Interview with Shane Koven

The game VVD of Shane Koven started out as a school project, but soon turned into something bigger. Shane made a logo for his game, and even a video trailer!  Time for another interview…

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How old you are, where you live, how you spend your days, etc?

My name is Shane Koven and I am a Senior at the Plano Academy High School. I enjoy spending my time in Adobe Illustrator creating graphics and icons. At the moment I am working on a capstone project where people can use Google templates I create for free. I call it Slide-Ville. When I’m not doing that I am working as a Shift Lead at my local bowling alley. I’ve been there for over 2 years now. When it comes to video games my favorite franchise is Halo. I’ve been playing for years and love the games.

What inspired you to make your own game “VVD”?

I was inspired to make my game during a school project. The goal of the project was to create a time travel video game. I spent a lot of time looking for a video game creator. Then one day I found RPG Playground and I fell in love. I created a beautiful game for my school project. Everyone loved it. To this day I still check back on my game and improve it.

There are a lot of game creation tools out there, and most with way more features. So what does RPG Playground have that the others don’t have?

To being, I really like the community supporting RPG Playground. Everyone talks and supports one another when there is an issue or if they need advice on their game. While developing your game you get the chance to improve it with feedback. This community is also nice because you can learn game design skills you wouldn’t anywhere else. The community allows for feedback to RPG Playground. This allows for updates that fit the needs of the community.

Additionally, this tool is super easy to use. It is so easy to create a functional and beautiful game. When I created my first game with RPG Playground I had a Chromebook that can only use web based tools. This means I can create my game anywhere I go (as long as I have a computer). The game I created was able to compete with games created in Unity and Gamemaker.

Those tools are indeed way more complex, but also offer more features. What things did you miss in RPG Playground when making your game? Or which things could be improved?

I really wish there was an option for the player to speed up or run. It was hard for me to create a complex map and navigate efficiently. The biggest feedback I get on my game is to speed up the character or I need to make my map smaller. I would love the feature that lets me speed up the movement.

Another feature that I would love to see is an Item bag. I feel, before combat can be added to RPG Playground, an item system should be created. There are ways to simulate that through conversations, but it’s not very visual. Once this is perfected the combat can easily be added because there is a framework.

You probably mean turn based combat and not action based? Because a Zelda like game could have combat without items, but for turn-based this is indeed harder.

I mean both to an extent. I think it would make the experience in RPG playground even better if there were tangible in-game items. The action type is preferred to be like Zelda with items.

Thank you for the interview Shane.