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Imagine Me Interview

 A young boy named Robbe wakes up and has no idea who he is. You must help him remember who he is by facing his fears in dungeons. Defeating dungeon bosses will regain Robbe’s memories.
  I love a fun platformer. This is definitely going to be a fun game once it’s done. It’s already fun to play. I love seeing a developer that actually takes into account what the players are suggesting! It is in the Late Alpha phase and I cannot wait to see the final product!
About the Dev:
·       For those who don’t know you, who are you and what do you do?
o   My name is Chris Figueroa, I went to school for game development and use to work at Activision.
·       When did you get into gaming? What is the first game you remember playing?
o   The two greatest memories I have playing games has to be when I stayed up for hours playing Goldeneye 64 and LAN Parties with friends during the Halo 2 days.
·       How did you get started in game development and why have you stuck with it?
o   I made flash movies in high school. I loved making them and would bring my friends over to record voices. When College came around it just fell into my lap. I went to GDC my sophomore year of college and the rest is history.
·       If you weren’t a game developer, what would you be?
o   I ask myself this all the time and honestly think I’d be in the military or just working at a coffee shop and skateboarding around at night.
Software & Business:
·       Which game development tools are you using or have you made your own? Are you using any third party tools such as map editors or animation suites?
o   I am using Unity 3D to make my game and I’ve made a couple of tools to go with Imagine Me to make it easier to make new levels. I have gotten into extending the editor lately and its helped make games 100 times faster.
·       What is your computer setup? Do you have a dual monitor setup? Mac or PC?
o   I have two computers, one iMac, one Windows computer with a single monitor. I use to use dual monitors but I realized quickly that if you organize your windows correctly you have way to much space and a lot of it is being wasted on an idle program.
·       What is your favorite platform to develop for?
o   PC has become my favorite. Its by far the easiest to develop for but also can be the most complex. I use to love iOS but I hated dealing with provisioning profiles and once Imagine Me was released on Steam I never want to look back.
·       What programming language do you prefer to use in developing your games on and why?
o   C# is my favorite to write in but C++ is something I’ve been wanting to get more into. Sometimes I’ll be writing in C# and just want to have “more control”.
·       Any other recommendations for software? (project management, etc)
o   I use trello to make lists and keep track of bugs along with Zendesk for Support tickets.
·       How many people are involved in the making of Imagine Me?
o   9 people total with 4 people that touch the game daily.
·       What have you done marketing wise?
o   Hollie has handled all of the marketing and community management but overall marketing has been via social media and conferences.
·       What has gone right/wrong during development?
o   The part where we went wrong was what most people do on their first project and made it to big with tight deadlines. The part that went right was working as a team even though we were on different time zones (Australia, US, Sweden, Netherlands )
·       What lessons have you learned from developing your game?
o   Small games doesn’t mean it can’t be a complex game with deep strategy.
Game & Inspiration:
·       Can you tell us about the startup of Imagine Me? When did you start working on Imagine Me?
o   I started making it back in 2011 when it was Kickstarted. I had to stop due to working 7PM to 7AM at Activision.
         How long do you estimate development to take? Would you use crowd funding again?
o   I “thought” it would only take about 6-8 months with a couple of weeks of updates. I was completely wrong. Again this goes back to making too big of a game for your first game.
·       How did you come up with the concept for Imagine Me?
o   I just started drawing and eventually drew the main character Robbe. It honestly wasn’t some huge brain storming session. It just happened.
·       What were your inspirations?
o   I’ve been asked this a lot and most people would expect a game to be my influence but its actually people that make games the influenced me to make Imagine Me. I went to GDC and watched all these amazing students in IGF and I wanted to do that too.
·       Imagine Me is going to be release on Steam and Wii U, why did you choose these platforms?
o   I chose Steam because I believe in Valve. I applied to be a WiiU Developer back at GDC in 2013 and they called me a couple months later. The rest is history. I love Nintendo and believe they value “Fun” more than any first party company.
·       The game is still in late alpha and has been released to Early Access on Steam. How has the community received your game so far?
o   We have had mixed reviews in the beginning but as we update and people realize we are listening to them, the community has gotten really into it! We have some very amazing reviews about people saying how we are so responsive to our community and actually listen to them. It means a lot to hear things like this!
·       Personally, I love indie games and programming. I would love to get into indie game development. What advice do you have for aspiring indie game developers? 
o   Just make a game and finish it. A lot of people get hung up on technology and think “Oh this software is the best solution because of A, B, and C.” when in reality anyone can make a game but making a “good game” comes from the game designer within you. It’s a hard thing to learn but once you get your style of development and gameplay, you can make some awesome games. So just FINISH something.
·       In your opinion, what are the key programming languages to learn?
o   I honestly can’t recommend a “key programming language” because game developers will just do what they need to do in order to make their game. Technology changes and you just need to be ready for that.
·       Anything else you would like to add?
o   I wouldn’t be where I am without Nigel from Devolver Digital, Josh Tsui from Robomodo, Matt from Valve, My wife that handles the community and social media accounts,  Zac Duff for doing the art for Imagine Me and so many more!
Important links and such

Website: http://imaginemegame.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kinifi
Twitter: https://twitter.com/imaginemegame

Thank you so much for the interview, Chris!

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