Mandatory spitting of feathers…

From Zelda mods to darling ducks, we have had plenty to discuss with Devoke Studio this month and after devoting an entire mini-series of interviews to the upcoming QuaQua, the time for teasing is at an end. It is now time for us to share the full interview.

Without further ado, it is time to get this complete interview underway, and we hope you have plenty of time on your hands, as this one’s a big one, but first, let’s welcome back Tyrone Anderson:

Tyrone Anderson

Mr. Anderson:

Miketendo64: Before we dive right into the probing questions, we always like to start things off nice and light. Therefore, would you be so kind as to introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

Tyrone Anderson: Hi there, I am Tyrone Anderson, a solo indie game developer and the creator of Devoke Studio. I have always wanted to be a games developer, and I guess I stopped at nothing to achieve this dream. That dream has kept me strong and motivated for a lot of years. Now here I am finally taking the first steps to making this dream a reality, releasing my first game QuaQua.

Miketendo64: And now to follow-up, what is your role at Devoke Studio?

Tyrone Anderson: Right now, I am Devoke Studio, I am a solo independent developer. I do everything but the music! That is by an incredible composer I am lucky to be working with, Kyle Misko.

Full Steam Ahead:

Miketendo64: With the release of your first full game on Steam, how are you feeling currently? Excited? Anxious? Working intently to make sure everything is up to scratch?

Tyrone Anderson: All of the above for sure. I have dreamed of this for many years, I want everything to be perfect and to give the world a polished product. Naturally, however, being a solo developer, I do not have the resources to pay a large beta testing team, so trusting I have found every glitch and exploit is an anxiety-building exercise. Thankfully, I have friends and family who are willing to help with that, but I am working round the clock to not only market this, but to make sure it is the quality I expect from myself and others.

Miketendo64: Given the browser-based games you’ve worked on, what lead you to make QuaQua to be the first title you bring to Steam over everything else?

Tyrone Anderson: I often upload the browser games as simple proofs of concepts for ideas I intend to come back to later on, or as challenges. Nerox is one such example of this, I wanted to make futuristic AI-controlled cars, to move and be governed as traffic in my up-and-coming 3D platformer, A Snoot’s Adventure. I loved the F-Zero games for the N64 and Gamecube, so I set myself the challenge of trying to recreate the base of the game in four days to understand how this mechanic would work.

I always have some other master plan for what I upload in these early concept works to the website. If anything, they serve as tech demos for future mechanics I hope to develop, but with QuaQua, I set myself the task to make a game in three months. I went a little over and extended this to four, but there was no point uploading a tech demo of the concept at that time.

Miketendo64: Only, Steam, isn’t the only platform you’re aiming to bring QuaQua. You actually have hopes of releasing the game on the Nintendo Switch. Can you tell us a bit more about this?

Tyrone Anderson: I am a big Nintendo fan, there is no hiding that. When a company pioneered what games are to this day as much as the Big N did, an idealist like myself cannot help but worship their achievements. Ever since I was a small boy, all I ever wanted was to make a game for a Nintendo console. Now as a grown man, I want to give the experiences I had as a child, to a new generation of gamers. So how could I not aim for a Nintendo Switch release?

If I make enough sales on Steam and the mobile release of QuaQua, I will be able to put myself forward for a Nintendo Switch partner development license and honestly, compared with the other consoles, the entry and costs to be able to develop for the Switch are very low. So, I am confident QuaQua and A Snoot’s Adventure will both see a Nintendo Switch release.

The Meaning Behind the Name:

Miketendo64: With QuaQua being such an interesting name for a title, how many names did you go through before landing on QuaQua? Was it much of an intense naming session?

Tyrone Anderson:  Now, this is a rather funny story, and anyone who knows me knows I am a little eccentric.

During the past few months (perhaps in the descent of madness from the number of hours I have spent developing this game), I have been walking around the house or sitting at my desk quacking to myself like a duck. So infectious has been my quacking, that even my friends and partner have been infected, and began doing the same.

I have also loved the word Aqua to mean water ever since I first learned the word playing Donkey Kong Country. And at some point, in my madness, I questioned: how would a duck say aqua? Of course, it would be QuaQua. In this moment of enlightenment, the name QuaQua was born.

Miketendo64: Would you be so kind as to educate us and elaborate on some of the items encounterable in-game and the effects they possess?

Tyrone Anderson: In addition to the building six blocks the player uses to build terrain, the player can also find:

One of my personal favorite items is the Leveller, it is a double-edged sword item that averages out the outer wall of the player’s map. This is perfect if you have lots of uneven terrains, or wish to quickly fill a hole in your wall from a bomb. But if you have less than half of your terrain built, working in averages, the leveler can also destroy terrain, flattening out your hard work to nothing.

Not only this, but the multiplayer items too such as the airstrike really mix things up. There is something satisfying about dropping 4 bombs in quick succession onto your opponents’ map.

Miketendo64: Being as though you do reside in Cumbria, near the Lake District, can UK based players hope to see the Lake District recreated as one of the game’s many levels?

Tyrone Anderson: Absolutely! As a proud Cumbrian man, with so much beauty in my home, how could its inspiration not find its way into my games? Tufted Tarn map is inspired by Coniston Water, and the beautiful landscapes of Cumbria, including a little pike swimming around below the ducks.

Even the name Devoke Studio is inspired by a lesser-known small lake named Devoke Water atop the fells. There, next to the water, is a small boathouse that as a child I always wanted to live in. This whole company is me chasing my childhood dream, so the name felt poetic.

An Accidental Spiritual Successor:

Miketendo64: The more we look at QuaQua, the more we are reminded of Zed Two’s Wetrix for the Nintendo 64 and Sumo Digital’s Super Rub ’a’ dub in 2007. Does QuaQua take any inspiration from these two titles?

Tyrone Anderson: I guess QuaQua could be called an accidental spiritual successor in some regard to those games.  Which I am not averse to, I mean, it is such a simple idea I would have jokingly said “it’s a wonder no one thought of it before”, if they hadn’t, but yeah… somewhat disheartening to see someone else thought of much of this first. At least I can say if you enjoyed those games, you will absolutely love QuaQua, but despite this base concept being very similar, there are definitely some strong gameplay differences.

In QuaQua, you are controlling a protagonist to catch the bubbles. Rather than reacting to random blocks given to you. The fluidity of controlling the duck itself is a core difference in the gameplay experience and feel of QuaQua. The player needs to be perceptive, watch the shadows of what objects are falling to work out how to plan their next move. Keeping their eye out for a leveller, fireball, or falling bomb.

The player can bank an item, and use it later when it is needed, giving possibilities for a more forward-thinking approach. Missing an item, or using it at the wrong time can cost you the game. This is rather different from the traditional Tetris formula, of the player having to react and place a random block given to them before it hits the ground. With its fall speed ever increasing.

Originally, QuaQua was going to be a game where you play against a computer character, on a timer, defeating opponents round after round, but the people who play-tested the early mechanics of QuaQua loved the relaxing quality of the solo gameplay. It was clear, the game was something you could just put on after a hard day’s work, relax and turn off to. So that quality is what I tried to embrace, and defined much of the design concept for the game.

QuaQua also has a strong focus on Multiplayer, PVP and Coop. In PVP, players can use items against other players such as the airstrikes dropping bombs on their map, oilers that make their ducks slippery and harder to control, and smoke bombs that obscure their map. All in the aim to last longer than the opponent.

In co-op mode, where two players work together to earn points and survive on a single map. This takes strong communication between players too, you must coordinate yourselves and work in tandem to achieve a good score.  With the aim to also release a future online competitive mode, where two players work together to play against another duck team, and potentially larger teams included.

Absolutely there are a lot of similarities, and if you enjoy one, you will no doubt enjoy the other, but I believe these core gameplay differences between QuaQua compared to Wetrix make the two games their own unique experiences from one another.

Zelda Mods to Zelda Lives: (Link’s Awakening 64 & the Grezzo Remake)

Miketendo64: As the man behind Link’s Awakening 64, which, back in October 2016, development was around 25% done. Have you been able to do much work with the mod ever since?

Tyrone Anderson: You know, it is funny to look back at who I was back then and to see how much that little fan-made love letter to Nintendo would affect my life. Before then I had always been told and believed becoming a games developer was a pipe dream. Yet here before you, I stand today.

I was naive to have given that percentage when I did. In fact, since then I scrapped almost all of the original work I had done, and I and the small team of volunteers I work with across the world on LA64 began to focus on getting the game hardware compatible.

I won’t give too much away about it, but is not just me working on this project any longer, in fact, I have been away from the project for a good few months now, but there is a team of professionals, from across the globe and all walks of life, hoping to honor Nintendo with our homage to their great work in the world of game development. But I am coming back to help the project once more after the release of QuaQua.

To this day, the entire overworld of Link’s Awakening 64 is now finished, alongside the models for all the NPCs, as is much of the music. With the release of the new OOT Decomp, new doors of possibilities and mechanics are opening to us. It is only a fan passion project that I am working on, on the side, and nothing to do with Devoke Studio or my professional work – so you will not be able to see updates on this project through Devoke Studio, but it is the project where I forged my skills and became the developer I am today, and it is something I and the other developers who have dedicated years of our free time to, will be seeing through to the very end.

Miketendo64: Still on the subject of all thing’s Link’s Awakening, let’s turn our focus onto the 2019 release of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening by Greezo. Did you ever check out the remaster for yourself? How did you find it?

Tyrone Anderson: I did! Initially, I was shocked by its announcement. It seemed like such a strange out of the blue choice to me. Clearly, there was a market for it though, as if you remember my announcement of Link’s awakening 64 gained around 300,000 views in just 4 days of it being live. Proving there was still a huge market for a remake of that old game. Part of me likes to imagine my silly project inspired Nintendo to make their own official remake, but I think I really am dreaming by saying that. Overall, it was a wonderful faithful and charming remake.

Miketendo64: One final Zelda related question. With the likes of an Expansion Pass for Nintendo Switch Online, players now have the opportunity to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as part of the Nintendo 64 games on offer. Have you had the chance to replay the classic title in recent months? If so, how did you find the experience?

Tyrone Anderson: I have not yet, but I still own my N64 and original copy of Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. I wonder though, would Nintendo ever open this service to be able to play modded games. I know hackers have already attempted to put custom ROMs of Mario 64 on their consoles.

I am sure this would be an amazing market for Nintendo, and I know the majority of modders and developers would gladly offer their creations to Nintendo for free, as truly every one of them is a letter of love to the company. It would be a smart move for them for sure, and the only real expenditure would be to police the quality of the mods themselves. I think in recent years, Nintendo has come to accept and be far more understanding of the modding community as a whole. Of course, big names like Kaze Emanuar create a whole career from modding alone.

Devoke Studio

All Things Devoke Studio:

Miketendo64: Devoke Studio isn’t solely about video game development. You also offer services in designing web sites and “games development courses on C programming, Retro Games Development, Maya, Texture art and more.” Very impressive stuff. What prompted you to undertake this direction and how are your day-to-day activities?

Tyrone Anderson: Much of the philosophy behind Devoke, is my desire to support others who may have been or be in the same situation I was only a few years ago. It’s not a nice position to find yourself wedged, with no prospect or way out.

I run a small free workshop for children wanting to get into game design in my hometown, not only to give them an interest that keeps them out of trouble but also to show them there are career opportunities in life we can make for ourselves.

Much of those free educational materials I make are to help do just that. You will notice in my videos, I use silly cartoon-like animations, I try to make all of this as entertaining and accessible as possible – materials I wish I had found when I first started.

The web and graphic design are skills and services I offer alongside my games development to fund myself as I carry on building this company brick by brick, and I have done well for myself in this regard. I think I offer a wide range of truly unique looking websites and designs.

Miketendo64: Can you tell us about the creation of the Rebel Gaming Academy you launched and some of the responses you’ve had to it from those who undertook the courses offered? 

Tyrone Anderson: I am still uploading more courses and work to the Rebel Gaming Academy, but I wanted to offer resources to help people get started from the basics. Often in entry-level programming courses, people start with Python, but I wanted to create a course for blossoming young developers to be able to follow in my exact footsteps if they wanted to and to learn everything in the order I did and the way I did. C for me was a Rosetta stone. C to modern programming is what Latin is to the European language. Once you know C, you can easily translate those skills to all other programming languages. Not only that, but you can program for your N64, Gameboy or whatever you like. It is close to the wire and unbound.

There will be more to come, I want it to be a one-stop place for free education in games development, as education should be.

Miketendo64: Having visited the Devoke Studio website and reading the about section, it was fascinating to learn about your journey through life. Your hard-won self-taught knowledge and skills, your dedication and your love for computers. Having realised your dreams for yourself, if you could offer any encouragement to our readers, is there anything you’d like to say?

Tyrone Anderson: Sometimes in life, the moment when we have nothing is the moment we are most powerful, because if we have nothing at all, then we have nothing to lose. That is the place I was, and the well I drew my power from to push for all of this. It won’t come easy, it took me over five years of struggling to go from where I began to where I am now and it cannot be something you do when you feel like it.

It must be every day, it must become who you are and a part of your daily practice as much as eating and sleeping are. I never even questioned why I was doing this, just that I could take each day at a time.

Even if you only have your fist to break down that wall, better to break your hand and put it to good use if it means one day you may be free from your cell.  Any moment you have to yourself, push towards your freedom and build your life for the things that truly matter most. Even if it is just the 30-minute bus ride to work each day, use that time and one day, perhaps like me, you will be chasing your dreams and they will run away with you too.

Miketendo64: Since QuaQua is by no means the only game Devoke Studio has in the pipeline, we would love to take this moment to hear about some of your other projects. What else do you currently have up your sleeve and in the works?

Tyrone Anderson: A Snoot’s Adventure is the big one in the works. It is set to be a truly original 3D platforming experience like no other, teaming classic 3D platformer collect-a-thon gameplay, skateboarding mechanics and even third-person shooting, offering the player opportunities to stack momentum and movement in a way never seen before in the world of gaming! It is shaping up to be something truly special.

Alongside this, Devoke Studio is in partnership with Detroit based studio Ahrdymond Games, working on a Pan-African inspired RPG title named Princess of Galaxia and there is always much, much more on the way, so stay tuned everyone!

Dreaming the “N” Possible:

Miketendo64: Since we are a Nintendo site, with the likes of WayForward being allowed to work on the upcoming Advanced Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp and Brace Yourself Games developing 2019’s Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda, if you had the chance to work on ANY Nintendo IP, which one would be your dream come true and, if you were in charge of the entire project, what kind of game would you like to make?

Tyrone Anderson: Absolutely, to work on any of their legendary IPs would be a dream, but if I had any Nintendo official IP which would it be? Well, I don’t think anyone can ever really make a Zelda game quite like Nintendo, so I think I would love to focus more on a forgotten IP.

I loved F-Zero, and I feel F-Zero GX created an entire world beyond just the race track that had so much potential.  It tantalised us with this setting, and I would love an 80s futurism style comic book world where you play as the bounty hunter, with the possibility to get out of the vehicle. A game similar to Forza Horizon meets Batman: Arkham Knight.

Nintendo sadly stated they are out of ideas of where to take the series, but the last entry left so much untapped potential for a completely fleshed out open-world experience. I would love to have my hands on that IP and do it justice, and I imagine VR would be just incredible too.

Final Words:

Miketendo64: Since QuaQua is by no means the only game Devoke Studio has in the pipeline, we would love to take this moment to hear about some of your other projects. What else do you currently have up your sleeve and in the works?

Tyrone Anderson: A Snoot’s Adventure is the big one in the works. It is set to be a truly original 3D platforming experience like no other, teaming classic 3D platformer collect-a-thon gameplay, skateboarding mechanics and even third-person shooting, offering the player opportunities to stack momentum and movement in a way never seen before in the world of gaming! It is shaping up to be something truly special.

Alongside this, Devoke Studio is in partnership with Detroit based studio Ahrdymond Games, working on a Pan-African inspired RPG title named Princess of Galaxia and there is always much, much more on the way, so stay tuned everyone!

Miketendo64: Final question, is there anything you would like to say, or any additional comments you would like to add, for our readers and your fans? The floor is yours.

Tyrone Anderson: The best way to support me and make my future games a reality is by adding QuaQua to your Steam wishlist right now, and purchasing once it is released!

You can also find me on most social media including: (Just search Devoke Studio and you will find me!)

Thank you so much for having me on, I have had a wonderful time. I wish you all the best for the future and a brilliant 2022, Miketendo64!

As always, it is an absolute pleasure speaking with you Tyrone and we wish you all the best. We’d also like to thank our readers for checking out the full interview. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did and look forward to the next one.

About QuaQua:

Do you love puzzle games? Do you love ducks? Of course, you do! Then QuaQua (that’s Aqua with a Quack) is the addictive duck game for you.

The aim of the game is simple: run around as an adorable duck to grab the falling bubbles, then use the blocks and items to build terrain and stop as much water escaping from your island as possible!

Catch bombs that threaten to blow up your dams, race against ever-increasing rains to score as many points as possible and survive for as long as you can.

Whilst first releasing on Steam on February 1, 2022, Devoke Studio hopes to bring QuaQua to the Nintendo Switch in the future and we certainly hope this dream becomes a reality.

By Jack Longman

In 2015, when rumours of the NX and Zelda U were everywhere, my brother and I started Miketendo64 and we've been running it ever since. As the Editor-in-Chief, I have attended video gaming events in three different countries, been to preview events, and penned more than 4,000 articles to date, ranging from news, to features, reviews, interviews and guides. I love gaming and I love all things Nintendo. I also love Networking, so don't be afaid to reach out. Email: / Website: YouTube channel:

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