Let’s Develop a Game: Christopher Oyer
April 20, 2016
Filed under 15 MINUTES OF FAME
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Q&A with Senior Christopher Oyer
So what kind of game did you create?
So there’s a site called Roblox that I played when I was a kid. In that game, you basically create videogames for a user fanbase. I got better at creating games over the years, and then a few of my games took off, and now my biggest game has about 5 million plays.
How many games have you created?
Some of them don’t get past the alpha phase, so I’m not sure. I guess in the past year I’ve created… two and a half?
What does creating a game entail?
First you (have to) sit down and think, ‘okay, what kind of game do I want to make?’ After a few days of planning, you can get started, work on the basics, make sure everything that you’re planning could potentially work. If you’re smart you’ll also try to test it out with a few people beforehand. The afterward you start working on the game; that can take–I’ve had the construction (of a game) last a month to three months. The longer it takes is usually a bad sign. When a game takes too long, it tends to have a few more bugs to deal with, and that does not always work out well. You want to get a working first version out as soon as possible.
When did you start creating games?
I started when I was… 10? They weren’t good games. Let’s hope nobody ever finds them. But I think I got better with years. My first game that people played was maybe three or four years ago.
When did you create the game with 5 million plays?
I began creating that (April 2015). I released the first version mid-May; nobody really played it because half the stuff didn’t work. I revised it a few times, and by August, it had maybe a good 200 people playing it at all times. And then in late August (through) November, it had about 500, 600 people playing it at most times of the day. It had spikes where it was getting 3,000, 4,000 people playing it at once. Nowadays it has maybe about 300, 400… I’ve actually moved on past that game; I’m working on a new one.
Can you describe your most popular game?
What is the new game you’re working on?
The new game is a bit more gameplay based. Where the other one was just like you do what you want in this city, this one is sort of like a horror-themed hide-and-go-seek game that is… going to be very fun to make because (of) the theming, and I think it will do well, but I guess I can’t really know until I release an alpha.
Do you make money off of this? How does that work?
So I sell stuff in the game for some virtual currency on the site called Robux. Users of the site can buy that virtual currency from the site and then spend it on games on the site. Sort of like Steam credits, if that makes sense. They buy stuff from me, and I get their virtual currency, then at a certain point–at 100,000 Robux is the smallest– you can cash that out for about $250. In the past year, I’ve made about $10,000.
What other things should people know?
Play my game.