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#4 - Jari
At Kyy Games we have been so busy working on games that it has taken a much longer amount of time than we hoped to bring you a developer interview to the series. For the first, but hopefully not the last, time we speak to one of our programmers. They are the people you have to really thank for making Cabals exist. Without them it would just be an idea written on paper. So let's find out what it takes to make Cabals!
First, tell us about yourself.
My name is Jari, I'm a programmer and I love video games. When I'm not busy making them, I'm probably playing them.
What is your role or involvement in Cabals?
I was one of the main programmers working on the very first version of Cabals and it's updates before the Uprising expansion.
How long have you been working in this field?
I started at Kyy Games in the fall of 2010 and that was my first job in the game industry.
What made you choose this profession?
I always loved tinkering with computers growing up. Programming just kind of followed from that I guess. I find it a very satisfying job.
What are the key skills you need to succeed in this area?
I think the ability to pick up new things quickly is quite important. If you're able to improve your skills even just a little bit every day, it'll pay off in the long run. Another thing to mention is paying attention to details. Code that works 99% of the time is just not good enough.
What would be your number one tip for people who aspire to work in your field?
If you're applying for a job as a trainee or junior programmer in the games industry, you should have some work samples to include with your application. The games you've made don't have to be amazing visually or game design -wise, but it goes a long to show that you know something about how games are made.
Which programming language do you a) like best and b) recommend a beginner learns and why?
My answer to both questions is C#. There's a lot of literature and online guides, tutorials and such for C# for a beginner to sink their teeth into. It also isn't quite as arcane to get started with as some lower level languages. Later, after you've learned the basics, it's very useful to get a handle on that stuff as well.
The reason I like it the best is probably that I'm very familiar with it, but I also think it has a nice mix of features and flexibility.
What is the most challenging aspect of working on Cabals?
What's your favourite aspect of Cabals?
I really enjoy the tactical aspect of finding the optimal way to position your troops on the game board. I don't have a lot of expertise in building a deck but I enjoy maximizing the cards that I have at my disposal at a given time.
Do you play Cabals much in your free time and what is your Username?
I play on the bus coming and going from work. I have several accounts I use for testing but usually go with J.P.M. when I'm playing for real. As I mentioned though, I'm not very good.
What do you think of Cabals being cross-platform and how does this influence your work?
Surprisingly little actually. We're working with the Unity3D engine which does most of the heavy lifting for the cross-platform support. Different in app purchase implementations and uploading builds to various places does result in some extra work.
You're described in our company brochure as a programming tech wizard but we've heard your talents stretch further than that and you like to design games too. What do you think are the key elements of good game design?
Personally I find it fascinating how some games create a truly deep demanding mechanic from a very simple set of rules. A classic example of this would be the board game 'Go'. It can equally apply to modern games though. I guess what I mean is that it's important to keep the core elements of the game clean and not add unnecessary complexity.
What are the three things you least and most like about game development?
+ Everyone gets to have their say about what we're working on. Even if it's not their particular area of expertise.
+ Seeing people enjoy what you've been a part of creating.
+ It's very iterative.
- Deadlines, but that's pretty universal.
- Sometimes a feature just doesn't come together the way we thought and it has to be scrapped, or redesigned. It can be frustrating to start over.
- Wish I had more time to play games :)
That's enough serious stuff, tell us one funny thing that has happened to you whilst working at Kyy Games?
There's funny stuff but it tends to be inside jokes and such. Some of the design meetings can be pretty out there.
"Between day and night, between animal and plant, between summer and winter lies the rotting sphere of fungi, dusk, debris and decaying dwellings." -Morgana Le Fay
The Archives sheds some developer insight on how specific cards were designed. Read more.