Guts ‘N Goals: I Felt Like A God

Kinga Kwapisz
28th September 2023
Guest Blogs

Codemanu, the developer behind The Slimeking's Tower, Guts'N Goals, and SpriteMancer, has been programming since 2003. In his spare time, Manuel is also a pixel artist and game music composer.

We discussed the origins of his interest in programming, how Guts'N Goals got started, and which career option is more tempting - game developer or football player?

When did you start making games?
Back in 2003, when I was 11 years old, my dad bought me a book called "Game Programming for Teens" by Maneesh Sethi. It taught me the programming basics: conditionals, loops, and so on.

I started coding with a program called Blitz BASIC, recommended by the author of the book, but quickly moved into other programs - I used RPG Maker for a while and felt like a god! Then I found GameMaker 5.0 and stuck with it.

What games have you worked on?
I used to be a jam addict - I’ve worked on so many small games for fun. Being a father now, it’s hard to find the time to do more.

My most notable personal projects would be The Slimeking's Tower, a roguelike for mobile and PC, and Guts 'N Goals, which is a three-on-three multiplayer game of soccer with weapons, which was released on PC and consoles.


One of the bosses you'll be battling on your climb to the top of The Slimeking's Tower

What inspired you to create Guts 'N Goals?
Fun fact: it started development with the name "Project Relax", because I was dealing with a bit of burnout and wanted to do something just for fun.

That being said, Guts 'N Goals has online multiplayer, and there was nothing relaxing about doing the online stuff!

It started development in 2016, when MOBAs were very popular. One day a friend told me that a soccer MOBA would be fun to play, and despite Guts 'N Goals finally being more an action game than a MOBA, it was born from that idea.

What makes Guts 'N Goals different from other soccer games?
When I started developing Guts 'N Goals, there was no other game like that. People who played the early version thought it was pretty similar to Rocket League, which to be fair has similarities, but that's a soccer game with cars.

After that, multiple games tried the action + skills + sports combination, but Guts 'N Goals is the only one (as far as I know) that has real physics for the ball instead of it being attached to players.

It's also probably the most chaotic and silly fun one, as well.

What does the Spanish indie game development scene look like?
In 2023 alone, the Spanish indie scene released Blasphemous II and The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood. Maybe I'm not objective, but those are two of my top three games from this year.

(Sorry Spanish friends, Baldur's Gate 3 is firmly in first place!)


Why kick the ball, when you can kick the opposing team?

What is a project you are currently working on?
Currently I’m working on a game aiming to be released in 2025. I can’t say anything more, since I'm under an NDA!

At the same time I'm working on my latest tool, SpriteMancer, which has some cool updates planned for this and the next year.

What’s SpriteMancer?
SpriteMancer is a program that contains multiple tools to create and animate effects. It includes a particle system, dynamic and keyframe-based animations, fluid simulation, support for 3D models, and a full-fledged node graph that works in combination with all other systems and expands their functionality.

SpriteMancer can be used to create multiple things, like fire or hit animations, image animations like a tree being cut or moved by the wind, explosions with smoke simulated like fluids, transforming and animating a 3D model into pixel art, and so on.

What led you to develop SpriteMancer?
SpriteMancer, and all of my other apps, were born because I needed them for my games. The drawback is they’re all specialised in doing one thing.

That's why I started working on SpriteMancer, which contains most of the features of the other apps (with the plan of it having all the features in the future) and more extra features.


Spritemancer has a variety of animations for all your game-making needs

Why did you choose GameMaker?
I tried GameMaker along with many other programs, and somehow it clicked with me. I still work with GameMaker on all my projects because I'm super comfortable with it.

The GameMaker team is great, and I'm sure I won't wake up one day and suddenly I have to pay you guys per install of my games and apps!

Is there anything that frustrates you about GameMaker?
Many things, but I'm an old man and everything frustrates me

Jokes aside, I'm waiting for the FMOD support. Apart from being a programmer, I'm also a musician, and that'd make my life much easier!

What’s the most difficult thing about being a game developer?
Marketing, period.

The thing I think all of us indie game developers have in common is that we want to *make* games not *market* them!

What is your favorite part of indie game development?

…just kidding!

I love working on systems that click with and react to other systems. For example, the weather and element mechanics in Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, which react to the player’s actions, the environment, the weapons... it's just *chef kiss*.


Create your dream football team in Guts'N Goals!

What do you do when you’re not busy developing your games?
Spend time with my little family, play music with my group and probably try to beat Dark Souls for the 35218th time.

Would you rather be a professional football player or a game developer?
Probably a professional football player, if football was like it is in Guts'N Goals.

Otherwise, I'm happy being a game developer.

Written by Kinga Kwapisz
Kinga Kwapisz is a Marketing Specialist at GameMaker and an avid Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast from Poland. She's constantly on the move, looking for interesting game developers to interview and new indie games to play (especially if they feature cats!).
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