INTERVIEW > Liam Berry

Liam Berry is a promising GameMaker user, with a few good games now under his belt. His recent offering, Swing 2, bagged him $20 in the GameCOG ‘Explosions’ competition, while his graphical talent helped make ChimpVenture popular with the community. Liam has a website which covers most of his work, ranging from art to music.

Please tell us about yourself.
My name is Liam Berry. I live in Manitoba, Canada. I've played the piano for over eight years, and will hopefully start learning to play the violin next Saturday (October 24th), although I only started composing songs about two years ago. Oh, and I'm 14 years old. That's it, I guess.

When did you start experimenting with GameMaker? Did you admire its ease of use?
I really started making games when my Dad attempted to get me and my older brother ("Drazzke") interested in making games. We found a program, "RPG Maker", and used that a bit, but soon got bored of it. We searched around again about a year later (About early 2006), and found "GameMaker". I didn't really use it much, however - I was eleven, and to be honest, I just wanted to play Zelda. My older brother, Drazzke, used it a lot, and I only got interested in making games in early 2007, and even then, I was only making graphics, and didn't really consider the games to be partnerships between Drazzke and I, but that I was just making the graphics for Drazzke's games. This view changed around summer 2007, though, when we actually realized (or I did anyway) that the games we made were mine just as much as his.

I started attempting to make games on my own around Fall 2007, but never really finished anything until Swing. Now, when I get inspiration for a project, I really try to follow it through to the end. It probably also helps that I don't have all that many ideas, and it takes me a while to think up new ones, so I don't really get distracted and leave projects to work on new ideas, thus never really finishing anything, which I know happens to many developers.

What do you think of the new upcoming version of GM?
I'm pretty excited about it. I think YYG is doing a great job with it, and that it's a pretty big step up from version 7.

Is it helpful to have a brother who also uses GameMaker?
Yes. It helps a lot.

You seem to be very capable with the visual side of things. Do you have any tips?
Practice. I know everyone says it, but honestly, it's good advice. It helped me.

You appear to be most active at What draws you to that community?
Well, for one, I don't enjoy hanging out in giant communities like the GMC, where you don't know people aside from those who have ten thousand posts. I prefer to spend my time in smaller communities, where you actually know the people posting and there's a greater sense of community. Also, it was made by my brother, so . . . well . . . yeah.

Where did the inspiration to create Swing and eventually Swing 2 come from?
Well, for Swing, I felt like making a game, and I like SHMUPS, but I wanted to add a unique twist to it - and after brainstorming for a bit, I thought up the idea of Swing. I later found out that Cactus had already made a game with the same idea, but I didn't know about that until after I had made Swing.

For Swing 2, when the third GameCOG competition was announced, and I noticed that it was themed "Explosions", I decided that another Swing game with really big explosions would be fun enough and would fit enough to enter, so I made it. I wasn't really expecting it to win third place, though.

Did anybody help out with development? Your brother, maybe?
Well, Drazzke helped out quite a bit with Swing, but for Swing 2, he just got the online highscores table working, and didn't let me give him credit for it.

Were you pleased with the way Swing 2 turned out?
Yes, I was. I felt that I had done a much better job with it than I had with Swing, especially on the music . . .

What do you think is the best aspect of the game?
Hmm . . . Well, I suppose the graphics. I've always been better at graphics than other parts of game development.

What did you think your chances were in the GameCOG 'Explosions' competition, prior to the results?
I thought I had pretty good chances at being a runner-up, and maybe even getting third place (Yes, I'm full of myself), but was still pretty surprised at the results (Third place & First GameMold Choice Award).

Will you ever get around to creating Swing 3?
I don't know. I don't have any plans for it.

Do you have any more releases lined up?
I have a platform-exploration game (working title "Walk") I'm working on, and a platform-exploration-shooter that I'm making with Drazzke, but asides from that, nope.

Thanks for the chance to talk to you. Would you like to say anything more?
You're welcome, and thank you, for conducting this interview! Cheers!

4 comment(s):

Andrew said...

Interesting read! I like the interviews you conduct, I hope you do more soon. :)

Toadfrogs said...

Nice! I liked the interview =)

Darren Poole said...

Glad you guys like the interview. They seem to be the most popular thing on the blog.

DesertDweller said...

Nice interview. Always nice to hear from a fellow Game Maker.

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