Interview with Tonguç Bodur, Solo Game Dev of Walking Simulators

Recently I sent out a request for a game dev interview with Tonguç Bodur regarding the games they’ve created.

Now, regarding the games: they’re walking simulators, and if you’re unsure what that means, hit the link and it’ll take you to the genre’s main page.

Where can I find Tonguç Bodur’s games?

You can find them on Tonguc’s website. I’ve got most of all of Tonguc’s games on my Steam, but haven’t yet played them all.

Also, always take reviews with a grain of salt. Just because they aren’t all rated high numbers does not mean the games aren’t good. Reviews should take everything into consideration, and remain in the eyes of the beholder.

Interview with Tonguç Bodur

First things first, it has to be asked, how exactly do you pronounce Tonguç Bodur?

Well the letter “ç” is read as “ch” in English. I sometimes use Google Translate’s voice function for things like these.

You’ve created 11 walking simulator games so far. Have you ever thought of creating a different genre of game to tinker around with?

My new (12th) game contains some driving and parking mechanics other than first person exploration. It will release early September. I also have some plans to make more games that offer some other mechanics. But mostly they’ll be walking simulator centric.

Your games have gotten a variety of mixed reviews throughout the years. Do you feel like you’ve learned a lot since first releasing Drizzlepath and ongoing games, regarding the negatives and positives?

Most of the negative reviews point out some aspects of the games that I was already aware of, but couldn’t get over since I’m a solo developer. However, I get somewhat experienced to make games that more people will enjoy, which is not my main goal by the way. 🙂 I make games that I personally like to play. There are few people with similar taste, and that sometimes makes the games pay off their expenses.

Still, I find it unfair for the community not to write any reviews as long as they like the game, but always rate it down when they dislike.

If this wasn’t the case my games wouldn’t have “Mixed” ratings, so they’d sell better. I see the reviewers saying “I’m a fan of his games but this one is bad”. But they write nothing to the ones that aren’t “bad”.

Do you find the knowledge you’ve gained over the years has made it easier to create games now than it was when you first started?

I definitely learned the easier and more efficient ways of doing some things than I used to know before. Some little tricks save you tons of hours.

You’ve released a game called Drizzlepath: Deja Vu. Was there a point you thought of completely remaking Drizzlepath, or did you just want to pay it homage?

Drizzlepath’s strongest point is its graphics which still does not seem outdated to me. In Deja Vu I wanted to prove myself in which ways I have stepped forward than my earliest stages. Including creativity and technics.

Does Drizzlepath: Genie really have all the narrative script from Drizzlepath? (Some of those subtitles really like to hide from me.)

I put all of the narration of the original Drizzlepath on Genie’s both red and blue paths (Meaning twice). Nothing missing 🙂

Could you list five of your favorite games, that may have inspired you to create the games you do?

I get inspiration from a zillion games, but I’ll just name the one that changed my vision and life: Dear Esther.

That game is proof that there doesn’t have to be a challenge for one to enjoy an amazing 3D atmosphere.

When I was young I used to play games and tried to enjoy their graphics and atmosphere, but there were always enemies, time limits or puzzles. They all used to annoy me since I’m not much skilled as a player. In my games, I try to make it as casual as possible so that people like me can enjoy the environments and stories without sweating.

It seems there are other people like me too. Not many, but still.

Speaking of inspiration, you must enjoy walking and nature, but are there other points of inspiration in your life that help create the plotting and storyline process?

I watch, I read, I communicate (maybe a tiny bit, but yeah). I try to get inspiration from anything possible, because I’m dedicated to my work and have no other jobs or income. Making these games is my connection with life.

To end this interview, is there anything you’d like to say to aspiring game devs?

I’m sure they can find a better person for a lecture, but if you ask me, I’d advise them to aim to know everything! This is essential to make the best game, I think.

Also, don’t be stuck as a solo dev like me. Find other talents close to your level and taste. A good team should do better than a good solo dev. If I had a choice, I’d definitely find someone to collaborate.

But that’s another story.

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