Miko Adventures Puffball, an indie game made with GDevelop

Aurélien Vivet

Aurélien Vivet

Today we’ll talk about Miko Adventures Puffball, an indie game in which you play as Miko, an adorable raccoon who travels through different environments of ice, mushrooms, chocolate, etc… but be careful the dangers are close!

The game

Miko Adventures Puffball is an independent game developed by the company Coriander Games in which you play as Miko, a cute raccoon who travels through various dangerous dimensions. You collect diamonds and fight against many blob creatures to try to return home.

Coriander Games is a fresh new studio founded by Khaled Shaban Ali, a young designer who worked alone on their own project.

We’ve been discussing with him, before he got selected for GDWC 2021. We went through his background as a game creator, questions about Miko’s world, and his usage of GDevelop game engine.

Interview with the creator

How many dimensions exist in Puffball world ? How are affected the mechanics?

There are 2 main dimensions in Miko Adventures Puffball with around 14 environments you’ll be playing in. The world of Puffball is so diverse in art style, each level will make you feel like you’re playing a totally different game.

One of the unique aspects of Puffball is how you deal with the enemy ahead of you using these mechanics, the environment plays a huge role in the game. Some levels are straight forward, other levels feel like a maze or a dungeon. For example, you may have to solve a puzzle somewhere to open a door in another place. The player will need to know where to look and which keys open the right doors. The more the player gets familiar with the environment, the more he can master a level. The more you play, the more you get skilled at it and you know how to deal with dangers ahead.

What’s the best way to enjoy Miko as a player?

To be perfectly honest, the best way to experience Miko Adventures Puffball is when you play alone. As the game support gamepads, grab one and get going! Miko is not just a raccoon, he’s a bit like you and me: minding his own business in the forest and, because of his curiosity, he got into a dimension he know nothing about. He then try to figure out how to deal with what he got himself into. All the time he feels so close to home yet so far away…

What are the next steps after the release, do you plan to improve it?

I am satisfied with the quality of the details in terms of mechanics and content. The plan is to publish small updates to fix bugs and any other issues players might encounter. If Miko Adventures Puffball gets a lot of visibility, I’ve also prepared a special surprise for players! But it’s too early to say more at the moment!

Are there any secrets in Miko’s world, like easter eggs or secret places?

I can’t tell about the easter eggs, but there are small secret places in the game. It’s related to earning the gold medal in general.

How did you come up with the idea of mixing a cute game with challenging gameplay?

The game that started it all for me was Hollow knight. It featured bugs and insects with a cute style and created a world in such a unique way, with very simple enemy behaviors.
I adopted the idea and created a cute character in a cute world but in a totally different setting and added in enemies with simple behaviors. Then I tried to create something different, starting from the environment. For example, the player will wonder about the way the platforms are positioned, where to go from here, how to get to that place, do I need to get that diamond over there, should I leave this place for now to explore somewhere else? And so on!

Designing the levels was very challenging. It’s more than just drawing a level: it’s about seeing in your own mind how the player will jump or where he’ll go from that point. And then connect everything together. Again, it’s really challenging to get to a good result!

Did the process of creating a video game go as you planned?

Not at all! When I started I knew it was a long process. But when I got deep into it I realised that I created a huge challenge for myself.

I remember when I started I was learning non-stop. So much that I forgot sometimes to do anything else! It was my life at this point, and it will be forever because investing time in game development is the best activity I’ve ever done!

As I was saying, creating a good game is challenging. You get into it and start to be passionated about what you’re doing. I think it changed me as a person: how I talk to people, how I manage my everyday life. It changed me to a much better version in every aspect.

Even after almost 4 years into it, I can safely say that there are tons of things I still need to learn. I probably just touched the surface of what’s actually there in game development. It’s crazy to just think about it, it never ends!

How does the difficulty work in the game?

It works in a different way than other games, it works with what you collect. The more the player gets greedy with collecting diamonds, the more dangers get him. It all comes down to this question: is it worth getting that diamond for the gold medal? Or should I go through the end door?

  • Easy: Just go for the bronze medal and get to the end door.
  • Medium: Maybe get a silver medal and a secret medal by finding all the secrets in the level then get to the end door.
  • Hard: Here you’re risking everything, you want to kill every monster, collect every diamond and find all the secrets and that takes time, skill and a lot of deaths involved.

So you don’t choose the difficulty in Miko Adventures Puffball, but you create your own while playing.

Why did you choose GDevelop to create video games?

That’s a special question, let me just begin by saying that GDevelop helped me a lot. I was in high school when I started wanting to create my own video game. It took me weeks to found the right game engine with an easy learning curve. I looked at other free engines like Unity, Unreal Engine and more, but there is way too much to learn to even get started with these. I also found other similar no-code game engines, but they were fairly expensive and none was open-source.

I was going to hit the close button on the browser tab when I noticed something called GDevelop, it was free and it was exactly what I was looking for. A program that allows you to create games… even if you know nothing about programming!

I met amazing people, I got friends now from all over the world. Then I started finding a name for my company: Coriander Games was born. I’m now able to talk to the world and show them what I’ve done, sharing with them my dream because GDevelop and its amazing community changed my life.

If you could give some advice to people who want to create games, what would it be?

  • Don’t look for money when starting game development: It’s the reason why 99% of devs don’t continue, look for an idea, look for an innovation, look for something special to create, money will come one day.
  • Don’t wait… always act: Waiting never makes your dream come true, get up and work on that game even if it’s only you who is going to play it. You’ll get some good experience and, trust me, someone out there loves your game.
  • Be patient: Your first game won’t be the masterpiece the world is looking for. It’s a process: learn from the games you create.
  • Don’t stop learning and don’t think too much about time: Learning takes time, treat it as a child, the child won’t be born an adult, it takes time, it takes years to learn and grow.
  • Don’t be harsh on yourself when starting: You’ll be making mistakes, lots of them, don’t forget the learning curve again.
  • Don’t compare your game to other games. While you’re just starting, give yourself time, give yourself a chance.
  • Be proud of what you’ve achieved so far: Whether it’s a small new thing you added into your game, a new thing you learned about, always be proud of yourself.

I’m not just saying these points because it’s motivational, but because I went through a lot of them. It’s not just about the game, it’s about you. As the creator, you make everything happen.

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