An interview with Amerilainen – Bounce Rescue!

Recently a new indie game was released by Bitcore. It is known as Bounce Rescue!. The review of that game appeared earlier. However, since the bouncing mechanics is unique in platformers, we wanted to learn more about the reasoning. For this, we managed to corner the CEO of Bitcore, and forced this interview on him. Or rather, we cornered one of his team who informed got the CEO for us. Meet Amerilainen, the one who directed his team to create this game.


Hey, K1mpp4 said you’re doing an interview about us?

About the game yes, if you are willing to give it

Yes of course

Alright. Bounce Rescue! is an interesting game, and we only found out about it due to K1mmp4 posting it on speedrun.com. From what I have seen, the three of you worked on the game Bouncy Rescue, You, K1mpp4 and Arska. How did the three of you meet?

Ari is a deputy member of the board and my cousin, and now that I got an office for the company he came to make Bounce Rescue. I met Kimi at a local game gathering (late 2017) and within a few weeks he was in Bitecore. Now they have been making the game officially about 3 months in the team. I personally started the Bounce Rescue!-project in 2015.

In 2015, what inspired you to make this game?

I’ve always liked platformer games, so it was quite natural to start doing that.

Was there any particular platformer that was your favorite, and inspired the bouncing around in your game?

The greatest inspiration is surely Mario. Through mistakes and tryouts the game mechanics were born slowly.

I have to say, bouncy around is not seen in most games. I only know one other game that had bouncing mechanics like you have. That was The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse for the SNES. As soon as I played the game, I feared the jumping would just be as annoying, you however made it easier to jump and give us the option to jump anytime we want after touching the ground after a jump, what this hard to implement?

Let’s say it was not originally meant to come into game, but because some of the levels were quite difficult I kept it in the game. After a few rounds of testing, I got it like it is now. So it was surprisingly easy to develop to the end.

I have never played that Mickey Mouse -game myself, need to take the test of that.

You should try it. Anyway, Bounce Rescue! is an interesting game with the bouncing. There were several character options to choose from. I notice no description on what they are good at, but for some testing I got some differences that lies with several characters. What was the idea of withholding this information? To make players try every character out and see what suits them, or did you have another reason?

The intention was that you have to explore the game. I wondered if this information was given first to the player, but now they have to test themselves. Of course, the characters with the best features are at the end of the game.

It has a mix of platforming, and some simple puzzle solving. And the characters are also a bit cute looking. Was this your intention when you started it, or did it come to it?

Originally, the goal was to keep the game colorful, cute and challenging.

And it is. I have played several hard and difficult games/platformers. This is not difficult, but very challenging. Good job on making that.

Bounce 3.jpg

The story of the game is a basic story. Your friends got kidnapped and you rescue them. You can opt to not rescue them as well. Are there different endings for that?

The main purpose was in gameplay, not in the story. The end of the game is always the same, you rescued all or not. You just don’t get all the characters unlocked. The controls in the game are polished in my mind, so with a little training the game runs easily.

Yes, the controls, despise the bounding, are great. 

So since the ending is not the same, why would you try to get all objects? Do they have a function or are they just for score purposes?

For example, some characters make you faster / easier to go levels thru. So just for those reasons, it’s worth rescuing the characters if you want to make better time / score record in the level.

There are other objects as well to collect. I forgot what the 3 were, crystals? What are the purpose of those?

Yes, collecting crystals you will get stars at the end of the level. And if you have enough stars, you’ll get the some achievements open. And the crystals give you more points at the end of the level.

Did you make any other games or was this your first?

I’ve been doing for over 15 years games, but this is my first official game. The company has only been around for 3 years now.

Longer than me then, only started 13 years ago. Did you make games professionally before or just as a hobby?

Just a hobby The material for the future has accumulated quite a lot now.

So now that bouncy rescue is released, what are your plans for the future?

The Japanese release on PS4 and the Xbox One release, and after that start thinking what is our next project.

No plans to get this on the switch?

There is not right now any kind of agreement for the Nintendo Switch. But it is not excluded.

Bounce 2.jpg

Besides your release, you also started a race on the release day for speedrunners. Why did you do this?

It’s great to see how fast someone really gets through the game. And of course fastest will get rewarded.

Already thought of what the reward will be?

Yes, it will be a cash prize.

I won’t ask how much that cash reward is. Anyway, we are reaching the end of the interview. The game is interesting and worth to get, and has gotten a high score on our review. Do you have any last words for our readers?

Hope you got the game and like to play it. And more info about races will come to our website (bitecore.com). Thank you for your support in advance!


Want to play Bounce Resue!? You can get it on steam now. We hope to see you in the race as well. Remember, the best place after 2 months gets a cash price. And I will personally add 5$ to the reward of the first place.

An Interview with – Liam Sorta, Founder of Game Dev Network

Welcome, LiamSorta. We have heard you are the one behind Game Dev Network. Not everyone knows what that is, so can you explain what GDN is in more details?

Game Dev Network is a community dedicated to bringing together those with an interest in the games industry. We are home to 4000~ members, welcoming anyone from total beginners to AAA veterans. We also have a range of channels aimed at various specialisations such as helping with code debugging, providing art feedback and even tips on game design!

We’re always looking for ways to enrich the experience of our members, one way in which we do this is through hosting game jams aimed at bringing members of different disciplines together in order to create a game from scratch in a short amount of time. We also try to involve sponsors to provide jammers with goodies for various services and professional development prizes (and stickers too!). You can read more about our most recent jam, in which we ran a charity raffle in support of the disabled gamers charity, SpecialEffect, over here: https://itch.io/jam/gamedevnetwork-the-big-festive-game-jam.

GDN Jam.png

While I joined the discord, I noticed that you categorize each skill differently. You have coders, artists, musicians, etc. I assume you did this to make it easier for people to find the right man for the job. While it not always works, for example, I once was asked to do graphics design while I am only a writer in there, it is very useful in general. Were there also other reasons besides this?

While they do offer some immediate context as to what their role is when posting in our #looking-for-work channel, it’s more of a way to allow members to express their interests. On a side note, we have additional ‘LFW’ roles that members can join, these roles are mentionable by other members looking to hire paid roles.

In your community, you have a game maker channel, but not an RPG Maker channel. Was there a reason for that, or is RPG Maker after all these years slowly dying?

We have channels for the major engines in which our members use, Gamemaker being one of those, along with Unity, Unreal, Xenko and Godot. The latter two of which were added based on community input. We’re always looking to cover more ground and if a particular engine has enough demand, we’ll be sure to add it.

That is a good reason to expand, and most of the RPG maker community have several sites they go to already. But one thing I never expected was to see a Legal channel. What was the reason this one got added?

Many new developers find themselves in a position of requiring some form of legal advice. While we do attach a disclaimer with this channel in that any advice is just that, and not to be taken with any legal weight, it can benefit those with various questions relating to setting up their own business, freelance contracts, etc.

Now to get a bit more personal, we do want to know more about the man behind GDN. What inspired you to create this community?

Well, aside from being an avid developer myself, I also organize a number of events. Notably, I co-founded and organized a hackathon based in Birmingham, UK called HackTheMidlands. A Hackathon is similar to a game jam, though with an emphasis on just creating anything. Typically, attendees use a range of APIs in an attempt to solve business/social challenges in just 24 hours. It’s always a blast to see so many people enjoying themselves; we were honored to have hosted 150 hackers in both 2016 and 2017 and are excited to see Hack The Midlands continue to grow and support developers!

Gamedev wise, I also organized a Global Game Jam venue at my university for ~100 jammers from around the country. 48-hour jams pose a separate set of logistical problems, though with what seemed to be a lifetime supply of pizza/healthy snacks, we were pleased to see so many incredible, creative entries from budding developers!

GDN was a continuation of supporting developers network and collaborate with each other. Starting with just a handful of members in February of this year, we have flourished into a friendly hub for all #gamedevs to learn and share with each other.

So in less than one year, it grew so big. What is your secret?

Honestly, I wish I knew! I’ve always taken the approach of any community being member-focused, meaning that we actively listen to feedback, requests and their comments to make GDN as beneficial to them as possible. I also have to give a great deal of thanks to our moderation team: Acid, Marco Hoffman (Chikari), Harry Shipton, and Thomas Richards. Having such a solid team means we can not only poll any intended events/proposed changes in order to make sure we’re making the correct decision, but also to help make sure GDN is an accepting, friendly environment welcome to all.

You also announced with some volunteers to run classes on various areas of game development next year. What specializations can we think of, and how do people join these classes?

Yes! That’s part of our ‘GameDevNetwork: Academy’ program. We are re-launching the program next year with the intention of providing online video repository of completely free video content for as many specializations as we can cover. Community members can volunteer themselves to run one of these sessions, done either in the form of a live stream or pre-recorded video. We also provide our tutor volunteers with a shiny new rank in our community server as a small token of thanks. We have lots of exciting plans for the GDN:A and are eager for anyone interested in running a session to get in contact with us.

Do you have any advice for new game developers?

The best advice I can offer to new developers is to start making something as soon as possible! Don’t worry about scale, the smaller the project is, the sooner you can finish it and work on something totally different, and thus, get a better breadth of experience. It’s for this reason I’d recommend checking out the various game jams hosted online or in person. A few resources to find jams:

  • https://itch.io/jams
  • http://www.indiegamejams.com/
  • https://www.reddit.com/r/gamejams

We are nearing the end of the interview. Thank you for these wonderful information and insights in the community and why you founded it. Just one final question remains, do you have any last words to our readers?

I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the moderators of GDN ( @AcidZenith, @Chykary, @UnityCarti, @harryjshipton) they do a brilliant job in making sure our community is always a welcoming one as well as proposing suggestions that have gone on to help enrich the community as much as possible! For anyone wanting to join GDN, they are more than welcome to by following the invitation link: https://discord.gg/gdn I also have some ramblings on Twitter: @LiamSorta

An Interview with Veetorp – Legend of Zelda Randomizer (ALTTP)

The Legend of Zelda A Link to the past Randomizer grew big in a short time. Today we will be having one of the developers of the program in for the interview. It is Veetorp, one of the lead programmers of this project. Without his dedication, this would never have become as good as it is today.

From several people I have heard that you are the one behind the randomizer code, who first started working on it. What pushed you to make that randomizer?

I rewrote the randomizer code to what it is today based on code that Dessyregt originally wrote in C#. He had written a Super Metroid Randomizer and adapted the ideas from that into A Link to the Past. It wouldn’t be fair to say I first started working on it, but I certainly made it what it is today. For me personally, I love this game, and I love the logic puzzles of all the ways the game allows you to get different things. I am a programmer by nature, so once I got my teeth into it, I couldn’t stop writing code and making it better.

A programmer by nature is a good thing to be these days, and that definitely made the randomizer into a piece of art already. I have seen many runs of this game and played a few randomizes as well. I can agree this is a great game for this. Yet while making the Randomizer, I am sure you have run into many hardships. Like changing the item location would require a lot of work. What was the hardest thing you have encountered so far in making this? 

We have a great team of guys around the project, really brilliant guys. A lot of the time, if something seems impossible, just talking it out with them or asking help has gone a long way. From a randomizer perspective, one of the hardest things has been working out a fill algorithm that is both fast and achieves the most varied results possible, as well as the logic involved in some of the more “interesting” dungeons. Palace of Darkness has had its logic overhauled countless times, including an eight-hour call between me and ChristosOwen, where we tried to figure out every possible way someone could key-lock in the dungeon.

The game itself was almost originally designed to handle moving around items around. Moving 1 item from a chest on one side of the world to another chest is surprisingly easy, but when you modify some of the more interesting item locations, that becomes harder. Bombos Tablet is an example of this. Karkat had to rewrite large portions of the item draw code to enable randomization of the standing items locations like that.

So the normal items itself were easy to move around. Were all item locations found already by the time you started, or did you have to dig deep into the code to find them all?

A fair amount of them were found or created. Most of the recent deep digging into the code has been for all the extras and added modes we have been working on currently and recently.

One of your recently added modes is Key-sanity. Was it easy to implement that, besides changing what the maps and compass do in the game? I can imagine it harder to make sure the keys and dungeon items stayed in their own dungeon.

For Key-sanity we had to create 58 brand new items to the game. The keys, maps, and compasses were tied to their dungeon. The game only had generic versions of these and based the item you got on where you got it. We also had to completely reimagine our randomizer to understand what it meant to find keys outside their own dungeon.

So it required a lot more work after all. Did this reimagining give you any new insights? Any possibility for new game modes or variations?

Very Much so, we have 2 larger variations we are working on right now. It also made the logic a little easier to maintain, although it is a little more complex.

Anything you can reveal about the two larger variations, or is it all a secret for now?

One involves a more Zelda1-esque key situation, currently named Key-Sanity-b. The other one will be a fun surprise.

Sounds interesting, and a possible new article as well when the surprise has been released. But to the other point, today in the daily race, I noticed that Christmas has arrived to Hyrule. While many online games nowadays do something for this season, what inspired you into doing this?

The whole team has thrown around ideas of special randomizers at different times: April Fools, St. Patricks Day, Valentines Day. It struck me this season to really just push for it. It certainly helped that many of the hackers of AlttP could help out with their specific areas of expertise. Plus, it is always fun to spice up the game, it is what we do.

The ice mechanics in the overworld is annoying, but the fact that you don’t need flippers to access several areas also changed the locations you can visit earlier. Did you account for this while making it?

Annoying? Festive! We had a discussion about having the logic account for iced-over lakes and rivers but decided the time would be spent better making all the features we did. I believe in the future we will adjust the logic when we make adjustments like this. The sequence breaks for not having flippers is mostly harmless.

It was an early decision to keep the Ice Physics only on the overworld. Dungeons would have been way too hard, and there would be countless bugs to solve.

And we are all glad that it stayed in the overworld, well maybe except Moldorm. With this festive edition, there is a poem on the site and at the ending as well. As a poet myself, I am wondering who thought up the poem.

That is our very own walking_eye, one of the newest members to the team. I asked for a short description of the mode without giving him too many details, and that poem arrived. It was like getting a gift myself, so amazing.

I can say he has talent. How long will people be able to enjoy the festive randomizer?

Currently, we are planning to keep it available until the new year.

That will give our readers a chance to try it out on the release of the interview. One subject that we did not touch yet, however, are the custom sprites. From what I know of trying to change sprites of SNES games, this is a hell. How did you overcome this?

Surprisingly, Link’s graphics are all in a single location and not compressed. With a few graphic editing tools out there it is actually relatively easy to swap them out for a different set. We also have a large active group of sprite developers that have been pumping them out like candy.

That is a surprise for a SNES game. And the large group is certainly helpful for that as well. What is your favorite sprite so for in this and why?

I really do like them all, laughably original Link is my favorite. It holds so much childhood nostalgia. I will say to try the updated Santa Link, he got a little spruce up for the season.

alttp custom sprites.png

Some of the sprites people can select for the randomizer.

Original Link because of the nostalgia is a good reason. Personally, I prefer to take the Touhou characters. While I will be waiting for more of them to appear, I heard that V28 of the randomizer will appear very soon. What can we expect in that one?

It certainly is getting closer, V28 is adding a feature on the site of a “Daily Game” where is pregenerates 1 game each day of different settings. This way people can play the same game at different times, or try new modes they hadn’t thought of before. We are also updating the link Entrance Randomizer to have some of the new features that Amazing Ampharos has been putting in, like Key-Sanity Entrance Randomizer. There will also be a slew of fixes for the Customizer we put in V27.

That would be very interesting to see. Do you have any tips for new runners of this randomizer? Anything they should begin with?

First I would suggest joining the discord, there are so many great people in the community that are very happy to help out. Then I would certainly suggest playing through the original game, getting a feel for the mechanics is very helpful. This also helps with the general knowledge of Vanilla locations. Then I would suggest watching a few people stream the game, they will give great tips on routing and how to get through certain sticky situations. Don’t get discouraged by your early runs taking over 2 hours, my first rando took me 5 hours. People who sub 1:30 randomizer regularly have played it a lot. And most of all, just have fun playing it.

My first 4 runs ended in unfinished runs, the 4th one sadly due to a crash of my console at Ganon. Crossproduct’s tracker did help me a lot in learning the different item locations and what is required for those. Would you recommend his tracker as well for beginners or do you have a different one in mind?

I would absolutely recommend Crossproduct’s tracker, that guy is both amazing and brilliant. The world map tracker is super valuable to new runners, just knowing where you can go is probably one of the most important things in item randomizer. He is also my roommate for AGDQ (Awesome Games Done Quick) this year.

That is great. We do plan to cover AGDQ as well, even if none of our team can be there. I did not check the schedule of it yet, but will there be a randomizer at it as well?

You’re in for a treat. Saturday night ChristosOwen and Andy will be doing a race.

Living in Europe, I guess I will miss the best stuff once again. Anyway, we are nearing the end of this interview. Do you have any last words to our readers?

Thank you all for your time, I hope you guys get a chance to try the randomizer and enjoy it as much as I do.


For more information about the randomizer, check our previous article where we cover the basics of it here.