June Rockstar – Ricardo Wing Alcázar
This month we’re sending a big thank you all the way to Costa Rica, where Ricardo creates mobile games in his one-man studio, Sugar Wings Games. Ricardo diligently works on his own games, but is also a huge contributor on the Soomla forum. We’re recognizing him this month for his continual efforts in helping other indie developers.
What is your favorite game and why?
Well, that’s a pretty hard question because I have a lot of favorite games. I enjoy the Tomb Raider Saga, Halo Saga, Super Mario 64, Super Smash Bros, Final Fantasy, and even some of the old school games like Lode Runner, Ice Climber from NESS, and TETRIS. But if I had to choose one, my favorite game would probably be Zelda Ocarina of Time.
It’s not just the characters, puzzles, hidden treasures, storyline and other great things the game has, but the music is legendary! You know it’s a successful game if you can hear a little bit of the track and recognize which game it belongs to. Every time I hear the Zelda soundtrack, I can recognize exactly where it would be in the game. Zelda’s also living proof that Super HD Graphics does not necessarily determine the quality of a game.
What motivates you to participate in the SOOMLA forums? And in the Open Source community in general?
As a developer, I am always trying to reach new goals, implement new tools and improve my coding skills. And in all honesty, sometimes it takes me longer than I expect to achieve my goals. So I enjoy helping others so they can avoid the learning curve that I had to work through.
I also know how it feels to be in front of the computer staring at code that should work, but doesn’t and it’s only after 4 or 5 hours that I can finally solve the problem. Sometimes the error can even be something simple, but I can’t see the problem because I was staring at the code for too long. Having someone look at your code with fresh eyes can help discover mistakes faster and save time.
Open source projects are great for everybody from single developers like me to huge companies. Having the chance to contribute in the development and maintenance of an open source community is always an amazing opportunity to grow, learn and help others.
How are you incorporating SOOMLA into your game?
I am developing a space shooter game with a small twist and a great storyline. I am using Soomla LevelUp for level control and Store for managing the entire game economy.
I am also planning on implementing Grow for analytics and Profile for social integration. It’s hard to do all of this by myself, but I know it’ll be a great feeling when I’m done and have an excellent game.
What do you think is missing in today’s mobile game industry?
The industry is becoming saturated with games that really don’t cut it. Most of today’s games are copies of a successful title or a remake of something old, like Flappy Bird or 5 Nights at Freddy’s. I think that today’s mobile gaming industry is lacking innovative developers that want to bring something new and fresh to the mobile entertainment industry.
What are your plans for the future?
I don’t know what my future holds, but I know that I would like to keep developing games and continue learning about the gaming industry. I really want to make a hit that will grow my studio, so I can develop all the games I have in mind. Being able to enlarge my studio would allow me to make my games faster.
Make sure to check out Ricardo’s most recent game, Pop Balloon Attack, available on iOS, Android, and Windows. Thanks Ricardo for all your help and if you have any Soomla questions, you know who your man is!