Momiji Studios in Harrington wants to help gamers create their own.
Do you want to create your own video game, but don’t know where to begin?
Harrington resident Matt Sharp will be able to give you a road map during a free discussion titled “Break Into Game Design” at the Kent County Public Library on Thursday.
Through the indie game company he founded, Momiji Studios (pronounced “moe-me-gee”), Sharp has created multiple games, including his most successful: the fantasy RPG “Lucid Awakening 2,” a PC game that launched on Steam in 2015.
Developed by Valve Corporation, Steam is an ultra-popular site for purchasing PC games.
Though Sharp teaches gaming classes at Wilmington University, he said he's a self-taught game designer who didn't go to college for it.
What’s your definition of game design?
When I hear game design I mostly hear planning and just designing the overall gameplay structure and story structure of a game. But there’s a lot of different aspects.
How does one break into game design?
Don’t spend a lot of time stressing over what you’re going to do. The best way is to just jump in and do something. I even tell my students, “go ahead and make something terrible, but just make something.” Through the process of creating something, you’re going to learn so much more than you would studying from a book or studying in a class.
If you have a computer and internet, you can make a game. I don’t want to sound naive and blind to the fact that not everyone is as fortunate as me, but I’m saying I know the majority of people have a computer and internet at home. For those people, there’s no reason why they can’t be working on a game right now. You just need to have good research skills, use Google and YouTube to watch a lot of good tutorials.
Is there a site you’d recommend?
You can visit unity3d.com. They go through step by step how they get to a finished game. They tell how you to do everything. They’re very good tutorials.
How did “Lucid Awakening 2” come about?
When I was a kid, I had some kind of game pack and I stumbled upon this Japanese one called “Dante RPG Maker 2.” It was in Japanese and it was on Super NES. I loaded it up and realized it was a program to make games. That was pretty cool. I just messed around with it, not knowing what I was doing and then eventually I started researching it some more and found there was one available for PC called “RPG Maker 2000.” I started messing around with it and made horrible things [laughs].
Then you got better at it?
Eventually I found some upgraded versions and found “RPG Maker XP,” which was one of the newer ones. I decided I had enough experience making horrible things and I made “Lucid Awakening.” I released it online on RPG Maker Forums. It never made it outside the bubble of that community. But people liked it. Later on I decided to make a sequel and make something really solid. I used the new “RPG Maker VX.”
After about three years or so of development, I released it. I had it on Steam Greenlight, which is a program where people vote on games; and if they get through, they’re released officially on Steam. Nearly a year later after I finished it, I got an email saying it was approved. I wasn’t expecting to get approved. I just thought I’d try anyway. And I was like “oh, holy crap.” It’s sold pretty well.
What are your goals? Are you interested in working for a major company?
I don’t really want to work for a company. I want to have creative control. And I’m very picky with programming as well. I’d be very obsessive if I had other people program my stuff. I’d look at it and be like, “No.” Then I’d end up rewriting it and saying, “Why don’t I end up writing it all anyway?”
What I’m doing right now is what I like. I’m happy where I’m at right now. I don’t want to be stagnant. I just want to keep going in the direction I’m already going in.