Interview with FishyFeathers

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Interview with FishyFeathers

This month we will be interviewing FishyFeathers, creator of Insidious (Complete)Rococo Love (Alpha)The Witch of Pondgulch

 

Q: Let’s start by talking about your games. Your games are quite unique, not something you could see everyday. Where do you get inspiration from?

A: Most of my projects start with a dream actually. My dreams tend to be super vivid and have really defined plot arcs, or at least a good outline of one. So I generally start with that. I also draw a lot from history – I wouldn’t call it historical fiction because I don’t worry too much about accuracy, but humans have been doing weird things for a few hundred thousand years so there’s plenty of material to draw from!
Once I know generally what I’m aiming for I start looking for as much media as I can with a similar vibe.
So for example for Witch of Pondgulch I was reading Jane Eyre (of course), but I also had a list of other books/movies/games that I kept in mind while planning.
Q: That’s interesting. How long does it usually take you to look for references?
Oh goodness I’m not even sure haha. It kind of happens organically, whatever I’m doing in my free time just sort of gets tinted with game-related stuff. I’ll kind of go on binges too, so I might spend like four hours a day for a week just browsing stuff and then drop it for a month.
I also keep a reference folder with all my game or story concepts and their related resources so even if they’re not actively in development I’m always sort of researching. I just add to it as I come across stuff.
Q: Then without the time spent on collecting references, how long does it actually take you to create the game?
HMMmmmm well I think Insidious took me about a week of full time work, spread out over a month or so? And then Rococo Love was about the same, plus an extra ~9 hours because there were more characters, but I understood CloudNovel better.
Witch of Pondgulch is at…7 months now I think?
In general, I can expect to spend about 3 hours on a base sprite for each character, 4-6 for a background, and untold hours fiddling with animations/testing xD
Q: Many creators have the problem of losing motivation when making a game. How do you get motivation to finish a game?
Well I think it’s key that the stuff on CloudNovel is only the stuff that is finished! There’s a lot more gathering virtual dust in the depths of my “idea” folder haha
It sounds counterituitive but I think it’s key to give yourself permission to walk away from something
If your mindset is, I HAVE to do this, then it becomes a chore.
Be gentle with the creator in you and if something stops being satisfying or fun, know that it’s okay to put it down for a little bit. That doesn’t mean it’s over forever.
Also have fun! Do things because they delight you, not because that’s what you’re “supposed” to do

Q: Thank you very much for your answer. It’s a very interesting point of view.

You’re known on CloudNovel for your professional-looking visual novels. Do you have any advice on how to make your game look good on first impression?
Have a very clear design vision!
Did you know that a lot of movies have someone whose job it is to specifically make sure that everything fits within the movie’s colour palette?
I never properly studied art but I did sneak into a few courses at university and one thing that really made an impression on me was how important planning and thought are for a piece. It’s what takes anything you do to the next level.
Knowing ahead of time what colours you want to use, what sort of shapes you’re going to be using, makes a huge difference.
One thing I do is choose one (and I really do mean ONE) image that perfectly expresses what I want my game to convey. Every time I work on a game resource, I open that image and have it right there. The initial palette is all from that image. I can deviate from it, but when I look at the game and the image side by side, I want them to look like they belong together.
Art that’s complicated or hyper realistic or animated or whatever is nice, but a solid design plan is what really makes a game.
At least that’s my theory xD I’m just another tinkerer!

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