Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Time interview

Quietus 2 preview image

1) Welcome here on Random Tower of Games, it's nice to have you here, so can you introduce yourself? How old are you, where are you from, anything

I’m Connor Ullmann, commonly known across the internets as “Time,” and I’m 18 years old living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, US. My most popular game releases to date are Quietus, Casus, and Dromad which can all be found on Kongregate and Newgrounds.

2) Let's start with a simple question: why develop a game?

Games are a great way to literally put your ideas in motion. To me, I was always big into drawing things when I was little, but the biggest disappointment was that I couldn’t interact with anything. Programming a game and making the graphics for it yourself allows you to make your own little world; maybe I have control issues, but having that kind of universal power really brings the whole idea of game development together for me :)

3) Where your inspiration come from?

Super Mario World for SNES was one of the biggest contributors to my game development attachment because, when I was little, my dad would always play it and I just loved the whole idea of the game; I could enter a new world and play in it. Nowadays, I actually play very few games myself, sadly, as I enjoy making games much more than playing them. My inspiration now usually comes from other small games I hear about, such as demos I get from other indie developers across twitter and any games that hit it big on indie news, like Super Crate Box, Minecraft, and Canabalt. The simplicity of SCB and Canabalt really resonate with me and I like to reflect that in my games with the pixel art style and ease-of-access control schemes.

4) Do you think it's possible to live developing indie games? Or you just plan to join in triple-AAA title?
It’s certainly possible, and I would really like to try and become an indie developer as my occupation when I get older. Stories like Notch’s with Minecraft are really inspiring (however rare) and it would certainly be my dream to have something like that happen to me. However, I do understand that there is a certain amount of luck involved, and even if I work hard, there’s a possibility I will have to go AAA even if it isn’t my top choice. I’ll actually be giving two-weeks-notice on my part-time job this week in order to make indie game creation my new part-time job to fund college, so this is an exciting time for me with monetizing my development!

5) How do you organize your work? Do you have plans or just ideas?

Almost all of my games simply stem from a prototype that I find fun (usually, if I play with it for more than an hour, I end up making a full game of it), and from there I just ask people for ideas and input things myself as I develop. There has never been a design document or anything complete along those lines to lead development on a project I’ve finished. In fact, I have two games that are only partially finished that are the only two I’ve ever come up with designs before creating them. However, I do plan to try and get these kinds of things in order more for the future, as I want to try and make more cohesive environments and storylines, as well as a longer finished game.

6) What tool do you use in your work?

I do my programming using FlashDevelop with Flex 4 and Flashpunk version 1.5. For sprite-work, I use the Game Maker 8 sprite editor (old habit; I used Game Maker for four years and learned all of my spriting with it) in combination with Gimp for the more complex and larger material. For sounds, I use SFXR by Dr. Petters, and music is done using PXTone (there’s a great manual out there by Gryzor87).

7) How did you meet Flashpunk and Flash games in particular?

I actually came across it while I was looking for a way I could branch out from Game Maker to a more complex programming language. Flash seemed like a great idea; when the games grew, there was a possibility for money, and in-browser games would be a nice break from the traditional .exe download that was necessary for Game Maker. I think that I was introduced via Noel Berry and his platforming engine during Flashpunk 0.85 or so, and I actually used that engine for my first several games, including Robot Climb (basically unreleased, so I expect no one will remember it), Quietus, and Casus.

8) What are your plans for future?

I intend to delve much farther into developing indie games using Flash, although I’m seeing what I can do about doing iOS development with apps in the app store. I think there’s a lot of market viability there that I think is certainly worth looking into, although I don’t own a mac as of yet. For the future of specific games, I am going to release Quietus II soon (development is almost complete, but sponsorship and bidding will come before true release), and after this I will probably work on the game Nisus, which I started as a collaboration with Noel back in about November. Behind this in the queue is Havern, a 2D-cave exploration game, and then a little puzzle-cloud prototype I worked on and have a nice little game working with an easy level editor.

9) What are best indie free games around in your opinion? Can you give us some links?

As I mentioned before, Super Crate Box, Minecraft, and Canabalt are among the pieces that inspired some of my most recent work, and I think they’re some of the best games around. Minecraft isn’t free for the full version, but I definitely think everyone should put down the cash to experience the full game.

Thanks time for this interview and good luck with your games! And visit his website for news about incoming Quietus 2 !


  1. I didn't know Connor was 18 years old... I had it fixed in my head that he was slightly younger. Anyway, I like the new Franklin sprite for Quietus 2 :D. I enjoyed this interview.

  2. I enjoyed reading this. Good work Gornova! :)

  3. Thanks :D
    Quietus 2 is amazing with many many surprises :P