This week’s Flash Game Friday winner is Johnny Upgrade by Rob from Gameshot.org (aka “WhileWorking”)!
You are Johnny Upgrade, and you really don’t have any skills…yet somehow, you need to manage to complete this level and beat the boss. Not to worry, you can earn the skills you need- just collect coins and upgrade!
You can’t run, can’t jump, always run out of time and cannot defend yourself. But all of that changes as you collect coins and upgrade your skills! Each time you upgrade, you are able to get a little bit farther as the level reveals itself to you. Eventually you will get to the level boss, but try to “max out” before you do…you’ll need it!
Johnny Upgrade is a really well-made upgrade game, with great polish, sound, game design and tight controls. Congratulations Rob!
Get To Know Rob
Tell me about yourself- how many people are on your team? Where are you based?
Hi, I’m Rob from Gameshot.org and I’m the actual core of game development over here, but I also work with a musician. I’m used to working with additional artists depending on the projects and wherever it makes sense. Not to mention a bunch of great friends, AKA test players :)
How long have you been making games? What did you do before?
I started making Flash games 7 years ago, autodidactically, dabbling around with AS2. I started to call myself ‘professional’ around 5-6 years ago. Prior to that, I worked in dozens of different areas and functions just to find my real passion in developing games.
What was your inspiration for “Johnny Upgrade”? Where did you come up with the concept?
TBH, until recently I didn’t like upgrade games at all and thought it was a cheap way to stretch a short game. Funny enough, I found myself playing some of these more and more and even got a bit addicted. Most of these games are tossers and I thought it’d be funny to take the upgrade theme to a platformer… where you even have to upgrade your timer. It rather started as a kind of persiflage but turned out to be a really great game.
Did you encounter any major challenges or hurdles during development?
Not technically. But in contrast to my other games I wasn’t able to get real feedback from my test players until the end of development because I decided to balance out all the upgrade stuff at the very end in order to ensure a smooth workflow.
What types of games do you like to create the most? What types of games do you like to play the most?
Two questions, one answer: Casual, quirky, interesting ones that tickle the brain. I’m a big platformer fan but also enjoy every other game that comes up with a unique/unusual gameplay and maybe some twists.
How long is your game creation cycle? What is your process?
As different as day and night, a game can take some days up to several months. Beside some contract work, I really enjoy being independent and able to switch between projects. Sure, it can get chaotic but allows you to work on games you are really up for. Brainstorming happens when it happens, the most important thing is: Write It Down. Always!
Are there any game developers that you admire or consider “rock stars”?
I’m not really that kind of a fanboy. There are so many talented developers out there and a lot of them have been mentioned here before… So I’d like to mention some of my childhood “Rock Stars” who absolutely rocked the Commodore Amiga back in those days:
Psygnosis, Bitmap Brothers, Core Design and Rainbow Arts. Their games defeated any kind of scholastic achievement :D
What is it about making a new game that you enjoy most?
Tricky question! Playing with game mechanics and elements is a very inspiring pastime. Creating something new and unique. And surely the point where a game finally comes to life.
Do you have any hot projects you’re working on right now?
No, because they’re so cool! Seriously, a super-addictive skill puzzler will hit Flash and iOS mobile devices later this year. And yes, a new destination is chosen, the flight is booked: “Holiday Sim 2″ is in the making!
Congratulations again Rob, and good luck with Holiday Sim 2!