Tryggvi Hakonarson on CERES

Tryggvi Hakonarson on CERES

Feature

Jötunn Games' lead developer talks to us about "the first cyber-tactical space combat game in the known universe"

In many games of the genre, vertical movement is featured but it doesn’t play a major tactical role. That is to say, your ships don’t gain any advantage by being positioned above or below their target (arbitrary definitions in space, I know). Does vertical positioning play a meaningful role in Ceres?

Positioning is very important. Each ship's armor is split into 6 areas: top/bottom, left/right, forward/back. So it's vital to concentrate fire on a specific area of a ship to break through the armor to destroy it. The player can rotate his ship along the forward axis to spread damage over different areas. Some ships might have weaker armor below, so it might help attack from below.

The game allows players to create their own custom formations. Does this include vertical positioning and in what other ways can the player customise the tactical behaviour of his squad?

Yes, you can choose placement using the 3 axis, X, Y and Z. You can save 4 different formations and 4 different groupings. Each group shares the 4 formations.

The game uses attack stances for the ships. You can choose from aggressive, neutral and defensive. Aggressive orders your ships to fire at all target of opportunity, neutral needs the players input to select targets and defensive toggles all laser weapons to shoot down incoming missiles and torpedoes.

You can also control your modules directly. Toggle weapons systems of or increase their energy consumption. That will increase their performance, but at the same time risk damaging them.

On the official website, www.CeresTheGame.com, the development team is described as consisting of you, Tryggvi Hákonarson, and Pavlos Germidis. We often find with projects that have their origin on IndieDB and ModDB that the community is very helpful in contributing to interesting projects. Has that been the case here and are there any specific community members you’d like to give a shout out to?

Yes, MossShadow95 and barecgesh has been quite helpful with testing demos and hunting down bugs in the early versions of the game. Many people on IndieDB also deserve a mention, so I would like to say thanks to all the people who commented on the game, either positively or negatively.

Any advice you would like to give budding indie developers?

- Write a good game design document, but allow it to be flexible.
- Don't promise insane things in your game announcement.
- Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.
- Don't let a setback stop you, breathe deeply and keep calm.
- Keep plenty of backups of your project.
- Be organized.
- Listen to the gaming community.
- Don't be rude.
- Create what you want to play, not something you'll think will make money, it’s more fun.

It is our custom to give the final word to our interviewee. Any special message you wish to send out to our readers?

I'm allergic to peanuts, don't give me peanuts.

Also, I hope that indie developers can make a living creating indie games. It’s a fun business but sadly it is a hard business. I hope Jötunn Games never becomes a BIG company. I hope to keep it small, 12 people max. Small groups allow creativity to flow, while bigger ones may hinder it. Next to that, I hope that Jötunn Games will become a well-known entity in the gaming industry. I'm definitely not done after Ceres.