Meet Thomas Moon Kang The Developer of One Step From Eden
Thomas Moon Kang has an impressive professional background in software and indie game development. With two games already produced and under his belt he moves on to developing and producing the anticipated game "One Step From Eden" in 2019. Thomas walks us through the development of his latest release as well as shares insider tips to the indie game industry.
You have an extensive background in web design, programming, and software. In fact, your portfolio is filled with more than just game titles. What interested you in game and web development to begin with?
I always loved creating things, and game development is the epitome of creation. I mean you’re literally creating everything about an entire world! Web development is a much lighter and relaxing side of that. But I’ve been making games for quite a while, since the early Use Map Settings days of Starcraft. Eventually I moved on to Gamemaker in high school, and then Unity in college.
I always loved creating things, and game development is the epitome of creation. ~Thomas Moon Kang
In 2016, you developed the concept of your latest game, One Step From Eden. This game is a massive departure from your past games minBlue and ASTRAL Gun. According to your Kickstarter you have impressive support and backing for One Step From Eden. What was your inspiration behind this game and how hard was it to get from concept to full development?
I was really into roguelikes (and still am). I was so impressed by FTL and Nuclear Throne and Risk of Rain. Looking forward to the infinite possibilities at the beginning of each run, and never knowing what to expect next. But I wanted to do something different.
One of my favorite series was MegaMan Battle Network on the gba, and I’d been looking for someone to bring that back but no one really had. It had a really unique combat system that I wanted more of, so I decided I would have to explore it myself. It took quite a bit of work and many trashed prototypes to get to the system now in One Step From Eden.
It ends up playing pretty differently from Battle Network due to the 4x4 grid putting a bigger focus on movement and fluidity, and the spell casting system being completely real-time. But I believe it still captures the essence of what made that gameplay fun and satisfying.
The game allows the players to use cards from a deck in real-time. The deck of cards is loaded with hundreds of different features. How did you map out and incorporate 150+ spells, characters, and items into the game?
Mapping out the hundreds of spells and artifacts was probably the toughest part of making One Step From Eden. I was using GameObjects in Unity for each spell but that just wasn’t manageable past a certain point. I had to scrap the whole thing and figure out a way to mix and match pieces of code at runtime, and prevent duplicate code. This was only possible using Moonsharp with Lua for creating scripts that could be applied to spells at runtime and XML for creating manageable tables of data for spells, enemies, items, and more. Now adding a spell to the game is as easy as adding a row to a table. I can’t imagine making a game with this many effects/features any other way, but I’m also not a professional game developer haha.
Will you be adding to the deck of cards like an additional DLC in the future?
If there is any DLC, it will be free. I’m sure there will be awesome ideas but I won’t be able to fit into the initial release However, I’m more excited to see what everyone else will add through modding, which should be pretty easy in the full game. I haven’t enabled mod support yet but people like Ladybug in the discord have been adding their own custom spells into the game already! I was surprised and impressed to say the least.
You plan to launch the full game for Mac and PC in 2019 then console and mobile in 2020. Are there any surprises you have in store for gamers with each launch?
I’m hoping the alternate endings will be surprising for players. The “last” boss fight should also be a big surprise. I’ll be sure to add some neat stuff in for the Nintendo Switch release!
What advice would you give to others wanting to follow a career in game development?
If you want to make something good, you have to stop playing League of Legends or other MMOs, and stop watching tv/Netflix. Otherwise, you just won’t have time.
Where can our reader follow you and keep current with your work?
You can follow me on twitter
The One Step From Eden twitter (way more popular)
And the devblog for more substantial updates