If you like retro platformers, you are going love Diamond Hollow II. Arkeus creates a world beneath the surface, where you need to climb and defeat various creatures in order to get out. The closer to the surface you get, the harder the game becomes. That’s where the diamonds come in.
Armed with a powerful (and talking) gun built by some mad professor, you collect diamonds as you move through the levels. You can then redeem these diamonds to increase various things, from powering up your gun to increasing your character traits (such as “jump”, “agility”, etc.).
For the nostalgic gamers out there, this game has obviously been influenced by early Nintendo games. Everything from the graphics, sounds, and music makes this an awesome retro-platformer- congratulations Arkeus!
Get To Know Arkeus
Tell me about yourself- how many people are on your team? Where are you based?
My name is Lee Miller and I’m 23 years old. I live in Seattle, and I currently work as a solo developer on my projects.
How long have you been making games? What did you do before?
Currently game making is something I do in my free time (nights and weekends). I’ve been at it since middle school as it’s something I really enjoy doing. During the day I work as a software engineer on things completely unrelated to gaming, which creates a nice balance.
What was your inspiration for “Diamond Hollow II”?
My inspiration came from a simplistic climbing platformer I created for a 48 hour Ludum Dare competition. However, after releasing it I really wanted to expand it into something more than just a basic platformer. Drawing elements from some of my favorite series such as Zelda and Metroid, Diamond Hollow II grew into what it is today.
What types of games do you like to create the most? What types of games do you like to play the most?
I am absolutely in love with games that tie in RPG elements to their gameplay, and it’s something I love to do in my own games. However, rather than typical RPGs, I tend to prefer faster paced games such as platformers.
In bigger terms, I’m fascinated by large scale MMORPGs. They contain so many elements that appeal to me, particularly in regards to allowing me to compete against the entire world.
How long is your game creation cycle? What is your process?
I often come up with a large list of ideas that I want to work on, and jump back and forth between them, sometimes designing, or even prototyping many of them. Then, whichever one brings me the most joy in working on, I try to follow with through to the end. Sometimes, though, an idea comes at me so hard that it’s all I can think about, and I’ll often drop everything else to work on it. This often leads to many unfinished projects, but it keeps the development process fast and fun. Because it’s mostly weekends and some nights that I work on games (and I try to spend time on other things to overwhelm myself), it can take many months to get a project done.
Are there any game developers that you admire or consider “rock stars”?
In the world of big name developers, Blizzard and Bethesda Softworks are the two that stand out to me. More so than other developers, they don’t settle for anything less than amazing, and they never fail to deliver on that.
What is it about making a new game that you enjoy most?
The beginning of a project is always my favorite part. Starting with absolutely nothing and modelling it into a game excites me (and is another reason I often end up with many unfinished projects).
Do you have any hot projects you’re working on right now?
I’m currently juggling between four different games to determine which is going to become my next big project. Most my recent time has been going into designing and building some basic systems for a JRPG, and I believe that is the one I’ll be spending quite some time on. I’ve always wanted to make an epic RPG where I can create a deep story, so hopefully this one will stick and I’ll follow through with it until the end. Eventually though, I want to return to the world of Diamond Hollow and create a full-on metroidvania as a third entry in the series. :)
Thanks Arkeus, and good luck on you next game!