Who are you?
I’m Carson Kompon, a game developer and programmer from Ontario, Canada. I’ve been making games for over 10 years and am currently studying Game Design.
When did you start making art?
I would like to think I’ve been making what I consider art for as long as I’ve been making games. I’m no traditional artist, so programming has naturally become my creative outlet. I never really shared my work until 2014 and beyond, when I would tweet work-in-progress images and gifs of the games I was making, and finally started uploading games to itch.io around 2015.
What got you into game design?
Both of my parents were into web and software development when I was young, as it was the dawn of the internet and both of them wanted to be on the forefront of technology. Because of this, I was taught how to use a computer and program from a young age, and stuck with it through my love for math and technology. After playing a lot of SNES, PS1, and Flash games, I learned that I could use my knowledge of programming to create my own games. For the first few years, I would create amateur platformers and RPGs that weren’t all that special. However, towards the end of 2010, I discovered a game called “Minecraft”, and I fell in love instantly. Later in 2011, a set of tools released called the “Minecraft Coder Pack”, which allowed you to decompile the game and create your own content in the game through modding. This increased my love for game design exponentially and wouldn’t be where I am today without it.
What got you into pico-8?
I’ve always had a love for the fantasy console, but didn’t start using it for myself until late 2020. The pandemic got me to try a lot of new things, and PICO-8 seemed like the perfect fit for me as I love experimenting with new engines. I’m a huge fan of how easy-to-use the language is, and how creativity breeds from it’s limitations.
What do you love about making games?
I love that I can turn a vision that I have in my head into a fully-playable game that people can create their own stories and adventures with. When I release a game, the thing I anticipate the most is how people experienced my game for themselves. The connections that people draw between the game and their own personal lives make each person experience a game in a completely unique way, and I love to see those perspectives of my own creations.
What was the process for creating “Islander”? It is one of the coolest things I have seen on the site!
Believe it or not, ISLANDER was made in just 7 collective days with next to no planning. The game was originally made in 3 days as a demake of the game “Forager”. After the first day, I realized what I was making was unique in it’s own right, so I re-branded the game and released it on September 3rd, 2020 as ISLANDER.
After a week of receiving positive feedback, I added a New Game+, which took me 4 days on-and-off, and was released September 12th, 2020. The version of the game that is on HEN is considered to be the definitive version, as it fixes a handful of bugs that are present in the previous releases.
What advice would you give to an artist going through a creative block?
My only advice for anyone going through a creative block is to… well… create. I know it sounds difficult, but you’ll never finish something unless you start it. Even if it’s just drawing a few primitive shapes, or getting down a few lines of code, you never know where it could take you.
Why did you choose Hic Et Nunc?
It seemed like the perfect way to continue to do the things that I love, while earning a profit in the process. It’s also super encouraging to support other artists that I love with the money I earn. The whole space just feels like one big community filled with people who love what they do and are supporting each other on their respective journeys. Another major factor is because I don’t want to be a part of the cost of minting on Proof of Work blockchains. I’ve been blown away by the support I’ve seen so far and I’m happy that this is where I landed.
Are any of your creations a particular favorite?
I’m a huge fan of how this came out as it was my first time experimenting with 3D (or pseudo-3D) in PICO-8. I’m a huge fan of the “trix” series in general, as it’s allowed me to freely experiment with new ideas and techniques and learn from it.
This was the first thing I ever created in PICO-8, originally released on August 19th, 2020. This is a demake of my first commercial game Stealthscape so it holds a very special place in my heart. The PICO-8 community was super supportive of this game when it was released and it encouraged me to continue with my efforts even today.
What do you have planned for the future?
I want to continue evolving the “trix” series with new experiments and release one massive engine that can be used to create trix of your own with various options and sliders. I’m also planning a new series where I make a game every month and release them at the end of each month. I don’t have an ETA for any of these projects, but stay tuned 🙂
Is there anybody you want to shoutout?
Huge shoutout to those in the PICO-8 HEN community that have been huge helps and super supportive in me getting my feet off the ground:
And to the artists I think are super talented:
I want to thank all of my friends and family for supporting me in doing what I love. I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for 90% of the people in my life so I am forever grateful 🙂