Surviving the Open World with the SCUM Map
If you can’t find something that caters to your needs, make it. It’s a simple, yet effective, way to go about things and it’s precisely what MD_Reptile, a seasoned veteran in the video game and app development field, had in mind during the creation of the SCUM Map. Not one to be content and merely sit on laurels, MD_Reptile makes it a point to keep the app relevant and up-to-date so that players can get the help they need. As of the moment, updates galore from new features to added language options are being infused to the app to make it even better.
Let’s get to know the app and the brilliant developer behind it all.
(1) Tell us about yourself (name/nickname, hometown, age, occupation, favorite games that you play and what platform(s) you play)?
I am MD_Reptile of the Unity Community, and I am a 31-year-old Columbus, Ohio, US-based game and app developer who has worked mostly solo since as long as I can remember. I make video games and apps. I first commercially released a mobile game around 2012. It has been a long, but very fun road! I also play video games enough to probably be diagnosed as addicted, but then again, I work enough to be diagnosed with something too!
(2) Do you work independently or in a team? If in a team, how big is it?
I work independently but do often get assistance from freelancers, volunteers, and of course, the absolutely wonderful Unity Community. This includes the forums and Unity Answers, as well as Reddit subs dedicated to game development.
(3) What inspired you to create an app specifically for this game? When did it cross your mind to create your app?
I created the SCUM Game Map App (yeah, it’s a mouthful) when I discovered how great the PC game SCUM was, and that there was not a dedicated map app, which I felt delivered all the features players needed in order to find all the areas and loot in the game. I also noticed that other apps were not up-to-date, or just couldn’t keep up with the rapid development of the PC game.
(4) What programming language or tool did you use to create this app? Do you have any favorite PLs or tools in particular?
I used Unity3D and Photoshop almost entirely to create the game-though the map itself is provided by the developers of SCUM. I used C# to write all the code, which is my strongest programming language.
(5) When it comes to designing the user experience/UX of the app, what motivated you or what influences did you have?
As far as user experience goes, I spent more time on “making it work” than making it look good. More recent updates have focused more on the UI and UX side of things, but in order to keep things simple, I try and avoid the parts of game development I’m not as talented at, and unfortunately, art is one of those parts.
(6) From the developer’s and gamer’s perspective, how do you think the app affects the overall experience of the game?
I think that the app works great as a companion to users playing the PC game, and it helps tremendously when trying to consider which bunkers to loot, or finding friends – or enemies. 😀
(7) Is there any margin of error when it comes to the app’s performance and provided information?
There is always a small margin for error, not just with the app’s performance and information, because it’s just impossible to make modern, complex software that works “perfectly” thanks to decades of layering of software, as well as using higher level languages, which are further abstracted inside a game engine. So yes, of course, I could re-write it with 1’s and 0’s, but I don’t think I want to spend the next 4-10 years doing that.
(8) What were your biggest challenges for this project? How did you overcome them?
The hardest challenges when releasing the app, was on iOS. Apple didn’t know I had permission to use the PC game’s name in the title, and assumed it was meant to be a clone or something malicious, I suppose. I had to actually change the name to reflect that, and provide contact information for the developers of the PC game. This certainly cost me a lot of time and effort, which was not a problem on the Android platform. Though, with persistence, I was able to get the app approved several weeks after the Android version, and into the hands of users for testing and improving.
For more Interviews, check this out: Practicality and Sensibility with an Offline/Wiki Warframe App
(9) Are you expecting the game’s expansions to change your app’s dynamics and performance? Is it something that you’ve already prepared to tackle?
The biggest changes to the game that affect the app are the maps changes. Since loot isn’t spawned in specific places and instead is randomly spawned with certain likeliness in certain areas, I only have to keep track of where the common spawns are for things. As the game’s developers add more and more (and boy do they seem to do that a lot) new areas to the map, I have to continue to update and add those areas to the app as well. This can be a hassle sometimes but is required to ensure the users can find what they need, and visit the stuff they haven’t seen before. I assume the developers may expand the map in the future – and when that happens, I’ll be ready!
(10) Are there any exciting new developments for your app that you would care to share?
The most exciting new development of the map app is the ability to place custom user icons (which is already possible) and then share those user icons to other players (which is in the works now). This will let teams of players cooperate and share the locations of bases, or enemy bases, or whatever else they need to find over the internet. Another new feature that will be added soon is additional languages (currently the app is only in English, which makes it difficult for some users around the world). I hope to add around 5 more language options in the near future.
(11) Could you share a few quick tips to new players of the game?
A great tip for new SCUM players: Use the app! It isn’t just to make me rich (which it hasn’t), but it’s designed with the purpose of helping YOU to win the game. Mark your base, mark your favorite loot locations, and then have an easier time finding the most important things.
(12) Any advice you’d like to share to aspiring game app or web developers?
The best advice I can give aspiring developers, whether they use the Unity engine or not, is to never give up. You’re going to be challenged no matter what you do in life, so step up to the plate and hit a home run, or try as hard as you possibly can to do it. Be fearless –because those who are too afraid to fail might just fail.
Bunkers, Caves, and Other Points of Interests All at Your Fingertips
The amount of time MD Reptile spent trying to make the SCUM Game Map work seems to have paid off. As always, substance takes primacy over form. In the same way, MD Reptile emphasized functionality over aesthetics in the making of the SCUM Map. Thank heavens as it is everything a SCUM player could ever hope for—and then some. As the app is continually being re-worked for relevant updates, make sure to keep checking it out here to see what’s new!