Andrei and his black hole friend

Rock-on-211x297-blurred-edges.pngAndrei P. is a man consisting of many personas, ranging from being half video gamer/half developer to full a blown mental case. Known for his work within the Windows App Store, Hopeless Situation Scientist (his ongoing project which you can read more about here), Tales From Haran (basically a embedded book within a app), and so much more. A Microsoft Certified Professional and a Microsoft Specialist that after 10 years of developing games (2 years while earning a living) is in the process of getting a Greenlight on Steam for Black Bobby The Hole (an arcade game about a black hole and a cursing entity). Andrei is aspiring for many things in the future and today we get a chance to sit down at Super Game Review and talk with him about it.



SGR- It seems like you have a whole lot on your plate with the intentions of continuing to pile things on top of your credentials. How big of a process is it to get Apps approved on Windows compared to getting Black Bobby The Hole a “Greenlight” from Steam?

Andrei-  The Windows Store has a quality check that’s lower than Apple, which means faster update cycles. I can’t really compare them, It takes me usually up to a day to publish on the Windows Store, and it took me ~ a week to just make the trailer for Steam. Windows Store is extremely accessible for something that will surely go live. Steam Greenlight is much harder for just a chance of having your game published there.

The most important thing in the Greenlight process is the trailer. That’s what people look for firstly, and they usually spend under 5-10 seconds if the video hasn’t caught their attention. I started off by making a screenplay for the trailer. Then I scrapped it and got 14193716_875953859177311_1837005812_n.pngsome research done into how to make a bloody screenplay, because I screwed up and it couldn’t be understood not even by myself. After I finished the screenplay with voice acting, camera and transition directions I went in the game and started creating the scenes that will be filmed. That meant recoding parts of the game so that it will fit whatever I needed to happen. Funny enough the whole trailer was made in the game. The whole screenplay and recording took me about 5 days. Then I recorded my own pathetic voice and sent it to the voice actor, Tim Murosky which I saw you interviewed him for Run Falcon Run. That guy was a singer in a rock band when he was younger, so his voice was pretty good. While he was making the voice, I was looking for the sound effects I needed to put in, and that kinda took a few days. Big libraries, low quality tags, endless searching. Mixed the sound effects, created my own and voila, 10 days of work for 1:40 seconds of video.


SGR- With this game marking your first one published on Steam, can you look back and describe your first game to me? What type of feelings do you have knowing you came this far?

Andrei- Rather disappointed really…My first game that I remember was a top down car racing game with bad collision, and now this game is about a black hole moving around inasdasd.jpg space. I was hoping when I started – a long time ago – that I’ll make some really amazing stuff, but alas that is not the life of indie developers working alone. I guess the disappointment also comes from remembering how excited I was before, and how tired I am now, with the game almost finished…the closer it gets, the harder it becomes. It’s all about polishing the details that sets things apart: books, songs….games…

SGR- Where did you draw the inspiration for Black Bobby The Hole? What were some of the challenges you faced during your time spent creating and finishing this project that grew to potentially become a Greenlight Game?

Andrei- Where did I draw the inspiration for Black Bobby The Hole? – I always felt that I was a black hole in my previous life.

The trailer and balancing the controls between the keyboard and the gamepad were a bit of a challenge, and sadly the keyboard is still a bit subpar. For the trailer I had to start a new project with some game assets and no code and build it up in the engine.




SGR- You mentioned that  Black Bobby The Hole was a silly arcade game created to help fund your new project which is expected to take 2 years to complete, can you shine any light onto what that may be?

Andrei- The bigger project is an 18+ non conformist point and click adventure with pick your path elements. It is set in modern times and the main character is an anti-hero, an asshole. He needs to make a cure for this virus (a plot twist in the pick your path – he made the virus to begin with) and is supervised by a corporation. Obviously he fights with his boss, literally…which leads to well…whatever the players chooses in the pick your path. He can die straight from the beginning.

The theme is mildly offensive for, well…a lot of game testers I’ve had.


 SGR- Where do you see yourself in the future with developing games? Do you have any advice for up and coming Indie Game Developers?

Andrei- My hopes are that eventually I’ll become self sufficient enough to work on projects that from the start I know might fail because of the social stigma regarding certain “offensive” content. I would fail with those, probably because not many would want to play such a game, I’d lose money but get a few devoted fans. And it’s the devoted fans that matter in the long run, not the hordes of people having mixed opinions.
Sadly devoted fans are usually in such small numbers that they don’t cover up the expenses.

I have 2 a pieces of advice actually. The first one is that they need to have a high standard. Looking at Black Bobby The Hole one might ask what standard I had when I made it. I can take that in the comment section of the page really, there’s too much to talk about.
shshshsIt’s better to make a great game once a year than 3 crappy ones. Quality not quantity. 
The second advice is to learn how to accept advice. When posting on forums and such, the feedback should be taken with a grain of salt but thank them for their time, no matter how stupid or aggressive they seem. Learning to take criticism is very important for people making any product so close to the client in which you must combine so many elements: art, storytelling, audio, design, programming. Many things can go wrong.



Here is the Greenlight trailer for Black Bobby The Hole available for purchase on Steam! Be sure to stay up to date with us as we follow Andrei and the games he continues to create!

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