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Developer interview with Ditto

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This post is part of day one of itch.io week. We’ll be interviewing developers all week.
Learn more here: https://itch.io/week

Ditto

View on itch.io: https://ditto.itch.io
Follow on Twitter: dittomat

Ditto is a rad developer who’s made equally rad things such as hets and dagdrom. He’s currently developing GoNNER.

When did you first start making games? What’s the first game you can remember making?

I picked up programming in high school. I remember making a lot of very dumb text based games the first weeks of learning programming, but pretty soon moved to making shooters and bullet hells. What really had my attention at the time though, was making generative art. I spent a LOT of late nights programming randomized patterns of bright colors to move on my screen. The effect in GoNNER where the walls and ground “generate” around you actually comes from one of those ideas I played around with back then!

Got any interesting stories from any of the first people that played one of your games?

I remember in particular a time when I saw a youtube video of one of my games, hets. It was being played by this boy from Spain, maybe 14 years old. I couldn’t understand a word of what he was saying, but seeing him play the game and his reactions to it was incredible.

How did you first hear about itch.io? What convinced you to upload your first project?

Huh, I actually can’t remember how I found out about itch, but I do remember I wanted to upload hets. I wanted to show the game to more people than the friends that had seen it!

What are some of your favorite features of itch.io?

Itch gives someone like me the ability to put up a game I’ve made on the internet, for others to discover. That’s pretty powerful. It’s also really interesting since a lot of the games that are popping up on Itch are very different to what you could find on Steam for instance. There’s a lot of short, very personal, very emotional games on there, and I love that!

If you could do your own take on another developer’s game, what would it be?

Most of the games I’ve made so far start out with a “I wonder if I could make this or that game mechanic!”. In GoNNER, it’s the movement from Super Meat Boy with shooting. For doing a full game of someone elses though, I have no idea, maybe Loco Roco?

What’s the last game you played?

I’m currently obsessively playing Enter the Gungeon. It’s a good good good good game. All the little details and effects in there, and the variety of guns and upgrades, oh man!

You’ve gone from creating some smaller projects to working on a bigger, published project, GoNNER. Any tips for developers that want to make the transition to working on bigger stuff?

Learn to listen to feedback. Try every idea before dismissing it. Let the process take the time it needs, I’ve been making games for almost 8 years. It takes a lot of time. Also, don’t sleep, sit up late nights, go mad, sacrifice everything. Don’t be scared. You’ll get there. Eventually.

GoNNER
Footage from GoNNER

On that note, what’s different about working on a project with a publisher vs. something small you make on your own?

Honestly it’s not that different. I can afford to pay rent, and I get to travel a lot to go to shows like GDC and PAX, but apart from that I sit alone and program until the sun rises in the mornings just like I used to.

My publisher, Raw Fury, are incredibly nice to work with. I can ask their help whenever I feel I need it, but I am free to do pretty much anything I want with the game still. The biggest difference I think is that I now sometimes have to estimate when the game is going to be done. Normally I’d just work on it until I either get bored with it or I feel like it’s complete. I think that little added pressure is a very good thing.

Anything else?

Thanks for having me, Itch.io really started my career in game development ever since I put hets on there. Seeing people play and enjoy my games is all I ever dreamed of.

<3 Ditto

itch.io week

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Games by Ditto

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ONE BUTTON LOCAL MULTIPLAYER SHOOTER
Shooter
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A video game.
Platformer
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run & gun with random levels, upgrades, enemies and stuff.
Platformer
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Hyper frantic multiplayer colors overdrive.
Platformer