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Ground Shatter

Reading Time: 3 minutes
James Parker

Stepping into the Indie Corner Spotlight this week is Ground Shatter.  This team are based in Bristol, UK.  Fresh off the release of their latest game, Skyscrappers, Founder, James Parker, gives his time to answer our questions.

How long have you been a developer?

I believe I hit 20 years of full-time game development at the end of this month!

How many years has your team been developing games?

4

Who, or what, inspired you to become a games developer?

My dad brought home a BBC Micro (a very British home computer from the 1980s) when I was four or five, and as well as getting thoroughly into playing games, I was also inspired/encouraged to start programming. And naturally, games were my outlet!

What was the inspiration for your team’s name?

I was looking for a name that was impactful and evocative, and kind of retro too (and the name that I originally wanted was already taken)

Describe a usual day in the life of an indie development team.

I’m not sure if there is a usual day. Normally on a Monday we get together and talk through what’s going to happen that week, and we’ll often have a show-and-tell at the end of the week to see if we made it. But with a small team like Ground Shatter, it’s quite reactive so we keep talking and make small course adjustments as we go.

Can you describe the process/timeline of developing a game?

(1) Have Idea (2) Make game (3) Panic, change idea (4) Realise original idea was better anyway (5) Existential Crisis (6) QA (7) Wait for reviews (8) Cry (9) Repeat

How do you juggle all of the aspects of games development?

Quite poorly. As the company has grown, I’ve had to limit my time doing actual hands-on work, because there are lots of management, business, and admin type jobs to do. When I do get my hands dirty it means someone (normally Dan, our lead coder) having to come along and clean up the mess I’ve made, so I need to get even better at handing off work to the more talented members of the team.

What is your ambition as an indie developer?

(1) To earn back some or all the money that I’ve invested in the company (2) To make enough money to keep the team together to make stupid action games forever.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into the games industry?

Just do stuff. Meet people, make friends, make games, have fun. Remember that all advice is bullshit.

Where do you see gaming heading in the next decade?

I don’t like to make predictions for the future, but perhaps maybe limited use peripherals are due a comeback. This is just me being selfish because I’d really like a third DJ Hero game. Or a forth Virtua Cop.

A huge thanks to James at Ground Shatter for giving his time to answer our questions.  If you would like your Indie Dev Team to get involved, please get in touch.  You can read our Rapid Review UK of Skyscrappers here.

You can support the Developers by purchasing their game, Skyscrappers, at the Nintendo eShop on the dollowing link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/SkyScrappers-1455060.html

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