It seems that TutoTOONS helps to build not only games but also strong teams and new friendships. Evgenii and Yana didn’t know each other before they started to create Greek Gods, their first game with TutoTOONS. Now they are a dream team of game designer and game artist. Let’s find out more!
Short note before you get to enjoy the interview. Some of TutoTOONS activities involve connecting people who want to create a detailed game design document (GDD) with artists who then can draw game graphics based on GDD. Small teams of two are formed, and game creation goes even faster. You will learn more about it from Yana and Evgenii!
Hi! First, tell us everything about yourself: where are you from, what do you do, what are your hobbies and interests?
Yana: Hi! My name is Yana and I’m from Ukraine. I’ve been working on different game projects for at least 4 years now. I like creating beautiful things, reading, riding horses; also “traditional” oil painting and graphic drawing (sometimes I exhibit my works in local galleries).
Evgenii: Hello! My name is Evgenii Loginov, I’m from Kharkiv, Ukraine. I’ve been working in game development for 5 years, and as a game designer during the last year (mostly for social network applications).
I love art (especially music, poetry) and games of all types – table, electronic, LARP, etc., plus bicycle and meeting nice people.
What games do you usually play? What’s your favorite gameof all time?
Y: I don’t play games very often. But when I do, I try to relax and enjoy it as much as possible. That’s why I never choose high difficulty level :) I like games with interesting story and creative design. My dream is to create a really interesting game universe that will be interesting to many people. My favorite game of all time is always changing. Now it’s Bioshock Infinite.
E: And I usually play games for about 1-2 hours a day. On those rare days when the game catches all my attention and I have more free time, I can play even longer! My favorite genres are strategy games, RPGs, quests – I prefer games that require more thinking than just clicking. What’s my favorite game? It’s not an easy question because I cannot compare different genres but still, Warcraft series seems to be the best for me.
Have you ever dreamed of creating games before TutoTOONS? If you have game creation experience, please share!
Y: Yes, of course, I’ve been wanting to create games since I got my first graphics tablet. I participated in creation of quite a lot of different games before TutoTOONS. It mostly was Flash games: for social networks, hidden object type of games, dress up games for girls… The most interesting project for me was an isometric game for iPad users.
E: I’ve been dreaming about it since my school years – then I expressed this desire by creating worlds for table games, Dungeons & Dragons and World of Darkness series mostly. Then 5 years ago, I entered game development with one indie studio as a script writer for browser RPG. And since that time, I have never left game development.
Turns out that you are experienced game developers, nice! Let’s talk about Greek Gods game now. Greek mythology is a very unique topic for kids games. How did you come up with the game idea?
E: The birth ofthe idea is one of the most interesting and incomprehensible steps in game creation. After about a week of thinking what game would be suitable and interesting for kids, I made these conclusions:
What does our target audience (kids) like? Most kids like fairy tales.
Besides fun, what additional features should the game have? Parents will be pleased if the game for their kids is not only entertaining but also cognitive.
Personal experience. I was fond of mythology when I was a kid.
Uniqueness. None of TutoTOONS games had this topic.
Y: When I got game design documents (GDDs) to choose from, I immediately knew what I wanted to draw. Firstly, this game has great educational potential as it teaches children Greek mythology. Secondly, one of my favorite childhood cartoons was about Hercules. And also it was a very good GDD.
Ancient Greeks believed in many gods and goddesses. Tell us more about your game characters and why you chose them.
Y: Greek mythology is quite interesting. Gods in our game are the most colorful characters in Greek mythology. Each of them has very specific features, that’s why it’s so interesting to create their appearance and surroundings, and also meet them as a player. I bet everyone knows at least something about beautiful Aphrodite or mighty Zeus, recognizes Poseidon’s trident or has heard about Fortuna’s wheel.
E: It was both hard and interesting to choose. I decided to take TutoTOONS game builder possibilities as the main criteria for activities which I can make with different gods. Then I tried to choose “good” gods – the game should be kind and funny so, obviously, there’s no place for Hades, for example. And, of course, I chose “famous” gods – I don’t know if even parents know all Greek mythology characters.
First GDD contained 7 gods and goddesses, and we even have made and constructed all of them. But then we got to know that Google Play limits app size to 50 Mb. With 18 mini games, we exceeded that limit.
E: After a conference with TutoTOONS team, we made a decision to remove 2 gods (Poseidon and Ares) for a while. It was rather
hard for both me and Yana to make this decision because a lot of hours were spent on creation. However, it was the right decision.
Anyway, we hope that our game will be successful and popular, then we’ll create Greek Gods 2, where players will see other gods and goddesses. :)
How did the two of you share “Greek Gods” game creation works? Who did what?
Y: My first task was to choose the best idea for the game out of several GDDs. That’s was the easy choice, as I have said. Then my work, as an artist, was to turn the idea into graphics. Every week on Friday, we discussed the progress on Skype. It’s great that both of us were satisfied with our cooperation. We’ve found the right game style surprisingly quickly and we never had any disagreement about it. We’re a wonderful team. :)
E: It’s a very interesting question. After GDD was finished and accepted, few days later I was shown the sketches of 5 artists who were interested in art-making for Greek Gods. All sketches were good and it was hard to choose but finally I picked Yana’s graphics. It had something that reflected my ideas better than others. I was very impressed by Aphrodite’s sketch – it was colored and very nice-looking.
E: I understood that I made right decision when Yana sent me the first finished drawings. That was the style I really wanted to see, and yes – she is very skillful artist! Then we had a Skype call for the first time to discuss art and I’ve understood that she was not only the perfect artist. She was a very nice person and it was super easy for us to understand each other.
Aphrodite in “Greek Gods” game:
E: I had years of experience communicating with artists and I understand that creative people like her should not worry about anything but drawing. So I offered her to shift some default TutoTOONS responsibilities, and she agreed. I was really happy to free the head of such talented artist of thinking about anything else. Thus, she became responsible for art while I managed communication with TutoTOONS support team, built the game and added animations.
Looks like TutoTOONS helps not only build games but also new friendships!
E: Our compatibility was so efficient that a few weeks later, we made a decision and announced to TutoTOONS that neither I would work with another artist, nor Yana would work with another game designer, and that we’ll share our game revenue 50/50. Overall
process showed that this way of sharing responsibilities is very comfortable for both artist and game designer: it lets you understand TutoTOONS game builder better, as well as plan and create games easier.
How long did it take to make the whole game?
Y: At first I was really frightened when I saw the amount of work! But I like the theme so I just started. Finally it took approximately a month and a half of drawing. Unfortunately, our game was so big that we had to cut one third of it. I really hope that the cut part will be the beginning of the second part of this game.
E: Oh, yes… We had lots of ideas to realize. I even don’t know if any other game in TutoTOONS has as many activities. :)
It took me about 2,5 months from starting to think about the game idea until publishing it.
Greek Gods is definitely a winner with its number of activities :) What did you learn and which part of game creation did you enjoy the most?
Y: It was a great experience in any case. I tried myself as a creator of the definite style of the game, and have been following that style the whole game. Each part of the game had its interesting features and I was really enjoying drawing it. But I’ll confess, I love horses, that’s why I liked drawing Helios horse care part the most. :)
E: It’s the first time that I worked with mobile apps as a game designer. And I can say the following:
TutoTOONS provides real tools to create mobile apps without knowledge of programming – and it is awesome!
I strongly recommend new game designers to learn as much as you can about TutoTOONS possibilities before writing GDD. First, you’ll understand what’s your tool to realize your ideas. Second, it prevents you from mistakes in tasks that you’ll give to artist (we faced some, and lost some time). And third, you’ll spend less time building your own game.
Communicate with artist and discuss every little thing. I cannot explain how lucky I am to find Yana. We understand each other, we are not ashamed to ask about anything and, thus, we avoid lots of mistakes. And let’s not forget that working with TutoTOONS is a remote process so communication inside the team is essential.
Great insights, especially for people starting to work with TutoTOONS. Now tell us, what was the most challenging part of creating “Greek Gods”?
Y: The most challenging parts were those where I had to make and fit great amount of tiny details, such as dress ups for Aphrodite and Ares, and decorations for Zeus Temple and Poseidon Ship.
E: To decide what ideas I should ignore. Oh, how many of them are still in my head waiting to be realized. :)
If you could give only one tip for a person who just started creating the first game in his/her life, what would it be?
Y: Simple: just start. It works great for me. :)
E: Creating game should give your players experience they could never have in real life.
Thank you so much for your honest answers and inspiring story! Anything else you’d like to add?
E: Create more interesting games! They bring more fun into life of many people. Thank TutoTOONS for such a good tool that helps put gaming ideas into action.
Y: I am happy to be the part of the TutoTOONS team. The conditions of work here are the best for me. I see great opportunities for creating beautiful games and I’ll try to use them the best way possible. And, of course, I want to thank Evgenii very much for wonderful cooperation and understanding. As he took responsibility for all organizational matters, I had the opportunity to work without any worries. I appreciate it very much and I’m very happy to have met such a cool and friendly person. I think we will achieve a lot in the future. :)
Time to play Greek Gods! Get it here:
App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id990254865
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.tutotoons.app.greekgods&hl=en