Marketplace Spotlight: Panda StudiosAdam Davis on | marketplace
Over the past several years, we’ve had many fantastic developers submit new and exciting assets to the Marketplace. One of our premier content creators is Panda Studios. They have produced immensely helpful Blueprint content designed to ease the burdens of developers looking for modular game features such as Economy, Character Attributes, and Achievements. We spoke with Celeste Peeters, Founder of Panda Studios, about their creative process and what their journey as a content creator has been thus far.
How long have you been creating assets for the Unreal Engine Marketplace and how did you get your start?
I've been creating assets for the Marketplace for over a year now, and at this point released seven Blueprint packs, one of which has been remade and relaunched as a completely new version. My start actually came when I was creating an auction house system in Unreal Engine and found that there was no auction house on the Marketplace. At that point I decided to expand it and release the pack.
As a solo developer, you have found a lot of success on the Marketplace. What do you think has contributed the most to your success?
I would say motivation, patience, and my love for game development. I am a game developer at heart and spend most of my time every day on my business: working with clients on multiple projects and on Marketplace packs. I still learn every day and have learned so much over the past year. I expect that my knowledge will continue to grow over the coming years. Motivation is an important aspect of being able to release multiple Marketplace packs. A lot of effort and time goes into making Marketplace packs, and in game development there will always be roadblocks preventing you from continuing on a feature or project. Patience and motivation when searching for solutions to those problems have definitely contributed to Panda Studios' success.
What would you say is the unique draw of your assets?
When I first started making Marketplace assets I thought a lot about how I can improve them. Several projects have gone through multiple iterations before I was happy with the design and overall performance. I value performance, documentation, and clean Blueprints. I won't sell anything I don't feel is up to my standards. These standards increase every time I release a product. In addition, I value modularity and ease of integration. It's important for me that all of my packs are easy to integrate and adapt to the client's needs, Which is why most of my packs are easy to integrate quickly, usually only requiring a few Blueprint nodes.
We all know that developers benefit from highly customizable and modular assets when crafting their unique content. With that in mind, what type of customization options do you provide developers with so that they can best utilize the assets you create?
This depends on the pack itself. For example, the Character Stats Kit is a library of over forty different nodes which can be used to adapt, read and set a character's statistics and attributes. This would've been possible with exponentially less custom functions, but I spent extra time creating additional functions to make it easier for other developers to use the API of the system so they have to write less code themselves. Another item to this is the ability to easily change the master color of the Player Stats Kit where they can just specify a color in a Collection Parameter and the entire UI gets adjusted to that specific color.
Developer interaction is also key to being a successful content creator within the Marketplace. How important is it for you to respond to developer requests?
Responding to support inquiries is a priority for me. When I get a support request and there's a bug that we are able to reproduce we always immediately try to fix this issue and submit a new version of the pack as soon as possible. Also, I sometimes receive requests for a certain feature and have, on multiple occasions, added that feature if it wasn't in the pack yet.
One of your more popular packs is the Character Stats Kit. Where did you draw your inspiration from when creating the assets for this?
I actually came across this idea while I was playing Torchlight 2. When this particular pack came to my mind I played a few other games that have a similar feature pack to gather more information and figure out multiple ways of using the attributes or displaying them. I also draw inspiration from my imagination as I am continuously wondering what I can do with a pack to make it interesting.
Do you have any packs in the works? What can the community look forward to in the future?
There are currently a few packs in the making. However, we don't want to give any hints early. Stay tuned though, an interesting and larger pack is coming!
Thanks for your time, Celeste! How can people connect with you to learn more about your work?
People can contact me through my business e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, shooting me an e-mail at my forum account, or sending me a message on my Twitter.