Hello, hello, friends!
We prepared some small interviews with the members of Moondrop about how do they work and what do they think about Degrees Of Separation.
Alex is the first one dropping by. We hope you enjoy the reading.
Tell us who you are and what do you do on the team.
I’m a programmer. I’m supposed to be the 50% of the programming team, even though we know that’s a nice lie. Andreas (our CEO) has been here making games for years, and he knows what he’s doing. We kind of share tasks, we don’t have specific roles inside the programming side, but right now he is more focused on the game mechanics and temperature, while I work on interactables and visuals. This is my dream job and makes me extremely happy, I hope I never get off the train of making videogames. :D
What is the most difficult part of your job?
Probably working with shaders. When I make new visuals, it feels like trying to walk down a path full of broken glass and I forgot my shoes at home. I will eventually cross and arrive to the other side, but it’s going to be painful, and I’ll bleed in the process. Yeah, the shoes are so far away, but maybe I should go get them first. The shoes are knowledge, of course. Sometimes, writing shaders feels like shooting in the dark, and at the same time I am making them, I am learning. Every new shader is tons of new knowledge for me, and lots of satisfaction when I succeed, but sometimes it’s quite frustrating. And it doesn’t help that the documentation is extremely poor everywhere, and the community help is very scarce, since the majority of Unity users don’t write shaders and use the standard ones.
But of course, none of that is as difficult as making our designer happy :D.
And the one you enjoy the most?
This may sound cheesy, but it would be shaders, also. The satisfaction of achieving what you are looking for is very high, and the feel of new horizons and areas to learn is very fulfilling. Also writing shaders feels more like making magic than writing normal scripts in Unity.
Of course, the moment when you are starting a new feature is always the funnier and most enjoyable. It doesn’t last too long, sadly.
What IDE (Integrated development environment) you use? What are your favourite addons and for it? How do they help you on your task?
Regarding addons, I use overall two:
- Code Maid: This wonderful addon cleans the code for you with many options, and you can bind it to save, so every time you save the document, it formats and cleans it: double new lines, unused namespaces and much more. It helps writing regions, too, and sorts lines if you have a bunch of variable declarations, and many more things that help you have your code clean and following the team standards.
- Productivity Power Tools: This is a bunch of addons packed in one. It has many things, but my favourites are ‘reopen closed tab’, double click to maximize windows, and compressed lines that have only curly brackets. It has many more tools that I should explore.
What feature of Degrees of Separation you feel more proud of?
I would say two:
- The one that I suffered more doing because it was one of my firsts, but I enjoyed the process and learned a lot: the glittering effect. Small bright spots that change depending on the movement on the camera in the cold side. That was hard learning shaders. Is not that I feel proud of the final product, but more of myself to finally achieve this back then.
- The one I actually feel I did a good job would be Fog Shader and the Foliage Waver in terms of shaders, fog because it was a difficult task since Owe, our Lead Designer, wanted a very specific yet super beautiful thing. Regarding non shader work, I feel proud of all text related, from the actual mesh that shows text to the localization tools that I made to be able to have the game in different languages easily, even using automatic updates from a spreadsheet in Google Drive to get the text in a specific language.
What is that amazing thing of Degrees of Separation you love most?
I would say it is how beautiful the game is in many levels. Not only is the game art fantastic, but the temperature effect is outstanding, and it’s one of the things that calls on people’s attention and make them amazed. The fog and color decisions are perfect, and makes you remember those pictures forever.
On the other side, puzzles are very clever but not frustrating. You do the “aaah” expression when you realize what has to be done, and cooperation makes it even more satisfactory.
Why do you think Degrees of Separation will be a great success?
Because how accessible is to everyone, and how you easily get hooked on because of its beauty, the characters and the wish of solving puzzles to advance. The game is perfect to be played in the sofa with your little brother, your boyfriend or your daughter. It doesn’t require a person to be what is called a ‘gamer’ to enjoy it, and the story will keep people trapped ‘till the end.
What room would you add in the castle, and which use would you love for it to have?
I would love to have a room with the collectibles hanging in the wall and some statistics to know what you’ve missed and hints about where they are. That room will be more filled the more you advance in the game with some findings, notes with text, and more. I would love to be able to visit it as a small game gallery.
Share a screenshot you love, and tell us why. It can be inside Unity Editor, in game, or showing your favourite software tool!
Our Fog Shader offers many possibilities, you can even add any texture to be used to choose the colors that will be blended in the scene. I really love this, so I want to show you what we can achieve applying some random textures.
The rest of developers will do the interviews very soon. Stay tuned!