Joseph Calabro, an alumnus of the Computer Games Development BSc course, has since graduation published his own computer game called Takotan. The game is now a huge success and is available in several countries and across multiple platforms such as the PlayStation Store, Xbox and Steam.
We sat down with Joseph to find out more about his game and career aspirations.
Can you tell us more about your computer game Takotan?
Takotan is an arcade ‘Shoot ‘em up’ (shooting game) inspired by similar games of the same genre such as Gradius and Parodius. It features eight unique levels and eight unique bosses. Focusing on accessibility, the game features a variety of modes designed to facilitate the needs of both casual and experienced players.
How did you start developing your game?
I started developing Takotan when I was a student at the University of Westminster as part of the group game project module. The module focused on teaching the game production lifecycle, simulating the working environment of a small indie studio. I continued developing the game throughout the summer of 2018 and the game was published on Steam (PC) in 2019.
In 2020 the game was translated into eight different languages and published to the PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch worldwide. In 2021, due to the game’s success, a limited number of physical copies were produced and released for the PS4 and PS Vita.
How did your degree at Westminster help you to develop your career?
My time at the University of Westminster helped facilitate my growth as a developer, through the constant support given by lecturers and the countless opportunities provided through guest speakers and group project collaborations. This helped me establish the skills I needed to develop Takotan and find employment in the games industry after graduation.
Why do you think your game become so successful?
I believe Takotan was a success due to the support provided by the University in helping me to shape the game throughout its development. Without that support I wouldn’t have been able to see the game through to completion, so I owe a lot of my success to the University of Westminster. The game’s focus on accessibility and my publisher’s efforts in distributing it worldwide also helped widen our audience which I also believe was essential for its success.
What are you doing now?
After graduating from the University of Westminster I was able to find a Game Designer position at Splash Damage, an AAA game development studio that has recently moved away from support development into full time development ownership. With a number of exciting projects in development, the studio aims to create “team-based games that forge lifelong friendships.”
As a game designer, I’m responsible and involved in a number of things, from design documentation, balance passes, design discussions, problem solving, to aligning different disciplines with features and intentions. Our ultimate goal is to design a game and mechanics that align with the defined game pillars.
What else would you like to do in the future?
In the future, I hope to someday move into full time indie development by creating my own self sustaining development studio. For now though, I’m very happy with my position as a designer at a bigger studio.
If you are interested in finding out more about Joseph’s game you can find more information here.
The game is also available in:
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