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javeamigos.com | VIRGEN DEL CARMEN

 


XÀBIA GAME DEVELOPERS LAUNCH FUN PUZZLE AND DIGGING ADVENTURE

javeamigos.com | SOMETHING ATE MY ALIEN

A loud and prolonged groan prompted my wife to pop her head into the office last night, intrigued at what has prompted such an utterance. ‘Something just ate my alien’, I responded to her bemused look. Eyebrows suitably raised, she uttered a vague confirmation and her head disappeared. I took a deep breath, another sip of a refreshingly cold and what I hoped to be inspirational drink and sent another alien to do its work.

Rob Donovan and Kat Langwagen, residents of Xàbia for the past six years or so, have recently launched their first independent game, a 2D puzzle and dig ‘em up adventure game called ‘Something Ate My Alien’ or ‘SAMA’ for short. They describe it as “a very chilled, relaxing digging game where you search and dig out loot, solve puzzles and try to keep some of the pesky wildlife at bay when exploring.

Both have been keen gamers for as long as they can remember. Kat considers the ‘Legend of Zelda’ series as being her favourite games of all time. “There was the sense of escaping into a fantasy world where you could explore and solve puzzles while discovering this whole, huge world of Hyrule. It was fun, relaxing, and inspired me to draw and paint things I had seen in the game as well.” Rob’s favourite comes as no surprise: “Terraria. Of course, it’s a digging and collecting game! Soon after watching two streamers on YouTube play this game, I knew it was for me. Over the years I’ve totted up over 1000 hours in this game.”

Rob and Kat’s journey began back in late 2016 when they decided to commit to an idea that they’d been playing with for some time. Almost four years later they don’t remember clearly who first came up with the overall concept but do recall that Rob came up with the name and the idea of a digging game was offered by Kat.

It took almost four years of absolute dedication to develop, working round the clock to achieve their goal of producing a fun game that can be enjoyed by as many people as possible. Originally from the UK and a coder with many years of experience, Rob spent hours in front of the PC moulding and coercing the digits to create the engine of the game whilst Kat, a talented digital artist from Sweden, designed all the graphical elements. The game itself – the story, the layouts, puzzle designs, etc. – were a joint effort although some aspects occasionally required more influence from the most experienced partner.

Developing a video game, whether you be an independent company or a large corporation, is more than just sitting down and bashing out a concept over a few coffees and biscuits. Having established Rokabium Games, Rob and Kat spent hours expanding on an idea, deciding on the concept (a 2D platformer-style game) and fleshing out all the details to determine the timeframe to create their game. Ahead of them lay an extraordinary amount of design, testing, re-design, fine-tuning. They are self-confessed perfectionists and spent an extraordinary amount of time polishing the concept to offer the best game they could, both in the playing and also in the overall look. And don’t forget the magic medium of social media through which they updated followers on the development of the game to build a community around it, to get it known and to get it out there into the gaming world.

On June 18th, ‘Something Ate My Alien’ was launched. And we bought it.

The concept is simple. A pirate has hijacked your mining ship and demanded that you collect valuable loot by mining a series of planets for minerals, gems, gases, fossils and artifacts. Luckily your crew includes a team of aliens, small and clumsy but highly efficient at burrowing, who can be transported to these worlds to dig but also face a number of hostile elements, endure extreme and hazardous environments and figure out a number of puzzles left by ancient civilizations hidden behind closed doors, increasingly difficult to complete but well-rewarded when done.

And so I began. As a classic console devotee (my N64 still holds pride of place in the office), I had to learn how to control my alien using my PC keyboard but the instructions are clear and within just a few minutes I was mining happily beneath the surface of Metis, the first of four increasingly difficult worlds. There is great satisfaction in hearing the confident ping which heralds the arrival of more valuables in your backpack whilst avoiding the unwanted attention of a number of hostiles, some easy to defeat, others needing a little bit of wit and skill to break down and slay. Now and then something did indeed ‘eat my Alien’ but another was ready (after persuasion) to transport down and continue the work. I worked my way through each world, gathering valuables, solving puzzles and dealing with the ‘something’ which lurked deep within. And I thoroughly enjoyed doing so.

You can buy and download ‘Something Ate My Alien’ from their store on the Steam Platform (link). Steam is the world’s biggest gaming store site and once you have signed up (you will need an account to buy SAMA), you will have access to thousands of other PC games as well, including some great classics.

Check out the website and FB page of Rokabium Games >>

Source: Interview
Date: Tuesday 7th July 2020
 


 

 

 

 


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