On may 3, 2020 – I had a great talk with Victor Burgos (Burgos Games) about their indie game Neko Ghost, Jump!
In this interview Victor answers fourteen questions about himself, Burgos Games and ofcourse, Neko Ghost, Jump!
After serving twelve years in the Marines, deployed twice in the middle east, Japan, Thailand and all over the United States. Victor left and went to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) to study game development.
But, even before graduation, he was already freelancing and working on projects for other game studios. Victor kept on freelancing after gruaduation until he landed his first full-time position at Monochrome Games.
While working for Monochrome Games he has worked on Contagion VR: Outbreak. Shipping the DEMO and Early Access build, leaving the project roughly six months after the Early Access release due to some unforseen circomstances.
Victor started Burgos Games soon after and has been working on a VR project until most of his time was being spent on the development of Neko Ghost, Jump!
He always wanted to become an indie game developer, growing up with consoles like the original NES and the Atari 2600. If 9/11 wouldn’t have happened, he would have gone to college for Computer Science instead of joining the army.
Neko Ghost, Jump!
Neko Ghost, Jump started out as an gamejam submission in may 2019. This gamejam was a 5-day competition. Soon after, Victor asked his teammates if anyone wanted to continue working on this because he thought they had something really good if the gameplay was tightened up and polished.
Neko Ghost, Jump! is a platformer that makes you switch around in a 2D and 3D environment to solve puzzles and move from one way to another. But, that’s not the only thing. The cat can also switch between physical form and ghost form.
Neko Ghost, jump! has leaderboards for players to compete, this feature is mostly implemented for speedrunners, and for players that like finding all the secrets and just have fun without the competition would end up having fun playing this game. There are no time limits.
When the player starts Neko Ghost, Jump! for the first time, the cat will be white. But as you see in the gif above, he is purple. This is because of the option to customize the cat. When the cat is brought to his home, which can be done after every level played, the player can customize their cat.
When I asked Victor ‘what makes Neko Ghost, Jump!’ different from others he replied that being different this day, is extremely hard. Elements people come up with are already thought of and most features already excist in some game. It’s most important for Burgos Studios that the games they release are fun, well put together.
Neko Ghost, Jump! is in the first place a platformer. There is jumping, there is dying, puzzles to solve and the ability to switch between a 2D and 3D camera for some interesting puzzles and gameplay mechanics during combat scenarios. To get trough levels, the player will have to figure out how to switch views and also to find weakpoints for their enemies.
And for the Engine, Victor and Burgos Studios chose Unreal Engine 4. He learned how to use UE4 in college and it has been his main engine of choice. He uses blueprints for prototypes and C++ for extendability. The ability to use both, is a very powerful tool.
Tips for new game developers
According to Victor, a new game developer should start of slow. Do gamejams either on your own or with a team. Read the documentation engines like Unreal and Unity provide and use Google for answers. Talk to other game developers on Discord and forum communities. Don’t try to make an MMO, just start of slow.