A Spotlight on Dani Marti - From GameDevHQ

Hey everyone! Today we put a spotlight on our very own Dani Marti and get a full on look at the expectations for Crumbling world, and information on the history of Dani’s story. This article will be broken down into two parts.


The first one is about Crumbling world and what to expect with it, while the second half is about Dani and his Personal journey. Let us know if you like content like this, as we plan to target some of you other developers out there as you get closer to commercial projects.



CRUMBLING WORLD

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The project Crumbling world you’ve seen us talk about before in the past, but today we dig even deeper. Based on the ever popular Unity engine, Crumbling World manages to combine three popular genres (infinity runners, action, and role-playing games) to create an engaging experience that is truly unique. Run through seamless, ongoing levels as the world rapidly crumbles below your feet. Fight off a never ending onslaught of enemies with your favorite combat class. As you progress through the game, upgrading your character’s skills and attributes can make the difference between saving the world from the Evil Forces, or perishing with it.


In order to save humanity, Crumbling World players must choose one of five character classes. Some might feel that the best way to save humanity is by embracing it. For these players, the classes of Knight, Wizard, and Archer are available in both male and female character designations. For those that want to embrace the mythology of the Crumbling World, players can opt to save the World with either the Brute or the Creature. With each character class comes a unique set of attacks and attributes, allowing players the opportunity to try different loadout combinations to see which options are their favorite.



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With a procedural generated world, every play through of Crumbling World is guaranteed to be more engaging and challenging than the last. With every playthrough of the game vegetation, obstacles, and enemies are randomly placed throughout each of the twenty five levels, ensuring that each attempt at saving the World brings new and exciting scenarios with it. This intentional randomness, combined with the game’s unique isometric camera viewpoint, are guaranteed to provide a new, cinematic gaming experience each time players enter the World of the Evil Forces.

These twenty five levels span five unique and challenging regions. Fight through the Fields, survive the Forests, sprint through the Towns, scale royal Castles, and descend into the Dungeons as you continue your epic quest to save the world from the Evil Forces that have taken control of everything you know and hold dear. Take heed of which character classes and loadouts prove to be most effective, as learning which style of play works best for you can make the difference between saving the world, or perishing with it.



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As you can see, there are a ton of innovative and exciting features that are sure to make Crumbling World a tremendously enjoyable gameplay experience for everyone. While we are super excited about sharing this project with you, we do want to make it clear that Crumbling World is still in the early stages of development. Currently, Dani Marti’s plan is to first release the game to the iOS App Store, with releases planned for both Windows and Mac shortly thereafter. We hope that you’re just as excited about this project as we are, and invite you to follow along on Dumearts blog and social media accounts for great updates on Crumbling World as we continue throughout the development process. You can find all the information directly on Dumearts.com and on most social platforms as @Dumearts.


Thanks Dani for letting us use this awesome explanation of the games mechanics, and for the artwork to use in this spotlight. This game seriously looks glorious. We can’t wait to play it on one of our live streams in the future.


Now that you know what Crumbling world is TRULY about lets take a look at behind the scenes and get to know Dume Arts.



Dani Marti - Founder of Dume Arts

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This is a little bit of a newer approach for us. We decided to plan this like an interview on paper for you guys, so you can get a full review of Dani and his experience. We hope you enjoy our rather long discussion with Dani, and his awesome history.


Deciding to tackle a commercial project is rough. Especially when you’re starting out. Not many people pull it off, but we are still mesmerized by the continued growth of this game. So Dani, did you pull this off all on your own or do you have a team behind the curtain?

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While this is a solo project, I did use various assets form the Asset Store, in addition to partnering with a small media company called Bednar Communications for help with the storyline and content of the game. As English is not my first language, I did this to ensure that the verbiage seen throughout the game was correct. Additionally, I partnered an experienced actor for the voice over.” - Dani



Dume Arts makes me think of making angels in the sand. Where did the name of your studio come from?

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“My studio is called Dume Arts. I live in Malibu with my wife near Point Dume, which is one of my favorite surfing spots. My wife suggested using the word “Dume” for the title of my studio, and just like that Dume Arts was born.” - Dani



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If surfing doesn't make you cooler already, I don't know what does. Can you surf AND develop at the same time? Ignore that. Instead tell us how long has Dume Arts been running and if there is any plans for future titles?

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“...As I have always been an entrepreneur, I thought that starting a game studio would be a great way to actively pursue my passion for game design. I started my studio about a year ago, as I had been learning Game Development and 3D graphics for about a year before this. While I haven’t yet released my first full game, I have entered three Game Jam competitions (hosted by GameDevHQ) and will soon be finishing up my first commercial title, Crumbling World…” - Dani


It’s amazing how many Game Jam project we’ve had that become more fleshed out well beyond the Game Jam date. When you’re starting the idea of a new project, what’s your process?

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“My game development process typically starts with an idea or a simple concept that can work by itself. From here, I look to add more details and functionalities to make things more interesting. I do my best to keep my games simple, as I know down the road that I will be adding features that I didn’t plan for during the initial game development. I think that this tendency is one of the negatives we experience as game developers, as it is very easy to overcomplicate a good idea.” - Dani


I’m sure beyond myself, Jon can agree that over scope is a difficult issue for starting Developers. TO help cut down time, we see you mentioned already that some of your art was from third parties. What made you choose to go with assets from the asset store?

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...My goal for this game was to get it in the hands of players as soon as possible. As I have had previous experience with creating assets, I know how time-consuming this process can be, so I decided to avoid creating assets from scratch to quicken the pace of my development process. I feel that solo developers need to take advantage of their available resources, so I plan on using assets to assist with the creation of the environment in future games... “ - Dani



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Want this game Asset? Check out our filebase here:


Agreed. Taking advantage of the massive amounts of assets out there is an angle every new developer should take hold. At least for prototyping at minimum. This isnt the only issue though developers face. What would you say your biggest struggle was for Crumbling World Development?

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By far, the biggest problem I faced was creating procedural and randomly generated levels. Since the game development team consisted of one person, I wanted to create some mechanism that would allow me to design levels fast while at the same time allowing for a greater degree of replay-ability for those who will be enjoying this game. I ended up spending most of my time creating the code that would achieve this, and am now at the point where I can create a greater number of levels using assets.


Currently, my level system is a prefab that is paired with a collection of other prefabs, with each of these collections utilizing their graphics. For example, I have a collection for the ground, trees, walls, and other facets of the environment. This allows my system to choose and randomly display a graphic derived from these collections. From here, my system “knows” which combinations can be displayed for these one or more elements, thus allowing for an infinite number of combinations. “- Dani



Oh boy. Procedural Generation is such a fun concept, and looks scary to implement. I’ll be doing the same for our upcoming live stream, remind me to get back with you on that as maybe you can help me approach it correctly! How much time do you think you’ve put into the project so far?

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While it’s hard to accurately estimate the time that I’ve dedicated to Crumbling World, as I was only able to develop it in my spare time, I would guess that I have put in around 700 hours so far.” - Dani


That's a lot of time. 700 hours is a month of actual pure time working on the project. What is it you do for a living, and how did you manage working and learning and development all in one go?

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I am a Graphic Designer and Web Designer/Developer by training. At the start of my game development journey, I became increasingly frustrated, as I was only using my game time to work on projects like Crumbling World. Outside of my daily work as a designer, I was spending time with my wife and pursuing my passion of surfing, in addition to learning 3D graphics, so I had very little time to dedicate to game development. My progression was very slow, and I was starting to get frustrated after a few months.


During this time, I was watching a lot of indie game developers talk about their experiences, which taught me that many others had experiences similar to mine. After watching an inspiring talk by David Brevik, the creator of Diablo, I got extremely inspired and decided to get up every day at 5 AM to work on my game development. This ended up being a game changer for me, as even on my busiest days I was still able to dedicate around 4 hours to game development. I’ve been following this habit for the past six months, and I can’t describe how great it is to wake up every morning with a feeling of excitement and an urge to get started with my game development again. “ - Dani



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Wait. So you wake up early to do development before starting your day? That might be genius. I will get that talk from you for the community at a later date. How long have you been developing for, and what inspired you to start?

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I started working in game development about two and a half years ago. While my journey to game development was unique, I fell in love with this new creative outlet quickly. As a kid, I always loved to draw and create. Unfortunately, I began to feel stuck in my career as a graphic designer a few years ago, so I started taking more classes in design and focusing more on making illustrations. One day, I drew a cool character and thought to myself, “it would be awesome to make this in 3D,” which led me to discover 3D graphics.


As I started learning about 3D graphics, I felt super intimidated as I knew it was going to take a long time to learn, regardless of how accessible the required technology had become over the past few years. Everyone I talked to was saying that it would take at least one year to learn the software and two more years to be able to design a decent model. I figured that the sooner I started to learn, the sooner I would be able to create some cool stuff, so I started learning Blender and browsing for more and more courses on the subject. Before I knew it, I stumbled upon this software called Unity, which I quickly realized was a super powerful development engine for game development. While I always thought game development would be super inaccessible, Unity changed my misconceptions, so I started learning C#, which was fairly reasonable thanks to my background as a Flash Developer. “ - Dani


Your artwork is equally impressive. Recently you posted a 3D model in discord (posted below) and its purely astounding. I can’t wait to see you make your very own assets for your games in the future. Where did you come up for the idea for Crumbling World and how did it change over time?



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This game is an evolution for an entry that I initially created for a “Secret Levels” themed Game Jam hosted by GameDevHQ. My idea was to create a world that was opening up and getting destroyed as a player ran throughout each level. The commercial version of this idea, Crumbling World, has far better graphics than my Game Jam entry, in addition to five different character classes, more complex combat mechanics, lots of enemies and levels, and the ability for players to improve the skills of their play throughout the game. “ - Dani




You’re rather experienced. I assume you’re pretty comfortable with what you are, and are not capable of at this point. What would you say your strengths and weaknesses are?

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I think that my strengths are my creativity and my background as a graphic designer, which helps me a lot with the aesthetics of game design. My weak point is my lack of experience as a game developer, which sometimes leads me to struggle and overcomplicate things for myself. While I feel that all creatives experience insecurities at some point during their career, I am confident that my skills will improve as I spend more time as a game developer. “ - Dani


Was there any particular reason you chose to make the game on Unity? (besides it’s awesome.)

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I chose Unity, as I like the fact that it allows you to port your game to different platforms easily. Unity is continually improving and is quickly becoming an even more powerful engine to work with, so I feel like I ended up choosing the right engine at the right time. “ - Dani


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How has the community affected your growth as a developer?

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The community is a great place to be. Nowadays, we are isolated in our homes and offices, which makes it more difficult to network, but thanks to the community we still have a great place to share our progress, ask for feedback, or talk about game development in general. The community is fantastic, as everyone is very nice and friendly, which has been very helpful both for my career as a game developer and for my games. “ - Dani


Is there a release date in the works for Crumbling World?


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“There is not yet a release date set for Crumbling World. My goal is to launch the game for iOS, Mac, and PC before Christmas, with support for the Nintendo Switch slated for release some time at the start of 2019. “ - Dani



Thank you so much Dani. Watching your growth is truly inspiring not only to other developers in the community, but to myself as a student. I appreciate you taking your time with me over the course of weeks prepping this piece. We’re super excited about Crumbling World as I’ve said a million times, and everyone else should be too.



We hope you enjoyed this spotlight of developer Dani Marti of Dume Arts. Until next time! Later dudes!



- Ryan



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