Welcome to Show And Tell, our regular feature where we speak to indie devs and game students about the projects they're working on or have just finished. Today we have Kyle Castley, a developer from Nyx Studios, who is here to talk about his final project at Queensland's University of Technology, [stranded]. As a bonus, Kyle has shared links to the projects his classmates have worked on, so click through to check out the games of some of QUT's most recent graduates!
Can you introduce yourself and tell me a little bit about your studio?
Hey there, my name is Kyle Castley, and I’m a part of Nyx Studios. We formed in March this year for our final project at Queensland University of Technology. Our studio consists of five people: two animators (Ryan and Dane), two programmers (Jon and Jayden), and myself as the producer.
What game are you working on at the moment?
We have just finished our first title, [stranded], a free game for the PC and Mac. It’s a strategic top-down shooter and that most players can finish in about an hour. Although it is a ‘shooter’ we use the term pretty loosely —the game is pretty hard if all you want to do is run and gun. The game puts you in the work-boots of Theodore O'Hare, Cargo Officer of a military transport vessel. Stuck on an unknown planet after your ship is attacked without warning, your job is to activate the rescue beacons that were jettisoned into the wilderness around you while fending off aliens, rogue inhabitants, and more. We also built our own engine.
Where and when can we play?
You can play by grabbing the game from indieDB, right now!
For a bonus, if you want to see where we came from and some really early concept and engine tests, check out this blog.
What’s next for your studio — any big plans?
As was mentioned in an article earlier this week, it’s pretty tough for a games student once they’ve graduated. Nyx Studios has been quite lucky though, and our hard work with [stranded] seems to have paid off. Both programmers and one of our animators have accepted contracts offered to them, and the success of the game played a big part in that.
As for future in-studio projects, there are plans for some smaller games that will be easier for us to create now our engine is built.
Any words of advice for those who want to get into the games industry?
If you’re a student at a university or TAFE: make friends! If you’re an animator, get to know some programmers, if you’re a programmer, get to know some animators. If you’re a game designer, befriend everybody or you won’t have any projects to work on. With the Australian industry currently being so small, it’s likely you’re going to have to work on your own projects with your own teams outside of your degree, which means you’ve got to know people who will be willing to work with you, and who you know do good work.
Also, finish what you start. If there is one thing that has been stressed during my study, it’s that a smaller, more polished, finished game will always beat a game that’s not finished. This applies to artists, too — a finished, polished model or animation looks much better in a portfolio than just some concept or a rig (unless it’s really good and you’re looking for a job in concept/rigging).
One last thing, it hasn’t just been Nyx Studios working hard over the last year at QUT, so I’d like to share with you the works of my friends and fellow students who also published their first game recently:
Are you an indie dev working on a cool project? Have you just finished a big project for university? Why not share it with us? Send us an email with "Show And Tell" in the subject line and let us know about your project!