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Developer Spotlight: Daniel Menard

Name: Daniel Menard

Company: Crankshaft Games

Location: Montreal, Canada

Why did you start coding?
My initial motivation for starting to code was always to make games. I remember my father telling me while I was playing classics like Pac-Man and Missile Command that a game could take as long as 2 months to make (an eternity for a 7 year-old). At the age of 12 I started learning how to code in Java from a huge book. By the time I got through it (I don't remember how much time it took, but it was a lot), I managed to write a Tetris clone and that's where my love-affair with coding began. I moved on to learn C++, then functional languages. It wasn't until college that I got a solid foundation in algorithms. Now I make games for a living.
What are you working on right now?
Right this moment I am trying to relax after our crunch on our indie game, Party of Sin. It's a puzzle-platformer game that released on Steam on December 13th. You get to embody the Seven Deadly Sins on an adventure from Hell to Heaven. The 7 sins have different powers and you must swap between the characters to beat the levels. The game has been in development for the last 3 and a half years. I had a chance to build a custom engine on top of XNA, so we run a C# stack. I founded a company, Crankshaft Games, during production of Party of Sin and we're looking to transition into mobile development.
Where do you see the industry going in the next few years?
Free to play seems to be the biggest trend. It's surprising to me that it turns such an impressive profit, but it does. I'm hoping the Free to Play model will start moving into more hardcore titles where a $60 price point is the norm. I think that will be the biggest trend in the next few years. You will see progressively more premium games being changed to a free-to-play business model. I'm also expecting cross-platform development over just about every device to be the norm (mobile, tablet, PC, consoles, etc.). It's an exciting time to be in the games industry, and now that we are between console generations I think we will see indies flourish.