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Check out an interview with our very own Tom Deerberg about a beautiful and surreal new indie puzzle game, Ramiwo.
Ramiwo is a stylish indie game created by a small team that you can play on Steam today. The game was created as a side project, and we spoke to Tom Deerberg, Environment Artist at Crytek, about what players can expect and how the team used CRYENGINE to create their indie game quickly.
Hey Tom, thanks for joining us. What was the inspiration behind this project?
The idea was born after some speed modeling exercises. One evening, I modeled a scenario from one photo, similar to these. It was all very rough and dirty, but it captured a mood quite nicely. After doing around 25 of them, I got bored and started to remix the sets, mixing a city with a barn, a jungle with a harbor, industrial sites with a forest landscape, and much more. After another 25 remixed settings, I decided to try some more extreme things, like using vertex deformation and texture oscillators. I was trying out things we don’t normally do very much during regular production at Crytek.
It was around this time that the idea came about to make more than just another Artstation post. How could we make something for players? I asked a colleague to help me prototype a version of an endless cube, with environments connected through gates with four per environment, represented on a cube that serves as a map.
What will players experience when they play Ramiwo?
The player will see a lot of different environments in a very fast rhythm, with environments ranging from the realistic to the surreal. The player must study the map to understand where they are, and then read the environment to work out how to get to the next new area. Players may get a little lost at times, but that’s part of the puzzle!
You’ve worked on several of our AAA productions. What was the biggest difference in development when it came to creating Ramiwo?
The biggest difference was to think small! It’s not about applying all of the learned knowledge from a regular AAA production, but working with what is available. I wanted to choose a short time frame, scope, and keep the game assets simple.
Which CRYENGINE features helped you with this project?
We used the engine’s basic tools because we wanted to keep the scope small. The environment editor helped us create a wide range of different lighting, and the cube map baker helped us quickly create ‘cheap’ reflections and ambient light. We used Flowgraph to build the logic for teleporting from world-to-world and used a visual script to build a simple first person setup. The compile function allowed us to package the final build.
What advice would you give to developers who want to create a short game like this?
Stay small in scope, rethink ideas, and cut as many ideas as possible if you are working alone or as part of a very small team. We had many more ideas, but we decided to keep everything small and simple. But most of all, just give it a try if you are interested as it’s a really exciting process.
Check out Ramiwo on Steam now. If you do decide to try it, be sure to let them know how you liked the game.
Are you working on an indie game? Let us know on the forum, or via Facebook and Twitter. You can ask questions, pick up tips and tricks, and more by joining our community and the CRYENGINE development team over on our official CRYENGINE Discord channel. If you find a bug in the engine, please report it directly on GitHub, which helps us to process the issue quickly and efficiently.
Are you looking for your next career move? At Crytek, we value diversity, and we actively encourage people from all kinds of backgrounds and experience levels to apply to our open positions, so join us over at LinkedIn and check out our careers page.