Developer Spotlight: Rustam Zinurov

After two successful entries into the PLAYHACK game jam, we thought it was time to share some insights from one of our star community members: Rustam Zinurov.

rzinurov

I liked the idea that I didn’t need to install anything – all I needed was a browser

Hi Rustam, tell us a little about yourself?
I’m 29 years old, born in St. Petersburg, Russia, currently living in Copenhagen, Denmark, married, have a Scottish Fold cat. I’ve been a software developer since 2007

What is your background in game development? Have you been doing it long?
I think I have been dreaming about game development since my school days if not from my childhood. My first experience was Java 2ME, it was probably 2006 and I had a Siemens C65 cell phone. Later on I made several games using Flash and successfully sold them on auction to different sponsors. It was a very interesting experience because at some point I decided to collaborate with artists and music composers to make my games look and sound better and it felt like I was playing at real software development business but with low stakes. At some point it become clear that Flash is dying and I wanted to switch to something different. I was looking for a universal solution that is easy to try and not too platform specific. After some investigation I found playcanvas.com. Game development is only one of my spare time activities. It’s a hobby and it has never been a common speciality for me.

How long have you been using PlayCanvas?
Since January, 2015

What led you to start using PlayCanvas?
I watched all your videos and checked most of tutorials. The feeling was that I can start doing something and getting the results with this platform very fast and it was true. I liked the idea that I didn’t need to install anything – all I needed was a browser, so I decided to give it a chance.

space_buggy_start

Try to start with some simple tasks. I’ve seen a lot of guys who were trying to implement a very difficult game as a first project here. If you do that you will definitely fail.

You’ve won two of our monthly game jams PLAYHACK. Congratulations! How do you decide what sort of game you are going to build for the PLAYHACK?
Thanks a lot! I like that you guys are giving us an initial kick with the model you provide for every PLAYHACK. Frankly, I’m usually thinking about spending a minimal time effort to get a complete product within one month because it’s kind of a motivation deadline for me. I’ve abandoned a lot of very cool projects after this period because I get bored fast.

Tell us a bit about the design process you go through with the games?
I think I spend first week prototyping and forming the overall concept, also checking some of the most risky points that I’m not sure about. The next week is for the game process implementation. Third week is for UI and polishing and fourth is for bug-fixing and last minute changes based on the feedback

Are you an artist as well as a developer? How do you get artwork for you games?
Nope. I used to play the accordion when I was a kid. At the last year of my school and at university I experimented with electronic music and then I switched to games. I think I just need to create something all the time. As for the artwork – I’m trying to use basic shapes and minimalistic style. If it’s not possible I’m searching for royalty free models and textures and adjusting them a little bit

Do you have future plans for Yet Another Gems and Space Buggy?
I’m going to try optimizing them to run faster on a limited hardware

What advice do you have for other people building games for PLAYHACK?
Try to start with some simple tasks. I’ve seen a lot of guys who were trying to implement a very difficult game as a first project here. If you do that you will definitely fail and feel very demotivated afterwards. Getting the results and seeing things work as you wanted – that’s the best motivation, at least for me. And motivation is a ‘must have’ if you make games

What would be your dream game to develop?
Not sure about the genre but it should be a dark space game with a lot of metal and scary robots

Thanks to Rustam for taking the time to talk to us. You try his winning PLAYHACK entries, Yet Another Gems and Space Buggy on PlayCanvas. All his projects are open for inspection and are great learning tools for getting to grips with PlayCanvas.

Try your hand at the latest PLAYHACK going on now.

dave