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TUNNEL DIVERS Steam Game Developer Interview With Spasman Games

We recently came across a game titled ‘TUNNEL DIVERS’ that was launched on 6th July, 2018 on Steam platform and got in touch with the developer of this interesting game. Here is our interview with the developers of TUNNEL DIVERS game where they talk about this game along with some interesting aspects of game development:

1. Tell us a bit about your game and what was it that inspired you to make this game?

Tunnel Divers is just a small project I wanted make as my own take on one of my favorite games, Descent. Similar to Descent, you play as a pilot with a ship that can excel in close quarters combat, the tight spaces reward excellent reflexes and maneuverability. You are tasked with destroying something called the Super Computer in each level, heavily guarded by dangerous robots being controlled by the rogue military AI, Watch Dog. Once destroyed, you must escape within the time limit as it triggers a self destruction event. It’s a very shoot first, think later kind of game. The game also served as “practice” for me if you want to call it that, code-wise.
TUNNEL DIVERS
TUNNEL DIVERS
Developer: Spasman Games
Price: 0

There are a lot of new and daring features in the game that I haven’t tried before, such as cloud saving, cloud server hosting and implementation to the Steam Workshop, so players can share their levels they make in the level editor. It’s all been working pretty swimmingly so far, and I’m very happy about that.

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?

In Descent, the ship you pilot is classified in the lore as a “tunnel diving” class and I thought that just sounded really cool. That’s it really. There’s a lot of little references here and there to Descent, including it’s title!

3. What sort of thought process went behind the artwork of this game?

I’m definitely no artist, the thought process usually goes from “oh god” to “good enough”. My last game was literally made out of stick men. I’m mostly a programmer, and the thing about being a programmer is you can write code to make an art style instead of drumming up one in paint.net or whatever. In this case, for TD, I used a Game Maker lighting engine called Glare. Any Game Maker developers out there who like the lighting for TD can check out Glare here: https://marketplace.yoyogames.com/assets/225/glare-engine-2d-illumination

4. What was the major challenge in developing this game?

It was really hard to expand on the gameplay (new weapons, etc), especially when there was a lot I wanted to do in reference to Descent, but it started turning into it’s own game. For example, the game use to have the traditional weapon pick up system like other classic shooting games, and I really wanted the player to hoard weapons throughout the campaign. But there wasn’t much replayability in that, and I love for my games to have replayability so I switched back to the loadout method I used for my past project, Boring Man.

5. Any in-game secrets that could be easter eggs for players to discover?

Man now that I think about it I really toned down the easter eggs in this game. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is if you own the DLC in my last game Boring Man, you’ll be able to equip a special after burner effect that makes little stickmen in your path. I’ll need to add something more exciting then that I think.

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’ve been on Steam for over 10 years and it’s just a platform I’m really familiar with. I’m familiar with Valve, and with how games are curated and shown off on the store, so I know what to expect most of the time. The Steam Workshop is also a lot of fun, and very unique as I can see upcoming competitors such as itch.io or GameJolt or even BattleNet having a hard time making something any better. I’ll admit the recent curation changes haven’t been giving me the results I’ve been hoping for, but I really don’t know where else to go at this point in time.

7. How much time did it take to get this game developed and what can players expect in updates for this game?

It took me about 2 years to consider the game finished, and I still have a lot of ideas for it. I’ll admit it’d need more attention from players if it’s going to continue seeing updates, but I do have more content planned in the upcoming weeks, mostly related to adding new weapons and balancing some old ones in cool ways. I can reveal one rebalance, I’d like to rework the Sentry module to where the player would be allowed to equip the sentry with a weapon from their loadout. So if you want to deploy a sentry with Cluster Bombs, then you go for it!!

8. What are your future plans as a game developer?

I have been thinking about revisiting my last game, Boring Man, for a rewrite, since a lot of people still play that game. I still love that game and would love to see it in more aligned with my current skills as a programmer. I learned a lot from Tunnel Divers and would love to apply that knowledge to B-Man.

9. How long have you been developing games and what is the most enjoyable aspect of game development according to you?

When I was really little I would draw on a piece of paper and make some hare-brained board game I’d try to make my friends and family play with me. Some years later, I started screwing around with QBASIC when I was in high school taking a class on it, and made my first real video game, a text adventure. I think this was around 2004, so I’ve been at it well over 10 years. When QBASIC wasn’t doing it for me anymore, I tried other engines such as RPG Maker and Flash, neither of which I could get a handle on or hold interest in.
TUNNEL DIVERS
TUNNEL DIVERS
Developer: Spasman Games
Price: 0
  • TUNNEL DIVERS Screenshot
  • TUNNEL DIVERS Screenshot
  • TUNNEL DIVERS Screenshot
  • TUNNEL DIVERS Screenshot
  • TUNNEL DIVERS Screenshot

I then eventually found Game Maker (version 5) around 2006, and fell in love with it and it’s community. I met a lot of my closest friends through Game Maker and it changed the course of my life for the better. Why I like gamedev has always been a 50/50 split between seeing people having fun with my games and resolving the challenges I am presented with in programming. Seeing a positive review on Steam is good, but getting some insane feature working that you thought you couldn’t pull off like a year ago is an amazing feeling.

10. What are your personal favourite games?

I already mentioned earlier, but Descent is my all time favorite. When I’m bored or depressed, I’ll just hop on Descent and blow some stuff up, and it never fails to be very therapeutic for me. I was aiming for the same atmosphere in Tunnel Divers, so I can only hope my game can someone out of some rough times. If you want something different, playing through “System Shock 2” multiple times in a row is probably the closest I’ll ever get to speed running. Don’t count on me getting into it though.
TUNNEL DIVERS
TUNNEL DIVERS
Developer: Spasman Games
Price: 0
  • TUNNEL DIVERS Screenshot
  • TUNNEL DIVERS Screenshot
  • TUNNEL DIVERS Screenshot
  • TUNNEL DIVERS Screenshot
  • TUNNEL DIVERS Screenshot

 

11. Have you developed the game solo or you have a team working with you?

So far, I make most of my games by myself. This time I did get a soundtrack composed by a talented freelancer named Gergely Kovács, if you want to count that as a team. I also had a handful of voice actors donate their voices for free, some of them friends and some of them complete strangers. Honestly the generosity in the game dev community can be astounding.

12. Any message for our readers?

You can check out Tunnel Divers here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/569720/ It’s free-to-play, and has no pay to win attached. The DLC is simply the level editor and ship color customization, neither of which have a direct impact on the multiplayer. I can admit I’m not a big and famous developer, so the multiplayer is still trying to find a player base. But there is a full single player campaign, along with some co-op to play with friends. If you follow me on Twitter or whatever, I’ll be sure to post about any surges in multiplayer activity or when I offer free DLC weekends if you want to try out the level editor.
TUNNEL DIVERS
TUNNEL DIVERS
Developer: Spasman Games
Price: 0

 

 

Steam Download:

TUNNEL DIVERS
TUNNEL DIVERS
Developer: Spasman Games
Price: 0
  • TUNNEL DIVERS Screenshot
  • TUNNEL DIVERS Screenshot
  • TUNNEL DIVERS Screenshot
  • TUNNEL DIVERS Screenshot
  • TUNNEL DIVERS Screenshot
 
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