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We ask indies: Daniël Haazen, winner of Ludum Dare #28!

Daniël Haazen won Ludum Dare #28 with “One Take”, a game about making films in just one uninterrupted shot. In this interview he talks about creative process, influences and his plans for the future!

Daniël Haazen (a.k.a. Sheepolution) is a young indie dev who won Ludum Dare #28 with a game called “One Take”.  Now he answers our questions!

1. How long have you been making games?

I’ve always wanted to make games, but I really started when I was 13. I installed GameMaker and started making stuff. Looking back, my learn progress wasn’t great, so I was still very limited to my programming skills. That was 6 years ago. Right now I’m working in LÖVE, and I’m a lot better at programming, although I still have much to learn.

2. Where do you find ideas for your games? Tell us something about your creative process.

Music. I dislike to get inspired by images or other games, because then I feel like I didn’t come up with the idea myself. My goal has always been to make innovative games, and I don’t feel like I can be innovative if I’m inspired by another game. What I do is turn on a relaxed song, put on my headset, close my eyes, and start thinking. It doesn’t always work, but it does help me focus.

3. You've won Ludum Dare #28 Compo with One Take, a game about making films in just one uninterrupted shot. Do you remember how you came up with this concept?

It just popped into my mind. I repeatedly told myself “One… one..” and scrolled through the possibilities in my mind. “One enemy, one bullet, one life, one.. one..” Then suddenly “One Take” appeared. I don’t know where it came from, it just happens like that. I must say that I have been thinking for 3 hours until I came up with One Take, so it took a while. I wasn’t sure if I was going to use it, as at first it looked at too much work for 48 hours. But after another 15 minutes I decided to go with it. And I’m glad I did.

4. What are your plans with One Take after winning Ludum Dare #28? Are you fleshing it out? Have you thought about porting the game to iOS/Android? Note: Zoom in/zoom out mechanic would work great with pinch gestures!

I am working on a full version for PC right now. A lot of people have suggested making a port for iOS/Android. But I will make the PC version first, and when that is done I’ll look into the possibilities for a port.

5. You've made lots of games for Ludum Dare game jams (compo, challenges and MiniLD). What is your favourite story or anecdote concerning Ludum Dare? Any favourite feedback you remember?

The potato-theme war was hilarious. People coming up with reasons for why the potato is the best theme ever, or introducing its nemesis, bacon. I like the trend of having a joke-theme every year. My favorite feedback has to be on my game Perpetua: “Haha! Dude, I suddenly have so much respect for you out of nowhere! Most rewarding puzzle I've seen in a long time. Well done, man.” That really motivated me a lot. And of course the 9 words from Notch about One Take: “I love the concept! And the art is nice.”

6. Before this whole Ludum Dare winning thing, you've released HOX, a turn-based tactical game in which your opponent’s steps is based on the number you’re standing on. How did you come up with this idea? Also, you've said that HOX started as a board game concept. Do you like board games? Which ones do you play?

We got an assignment from our teacher: “Design a boardgame. But, don’t use dice for movement.” I immediately thought of a square grid with numbers, I just didn’t know what to do with it. I thought of having the number you stand on, decide the number of next steps, but then the player would always choose the highest number. Then I thought, what if you decide your opponent’s steps? I liked the idea so much, that I decided to make it, instead of just design it. I don’t play boardgames a lot, but if I have to choose on I’d say Chess.

7. If you have to choose three and only three game developers to follow their work closely, which ones would you choose and why?

Eyezmaze (GROW series). I love his games. They are so creative and fun. One of my favorite developers for sure! Hitbox Team (Dustforce). Why? Because Dustforce is one of my favorite games, and I’m expecting good things from them in the future. Pixel (Cave Story). Pixel and Cave Story will always be the symbol for indie games to me. I can’t put into words how much I like Cave Story, and how much I respect Pixel. He’s my biggest inspiration by far.

8. Are you a heavy gamer? What games are you playing now?

When I’m not working on my own game, there is a good chance I’m gaming myself. There are a few games that I’m playing a lot: Dustforce, I love hard, challenging platformers. And oh boy, Dustforce is hard! Stepmania, also known as Dance Dance Revolution but with the keyboard. Super Smash Bros. Melee, although I never played in a tournament, I have always been interested in the competitive scene of Melee. I still play it against the computer or friends. Furthermore I’m a bit of a Nintendo fanboy, and I also like to collect retro games. So I have a small collection of that.

9. One last random question. If you could visit any fictional town or location in video games, where would you spend your holidays?

That has to be either Windfall Island, from The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. Or Mineral Town, from Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral town. I’d love to live in a small town like that.


*We Ask Indies is an initiative by Beavl, an Argentinian independent game studio putting some teeth into videogames. You can check all the interviews here (caricatures are made by amazing artist Joaquín Aldeguer!).

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