Dranya Studios

1. Battle Splash is a wonderful game with a “non-violent” play style. A water gun shooting has never felt so fun! At first, I felt like this was something similar to Team Fortress 2 mostly because this is a class based shooter. But instantly I realized that this is something different. What are your thoughts?

Yes, the game was inspired mainly by Team Fortress 2: class-based shooter, with a set of weapons, special abilities, etc. However, I do want the game to be as fun and accessible as possible, thus I decided to design it in a way that everyone can enjoy it, even younger audiences or people who were not familiar with any shooter game can try it out. The game was also supposed to "surprise" you as much as it can, from the fast-paced gameplay, to the vast sceneries, even the map layouts, etc... I want to include many ways to experiences the game: it's totally OK to play it as a normal TPS game with rapid actions, but it's not a bad idea to stop fighting for a while and start exploring the map, checking out new routes, or just simply stop for a moment and enjoy. There are also some hidden mechanics like dodging, splash physics, etc... That I want players to explore themselves, and plan their actions accordingly.

2. It is absolutely amazing that a one-man-army can make something this big. In all my previous experiences with other indie developers, I have not met anyone this determined and hardworking. To make a fully-fledged class-based team shooter game in a wonderful 3D environment is something really great. You realize that, right?

Well, I don't think myself as a hard-working person, but rather an over-ambitious one: if I want to do something, I'll do it until I'm either too tired to continue or able finish it. I started by playing all the games that I considered great, and tried to figure out how would that game makes people feel great: the graphics, the sounds or the gameplay, or everything. I also taught myself how to model, program and design everything through a trial-and-error process. It was a really long and tiring process since I often got stuck and did not know how to progress further. That's when I start looking for inspirations elsewhere, like playing games, watching a nice movie, or even spend time looking for references and other artists. It's my habit of analyzing anything I see, and looking for a way to make use of what I've learned, even if it's just a tree on the road, I'd observe it in order to recreate it in the game's environment. Sometimes I just choose to break my old style/codes/model and try to make a better version out of it. It's like for one night, you created something that you think it was awesome, just to realize it was very bad in the next morning. It's hard to let something go, but in order to progress further, there is no way out of it.

3. I noticed that the characters in the game are exclusively females. Also the characters are designed in a way that it appeals to mainly anime fans. What do you feel?

Throughout Battle Splash's development, I wanted a nice, relaxing game with normal/adorable female characters, rather than a game with many appealing/attractive female characters. I have a bit of knowledge about drawing, so I kinda know how to make a character really attractive. Yet, that's not what I wanted to do in Battle Splash: I want all the characters in the game to be designed as "normal" as possible - it's my way to respect players. I did get inspired by anime art-style for a very long time, and to be honest, its easiest style for me to draw in, which explains why my characters are similar to Anime's one. I think it's my preference: to have a game happens in nice places with adorable female characters - it's more relaxing this way.

4. The beta version is already well received among players on steam with a “Mostly Positive” feedback. Also all your social media fans are also excited! How do you feel about the actual release? Will the game be free-to-play as it is now?

I actually feel nervous about the actual release. It's a big game, and even though I've been testing it for quite a while now, I suspect there are many unexpected outcomes. This release also contains a totally new mechanics called Weapon Modules, which can be loosely called as a Dynamic Load Out system that allows you to change the behavior of any weapons any time - which worries me. Since the new set of Weapons is really different than the old ones, I'm worried that it might break the balance of the original game. Along with it is the return of the Alpha maps and a new Map, which again, worries me about the balance, performance, as well as user's experiences. Thus, to say that I'm not confident about the actual release is not true, but I still get some butterflies in my stomach.

As for the pricing, I'm afraid it's not going to be free-to-play (so sorry about that). Since it's really expensive to maintain a free-to-play title, with constant updates and fixes, servers and such, not to mention new contents for the game, it's really hard for me to keep supporting it like that.

5. Trianga’s Project: Battle Splash 2.0 is the only game you have listed on steam right now. But we would like to know what your previous projects were. Also since it is called 2.0, does that mean there was a 1.0?

Unfortunately, this is my first released game title. The previous games were some small games or mobile games that I made just for fun and testing some of my system designs. And actually, Battle Splash was one of them (called "Project Splash!" before). It will never hit the public if my friends and family never encouraged me to do it. Therefore, I told myself that I wanted this game to be finished, and decided to dedicate myself to it. The game was renamed into "Trianga's Project: Battle Splash 2.0", and the version number "2.0" was added, marking it a totally new game. It also indicates that although this title is totally different than the original one: from aesthetic to gameplay, it still inherits the best of its predecessor.

6. Unity is a really powerful engine. Most indies prefer to use it because of its low hardware requirements and low royalty policies. But above all that, what was your personal reason behind choosing Unity?

I guess it's the workflow of Unity. As for me lone indie dev, Unity did a great job introducing me to a real game-making workflow. It was really easy to start making games with Unity, not because of its Drag-and-Drop things (as for me), but the ability to start right into the game making production without worrying too much about using complex APIs for some basic gameplay like animations, physics, networking, etc... Also, I have an office laptop, which is pretty old and a gaming laptop, which also runs on relatively older hardware in today’s standards. Unity has relatively low hardware requirements and I found it to be the best solution.

7. The environment design is really eye catching and simplistic. How did you come up with this style? What were your inspirations?

Since I was small, I wanted to draw. But I'm also well-aware that it would take me a long time to draw a very detailed piece. So I've been trying to optimize my drawing style, simplifying it, but trying not to let it lifeless or unappealing. Thus, I sometimes spent a long time looking at other artists' arts, as well as television programs, movies, or even games, trying to see the patterns, analyzing what I called "Critical lines" (lines or details that cannot be omitted). Then, I tried to draw a totally different piece, with some of the elements I'd learned, over and over. So when it comes to 3D, it did indeed take me a lot of times, because of the technical difficulty and the color for the entire rendered scene, but I repeat the same process and came up with the current style.

8. All 3D modeling was done using Blender. Although many use it to make 3D models, most veterans choose something from the Autodesk family. Why did you choose Blender? How did you get started on it?

Aside from licenses, I love Blender. It's lightweight, simple, and really speeds up my modeling process. I also find out that I can actually generate textures from it, whether it's procedural or hand-made textures. The one who introduced Blender to me was my closest friend. I was struggling with many other modeling packages (my laptop was not so good then). It was a rough start, but when I got the hang of it, I started making things out of it. Actually, one of the characters in Battle Splash, Temiko Kangara, was the first Blender model I ever made, based on what I drew. Of course, she was remodeled overtime, but she still reminds me of the first time I tried to properly model something on Blender.

9. What were your main inspirations before making this game? Where did this idea of class-based team water-gun shooting game come from?

The main inspiration came from Team Fortress 2, with all the trailers and gameplay. But it was the violence of the game that made me feel unsatisfied. I know the game is fun, but I don't think that it's necessary to include such violence in the game, thus making it hard for many people to enjoy the game to the fullest. So I started to wonder if there is a way to make a shooter game without the needs of violence, and the idea of the squirt-gun battle emerged. It was a fun activity when I was small, and at that time (2012) there were not many games share the similar idea. Thus, "Project Splash!" was born, with the idea of using bouncing splashes as the main mechanic.

10. What are your future plans for your game and your career? Will you be just providing updates to the game or is the new game in works already? What can we expect in the future?

At the moment, I just wanted to finish the game. I do have some ideas about the next games and such, but I guess none would be done if I did not finish this game. So it will be a long journey ahead, with more improvements and updates for Battle Splash. There are plans for new maps, music, and some voice acting for the game, but I really cannot tell: it's only me behind everything.

11. What are your tips for new indie game developers reading this right now? How should they get started? What are the dos and don’ts?

I think that the first step is to NOT doing what I was doing: a big start. I know that it's great to dream big, to have a great ambition, but it will cost you as much as its size. Then, if possible, try to code something: it's not about what you code; it's about training your mind to become more logical/reasonable about what you are doing, even if you are an artist. The rest is: love what you are doing, because when everything is about to collapse, and even when you have to give up and move on, you will see that this ambition is the only thing that keeps you from depression.