diana;;martino;;eendhoorn;;indie developer;;interview Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee A little while ago, Dutch indie developer Eendhoorn Games crossed our path. On January 24, 2017 it's finally launch time for his latest game called Spirit Sphere. Martino Wullems is the one and only man behind Eendhoorn Games. So far, he had already developed several games . Time to get to know this developer a little better, don't you think?

AN INTERVIEW WITH MARTINO WULLEMS FROM EENDHOORN GAMES

By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee and Martino Wullems on January 24, 2017

A little while ago, Dutch indie developer Eendhoorn Games crossed our path. On January 24, 2017 it's finally launch time for his latest game called Spirit Sphere. You can find our review about this awesome game right here. Martino Wullems is the one and only man behind Eendhoorn Games. So far, he had already developed several games . Time to get to know this developer a little better, don't you think?

Martino, first we like to thank you for your time. It must be a busy time for you with the launch of Spirit Sphere. What inspired you to develop this game?

The idea for SpiritSphere came together by a series of circumstances. The yearly gamejam GBJAM was coming up, where you have 10 days to create a game based on Gameboy limitations. I had always wanted to make a Zelda inspired game set in a dungeon, and so I did! Every dungeon had its own little mini-game, and one of those mini-games was a pong type of game, where the player must hit the ball past an AI controlled paddle. A few days after the jam I was playing air-hockey in the arcade, and decided it would be fun to expand on the GBJAM mini-game, and give it an air-hockey twist!

I have to ask, how did you came up with the name Eendhoorn Games for your company?

Eendhoorn is a combination of two separate Dutch words, "Eend" means duck and "Eenhoorn" is Dutch for unicorn. Put those together and you get Eendhoorn! You know that moment where you create a new character in an MMO and you have to give it a name? Yeah, creating a name for my company was like that, and in a massive brainfart "Eendhoorn" just popped into my head.


You're the one and only man behind Eendhoorn Games. Do you do all the work yourself or do you sometimes get some help from friends or other developers?

That's right! I don't have a very large network yet, as I work from home and rarely go out of the house haha. But I'm fortunate enough to have found Gas1312 who is performing the soundtrack for SpiritSphere. He's an awesome guy, it turned out we have a lot in common. I met Frank Meijer at a local indiedev event called Indievelopment. He's an awesome guy and has a really big passion for indie games and offered to help me out with the PR and marketing for SpiritSphere. A total lifesaver, I can work towards a release quite relaxed now! My family and friends help me out with play testing and localization, even if I do have to keep nagging them for that haha. Thanks again, everyone!

You have developed nine games up till now. Do you have a favorite?

Really, that many? I wasn't aware myself haha. SpiritSphere has to be my favorite, I never really took my personal games too serious as they were just to practice or as a hobby. But ever since I had to leave my job and went indie I really put my heart in soul into SpiritSphere. I have slowly started planning my next big project which I'm really enthusiastic about too, but I will take a bit of breathing space and make some smaller games after working on SpiritSphere for one a half years haha.

In the announcement email you mention how a sickness makes working with a mouse and keyboard much more difficult for you, so you develop your games with a tablet and Windows Surface Pro 3. How did you come up with that idea and is it a good alternative for you?

Yep that's true, unfortunately I had to leave my previous gamedev job as I just couldn't use a mouse anymore. I bought the surface pro out of pure boredom, since I couldn't use my laptop anymore. It turned out I can work on that for a reasonable amount of time. I have to take it easy and take lots of breaks, but I'm happy I can continue to follow my dream.


You don't set a fixed price for your games (except Spirit Sphere). Instead, you chose to let people decide for themselves how much they would like to pay for a game. Do most people pay an honest price?

Like I mentioned earlier, my previous games were all quite small in scope and experimental. I haven't received a large amount of payments, but I was so surprised by the generosity of people that saw potential in my games and paid a dollar or two. It really was a big encouragement for me to continue making games.

Since then I've decided to spread the love and donate a small amount for games I enjoyed on itch.io. I know how happy it made me, so it feels good to know I was able to give that feeling to someone else.

I presume developing videogames takes a lot of time. Do you still have time to play some games yourself? And what genre is your favorite?

Haha it sure is, especially if you have to do most of it by yourself. I'm a huge Nintendo nerd and I frequently play Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Brothers. I also love indie games and have more recently enjoyed Shovel Knight, Kero Blaster and Downwell. I also love some Towerfall, but unfortunately I don't leave the house enough to get to play that frequently haha. My favorite genre is probably action-rpg, Secret of Mana is my favorite game!

What does the future hold for Eendhoorn Games?

Well that's all up to you guys (the readers) ! I spend more than a year developing SpiritSphere, and now that the release is coming up I will finally know it was worth it. I will continue developing games, but the success of SpiritSphere will determine whether or not I can make that big project I have planned. Otherwise I will focus on making games that are a bit smaller in scope. But yeah, but making games is what I love and I will never give up on that, even if I will have to live under a bridge in box.


Is there anything I forgot to ask you, but what you really like all of us to know about you or your games?

I'd like to tell everyone that you should follow your dreams. I was stuck for a long time thinking that "one day I will follow my dream". Don't think "one day", act now! I don't mean you should quit your job and go indie like I did, but if you have a passion for something you should follow that passion. Set a few hours aside each week to invest into your passion, and when the opportunity pops up you might just be able to grab that chance and follow your dream.

And now, for the very last question; what are your thoughts on garden gnomes?

My grandma has a bunch of those in her garden. I don't know how she is able to sleep at night with those freaky things lurking just outside her house.

We like to thank Martino very much for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to us. We wish him the very best for the future and hope to talk to him again when his next game comes out!


AN INTERVIEW WITH MARTINO WULLEMS FROM EENDHOORN GAMES
Eendhoorn Website / Eendhoorn on Twitter