We’re here today with another fascinating Learner Success Story. This time, we’ll be talking with Daniel Gunning, an experienced game designer and Twitch Affiliate.
Hey Dan, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions about you, your games, and your numerous successes so far! So that we can get to know you a bit better, what got you into developing games in Unity?
Sure thing. Well, my journey with games began a long time ago with the Atari home system, then later the Commodore 64 PC – which was killer at the time. So yes, I am old, hehe. But it did not stop there. As I grew older, I was more and more interested in how games were made and made basic DoS games in high school during lunch break with friends.
From there I started to stream to Twitch, which was great, as it gave me access to games I never knew existed and opened up the world of indie game development and freelance to me. As I was an automotive mechanic for 15 years, it took a car accident to put me out of work. It was then I decided now is the time to learn to code and change careers. Since then I took up study with Zenva and read a lot about C# and C++ scripting. I did multiple courses with Zenva, which lead me to study further and become an Android developer. I now mostly work with the Unity game engine and have developed, and been a part of, quite a few games.
Currently, I am a retro game designer and build retro style games for the Google Play Store, but I have also worked on multiple games that are now on PC and projects that have gone on to become beautiful VR experiences. Games I currently have on Google Play are under the name LyyNKx Studio. Slowly, I am working on a PC platform RPG named Villagestone, and it has been in development for about a year and a half. Also, AR and VR work have been taking off lately, with Android VR relaxing tours and such seeming to be in high demand in the freelance world. So, currently, working with VR is where it seems to be heading for me.
Besides developing, what else in your life influences your game development process?
Well, I have 2 children who are gamers and, constantly, I am making little games for them as well as Roblox models. So, that keeps me busy as well as playing music. I have a big passion for music. Playing the guitar or the drums as well as teaching my children to play.
Tell us a little more about your development studio, LyyNKx Studio. What inspired you to start the studio, and what challenges did you find in creating it?
The major challenge is finding time to do it all yourself. The learning curve is steep but well rewarded. If you can deal with people from all walks of life and present your work in an attractive fashion, as well as work with deadlines, you will be fine in the development industry. Even if it is a simple AR business card application. Make it the best you can to your ability.
Starting a studio is no small venture, so we’re glad to see your determination and ambition! Since we’re on the topic of your studio, why don’t you tell us about Freak Out, the multiplayer FPS mobile game that you’ve currently been developing? What inspired it, and what are you most excited about regarding it?
Oh wow, Freak Out! Well, that is just going to be something special. I am hoping the development goes smooth and testing rolls out by the end of the year. Currently, the game is an FPS where 20 people will be put into an area with some… let’s just call them objectives, for now. Players must kill the objective and each other while picking up an item from said objective and making it to the evacuation point.
To sum it up: grab the item and defend your way to the exit. At the moment, we have simple player mechanics working with lobbies, some simple AI running around, and are working on network sync. That is all I can tell you for now.
Freak Out sounds like it will be a fun game, and we can’t wait to play it! We know that you have quite a few other finished and in-development games – can you tell us a little about them?
Sure, well, I have some hyper-casual games that can be quite fun. My brother was playing one and burnt his food because he was so distracted – so that was funny to hear about. But they are Moonstorm Rising, simple side scroller retro-style game, Skull Boulder Castle, a nice endless boulder rolling game, and Wipeout Mars Escape. Those 3 are under LyyNKx Studio for now. More is coming, as I am always working.
But, also, I have created a few Android VR experiences, such as Jungle Chill and Dark Tour, where you will travel in Google Cardboard either through a nice relaxing jungle and cave or through a dark swamp. I’m also doing work for an Android game where you will play as a cat (yes, a cat). I have made multiple AR business card apps, as well as AR learning apps. Like an interactive solar system.
We’re totally amazed by how many games you’ve created, especially across so many different genres and technologies! We’re stoked that our courses have helped to give you the skills needed to create these games – can you tell us which courses that you used, and a bit about what drew you to our courses in the first place?
Well, the first course I picked up was Discover Unity Game Development with Zenva. And I learned a lot from that about Unity engine, how it works, and what felt comfortable to me with the Unity interface. Then I moved on to The Complete Programming Full-Stack Bundle and wow! From there, my mind just went into code mode. I studied more and learned more every day, to the point I was making my own apps and small games for myself. I then decided to share my skills with the world, and ever since I have been learning more – and still learn every day.
Thank you for trying our courses, and once again, we’re thrilled that they’ve been such a help to you! We have time for one more question before we have to end things. Dan, what advice do you have for aspiring game developers, whether it’s about developing games, or starting their own studio?
My advice would be to make set times and stick to them. Make a schedule and stick to it. Try to avoid distractions and just go for it. If you imagine it, write it down. Some of your best ideas will come to you at random times. If you are stuck, do not give up! Research or ask somebody. You will always get an answer in the correct forums and places. And most of all: do your best work with everything. Take no shortcuts.
We’d like to send a big thank you to Dan, not only for taking the time to chat with us but also for sharing so many different times of games with us and the rest of the world.
Interested in seeing LyyNKx Studio’s game collection? Check out their current collection on the Google Play Store.
Prefer to relax and just roll a boulder around? Try out Skull Boulder Castle instead!