Interview with Demon's Tier+ Coder: Fabrice (COWCAT)

Posted by Barry Carenza on

Please introduce yourself and let our readers know who you are and a little about yourself?
Hello, I'm Fabrice, a 36 year-old French solo developer from COWCAT!
How did you get into making/porting video games?
I've made games all my life, starting with an Amstrad CPC when I was 8 year old. I only started making commercial games after leaving my day job in 2014 and working hard on a funny adventure game called Demetrios, released in 2016 on PC. After this I made various console ports and Daniel (from Diabolical Mind) noticed it! He reached me because he wanted to port Xenon Valkyrie to PlayStation Vita. We worked something out together!
What titles have you worked on in addition to Demon's Tier +?
In addition to my own game Demetrios: Xenon Valkyrie+ and Riddled Corpses EX. All improved ports from the PC original.
Are there any other projects that you have contributed to in some way?
Listed above! These are all the commercial games I've worked on.
What title(s) are you working on now? Any info you can share about your next game(s)?
BROK the InvestiGator! A very ambitious adventure game blending a classic style with beat'em up elements, in a dystopian setting with animals. I've released a prologue on Steam and it's currently 96% positive with more than 150 reviews. If you can, try it! https://store.steampowered.com/app/1318790/BROK_the_InvestiGator__Prologue/
How has it been joining the gaming industry? What are your personal pros and cons?
Pros = I get to make what I like the most.
Cons = I don't have time to play games anymore XD (the irony of being an indie gamedev)
What was your first impression upon seeing Demon's Tier +?
It's in direct continuation with the style Daniel did with Xenon and Riddled Corpses and is kind of a blend between the two genres - Roguelike and Twin stick shooter.
Did you have any difficulties porting Demon's Tier + to consoles?
Not particularly, I have more experience now to implement platform specifics and the overall submission process so it was actually the easiest port so far.
One aspect that's always a bit complicated is the save system. GameMaker recommends using asynchronous file loading/saving on PS and Xbox (although synchronous is fine on Switch) and this can always lead to issues.
Was porting to the Switch more difficult than porting to other consoles?
I had ported the game to PlayStation Vita first and this is the most limiting hardware, so Switch was a breeze :p
From my perspective Switch is practically as powerful as base PS4/Xbox One so I never had any trouble with it. BROK couldn't run at all on Vita (it's a much more technically demanding game with high res graphics) but already runs almost perfectly on Switch without any optimization!
The Switch submission process is also my favorite. Much more indie friendly than, say, PlayStation.
What is your favorite genre to work on?
As a player - adventure games, all kinds! Point & Click, RPGs... as long as it's got a story I'm happy!
As dev - shorter / more repetitive games like arcade/action are so much easier to make/implement/test. Adventures involve much more work but are still more rewarding in the end :p
What's your personal favorite part of Demon's Tier + from a gameplay standpoint?
The coop! I'm a huge fan of couch coop games and judging by my experience while testing the game in the debugging phase, it was a lot of fun to decide who gets to spend the XP points and the ways you can screw up the other player by shooting into bombs while they're close to them (by accident or not!)
What part of Demon's Tier + do you look forward to seeing gamers tackle (if you can say without spoiling)?
Finishing the game once / getting to unlock the second tier. That requires a lot of attempts and the need to upgrade characters.
How does it feel to have a title you worked on be part of Premium Edition Games' Series 2?
I'm glad to participate in one of the newest series of limited runs!
If you could design an entry in any video game series, what would be your dream gig?
I would love to make a new Final Fantasy fully made with gorgeous and colorful hand drawn art. Think Legend of Mana but with modern high res backgrounds and fun characters with an epic story in the vein of FF6 to 9. I really wish they would go back to their 2D roots in a main entry and strategic/turn based fights with a strong Japanese vibe. I really didn't like FF12, FF13/sequels, FF15 and I heavily dislike what they're doing with FF16. They're trying way too hard to please western audiences and forget what made these games great in the first place. Not every project has to be a 100 million budget game and the result would be much better IMO!
What encouraging words would you like to tell all those gamers preparing to tackle Demon's Tier + for the first time when their game arrives?
Keep it up! You may only progress a little bit at a time but make sure to use those blue D-Tokens to unlock characters, weapons, and items in order to progress!
Thanks so much for your time Fabrice! Last question, where can people follow you to see all your wonderful creations?
Twitter is my favorite platform : @COWCATGames

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