INTERVIEW:

ANDRIY BYCHKOVSKYI

of ANGRY KID

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Tony Obert:
How long have you been making games?

Andriy Bychkovskyi:
I'm doing it professionally for more than 3 years. Before that I had some experience as a hobbyist.  

Tony Obert:
How many people are on your team?

Andriy Bychkovskyi:
It depends on the project. On 'Farlanders' we had a team of 2 (me and artist). But it's a really small game that was made during Global Game Jam with some post jam polishing. At the moment we are also working on a game called 'Pixel Express' with a team of 4.

Tony Obert:
What inspires you?

Andriy Bychkovskyi:
Many things. It might be any piece of art like a videogame/tabletop game, or a movie/book. Or it might be some personal experience, or something that happened/is happening in the world.

Tony Obert:
Do you have a dream game?

Andriy Bychkovskyi:
I think I don't have a specific dream game. I have few ideas/concepts that I want to try some day, but no more than that. Also I have an ambition to make a game that will make a positive impact on players. Like teaching something new, or giving a different perspective on something.

Christopher J. Teuton:
You spoke of your ambition to have a positive impact on players. Was the decision to make a game about establishing a colony on Mars something that stemmed from that? Do you see your game becoming a reality for humanity in the future?

Andriy Bychkovskyi:
No, the idea behind Farlanders was pretty simple - try to make a fun game about a colony on Mars. I hope the game won't become a reality, because right now it's quite dull :). But overall, sure, I'm looking forward to the first settlement on Mars!

Christopher J. Teuton:
You recently said that you have visions on how to improve Farlanders into a larger game. Under the assumption that the reception of the Game Jam version is well enough to push forward, what would that vision look like?

Andriy Bychkovskyi:

I'll try to describe it briefly:

  • Rework game architecture and make proper testing tools

  • Rework how energy is implemented in the game. So it would be possible to demolish any building in the game (with no power line left) and also it would be possible to temporarily disable any building.

  • Make the game more user-friendly. This means more specific error messages when you can't build/demolish/terraform, and tooltips for UI elements

  • New terrain type 'canyon' which will function similar to how 'wasteland' is functioning now. And instead, it would be easier to terraform wastelands. Also, I want to revisit terraforming tools, because right now they are not very intuitive

  • Improve level generator. It should feel less random and should provide a more realistic landscape with mountains forming a mountain range

  • New building types which should add a challenge and variety to the late game. Probably it would be something responsible for colony happiness (new stat)

  • A new layer of planning in the colony. Every building that have people in it will need to be connected to the 'base' with some special 'passage building' or with another populated building

  • Add sound effects and more music. Improve and add variety to the graphics

In a more distant perspective, I want to make the game real-time with a realistic day-night cycle and add some kind of unlockable science.

Tony Obert:
What’s your favorite game?

Andriy Bychkovskyi:
It's hard to name one, so I'll name few favorites that came to mind: Rimworld, Europa Universalis IV, Rust

Christopher J. Teuton:
Many of your favorite games and, indeed, published games are strategy/city-building in some nature. What specifically about this genre of games appeals to you?

Andriy Bychkovskyi:
I think this genre fulfills my need for creation. There is something special about starting from scratch and watching your small settlement grow or decay because of your correct/incorrect decisions.

Christopher J. Teuton:
What do you think RTS/city building games teach the children and young adults who play them?

Andriy Bychkovskyi:
It's definitely giving some brain warm up and also develops creativity. As for teaching, from my experience.. I improved my knowledge of history and geography because of Europa Universalis game :)

Tony Obert:
Any suggestions or comments for other devs?

Andriy Bychkovskyi:
I think it applies to every creative activity - keep trying and start small.  

Christopher J. Teuton:
Is a Steam release for Undervault still planned?

Andriy Bychkovskyi:
In current form no, Undervault won't be released on Steam. But I want to release it as a reworked game with new graphics, mechanics, and story. And probably with a new name - 'Ludopolis'. Here you can see a few screenshots from the new game -
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/we2ihkn6auqkd0p/AACN3Ly7cHVoYbBdBP98Qfh9a?dl=0 . Right now it's still more of a concept with some graphics done. I wasn't able to work on it because for the last half year I was busy with a contract job. But I believe there will be more info and announcements about Ludopolis in March-April.


Thanks to Andriy of Angry Kid games for speaking with us about their projects.

You can find The Farlanders and their other games on itch.io