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Creator Spotlight - Alex

By Björn Ritzl on Jul 20, 2020


In the Creator Spotlight posts we invite Defold users to present themselves and share a bit of their background, their work and things that inspire them. It is an excellent opportunity for the community to come together, to recognise achievements and to share some of the great work done by Defold users.

In the first ever Creator Spotlight we invited Alex (aka Topbraj), the creator of Fates of Ort, to tell us a little bit about himself and his current project.

What is your name?

Hi! My name is Alex, but I go by topbraj on the Defold forums.

What is your background (age, country, occupation or anything else you like to share)?

I am 32 years young, live in Scotland, trained as an accountant but taking a break from the fun to delve into the seriousness of gamedev for a bit.

When and how did you learn of Defold?

Back in 2017 when I first decided to make a serious project I would be happy to charge money for. My previous work had been limited to freely playable browser based games, and they were made in Flash.

What do you like the most about Defold?

There are many things I like about Defold, and it is hard to pick the main one. I love working in Lua, I think it’s great that the engine is focused on 2D games, effortless targeting of different platforms is a big bonus, the engine and editor are easy to understand and use, it’s free, and finally, the community is excellent.

What is your favourite game of all times?

That’s a really tough question to answer, so I’m going to cop out by listing a bunch. These are all kind of my favourite game, for different reasons: Morrowind, Diablo 2, Donkey Kong Country, Eternal Darkness.

What are you working on right now?

Having just finished a project, I am in the very early stages of a new one. I think my idea could be best described as a mix of FTL and Darkest Dungeon. It’s a roguelike set in space, where the player is tasked with managing the crew of a nuclear powered ship across centuries of travel in a gritty universe full of loot and danger.

Which part of your current project are you most proud of?

Since my current project is in such an early stage of development, I will answer in reference to my recently completed one – Fates of Ort. First of all, I have to say that the soundtrack (by Chris Gray) is phenomenal and the world brought to life by Karlis Zabers artwork is beautiful, so if I could point to either of those things I would love to. But the question is aimed at me personally, so I have to come up with something I was personally responsible for! I think producing a full fledged RPG adventure (about 15 hours for a first timer to complete) in two and a half years is no mean feat in itself, and I can definitely take credit for that happening. Other than all the programming (something I’m proud of as well), I wrote the whole world, including an intricate history, all of the plot and dialogue, and a myriad of quests with multiple endings that all combined into something that can be described as a coherent story.

Way to go, me!

Tell us about your ugliest hack to get a job done!

Oh no, there are too many to pick from! Let’s see what we can find…

Here’s the classic hack of setting a timer to delay code execution until something else completes. Neat!

What about something more creative – like having a character disappear by covering their departure with a dialogue box?

I’m sure I could go on, but these global variables are just cluttering everything up…

(PS. Once I discovered and understood modules in Defold I was finally able to kick my nasty global variable habit. Score!)

How can the community follow your progress (Twitter, blog, website etc)?

I stream Defold gamedev over at my Twitch channel. Why don’t you stop on by sometime?