided to scrap?
A: Jump Pads were implemented in the game at one point, but after the level generation changed, they became unnecessary.
Also, mobs were originally spawned by destructible items in the world. These were removed because it motivated players to create “safe-zones” which were inconsistent with the game’s pace.
Q: Did you work with a team on the game? If you did, can you tell me a bit about them?
A: The development of the game rested solely on my shoulders, but I worked with the very talented Alexandr Zhelanov of the music score for the game and also contracted some last minute UI art from another ex-GearBoxer, Jeramy Cooke.
Q: What was your favorite part about working on the game?
A: Procedural Content Generation, which is creating game objects from programming algorithms, will always be inherently rewarding to me. On this project, I was able to create enemies, weapons, FX, and entire worlds from computer algorithms. That feeling of watching objects take shape and come to life has been the most fun I’ve ever had while making games.
60 Second Strike will be available beginning October 5th. Follow Kanon on Twitter at @WereCoder.
Steam – http://store.steampowered.com/app/696540/60_Second_Strike/
Itch.io – https://werecoder.itch.io/60secstrike
Here is a trailer for the game, created by Chainsawsuit Original, the genius behind Movies with Mikey and VGRelease List.