The Complete TF2 Hat Simulator App
Who better to create a spinoff of Team Fortress 2 than a bona fide fan of the game itself? Thanks to the deep appreciation for TF2 that a promising Computer Science student named Tony has, the TF2 Hat Simulator was brought to life. This app is a fun parody of the game that we all have come to know and love.
Here, Tony discusses the ins and outs of development, his favorite games, and how he created the TF2 Trade Parody.
(1) Tell us about yourself (name/nickname, hometown, age, occupation, favorite games that you play and what platform(s) you play)?
My name is Tony or “ToastyCo Games” in gamedev. I was born in Russia and I’m 21-years-old.
I’m a student at the Institute of Mathematics Mechanics and Computer Science. I prefer PC, it’s my workplace and sometimes, I do relax thru games when I need to think about future work. My favorite games are Quake 2, Soldier of Fortune 1 (Activision), all Valve games except Dota 2, Artifact, Counter-Strike (most-loved is Half-Life series and Team Fortress 2).
(2) Do you work independently or in a team? If in a team, how big is it?
I work alone. It’s not bad at all. I like to do everything by myself. I do not rely on anyone and do not ask for any help. It helps me learn new things in a short amount of time. Yes, sometimes what you do yourself does not reach the professional level, but then you get invaluable experience. And in the future, with enough practice, you can reach that high professional level.
(3) What inspired you to create an app specifically for this game? When did it cross your mind to create your app?
I was inspired by TF2 series. It’s a pretty nice game and I’m a big fan of it. I wanted to create some kind of fan parody version of it for Android.
(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 C#. As for me, it’s the best way to create what I can imagine in a short time.
(5) When it comes to designing the user experience/UX of the app, what motivated you or what influences did you have?
I usually rely on my inner feeling. I love minimalism, but it’s not some kind of cheap minimalism due to lack of time and money—not at all. I prefer to do it beautifully.
(6) From the developer’s and gamer’s perspective, how do you think the app affects the overall experience of the game?
I think it’s positive. Because it’s a fan game, a fan parody. I’m a fan and I made it for fans like me.
(7) Is there any margin of error when it comes to the app’s performance and provided information?
Yes, but I’m trying to hide any errors. And sometimes, errors become features.
(8) What were your biggest challenges for this project? How did you overcome them?
I made this game for about 2 weeks. Every day, I got up at 9am and go to sleep at 5am. I was so inspired and productive during this time. I worked hard but it wasn’t so hard for me. I just did not notice how quickly time flew by as I was very excited.
(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?
Yes, I’ll add something new in my free time. This will be really fun!
(10) Are there any exciting new developments for your app that you would care to share?
More mini-games, balance, and autosaves!
(11) Could you share a few quick tips to new players of the game?
As I said, this game is for fans. Only fans can understand how to play. There will be no concessions.
(12) Any advice you’d like to share to aspiring game app or web developers?
I will advise you this: “Don’t think about what to do, when to do, how to do it. Just do it!”
I have a lot of ideas, even the most stupid ones, but I try to implement each of them. Yes, I do not bring everything to the end, but on the other hand, I gain invaluable experience. I have a large folder with unfinished projects on the computer. This is suitable for novice developers. Only in this way will you understand what you like, what you don’t, and what you want to do in life in general.
Take any language, any engine, any idea, and just do it. You will have invaluable experience in any case.
Just Do It
They say that the simplest ways are often the best ways. And as Tony so simply put it, just do it! If you’re a budding developer stricken with a serious case of indecision, just cut through the static and do it. Simplicity is what works and simplicity is what makes things beautiful. Just like Tony created the TF2 Hat Simulator, you too can create an awesome app of your own. Make sure to download the app here to get a taste of what you’ve been missing!