SERIES MASTER! PART 1- UNDER WORLD WITH MOAM

An interview series with creators of RM game franchises all of their own!

  • sbester
  • 12/20/2012 01:10 AM
  • 5764 views
Welcome to my first round of articles for RMN! For Series Master, I plan to pay tribute to those creators who have managed to dedicate their time and patience over the years to their own franchise of games. Let’s face it, completing a game is hard enough, but committing oneself to a slew of sequels on top of it is pretty remarkable. Take it from me, it’s extremely difficult to continue on with one series when you have other experiments and ideas you want to try instead.

So, our first interview is with Moam, creator of the Under World series. While I’ve only played the first 2 so far, I absolutely loved them, and they are partly responsible for this series of articles. Anyways, on to the interview!








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Sbester: Can you briefly explain the origins of the series, and how Land of the Dead (Under World 1) came to inspire the first sequel?

Moam: I have been making rpg's for literally years. I started back in 2002 with RPG Maker 2000. I've always been a huge fan of RPGs, so I was blown away with excitement when I found out I could make my own! So I began with about 6 or 7 very terrible, yet experimental games. I knew they weren't great, but I enjoyed creating them and learning how to get more and more advanced at programming. Finally, I challenged myself more than I ever have before. I wanted to make an action-RPG, because those were always my favorite. I wanted to make a game with similar gameplay as Nox, Diablo, and other rare action-based gems. Honestly, I'm not sure that my Under World games are even close to Nox or Diablo, but I was definitely inspired by that type of gameplay.

I was very inspired, story-wise, by the Final Fantasy series (as I'm sure 90% of RPG Maker fans are), so I tried to make my own tragedy-filled, intense storyline that kept the gamer hooked and ready for more. I do think that the story lacked a bit in my first and second games, but I am a firm believer in my third Under World game.

Pretty much, what inspired me to make Under World 2, 3, and 4 was simply because the idea was so successful in my head that I wanted to see how far I could take the series. I am very pleased with my games and glad I made sequels, instead of new games. I also tend to gravitate towards sequels. I have another series called, "The Journey" and there are three of them. Though, they are terrible games since they were pretty much the first ones I've ever made. I don't plan on handing those out, unless someone privately begs me for them. But I will always keep them for the memory.


A screen from Under World 2.

Sbester: As the sequels took form, what was most important to you in terms of evolving the gameplay and/or design aspects?

Moam: I wanted the gameplay to get more and more exciting, pretty much. The first Under World game was fairly limited and bug-filled, and I pretty much just wanted to shape the games into as close to perfection as I could get them, as they evolved. The more I experimented with the programming, the more I figured out little tricks to smooth out the gameplay and make it easier on the gamer. I also wanted to create more and more possibilities...especially by Under World 3. In that game, you can use melee weapons, use combos, use magic, shape change, use bows, buy shops, make friends in villages, find a ridiculous amount of secrets, play mini games, defend your shops by recruiting creatures to fight attackers...the list seriously goes on and on!

The level up system is where my Under World series shines, I would say. I have always been over-excited whenever I would get a level up, playing Diablo. I love how interactive it was. And that was my primary goal in my Under World games. I wanted to give the player endless possibilities when it came to shaping your character.


A boss fight from Under World 3.

Sbester: What is it that keeps you coming back to the series, rather than starting a completely new game or series?

Moam: I am glued to sequels, as I stated above. Not only that, but creating a sequel will most likely attract more attention to your new game, because you already have a following. That's why I obsess over fewer bands...because I already know them and I know their music won't disappoint. When I hear that Manson is coming out with a new album, my head turns so quick that my neck nearly breaks and that works extremely well in those same terms when making a game. When people who are already fans of your other work hear that you are making a sequel, they will need to play it! I know I would...


Sbester: There are lots of people who begin making a game and plan for an entire series, only to lose interest after the first game. What advice can you give to people like this to help them accomplish their goal?

Moam: Okay. I have talked to a ridiculous amount of people who are so inspired to make games, and they fail. For one simple reason. They aim way too high, yet have no idea what they're doing!! When I talk to these people about their games, they seem soooo excited about it. And that's great. But it seems like they are aiming to create a gem that is higher than a professional game in the industry. And they have never created a game in their lives! They go above and beyond in all the planning and preparing, but they never do anything about it. Know why? Because it's so overwhelming by the time they are ready to make their game...

My advice is do it for fun. Experiment. Stop asking me questions. Stop posting questions in forums. Stop planning. Just get to work. Experiment. Blow your own mind by seeing what you're really capable of. Take your game one step at a time and the more you figure out, the more you will mold it into a masterpiece.

Also, this is a pet peeve of mine, honestly, I hate demos. I hate playing demos. I hate seeing demos. When you create a demo, it’s like you are taking a break from your game to spam it out there, making people wait even longer for you to move your butt and finish what you started. I can't count the amount of times I've seen demos that are years old, with no finished product. Posting a demo is almost like saying, "Here's what I have. Should I continue?" I say, don't present your work to the world until you are proud of it and you have a sizeable chunk to display.


A system from Under World 4.

Sbester: Any plans for an Under World 5?

Moam: Honestly, not so much. I have worked on other smaller projects that aren't Under World, but I guess you could say I'm on a pretty large break from game-making for now. Juggling my son, my new job, my music (yes, I am a very serious musician as well), and just getting myself my own place, I am quite busy. But that is not to say that I won't get a massive burst of inspiration in the future!


Sbester: Any final thoughts?

Moam: Just about Under World 4. That was a whole different game. It lacked story, but what it didn't lack was freedom. You can do whatever you want. There are a ridiculous amount of secrets and things to discover. It really is one of my most addicting sequels, once you get into it. I had to mention that game, since I didn't talk about it much in this interview. It is so different from the other three, that I thought it deserved a solid mention all on its own. Even if you haven't tried the first three, I highly recommend that game to anyone!




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Well, that does it for the first installment! Stay tuned for more (very soon)!

Posts

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Thanks to Moam for getting back to me so quickly! I plan on releasing one of these each week, and I'm going to steer clear from series that have already been covered in Tau's Looking Back articles.
chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
author=moam
Also, this is a pet peeve of mine, honestly, I hate demos. I hate playing demos. I hate seeing demos. When you create a demo, it’s like you are taking a break from your game to spam it out there, making people wait even longer for you to move your butt and finish what you started. I can't count the amount of times I've seen demos that are years old, with no finished product. Posting a demo is almost like saying, "Here's what I have. Should I continue?" I say, don't present your work to the world until you are proud of it and you have a sizeable chunk to display.


Interesting.
author=chana
author=moam
Also, this is a pet peeve of mine, honestly, I hate demos. I hate playing demos. I hate seeing demos. When you create a demo, it’s like you are taking a break from your game to spam it out there, making people wait even longer for you to move your butt and finish what you started. I can't count the amount of times I've seen demos that are years old, with no finished product. Posting a demo is almost like saying, "Here's what I have. Should I continue?" I say, don't present your work to the world until you are proud of it and you have a sizeable chunk to display.
Interesting.
^
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I want a like button on this site. Good series pilot~
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
21806
I sense a strange voice telling me to do something with a game...
I've gotta agree with Moam's views on demos. I hate 'em bad, and I'll never publicly release one ever again.

@Marrend
The sequel monster lives under your bed, and he wants you to conform!
Well, if you don't release a demo, even if it's for a small group of beta testers, how are you supposed to get the info on the bugs, balancing issues, and other mishaps that hinder your project?
author=DBAce9Aura
Well, if you don't release a demo, even if it's for a small group of beta testers, how are you supposed to get the info on the bugs, balancing issues, and other mishaps that hinder your project?
By releasing small games that test out your abilities as a game dev. It shouldn't be too hard to find some fans to help test your game privately.

It is a good idea to be very careful when releasing demos. It can easily make or break a game - and first impressions are almost everything IMO.
author=Clareain_Christopher
It is a good idea to be very careful when releasing demos. It can easily make or break a game - and first impressions are almost everything IMO.


I couldn't agree more. Finish your game first. Then let people beta test it. That's what I do everytime. You shouldn't need to release small demos to the public for reassurance that you're on the right track. If you really love making your game enough, chances are you won't want anyone to be able to try it at all until you have a version that you KNOW the average player will be able to get into.

That's another reason why I'll never release demos. I don't want any of you really getting into but having to stop after a single chapter or two. Just a waste of time to me.
Moam certainly is interesting, I should try his games sometime.
^^
Guess that makes this article a success then! It's a good thing too, as I already have 5 more completed :)
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