Get to Know a GameDev: Zek of Pixel Assassin
Game development: the side hustle of many, the success story of few. Finding time to dedicate yourself to game dev while working, studying or anything else can be the biggest challenge behind bringing a game to life. For Zek, a young independent developer also in college taking marketing, balancing this has become habitual.
Having put out his first game at just 18, Zek is currently working on a new project called Pixel Assassin – all while juggling “real” life at the same time.
We were eager to sit down with Zek to get his perspective, both on what it takes to make a game on the side and what it means to have success as an indie developer.
So when or why did you decide to make games?
When I published my first game, I was 18. I am not a full-time gamedev; at the moment I study and when I can, I make games. I always wanted to make a game like [Pixel Assassin], but first I made a game called FateTale to learn how to make games.
Did you always want to study games, or did you have other plans?
I am not studying games, I am actually studying marketing and at the same time college education (it is a bit different here where I live). I guess marketing does not interest a lot of fellow game devs. Everything I have learned about making games, I have learned by doing and trying until it works 😂
That’s impressive. How did you first “get into” game development?
The first time I wanted to make a game was when I was a kid. I tried to find information about it online, but it was way too complicated for me back then. The idea just simply came to my mind and well, years after it came again while I was riding a bus. I made my first game, FateTale a text-based adventure game, and it tells the backstory of the Pixel Assassin [which] I am [now] working on.
What’s been the most challenging thing about the dev process?
The game is still in development, but so far the hardest/most rewarding part must have been [developing] the main characters’ looks.
So if you could make any game you wanted, it would be…?
A massive, open world RPG game.
Epic. What video games have had the greatest impact on you?
World of Warcraft because i played it for so long and i have many good memories from it. [And] Skyrim. Just because it was brilliant and because of that i have bought it twice: once for Xbox 360 and again for PC 😂 It was just so good.
Can you describe Pixel Assassin, especially anything unique that people may not notice at first?
Pixel Assassin is being developed by me, and backgrounds are done by @LittlePinkMess.
— Pixel Assassin (@DevZek) October 5, 2016
In Pixel Assassin, when you start new area (each area contains 5 levels) you will get a small introduction on what is going on – but that’s it. You can however collect books from the levels and read those if you really want to get deep into what is going on around the world where events of pixel assassin take place. For me, [the best part] is the idea of the game: you do not know if you are actually playing a bad guy or not.
Sounds fun! When does beta start?
The first 5 levels are 99% done, so the game just needs some polishing before I can start beta test on Google Play. I cannot give an exact date but closed beta is coming soon, first on Android phones. People can simply send me message if they want to join the beta, and i will invite them there. Anyone who is interested to join, just keep your eye on my twitter @DevZek 😊
Awesome. How do you think you’ll know when you’ve “made it” in the games industry?
I don’t really know, but for me it is to hear that people really enjoy your game. Of course it would be awesome to make some money out of your games, but the gaming industry is a very hard business. For indies at least.
What is the hardest part of game development for you?
Deciding what art style to use 😂
Finally, since you’re studying marketing, do you have any advice for other game devs?
Get your game out there from the start.
Do you know someone in the gaming or game development community with a unique perspective, interesting project or creative take on the industry? We’d like to talk to them!
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- On October 07, 2016