If you want to see some pretty looking sites, kyle’s are some of the nicest looking I have ever seen.
Kyle is 25 however he has been developing games and websites since he was a teenager.
You can see his personal website here: http://kpulv.com/.
You can see one of kyles games which is available on steam, and the website here. http://offspringfling.com/.
Oliver: Your sites look incredible, in particular kpulv looks amazing. Did you design it all yourself?*
Kyle: Thank you! Yeah, I designed and coded kpulv.com myself.
Oliver: Have you made any money from your design/games work?*
Kyle: Yeah! But this didn’t really start happening until a few years ago. For
my web design stuff I finally reached a point where I felt comfortable
charging clients for the work I was doing. For the game development
stuff, I started out making money a few years ago by creating Flash
games that would be sponsored for a fixed amount of money. Just
recently I released Offspring Fling as my first commercial game, and
that’s making me a little bit of money as well.
Oliver: How many sites have you developed?
Kyle: Probably far too many to count if I go back to when I was a teenager…
over the past few years I’ve only created a handful, maybe 8 or 9. I
haven’t been doing as much web development recently as I’ve shifted
focus more towards game development, but if you try to count all of the
sites that I made since I was a kid then you’re probably looking at
around 50 or 60!
Oliver: How long have you been developing websites?
Ever since I could go on the internet I’ve tinkered around with making
websites. When I was 11 or 12 years old is when I started playing
around with HTML and hosting websites on Geocities, angelfire, and all
those great old places.
*Where do you get all of your design experience from?*
Kyle: When just starting out all of my experience came from myself. I wanted
to make websites about a whole variety of different things.. but mostly
video games. I played a lot of online games where I was a member of
various clans and teams, so I usually ended up making the website for
that. If I was a big fan of a particular game, I made a website about
it. I made a lot of sites about Mega Man when I was a kid because I
loved the Mega Man games so much. Much later as I started getting more
serious about it my experience was trying to put together the slickest
portfolio websites that I possibly could.
After I became good enough at it, I started working for some of my
friends either as clients or employers. Eventually those people would
recommend me to others and my experience rolled on from there.
Oliver: Do you understand coding as well as design?*
Kyle: I understand coding but I don’t really consider myself to be a
programmer. All of my sites and my games I’ve coded myself, so I have a
pretty good grasp on the concept of logic and coding and all that good
stuff, but I don’t think I’m good enough to be considered a proper
Oliver: Do you feel it is important to have coding knowledge if you are a designer?
Kyle: Absolutely. Either through web, or game design, I think that it’s
incredibly important to have at least a base of coding knowledge. It
can help a lot in understanding what a programmer would have to do to
implement your designs, or better yet it enables you to implement your
designs yourself. An understanding of programming while designing
anything can be incredibly helpful in prototyping your ideas. Being
able to get instant feedback of seeing your design realized is one of
the best ways to work.
Oliver: How important do you feel a beautifully designed website such as many of yours are, to promote your games.*
Kyle: Having a central site for a game is incredibly important for promotion.
Players and press from all over the world need a single location from
which they can get all of the information they need about the game.
Making the website pretty can be important, but I don’t think it needs
to be the focus. On one hand, a beautiful website might attract more
people, but on the other hand I feel like it’s the quality of the game
itself that will be the deciding factor.
Oliver: Do you feel that your designs have ever helped you to sell products/games etc..?
Kyle: Definitely. Having a nice looking website that’s easy to use and
understand can help sell any product. Usability comes first, and then
making it pretty comes second.
Oliver: What made you want to create your own games-studio?*
Kyle: I’ve always wanted to make video games ever since I was a little kid,
but the idea of working at a large games studio never appealed to me.
Making games is what I love to do, and I really just want to make my own
games based off my own ideas. I find that I’m not very good at helping
other people realize their ideas, and I’m at my best when I’m working on
my own projects. Creating a game studio (Retro Affect) with my friends,
as well as creating my own personal studio (KPULV) seem like the perfect
way to try and fulfill my dream of making my own games!
Oliver: Is web-design and game development your full time job?
kyle: As of right now, yeah, I’m lucky enough to be doing game development
full time. My web design and web development work has kind of taken a
back seat for the most part as I spend most of my time on games, but web
development also helps me pay the bills every once and awhile.
Oliver: What have you learned from your many experiences in developing websites and games?
Kyle: I think the most important lesson that I’ve learned is to always keep
moving. I try to not sit down and plan things out too much and instead
I just get a basic idea down and try to let the idea flow out of me into
something tangible. For games, this might take place at a game jam,
where I try to make a complete playable game in just 48 hours. For
websites this might mean making quick sketches or designs of a website
that I have in mind, instead of trying to sit down and plan it all out
in great detail before I attack it. There’s nothing wrong with doing
some quick work on something to figure out if its going to work or not.
You can’t be afraid to throw things out, and this is still something
that I struggle with myself, but I know I’ll be better off once I’m
completely comfortable with it.
Oliver: You are a freelance game and web developer, what advise would you give to anyone who feels they are not great at web-design?
Kyle: There’s nowhere to go but up. Never stop moving, never stop improving.
Always be open to learn, and challenge yourself every day. Stay humble,
and don’t act like you know it all. We all have a lot to learn! Not
everyone moves at the same pace, and your time will come eventually if
you stick with it!
Oliver: You have developed many websites, what advise would you give to people starting out?
Kyle: Don’t sit around waiting for experience to come to you. Create your
own experience. Make personal sites and games. When starting out I was
making my own sites for my own purposes, as well as making my own games,
and this helped me out a great deal. Don’t be afraid to fail. I’ve
been on plenty of web and game projects that just ended up going
nowhere, and some of them were probably mostly my fault, but I can’t let
that get me down! If this is something that you truly want to do, and
it makes you totally happy, then just keep working at it. It will all
work out eventually.