Dev Day – Interview with lostvectors

Lostvectors is the author of multiple flash games and other projects, all of which you can find at his site. On Kongregate he has uploaded the previously reviewed MoonMaster RahKon, Zombie Hunter, GunMaster Onslaught 2.0, BowMaster, and the fan favorite BowMaster Prelude. He was kind enough to take time out of his schedule for an interview with ACKK so here we go 🙂

Let’s start off with a question from Valkyrie. She wanted to know what the inspiration was behind Bowmaster Prelude.
It started with my first Bowmaster game. That was my senior project for my Bachelors in Software Engineering. I was dabbling in flash, next to my C++ and Java studying and I thought it would be cool to make a game for a senior project (I would be way more motivated to do that than something else more ‘professional’) so I got an easy going professor to approve my proposal for “Bowmaster.” Where that idea came from, well I loved angle/velocity shooter games like Gorillas from DOS or Worms but I also liked action games and RTS games, stuff that had to make you act quickly. So I thought it would be cool to combine Real Time Action with Trajectory style warfare…
You looked like you were going to say something

Heh, I have a lot of questions now. I’ll see if I can’t sort them out. So flash was a side-project? Is that your primary career now?
Yes actually. Flash is my career now and since Flash 4 it has been a “side project” 😉 But I started out of College working for Boeing as a Software Engineer.

Nice, very nice. Now about the game; did you have to learn anything about physics for Bowmaster?
Actually I learned a lot about game design in my Open GL 3D classes in college and we worked with collision detection and physics to some extent and I loved High School physics with motion and vectors… Kinematic Equations all that stuff I learned somewhere or another… I just had to go back and re-learn it for what I needed. I Google lots of math stuff 🙂

Ah yes, Google. Locater of all sorts of random facts. Here’s another Valkyrie question; I noticed that there are some awesome details in Bowmaster Prelude that aren’t visible when you play at 100% view. Was this intentional?
Yes and No. The cool thing about vector graphics is the way things scale — no pixels. And sometimes I think I just got too carried away with the details of certain graphics and effects. But in my defense… a lot of places host my game at less than the resolution that I intended for people to play it at. I never really understood why games were played in such small windows.

Flash doesn’t seem to scale very well. So in other words, if people are to get the full effect they should play it at your site. All right, fair enough. Now I’m sure you’ve gotten a ton of comments about this and I recall Val mentioning it to you as well, but why no API?
Mostly due to time. I’m really busy. I like the idea of the API and I’m jealous of Kongregate 🙂 I wish I could have those features on my site 😉 But right now I’m focusing all of my attention on Bowmaster 2 and every bit of free time that I spend developing for my site I’m pretty much working on Bowmaster 2. Perhaps when that is released I’ll explore API integration and badges. So stay tuned! 🙂

I’m sure you’ve made a ton of Kongies happy with that tidbit. Okay, how about the naming scheme? Any particular affinity for “master” or were you just on a roll? 🙂
Haha. I like the way “Bowmaster” sounded and it was so easy to just add “master” at the end of a noun to make a game title, hence Gunmaster, Moonmaster,… But I made sure to research the name before hand. There was a ribbon maker company but nothing in direct competition with what I was doing with that name
so I figured it would be an easy to remember thing.

And it appears to be at that. One thing I’ve noticed about Kongregate is that it seems to attract a lot of aspiring coders. Any advice you can offer to people just starting out?
I often get this question emailed to me. I love helping out people who take that first step and decide they want to go into Software. I try not to scare them away though. It’s a lot of work. Sometimes my answers are really general and I can tell that might frustrate people… e.g. be sure to do well in Math and Physics and take all the programming classes you can in school. It’s not all about making games, but sooo much of what you learn is needed for games. So aside from the general stuff I say Flash is great to work with as a game development tool but start off small give yourself simple assignments. Bowmaster originally started with the idea, “I wonder if I can make an arrow fly through the air using Flash?” I just kept adding to it and in the end I had a really crappy first draft (not my senior project). You then take all those small lessons with you and you start developing a nice code library. But I’d stay away from just jumping into flash tutorials… go get a good Intro to Flash and AS book and work through those lessons. That will give you a good foundation then start Googling stuff like, “collision detection” or “flash keyboard input” + “games”. Keep your first real project small and when it’s done you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment

Excellent advice, thank you. Understandably you don’t have a lot of time to play games these days, but have you seen any flash projects that have really caught your eye lately?
Well I had the pleasure of meeting the guys from PixelJam.com at the 2007 GDC a little while back. They do some cool retro style pixel games. I’m just in awe of their style and how psyched they are about what they do. Their latest project “Dino Run” looks really cool. But I have to be honest.. when it comes to flash games, I try to keep myself un-influenced. I develop in a black box essentially. I derive my influences from console games and PC retail titles. It’s not that I dislike other flash games…I just get jealous of all the talent that is out there and all the skilled flash developers and animators. I make games that I think are cool. If other people like them then that’s a bonus. When the first Bowmaster was released, someone said to me “It’s like a cross between Defend Your Castle and Bowman”…. I never heard of those games before that.

I think people are always going to compare new things to the familiar. Regardless, Bowmaster Prelude is extremely popular on Kongregate so congratulations on a winning formula. All right, I want to thank you again for taking some time for an interview and I’m sure I’m not the only one that has said this, but I’m really looking forward to the next Bowmaster game.
🙂 Thanks. It was a pleasure chatting and I can’t wait to unleash Bowmaster 2 so stay tuned!

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51 Comments on “Dev Day – Interview with lostvectors”

  1. TOOMUCHSCROLLING Says:

    make the page wider so no one has to scroll 50 times

  2. thalarion Says:

    Don’t like the way a webpage is formatted? Get Firefox and get the Stylish plugin. You can format any page to your liking and don’t have to deal with what the site administrator has decided upon for his or her own formatting. After all, it’s your internet. Read up on more info on Stylish here. And no, I won’t do it for you. Educating oneself on new topics is one of life’s greater joys.

  3. venzael Says:

    Fantastic interview, informative, informational and interesting. Four i’s there. How’s that for alliteration? 😀

  4. Valkyrie Says:

    That was the fist ever interview that LostVectors gave out. How cool is that!!! Thanks for bringing that about Thalarion.

    A very important interview, imposing the impact that innovative games have on intrepid gamers, while instigating the mind to imagine of ilustrious and interactive Bowmaster 2.

  5. thalarion Says:

    Val wins the alliteration shootout.

  6. kennith godbehere Says:

    Hey that was good but have u ever tried using gamemaker. That is what i use and i am only in highschool. But anywho howed u start using flash?

    krgman

  7. Anonymous Says:

    I CANT WAIT UNTIL BOWMASTER 2 COMES OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Onyx Says:

    woot lost vectors owns i love the gun master games that were produced great interview 🙂

  9. stealthsilent Says:

    Im a big fan of your work lostvectors. Keep up the work and i hope you will post another demo soon!

  10. LostVectors Says:

    Im pretty sure this is the only interview i will do.

  11. raglefreckle Says:

    only interview? i understand, no paparatsi.

  12. Valkyrie Says:

    Only Interview? Why? Did we scar you that badly? Come on the worlds needs more from you.

  13. L.O.T--> Says:

    Best original flash site ever!

  14. feha Says:

    The only interview :O I see no reason to never ever again be on a interview… Well I guess I still have the devlog… yeah the devlog will do 😀

  15. kelson Says:

    ylostvectors is the best original and fun filled sit iv found yet!

  16. mountaindew1 Says:

    Man the wait is KILLING me i just hope bowmaster 2 gets out sonner then everyone expects i also hope theres another demo if not the whole game

  17. feha Says:

    kelson, you made a trail indicating that you play a online game, probably counterstrike or another valve game…

    for those who cant see it, the y is in many online games the chat button.

    mountain dew, I would actually rather see that the moonmaster game gets finished (not moonmaster rockon) since that is actually a game i thougt were better then bowmaster, even if bowmaster 2 is probably going to be one of the best games on internet.

    and to lostvectors, feel no pressure, no pressure 😀 hehehe

  18. Valkyrie Says:

    May be a bazooka master or something?

  19. daveman Says:

    i realy like your flash game it make me happy in hte darkest time of my lift

    p.s. when it come out bowmaster 2????? i cant wait! if you going to make bowmaster 3 put in things that will make you make you men move to a spot or a other spot or you can put them in move by them selfs or fire at only this spot or attack only this

  20. tommy Says:

    hey guys is this daveman?

  21. tommy Says:

    can you hear me or no?

  22. tommy Says:

    so what ya guys doing?

  23. geo Says:

    hi i think you should try to make a gunmaster or what it now is named and just with a psycho sniper (maybe a barrett?) and then make a bullet line and then make it fly so fast you cant see it that would be GREAT

  24. geo Says:

    and hey ppl remember when bowmaster prelude was out?? it was on the most game sites top 10 i think that bowmaster 2 will be on yea… almost all game sites top 10 for more than a year

  25. Peter Says:

    What is realy wrong:
    In mooon master one of the stearing keys is “Ctrl”, together with “w” it close the window in internet explorer and firefox.

    What a shame!!!

  26. florian Says:

    when does bow master 2 come out and after that will there be a bow master 3 coming out

  27. florian Says:

    jason you should make a arrow rain as an upgrade when lots of arrows hit the same place

  28. Kestko Says:

    grats with u and Celia 😉

  29. florian Says:

    how many days till bow master 2 come out

  30. connor Says:

    you meast up with the cata pult its not a catapult its a trebushey

  31. florian Says:

    jason you try to watch mangas with arrows and so you can get ideas ,you should watch
    bleach there is this guy that uses spirit arrows his powerful and he has three spirit
    bows they are the best, he also has a arrow that he can use as a sword and a arrow. go to http://www.narutowire.com

  32. florian Says:

    you should add gun and that stuff

  33. florian Says:

    you should make a homing arrow,ice arrow that frezies the hole ground,the metor arrow
    should spred out more into small metors,all screen hit arrows,ninja stars

  34. florian Says:

    jason you should watch naruto or naruto shippuden cause you can learn more about
    ninja weapons.

  35. florian Says:

    try making a new demo for holoween

  36. doctormarmalade Says:

    Florian, email him, don’t use this comment area as an idea block.

  37. Anonymous Says:

    hi

  38. Anonymous Says:

    shayg

  39. Anonymous Says:

    sorrey

  40. nathan Says:

    hey i love your games and when will you bring out bow master 3 im just intrestied to play it =-D

  41. LostVectors Says:

    Good news all!

    Bowmaster 2 will be out by christmas!

  42. kev Says:

    great thats when my birthday is its like a birthday suprise, thanks

  43. LostVectors Says:

    To be honest I was joking…

    Anyone can pretend to be LostVectors.

    Lol…

    Sorry about that kev.

  44. kev Says:

    next time don`t go on joking like that and besides do you know when its coming out

  45. alex Says:

    When are you going to sent a new demo…. hurry up please.

  46. LostVectors Says:

    Hey my name’s Alex.

    =P

    And yes it is me again….

    The fake.

    But I’m assuming Bowmaster 2 will be out by Christmas.

  47. Victor Says:

    YOU SUCK!!!!

  48. Alex Says:

    who sucks?

  49. Lost Vectors Says:

    Hello, i am happy to report to you all that Bowmaster 2 will be out by the end of the month for all to play, we have already began to enter the final stages of testing and will soon be ready to release a demo mabey even by the end of the week, thank you for your time,keep shooting.
    Allan Wilson(Game Creator)


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