Looking for a brand new indie game to sink your teeth into? 3079 may just be the game for you! We actually spent some time playing the game before we did the interview and I have to say that there was quite a bit to do in the game! We were able to catch Phr00t long enough for an interview about his game, needless to say he was quite forthcoming.
phr00tfly: and thank you for taking the time to interview me :)
Josh Knowles: So, 3079 has been getting some great attention on the internet, how would you describe the game to someone who hasn’t heard of it?
phr00tfly: 3079 is a large, open-world action role playing game. It is set in a futuristic era on an alien world stuck in an endless war, you arrive on the planet to try and figure the cause of the war, and hopefully how to stop it.
phr00tfly: It resembles a “first person shooter”, but it has strong roguelike roots in how all items, quests, terrain and enemies are randomly generated
Josh Knowles: We spent some time playing it, saying there is a lot to do is quite an understatement! Where did you get the idea to create a game like this?
phr00tfly: welp, many moons ago, I made a game called 3059, inspired by the roguelike nethack but i was always into futuristic stuff, not medieval and i always liked procedurally generated worlds, because i want to see something different every time i play.
phr00tfly: i then made 3069, wanting to make a 3D game but i admit, it wasn’t what I hoped. :)
phr00tfly: after playing fallout, just cause 2 and minecraft, i just had too many ideas that I wanted to put together and i really wanted to continue the 3059/3069 series, since 3069 wasn’t so great, 3079 was made! :)
Josh Knowles: Wow, so is this the 3rd game you’ve made then?
phr00tfly: oh man, i have no idea how many games i’ve made. i’ve been programming since middle school… starting with QBasic :)
phr00tfly: it’s been a lifelong hobby, i always need a programming project.
Josh Knowles: Wow! What did you use to create 3079?
phr00tfly: the jMonkeyEngine SDK, i just want to say a few things about that because this engine really made this game possible.
phr00tfly: first, jMonkeyEngine is an all-Java engine, which means whatever I write with it, will be compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux and running linux myself, was pretty important :P
phr00tfly: it was also a free engine that was easy to learn and just made things far easier
phr00tfly: i hope a rise in 3079′s popularity results in a rise of jMonkeyEngine’s popularity because they totally deserve it :)
phr00tfly: here is a post about making 3079 with jMonkeyEngine
phr00tfly: oh yes!
phr00tfly: a great guy, the PR guy alex for the game Towns, has been helping me get in contact with lots of people, including the guys at Desura.
phr00tfly: just yesterday, my game was approved for publishing and sale at Desura
phr00tfly: but until then, my game is already available on my website, the demo and the full version for purchase
Josh Knowles: Congrats on getting your game on Desura! What kinds of things will players expect to see in the final version of the game?
phr00tfly: oh geez, “final version” :P who knows when that will be? ha
phr00tfly: somebody always comes up with a great addition that needs to be done
Josh Knowles: What future features are you planning on implementing?
phr00tfly: welp, i’m just getting key customization in now.. not that exciting, but requested very often
phr00tfly: a more fun idea that i’ve just started warming up to is fortress building
phr00tfly: i was worried about getting into structure building, because i want to distance myself from minecraft
Josh Knowles: That is a feature I myself would love to see. 3079 has quite a few different function keys. I made a list while we played
phr00tfly: ha, neat! Just remember, you can get a list by pressing F1 during the game, it will tell you all the key bindings, and some tips.
Josh Knowles: How do you plan to institute the building of structures without feeling overly “Minecrafty”?
phr00tfly: welp, that was my worry, not feeling overly “minecrafty”
phr00tfly: but like i was saying, someone in the bay12 forums made a good argument ”minecraft didn’t event building things” (even though they did a very good job at it)
phr00tfly: both the previous titles in the series, 3059 and 3069, had “construction materials” that you could use to build fortresses, traps and the like. so why avoid adding a potentially fun feature, that would fit right in with the world, just because of minecraft?
phr00tfly: there are lots of questing options to go with it, e.g. you could get a quest to survive in your fortress, while it gets bombarded
phr00tfly: since the world is under constant war, it just all fits and in the end, it won’t really be too minecrafty, since you won’t be “mining” for the resources, and there won’t be any crafting of parts
Josh Knowles: Great! Now I’ve found all sorts of neat gear while I’ve been playing, what is your favorite item in 3079?
phr00tfly: the sniper rifle and grappling hook :)
phr00tfly: i loved unreal tournament, the original, so i made the sniper rifle act just like that. except for the instant shots, which i thought would be too imbalanced
phr00tfly: and the grappling hook from just cause 2, which was just so much fun
phr00tfly: by having the sniper rifle, i just needed my game to determine if you made a head shot :P
phr00tfly: i kinda want it to say “HEADSHOT”, like in unreal tournament
phr00tfly: DOUBLE KILL, M-M-M-MONSTER KILL KILL KILL
Josh Knowles: The grappling hook makes me think of Bioshock Infinite, which is quite awesome. Since the game is so large, have you added any easter eggs a la Just Cause 2?
phr00tfly: well if i revealed them, they wouldn’t be easter eggs anymore! ha
phr00tfly: but seriously… i don’t think i’ve had time to
phr00tfly: too many non-easter-egg features need adding and balancing :)
Josh Knowles: How often do you plan on releasing updates for 3079? Do you plan on using a regular system, or just whenever?
phr00tfly: “just whenever” :P
phr00tfly: i’m not too big on using a regular system
phr00tfly: i think it can cause features to go out the door without being properly tested
phr00tfly: i like to set a goal on what features i want for the next release, and make sure those features are solid, then release
phr00tfly: i try to pick features that will take about a week to do and my releases have been spaced out around a week, give or take a few days
Josh Knowles: Now, obviously there has been quite a buzz around 3079, have you had any big names in the industry try the game out yet? (Like Jeb or Notch, Redigit etc?)
phr00tfly: I’m not sure how excited Jeb or Notch are to give a shining review to a competitor :P
phr00tfly: however, those guys are obviously doing very well
phr00tfly: a dream of mine has always been to hopefully become a big name in the indie gaming industry myself, or at least a middle-sized name ;)
phr00tfly: i’ll take a decently-sized name
phr00tfly: i’ll keep improving 3079, and keep writing new games regardless, because it’s what i do :)
Josh Knowles: That brings up a great point, the industry has certainly swung in a favorable direction towards the indie market. What do you think indie devs need to keep the market fresh?
phr00tfly: indie devs are known for their innovation, the big publishers and studios play it safe and churn out systematic stuff.
phr00tfly: indies have more freedom to innovate and there are lots of indie developers, so there is lots of people working on finding something unique and fun
phr00tfly: indie devs just need to keep coming up with ideas, be creative — try to make something that hasn’t been done before, which i’m sure that has been said many times but doing it is really hard
phr00tfly: if i had to suggest something to the indie devs
phr00tfly: focus less on clones, and more on new stuff :)
phr00tfly: like, if you like metroid, don’t make a metroid clone
phr00tfly: find out what you like about metroid and make a new game with those elements
Josh Knowles: That is great advice! So, have you had any time to play any games yourself lately?
phr00tfly: not really
phr00tfly: i have a 3 month old son and my free time is developing developing developing
Josh Knowles: Do you have any plans to try to get the game onto consoles eventually?
phr00tfly: i haven’t really given that much thought
phr00tfly: i’m not sure what the development path looks like for java-to-console games
phr00tfly: specifically ones made with jMonkeyEngine
phr00tfly: so, no plans now.. but who knows :)
phr00tfly: if microsoft or sony want to pay me tons of money to do it, i probably would :P
Josh Knowles: Well, since you have a child to tend to, do you have any thanks or shout outs you’d like to give?
phr00tfly: shout out to my son, Jensen, and my wife, Jenny, who I both love very much :)
phr00tfly: also, related to 3079, alexpoysky for helping me out get 3079 out there
phr00tfly: burningpet for the awesome logo design and artistic help and the jMonkeyEngine crew for their great engine and support!
phr00tfly: and of course, all the people who support 3079 :)
phr00tfly: thank you!
Josh Knowles: Well, thanks for spending the time to do this with us!
phr00tfly: and thanks for having me :)
Phr00t recently released the latest update to the game, which allows key mapping and a few graphical improvements as well. I highly recommend that you take the opportunity to play 3079, as it is a game with massive amounts of potential. Check it out here!