Orlando video game devs: You need thick skin … and a lot of assets

Orlando video game developers Caris Frazier-Baker and Brian Stabile have been working two years to bring their jai alai game to life.

That has meant an aggressive and tireless promotional effort, which has put them on the floor of video game conferences across the U.S.

What have they learned by going through this process with Jai Alai Heroes? The OVG asked them.

1. What has been the toughest part of building a game?

The toughest part about building a game, in our opinion, is persistence and follow-through. It’s easy to pick up a new project, but it’s difficult to carry it out to completion.

You have to be consistent and responsible for yourself. No one is going to make that game but you.

A screenshot of Jai Alai Heroes

2. What’s it like when people play it and provide feedback, both positive and negative?

Watching people play our game is a significant experience, both in observation and in gratification.

You study the players’ choices and write notes on how each input option could be improved to make their experience as fun as possible. When you see someone smile, cheer, high five their friend, taunt their opponent, that’s a special feeling. You’re not thinking of the countless hours it took to make that moment happen, you just feel joy.

3. What has been the biggest surprise during the game’s development?

What’s been surprising has been the amount of assets needed for the level of polish we want in our game. We’ve learned that a game’s art is never finished, just abandoned. It’s no longer surprising but interesting how the player responds to new assets in contrast to new mechanics or improved performance.

I can adjust the animations of the player character and Brian’s made no changes to the character controller, and someone will comment on how snappy and responsive the new character controller is.

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