So excited to share our first game developer profile with you today! We fell in love with the crazy little game Wunderheilung in this year’s Ludum Dare, so I did a little research and discovered the developer is artist Konstantin Kopka of Leipzig, Germany. Last year, he graduated from the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig where he studied painting and traditional print graphics. These days he’s doing graphic design and making indie games.
After spending some time looking at his amazing work online, I had the opportunity to ask Konstantin some questions about his art and his games.
How did you start doing game art and development?
It’s just the most interesting thing I can imagine doing. My approach to games has been heavily influenced by my approach to painting: I enjoy the independence that I get from working alone and I can make sweeping changes to the games without worrying about stepping on anyone’s feet beside my own.
Games are my favorite mode of expression because I can combine so many different aspects of art: Yesterday, I was balancing game mechanics, today I am painting sprites and tomorrow I will be doing sound design, it’s a really varied process.
Game Design is this maze of interesting, difficult decisions but apart from that I love the whole process, coming up with ideas, changing them around, failing miserably and of course seeing people’s reactions.
What are your favorite games?
Most of the time, my favorite game is the one I’m working on but I think Wunderheilung has a lot of potential so I’m really looking forward to expanding on that idea.
There are so many amazing people out there making super interesting things like ‘Papers, Please’, ‘Gone Home’, ‘Proteus’, ‘The Stanley Parable’, ‘Kentucky Route Zero’, games I couldn’t have imagined existing a couple of years ago.
Right now, many people are starting to take part in making games who don’t have this traditional software development approach but draw their inspiration from much more diverse backgrounds and interests, and I really love that.
You have some great concept art on your site – little fellow with an umbrella. It’s so cute! I want to find out what his story is! Are you working on that game?
That game was called ‘Regen’ (German for ‘rain’) and I learned a very valuable lesson working on it: Never underestimate the scope of a project.
We wanted to do this hours-long epic adventure game in the spirit of Limbo in which you would play as an orphan in a desolate, barren landscape. Nature itself turned against man and rain was this harmful, deadly thing which had to be avoided at all costs. Anyways, we all (we were 4 friends working on this over the course of 6 or so months) really fell in love with the idea, wrote this giant game design document about it but in the end never really got started on it. Our enthusiasm turned into frustration and we ended up scrapping it. Those concept arts are pretty much all that is left of it but I’m glad you liked them and I might even revisit the idea someday.
Do you have any new projects we should be watching for?
I just finished working on UMAI! – a little game about eating Sushi that I will port to mobile in the coming weeks. After that, I will probably start working on an expanded version of Wunderheilung, so watch out for that. Oh, and I really want to participate in the Glitch Jam, which sounds really cool.
If someone needs a cool indie game developer for something they are doing, do you want them to come to you?
I would love it if someone would like me to develop a game for them, but so far I haven’t had any offers. I am mostly doing my own thing but I’m always interested in taking on new projects or freelance work.