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Game Developer Spotlight – Martin Hanses

Griffin Bateson / May 4, 2023
Game Developer Spotlight – Martin Hanses

Of the thousands of games that have been published on our site, Coolmath Games: The Game stands out amongst the crowd. This is a game where players are playing as an intern in the actual Coolmath Games office. It is full of quippy dialogue and gameplay that includes easter eggs from several different Coolmath games, including Bloxorz, Hangman, Jelly Truck, and many more classic hits.

The art, dialogue, and pretty much everything else you can think of that went into making this game was done by one person – Martin Hanses. Martin is a Finnish game developer who has been making other dialogue-based games for years now, including Clam Man and Abide with Me.

Martin was actually a chef before becoming a game developer. After working long, adrenaline-filled shifts as a chef, he would go home and learn how to code with formats such as Unity, a popular gaming development platform. As time has gone on, Martin has moved to Vancouver, Canada, and made game development his full-time job.

Recently, we sat down with Martin to interview him about the making of Coolmath Games: The Game and talk about the game-creating process as a whole.

Favorite games growing up

While Martin didn’t grow up with games in the household, he was always fascinated by them. Hanses would often go over to friends' houses and watch them play. Oftentimes, he would read gaming manuals to gain a further understanding of the games.

The first game that he purchased was Rayman, a classic platformer game from the beloved series that is still going on today. It might not have been the best game to choose as his first game though, as the Rayman series is known to be quite difficult!

Most exciting part of working on Coolmath Games: The Game

According to Hanses, one of the best parts of working on Coolmath Games: The Game is how small of a world it is. Players are pretty much walking around one office. These spacial constraints forced him to get creative with world-building. Funny enough, Hanses has never worked in an actual office setting, so he is just going off of his own imagination of what an office is like.

The writing process

With all of the dialogue that goes into the games, the writing process is an extremely important part of Martin’s work. He has an interesting perspective on writing, mentioning that he loves how he can create games that resonate with people through his dialogue. All of us feel a little bit awkward at times, a little bit weird, vain, doubtful, and tons of other emotions throughout the day. Hanses aims to introduce these parts of life into his games, adding interesting dialogue choices that allow players to decide how their conversations will go.

Most fun games to work on

When we asked Hanses what the most fun game to create was, he mentioned that there are always aspects of games that are interesting to work on. Hanses went more into detail, saying that he is naturally drawn to games that are amusing and have the ability to poke fun at people (including himself).

Despite this, Hanses says that one of his favorite games that he has created is also one of the darkest, Abide with Me. In this dialogue-based game, players are visiting their father who has dementia and is unable to remember details very well. The game focuses on communication difficulties and has a unique style to it that really taps into human struggles.

Advice for game development

Hanses’ main word of advice was to learn how to love whatever craft that you are working on. Oftentimes, the first project that game developers work on won’t be exactly what they envisioned. It might be a relatively boring and minor part of a game. However, if you can learn to love solving problems, even if they are relatively unimportant ones, then it will take you far in the journey of game development.

Another important takeaway from the interview with Martin was that if you are passionate about something, start doing it. Oftentimes, people will wait too long to do something they are passionate about. Whether this is writing a book, painting a mural, or publishing your own video game, get started now!

Final Remarks

The final remark that Hanses wanted to leave everyone with is how much fun it was for him to work on Coolmath Games: The Game. If you haven’t played it, then definitely go check it out after this blog! It is full of interesting gameplay and hilarious dialogue that will have you cracking up.

If you want to learn more about Martin and his projects, go and check him out on Twitter! His new adventure game, Clam Man 2, is set to be released soon, so make sure to keep a close eye on what he is up to.