This time, our developer interview is with Jan Rigerl, solo game developer and owner of Devm Games. Here at LadiesGamers, James reviewed Super Adventure Hand, a puzzle platformer where you play a literal hand on a quest to reclaim your lost arm from some evil feet. It falls into the category of weird physics-based puzzles. James gave it a score of I Like it a lot and said this in his conclusion:
I really enjoyed my time with Super Adventure Hand. This is a physics puzzler with solid controls and entertaining bite-sized gameplay. The game felt at its peak when it experimented with more unusual mechanics like vehicles and level design. It faulted a little bit for me by relying too heavily on key collecting. Regardless, Super Adventure Hand still had me hooked to the end. While the game is only single-player, I can see this being a fun novelty experience to share with loved ones in the same room. Maybe swapping the controller or Switch between levels. This will likely get a giggle or two, if nothing else. It gets a solid one thumb up from me.
Of course, LadiesGamers is always about the personal story in an interview, so we asked Jan how Devm Games was founded and the story behind the development of Super Adventure Hand.
Who is Jan Rigerl? Can you tell us about yourself?
I’m a Swedish game developer. I like developing unusual games. In particular, I like making unique control mechanics, be it an arcade version of sailing, a forklift, movers co-carrying a couch or a disembodied hand.
How did you start out as a game developer?
Well, as a teenager, I got very interested in 3D graphics; I initially wanted to do special effects for movies, but the movie business is not big in Sweden, so instead, I applied for a position as a 3D artist at a game developer and luckily got the job. This was in 2001, so the game industry was quite different from now, but I stuck with it.
What’s behind the name of your studio Devm Games, and how was it founded?
It was originally more of a contracting company. Furthermore, I helped other companies with mostly programming tasks. The name was Dev Monkey. Eventually, I started making my own games and wanted to shorten it. I didn’t spend much thought on it since I never expected to be doing it for so long. I started by making Flash games by myself back in 2009, then moved on to mobile games, and since 2017, it’s been mostly PC/Consoles.
For the game Super Adventure Hand that was recently released, how did the idea come together to make a game about a hand looking for its arm?
It started, like many of my other games, with an idea for a unique control mechanic. I wanted something that could walk on walls just as well as on the ground. I wanted procedural animation so the limbs would match the movement correctly. At first, it was just a box with sticks on it, but since I was already using my own hand as a reference to make the animation, I figured, why not just make the game about a lost hand?
There had to be something to motivate the hand, so a lost arm made sense. It’s in the context of a pretty weird game, at least. 🙂
Inspiration for Super Adventure Hand
What inspired the development of Super Adventure Hand? E.g. other video games or life experiences?
Nothing in particular; I did enjoy games like Snake Pass and I am Bread; both have very unique controls and allow you to walk on walls.
Want to read the rest of the interview, too? About the animation of the hand, the biggest challenge Jan had to overcome while developing Super Adventure Hand, his advice to developers just getting started and more.
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