We recently came across a game titled ‘Poly Towns’ that was launched a few years ago on Steam platform and got in touch with the developer of this interesting town building game. Here is our interview with game developer Matthew Vale from United Kingdom where he talks about this game along with some interesting aspects of game development:
1. Tell us a bit about your game Poly Towns and what was it that inspired you to make this game?
Poly Towns is a casual, simple town builder that’s perfect for short play sessions. I was inspired to build this game because I’ve always loved city builders, I was also ready for a challenge and wanted to build a nice little game people could enjoy, as most of the city builders are big, complex games.
Poly Towns actually began as an Android game, but later I converted it to PC as I wanted to get onto the Steam marketplace.
2. Naming a game is almost always one of the most difficult tasks since that’s what people identify it with. Was this name the first choice for the name? If not then what were some other options you were looking at?
I have never been good at naming things, but this one was quite simple. The graphical style is “low poly”, and you’re building a town. So I put those together and… Poly Towns!
3. What sort of thought process went behind the artwork of this game?
I have always loved the low polygonal style in games. I find it to be unique and has a nice charm to it. Technically speaking it can be easier to model using this style, however, I try to aim for a somewhat detailed low poly style, somewhere between low poly and medium poly shall we say.
Because Poly Towns began as an Android game, the original models were very optimised and if I was to start again, I would probably include some more detail, but I feel the style is just right for the game.
4. What was the major challenge in developing this game?
For me, the major challenge was implementing Steamworks for the first time. This included making sure my game was communicating with Steam, so I could implement achievements and making sure nothing crashed. When I made Poly Towns 2 years ago, my coding skills were developing, looking back today, I could improve almost every aspect of the code. Another big challenge was making sure the resources were coming in and out as expected, as well as saving the progress. I learnt a lot during the development of Poly Towns and it definitely helped me get to where I am now.
5. Any in-game secrets that could be easter eggs for players to discover?
6. Why do you consider Steam as a platform for your game and is there any other platform you look forward to get your game onto?
I considered Steam as a platform for my game because I have grown up with Steam, it’s one of the most popular (if not, the) platforms available and is used by millions of people. I believed that using Steam would help me get my games noticed unlike any other platform.
7. How much time did it take to get this game developed and what can players expect in updates for this game?
Poly Towns took about a year to make, and this was in-between moving house and getting a new job etc. When it comes to updating the game, I have released numerous bug fix patches and a few bigger updates, update 2.0 introduced improved graphics and quality of life.
Update 3.0 also improved graphic fidelity, user interface improvements, much better performance, support for Mac and Linux, as well as many more improvements. I am now concentrating on new projects which means updates for other games will not be as frequent, but I do not plan to just leave them behind and will most definitely come back to older projects and update them.
8. What are your future plans as a game developer?
My future plans as a game developer include numerous projects from small, cheap, arcade style games to bigger games like an RPG or an RTS game set in space.
9. How long have you been developing games and what is the most enjoyable aspect of game development according to you?
I also love world design, simply placing objects in the world and making it feel alive is really enjoyable.
10. Have you developed the game solo or you have a team working with you?
I have developed the entire game solo, with the exception of the soundtrack. I have sent my game to testers, friends etc, but when it comes to programming, design, art, publishing, marketing, I do it all. This has give me a brilliant view of the whole development process from start to finish.
11. What are your personal favorite games?
I have quite a few favourite games, including bigger titles like The Last Of Us, DOOM, Assassins Creed, Horizon Zero Dawn. Some of my other favourites are RimWorld, Banished, Cities Skylines, Transport Fever. I enjoy playing a wide variety of games, I find this more fulfilling that playing a certain few.
12. Any message for our readers?
I just want to thank everyone for taking the time to read this, and a special thank you to everyone that has supported me on this journey, it’s been difficult, but rewarding.