First, please take a moment to introduce yourself and DunkelGames.
Well… hi! As you've said my name is Alejandro Jimenez and I'm an indie developer trying to achieve what lots of people seek on these days, that is making games for a living and being able to eat properly with this awesomely fun work! I've been coding since I was very young and started doing some game projects at 12 that never have seen the light, but at that age it was clear that was something I loved to do. Some years have passed and I'm 27 now, working as an IT manager for a spanish enterprise and really far from the videogame industry, but thanks to Corona SDK I've been able to get back to my childhood dreams, with more strength than ever.
DunkelGames is not a studio yet, but hopefully it will be soon. At this time is just a group of three friends that totally love to make and play games.
What is your role at DunkelGames?
Actually I'm the lead designer / community manager. That may sound fancy but I'm just a guy that writes a lot of code, then learns what he got wrong and rewrites almost everything while trying to make sure I don't miss a single comment about our games to keep learning as much as possible.
What is the size of DunkelGames and would you want to introduce others?
As I've said, we are three members right now, the others are Pedro Oria (a friend from childhood who also is a great developer and videogame freak) and Joan Carles Quintans (an awesome graphic artist who has thrown our latest product quality to its max).
What is the Idea of DunkelGame's business (self publishing, services, etc)?
Right now we are just focusing on making some games while we still work at our day jobs so we have to focus at one project at a time, giving it the proper love. We will be working this way for a time and let some time pass to see how things evolve.
What platforms do you develop for?
Our platform is iOS right now, but we are learning as much as we can about Android and plan to be there soon as well.
How many Apps have you/DunkelGames published
I've developed 'The Knife Club' on my own as an AppStore first contact a little fast game about knife dancing that always raises some laughs when you play with friends. As a team, we now have a really though platformer on the AppStore, called ChocoRun, it borrows the spirit of the thoughest console platformers and brings it into iOS with never seen before controls, a platformer that's controlled with one finger and still feels like a platformer is something we haven't seen before.
What was your flagship app that you think brought you/DunkelGames to the limelight?
Without any doubt, ChocoRun is our flagship product and also a game we totally love to play. It's been featured on 'New and Noteworthy' in 113 countries and it also won the 'Game of the Week' selection on Corona SDK's. So we think that was pretty cool for the first serious game we've made.
Which is your favourite app amongst all your apps?
Also, ChocoRun, I simply can't go to bed without playing some levels before ;-)
What is your favourite app that you have not created?
That's a hard decision but I think I will go for 'Cut the Rope'. It's so awesomely thought for a touch device, it has great puzzles and its main character is just totally cute, above that, as a developer I think that game really is a masterpiece with its rope mechanics. Totally recommended for everyone.
What is your favourite device (Computer & Phone) and why?
Macbook Air and iPhone 4 win on this one. I really don't need rough power for my work so the portability, lightness and speed of these devices fits awesomely into my workflow. And really, they are gorgeus!
Can you tell us a little bit more about ChocoRun?
Well the whole point that made me decide for doing a platformer like ChocoRun were virtual controls, mostly, the lack of them. This is my favourite genre and I've played many platformers on iOS but always felt something was missing, virtual controls don't work so well for me. Of course there are some really well done virtual controls out there but I think developers have to do a real effort on thinking wich device they are targeting and how that device is meant to be used. What I wanted to do is bring a new take on what platformers should be on a touch device, and that's what really makes ChocoRun a unique experience. I think it delivers the feeling of playing a platformer without actually using any traditional controls, just one touch, hold to charge a jump and release to perform it, while the character movement is automatic. That also forced us to make levels that were very specific to its gameplay but I think we have succeded in not making the game feel artificial or different from what platformer lovers are used to play.
What was the inspiration for the app?
As everyone can tell at first sight, the main influence for ChocoRun was Super Meat Boy, it simply is my favourite game of all time, totally awesome. I really wanted to have the same experiences on the go as I have with Super Meat Boy at home and I've tried to deliver exactly that while keeping my ideas on making a game for a touchscreen device, preserving its fast paced action and precision requirements.
What are the main categories your apps are in? (Games/Utilities/etc)
At this moment, both are games. Maybe in a future we try to do some non-games apps.
Do you advertise for any apps you have published? What was the outcome/results?
Not yet, I just throw some tweets and Facebook posts about it from time to time. Still learning what's the best way to advertise.
When did you start development?
I started development at 12, with very basic tools and little code but that helped me a lot to get into real coding later. That first 386 I had in those days opened a world of possibilities for me.
How did you get into Development? What attracted you to this?
Since my first computer I've been in love with technology and always wanted to know more and more about it. When I was at school one teacher had the idea of teaching us to use computers properly, you know, word processor, spreadsheets and that kind of things. Almost everyone at my class already had this knowledge so the teacher was pretty astonished (computers weren't so popular in spanish schools at that time) And he proposed us to have some Visual Basic classes to develop a simple app and learn about development. We all were very pleased with that and I remember those days as one of the most the most exciting from my childhood. I made an Arkanoid styled game wich I still have with me! Great days, indeed.
What is your favourite programming language?
I really like object oriented coding and my preference for that is C#.
Do you believe in the giving back code to the society to help aid development
Totally, I wouldn't been able to make any apps if it weren't for the help I've got from many sources, specially the Corona SDK community and Peach Pellen from Techority.com. Also I already had the opportunity to help some folks starting with coding and it feels great to be useful for them!
Do you have any GitHub repositories or OpenSource or code repos?
Not yet but I think this is only a matter of time.
What do you do other than Development?
When I'm not coding I greatly enjoy going to concerts to listen some rock and metal music. \m/
What is your method of commute? (Bike, Train, Car, Walk)
I usually move by car. I live a little far from where my best friends are and there's no train in my town so it's really the only option to meet them.
So what is next in the pipeline for DunkelGames?
Hehe, we are working on our next game but I really can't tell you any details of it right now. I just can say it will be easier than ChocoRun as it's targeting at a totally different market.
What advice would you give to other developers out there?
Keep working hard, expect lots of trolls out there and fight them with style and good intentions. You'll also meet great people on your way, I'm sure about that, learn with them and help others as that will also help you. Life is just hard but you can do well if you keep focused on what you want and go step by step on this looong stairway.
Would you want to provide your contact details if any one would want to get in touch with you/DunkelGames?
Of course, you can get in touch with me or the other members of DunkelGames in various ways:
Our Website: http://www.dunkelgames.com
ChocoRun's Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=223758790972082
And our twitter accounts: @dunkelg (Alejandro), @DaRkGaBeR (Pedro), @joanqui01 (Joan Carles)
Feel free to bug us as much as you want ;-)
Thank you for your time, we appreciate your participation.