🎤 Interview with Squimmy

2022年 12月 26日
Indie Tsushin 2022 December issueThis article was featured in our 2022 December issue. Check out more articles and interviews in the full issue.

Squimmy was kind enough to speak with us about their experience making games and participating in game jams!

English Screenshot from Hulagain!

(2020) Hulagain

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your life in Japan.

I'm Squimmy, and I work as a developer at a games company in Tokyo. I've been in Tokyo for about eight years now and I've worked at a couple of different games companies in that time. I also make games in my free time. So far I've mostly just done Ludum Dare entries, but I'm trying to branch out, and I also participated in the September 2022 Unity1Week game jam. (ed. note: After this interview was conducted, Squimmy also participated in the December Unity1Week game jam with ReSeArCH!)

How did you get started making games?

I've been playing around with making games for about as long as I can remember (I think the earliest was a failed attempt at making a Breakout clone in OPL—an obscure programming language for a line of early-nineties PDAs), but I never finished anything I started. Eventually, in 2019, I entered Ludum Dare. I still didn't really finish the game I made, but I did at least release it, which was a first.

Screenshot from Glub-Glubmarine

(2022) Glub-Glubmarine

What projects have you worked on in the past? What are some things you learned from making them?

After my first Ludum Dare entry, I got much better at finishing things (at least when there's an externally-imposed deadline), and I enter Ludum Dare whenever I can. There’s a 48-hour time limit (72 hours for group entries), so it forces you to be strict with the scope of your game. I think managing scope is a crucial skill, even when you have more time available. Also, the last two games I entered into Ludum Dare were made as a team, and that taught me the value of good communication and organisation. The short timescale really highlights how even a small misunderstanding can lead to complications.

What does your general process for game development look like?

I try to start by spending time up-front making sure the concept for the game is good. I come up with loads of ideas and most of them are pretty bad. Game jams in particular are a great opportunity to try these ideas out and experiment, but with zany ideas it can take time to iron-out the kinks, so It's important to strike a balance there. Ultimately, the games I've made that I'm most disappointed in aren't the ones that were buggy or lacked polish, but the ones that were just a boring and unoriginal idea. As for actually making the game, I usually start off with some art assets—sprites or 3D models—because this helps me find the tone for the game early on and keep the mood of things consistent.

Screenshot from ReSeArCH

(2022) ReSeArCH

What are some of your favorite games and game genres? What do you find most appealing about them?

I really enjoyed Outer Wilds and also Return of the Obra Dinn. They're both great examples of a kind of story that can only be told as a game, which I find much more interesting than all the big budget games that try to copy the structure and storytelling techniques of TV and movies.

As for my favourite genre, I've always been a big fan of roguelikes, specifically "classic" roguelikes. Years ago it was games like Angband or Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup; these days it's Caves of Qud. The permadeath element allows them to handle risk/reward in a way that isn't possible in a game where you can just reload your save if things don’t go your way.

What are some of the biggest influences on your works?

As well as entering Ludum Dare whenever I can, I also try to play as many of the other entries as possible. They’re usually short and often quite creative and original, so it's a great way to get exposed to a lot of clever ideas. There are also some games that have big problems which, had the creators had more time, would normally be fixed before release, so it's also a fantastic opportunity to learn from other people's mistakes.

Screenshot from あっ!ためて! (Ah! Keep Warm!)

(2022) あっ!ためて!
Ah! Keep Warm!

Please tell us about your game 「あっ!ためて!」 (Ah! Warm Up!)

In 「あっ!ためて!」 you play as a dragon trying to help people stay warm. You control how far you breathe fire by holding down any button and you score points for how many villagers you warm up this way. Setting anyone on fire is an instant game-over. It was my first entry to Unity1Week and I’m pleased with how it turned out, all things considered.

What was it like entering Unity1Week? Do you plan on entering it again in future?

It was fun! I only really have Ludum Dare to compare it to, but the comments people left on each other's games seemed much more friendly and encouraging than the criticism I'm used to seeing. I'm looking forward to entering again.

Screenshot from あっ!ためて!

What was the most challenging part of making 「あっ!ためて!」?

The biggest challenge was making the whole thing in only two days. I had been thinking of entering Unity1Week for a while, but the first I saw of the September jam was when it was already well underway! Luckily I had the idea for 「あっ!ためて!」 and realised the scope was small enough to get it made in the couple of days I had left before the deadline, and the silly pun title that tied together both the theme and the gameplay was too much to pass up. I also hadn't used Unity for a few years at that point, so I had to re-learn all its little quirks in short order.

What are you working on next?

I never stopped making various half-baked games and not finishing them, but I've decided from now on to set myself deadlines and release them! I'm currently working on the first such project: a simple game loosely inspired by Camel (1991) by Cary Torkelson. Sadly it hasn't turned out to be much fun, but I'll release it anyway. Maybe someone else will enjoy it more than I do. Or maybe inspiration will strike later and I can release an update. Either way, I hope I can make a habit of actually releasing games on my own terms, not just on game jam schedules. That said, I'm hoping to enter more game jams! 7dfps has already started, but I might enter anyway. Unity1Week is also starting—maybe I can make another entry in just a few days! (ed. note: As mentioned above, Squimmy did manage to get a game done for the December Unity1Week jam!)

Screenshot from あっ!ためて!

Do you have any messages for your players?

If you play any of my games and have comments or feedback, please get in touch and let me know! It’s always very motivating to know that people are playing the games you make, and constructive criticism is welcome. Feel free to leave a comment on a game's itch.io page, tweet at me on Twitter, or contact me on any of the other social media sites I'm on.

Where can we find more of your work?

Most of the games I make are available on my itch.io page. My personal favourites are Hulagain, because it feels the most “complete”, and Domi-no-mercy, which was a fun idea that came together rather nicely.

There are links to other things like social media at squimmy.info. I’ve never posted much in the past, but that might change now that I’ve resolved to release more games.

Screenshot from あっ!ためて!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!



Screenshot from Hulagain!

(2020) Hulagain


私の名前はSquimmyです。東京のゲーム会社に開発者として勤務しています。8年ほど東京に住んでいますが、その間にも複数の会社を経験しました。そのほかにも空き時間を利用して自身のゲーム制作も行っています。主にLudum Dareに参加をしていますが、2022年9月にはUnity1Weekにも参加しました。(注:このインタビュー後にSquimmyさんは12月のUnity1WeekReSeArCHを提出なさいました。)


私は覚えている限りずっとゲームを作ってきたと思います。おそらく最初はブロック崩しのクローンを90年代初頭のPDAの為のものであまり知られていない言語で作成したものです。しかし、作り始めたものを完成させることはありませんでした。そしてついに2019年、Ludum Dareにエントリーしました。作ったゲームを本当の意味で完成させるには至りませんでしたが、少なくともリリースすることができました。それが最初です。

Screenshot from Glub-Glubmarine

(2022) Glub-Glubmarine


最初のLudum Dareの参加の後、決められた締め切りに間に合わすよう物事を完了することが上手になりました。そしてできる限りLudum Dareに参加します。48時間(条件によって72時間)のタイムリミットにより自身のゲームに焦点を当て続ける事を強要されます。私は焦点のマネージメントは肝心なスキルであり、それはもっと時間がある時でも同様と思います。近々の2つのゲームではLudum Dareにチームとして参加しました。そして組織とコミュニケーションの良い価値を学びました。このような限られた時間では、わずかな誤解が複雑さを招くため極めて重要です。



Screenshot from ReSeArCH

(2022) ReSeArCH


私はOuter WildsReturn of the Obra Dinnが本当に好きです。これらの両方ともがゲームでしか表現できない物の良い例であり、TVや映画の手法を取り入れた莫大な予算を用いた物語よりもはるかに興味深いと思います。

お気に入りのジャンルとしては、ローグライクの大ファン、特に古典的なローグライクのファンです。昔やったもので言うとAngbandDungeon Crawl Stone Soup、近年のものではCaves of Qudなどです。Permadeathの要素は、うまく行かないときにセーブやロードを繰り返すようなゲームには不可能な方法でリスク/リワードの処理ができます。


Ludum Dareにはできるかぎり参加し、その時はできる限りたくさんのほかのゲームをプレイしています。たいていこれらのゲームは短くきわめて創造性豊かで独創的です。そしてたくさんの賢いアイデアをさらす素晴らしい方法です。中には多くの問題を抱えたゲームもあります。十分な時間があればリリースする前に修正されるようなものです。そういったもの、他の方の失敗なども学ぶことができる素晴らしい機会です。

Screenshot from あっ!ためて! (Ah! Keep Warm!)

(2022) あっ!ためて!




とても楽しかったです。Ludum Dareとの比較ですが、皆さんのコメントは私が見てきた批判的なものよりもとても友好的でした。また参加することを楽しみにしています。

Screenshot from あっ!ためて!




様々な作成途上のゲームを作り続けてきましたが、今から自分で締め切りを決めてリリースすることにしました。現在、その最初のプロジェクトに取り組んでいます。それは、Cary TorkelsonのCamel(1991年)に大まかに着想を得たシンプルなゲームです。残念ながらあまり面白くありませんでしたが、とにかくリリースします。たぶん、他の誰かが私以上に楽しんでくれるでしょう。または、後でインスピレーションが湧いてアップデートをリリースできるかもしれません。いずれにせよ、ゲームジャムのスケジュールだけでなく、自分の思い通りにゲームをリリースする習慣をつけたいと思っています。とは言っても、もっとゲームジャムに参加したいと思っています!7dfpsはもう始まっていますが、とにかく入るかもしれません。 Unity1Week も始まっています。数日中に別のエントリを作成できるかもしれません!(注:上記に書いた通りSquimmyさんは12月のUnity1Weekに参加しています。)

Screenshot from あっ!ためて!






Screenshot from あっ!ためて!


SquimmyYou can find more of Squimmy's games on itch.io and Unity Room, their website at squimmy.info, and follow them on Twitter @desert_monad.