Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Indie game developer interview: Maciej Targoni

As announced in my previous post, I had a great pleasure of interviewing Maciej Targoni, the author of best selling games: Oo, Hook and Klocki. He shares his work methods, tools, design techniques, and other cool stuff. I hope you enjoy it.


Bartek: Tell us something about yourself. Who are you? Where do you live? What do you do in life?

Maciej: My name is Maciej Targoni. Right now I'm living in Poznań, Poland. I develop puzzle games for a living :)

Bartek: How did you start your adventure with creating games?

Maciej: I decided that I wanted to learn programming and game design. So I learned from scratch, without any skills or school :)

Bartek: Did you study anything computer/game related?

Maciej: Nope.

Bartek: Did you create your first game as a side project or was it a full-time commitment? How were you earning money during that time?

Maciej: I had a part time job.

Bartek: How did you learn how to create games? What resources were you using (websites, books, etc.)? How long did it take you to do it?

Maciej: I use Google. Every time I have any problem, I just look for an answer. I did it while learning programming, drawing and game design skills.


Bartek: What libraries/frameworks do you use?

Maciej: I use Unity and Construct2D for prototyping.

Bartek: Why did you choose Unity and Construct2D? Do you have any experience with other engines/tools?

Maciej: I have some experience with CoronaSdk. Unity has the biggest community, lots of assets, it's easy and you can export a game to multiple platforms.

Bartek: What's the difference between Unity and Construct2D? Why don't you just use one of them?

Maciej: I use Unity most of the time. Construct is just for prototyping or small HTML5 projects.

Bartek: Where do you take game ideas from? How do you know if they have a chance to be successful?

Maciej: I make a lot of prototypes. Most of the time it takes me 10 projects to pick the right one.

Bartek: Where do you get resources from (graphics, sounds, music)?

Maciej: I make them myself. Sounds and music are made by Wojciech Wasiak.

Bartek: How did you start your cooperation with Wojciech Wasiak? Do you know him personally?

Maciej: After I'd posted a trailer of my first game "oO", he sent me an email with his work. I liked it a lot, so we started working together. We still haven't met :)

Bartek: How much did you pay for the music for your games?

Maciej: $300 - $1000.


Bartek: What other programming tools do you use?

Maciej: Just Dropbox and tools delivered with Unity.

Bartek: Do you use any tools from Unity Asset Store?

Maciej: 2dToolkit, DOTtween, ProBuilder, Master Audio, PoolManager.

Bartek: How long does is take you to make a single game?

Maciej: 4 months prototyping and looking for a fresh idea. And about 8 months to make a game. So one game every year.

Bartek: How do you design your levels? Do you do it by hand or do you build some helper tools first?

Maciej: I build them mostly by hand. I like to take it slow and let my unconsciousness do the work for me ;)

Bartek: How much production time does level design take? Is it a large part?

Maciej: I make about 1-3 levels a day.

Bartek: Have you considered outsourcing some of the work or partnering up with other people?

Maciej: Sure, next year I want to make something bigger with Michał Pawłowski ("Hamster On Coke").


Bartek: How do you test your games? What devices/tools do you use for it?

Maciej: Just a few phones for testing :)

Bartek: How much are you making on your apps?

Maciej: I make around $10k - $100k a year. Depends on the game.

Bartek: What's your income distribution among different platforms? What's your income percentage from Android, iOS, Steam and other platforms?

Maciej: For every game it is different. But a total revenue splits almost equally.

Bartek: How do you monetize your apps and why did you choose this model?

Maciej: I sell premium games for $1. I hate ads and in-apps, that is the only reason why :)

Bartek: How did you manage to make people pay for your games in the first place? It's very difficult to make people download your game even if it's free...

Maciej: I publish a demo on Kongregate and send some emails to the press. I try to make unique-looking games. That helps a lot with being discovered.

Bartek: Do you market your games in any way, e.g. through reviews, Adwords, Facebook ads, etc.?

Maciej: Not really.

Bartek: Which one of your games is the most successful and why?

Maciej: Hook - has most game-plays.

Bartek: Do you use any marketing techniques or ASO to promote your games?

Maciej: Nope, just improv.

Bartek: What are your favourite mobile games/apps?

Maciej: Uber ;)

Bartek: What game development blogs/sites do you read regularly?

Maciej: Extra Credits.

Bartek: What are your plans for the future? What do you want to create/achieve?

Maciej: Right now I'm learning videography. I want to make a short documentary.

Bartek: What's your documetary about? Can you reveal more details?

Maciej: We are going to Portugal as surfingwmiescie.pl. So we will make some videos about travel/surfing/skateboarding :)

Bartek: What advice would you give to other developers (something that you wish you had known before yourself)?

Maciej: Learn from other games and developers, but don't follow them. Make something unique.

Bartek: What do you think is the most difficult when trying to make a successful game?

Maciej: Trying to be unique and not following trends. Its scary and risky, but for me worth pursuing.

Bartek: Where can people find you on the Internet?

Maciej: http://www.rainbowtrain.eu/


  1. It's exactly how I found out about Hook! I played it on Kongregate and then bought it on Steam :)
    Great interview!