Interview with Anthony Case of Call of the Wild

I came across this amazing game on Kickstarter. Call of the Wild it is called. After trying out the demo I was really amazed just how much thought went into the game. Call of the Wild is a mysterious narrative-driven, randomised wilderness survival game, for Windows and Mac PC’s, made by Anthony Case.

I came across this amazing game on Kickstarter. Call of the Wild it is called. After trying out the demo I was really amazed just how much thought went into the game.
Call of the Wild is a mysterious narrative-driven, randomised wilderness survival game, for Windows and Mac PC’s, made by Anthony Case.

Continue reading “Interview with Anthony Case of Call of the Wild”

Interview about Cross Code

[intro] I would like to deeply thank the guys from Radical Fish Games for answering my questions about their epic project CrossCode! I honestly can’t wait for their game to be finished and I admire the work they have done so far. Enjoy the interview and show them your support! They deserve every bit of … Continue reading “Interview about Cross Code”

[intro]

I would like to deeply thank the guys from Radical Fish Games for answering my questions about their epic project CrossCode! I honestly can’t wait for their game to be finished and I admire the work they have done so far.

Enjoy the interview and show them your support! They deserve every bit of it.

[/intro]

1) Please tell us about yourselves and the company you work at.
We live in an aquarium and make fish games ! 😀 But jokes aside… *ahem*
RadicalFishGames was founded about a year ago, current fixed members are Felix Klein (nickname: Lachsen) and Stefan Lange (nickname: R.D.). We also have several other people helping us with graphics, audio and planning in general.
But we’re not quite a company, yet. We are just a group of game developers that got together to create awesome games (hopefully!). Of course, we would like to become a proper indie game studio eventually. So far, we’re still busy with college and other work, so we can only spend our free time to work on our games.

2) What inspired you to make CrossCode?
One big inspiration was certainly Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, especially the throwing eggs part. The idea was, to take this idea and simply change the perspective from side-view to top-down.

The first version of the game was actually developed long ago, still for the RPG-Maker 2000. That version was still designed as a small minigame, but canceled in favor for other projects. However, the idea survived. Later, we tried to create a version as a Nintendo DS homebrew title. This version was canceled, since C++ development was too troublesome and time was lacking.
The third attempt is the current version, programmed now in HTML5 and the project never got as far as it is now.
The game is planned as an Action RPG with a focus on plot & characters, mostly because that’s the type of game we’d like to create (and play).

3) Have you gotten any inspiration from other games?
As mentioned before, Yoshi’s Island was a big inspiration for the throwing balls thing. Apart from that, old games like Secret of Mana and Terranigma influenced us with respect to the graphical style.
But also games such as Valkyrie Profile and Xenoblade are big inspirations for us. In general, we’re fans of the JRPG genre and would like to create a game of that genre, maybe just with less cutscenes and corridors 😀

4) What more can you tell about the main character?
Sorry, classified Information ;D 😛 The plot will involve several surprises, so we don’t want to spoil anything. But she will have a real name, apart from Bot-chan.

5) What features will CrossCode contain? for example levels, puzzles, character upgrades / more to do/functionality and evt a storyline?
CrossCode is planned as an Action-RPG, kinda like Zelda, but with a level system and more complex battles. Battles will not only include throwing balls, but also close combat and special skills (e.g. ranged attacks). There will be items, equipment and a skill-system.
The game will be driven by the plot and the characters. Unfortunately though again, we won’t go into details at this point.

6) I loved the music in the demo. What was the inspiration behind the music for this game?
Inspiration was mostly music from composers such as Koji Kondo (Super Mario, Zelda) and Hitoshi Sakimoto (Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story). In general we aim for memorable musical pieces, with a strong focus on melody and harmony, but we’ll also try to mix it with some more atmospheric pieces here and there.

7) Can you guys/girls share any funny moments you had during the production of your game?
Once we had some very serious bugs with the engine, which pretty much appeared out of nowhere. We went into panic mode. However, it turned out that it wasn’t our fault – just some very serious bug in the Chrome browser (which actually got fixed by now). That was quite a relief for all of us. Not necessarily funny, but still a nice moment we won’t forget soon.
During programming we also always find plenty of bugs that give us a chuckle.

8) Are you thinking about releasing the game for different platforms/formats?
The game is implemented in HTML5, which is basically a language designed to run on many platforms. So we can easily port the game towards any platform that runs HTML5 efficiently enough. We hope there will be several options for that in the future and we’re quite optimistic, especially with the known fact that Nintendo is now releasing the Web Framework for their consoles.

9) When do you expect to have the game ready for release?
That’s a hard question. 😛
For now, we still work on the game in our free time. We do college and other studies in parallel and of course plan to graduate. However, at one point we plan to have a Kickstarter on this project. Depending on how this goes, we can push the development of the game forward by working full time on it.

All that being said, a release this or next year is rather unlikely. It kinda depends on the support we get from our fans.
We thank Radical Fish Games for their time!

The Game Mistress

Refract Studio interview with Kyle Holdwick About Distance

[intro] I would like to thank Kyle Holdwick the Creative Director and Programmer behind the racing survival game Distance, for taking time to answer these questions for this interview.[/intro] 1. How did it all start? It really all started with the three of us, Jordan, Jason, and myself, working on Nitronic Rush together with others … Continue reading “Refract Studio interview with Kyle Holdwick About Distance”

[intro]

I would like to thank Kyle Holdwick the Creative Director and Programmer behind the racing survival game Distance, for taking time to answer these questions for this interview.[/intro]

1. How did it all start?

It really all started with the three of us, Jordan, Jason, and myself, working on Nitronic Rush together with others while attending DigiPen Institute of Technology. We had a lot of fun working together and we developed a great friendship during the process. Nitronic Rush ended up becoming a bigger success than we would have ever imagined after we released it. After graduating, getting some encouragement from others, and thinking it over, the three of us decided that we wanted to stay indie. We turned down AAA job offers and formed Refract Studios.

2. What was the inspiration for and the idea behind Distance?

After graduating and forming Refract, we discussed a number of different game ideas we could have worked on but we always seemed to come back to wanting to make another racing game. We really enjoyed working on Nitronic Rush while going to school and we felt there were still a number of things that we weren’t able to do with that game due to engine limitations that we’re excited to add to Distance. Overall we’re really inspired by the fun feel of older arcade racing games as well as the immersion of more modern atmosphere heavy experiences. The combination of intense racing action with the exploration of a mysterious world is something we feel is really unique so we’re excited to work on it.

3. What was the idea behind naming the game Distance?

That’s a pretty interesting question. When thinking about the name for the game, we wanted something that tied back into the game while also having a nice feel to it. We also wanted a singular word for the name of the game. After pouring a lot of effort into what the name could be, Distance finally came to us and we were really happy with it.

4. Could you please tell us what unique game play Distance will offer?

Distance is still early in development so we’re experimenting with a lot of ideas right now. What is already in place is that you’ll be piloting a unique vehicle that gives you the ability to boost, jump, fly, and rotate any way you’d like. In some ways Distance brings in a bit of what you’d expect from a fast paced action platformer into the racing genre. The tracks will require you to do some pretty intense maneuvers to avoid obstacles and survive to the finish. You’ll be able to explore the levels with the ability to at any moment jump off the track, fly around, and discover what’s hidden in the environments. Along with the classic race mode, Distance will also have a number of other multiplayer and singleplayer modes including Normal/Reverse Tag, Capture the Flag, Stunt Mode, Speed & Skill, and more that we’ll be testing out.

5. Tell us of your fun moments while creating the game

The whole process is pretty fun and working together has been great so far. Some of the most fun moments while building the game is when the three us jam on making new content. When I’m working on a new level, Jordan’s working on new music, and Jason’s modeling a new piece of art for the game. We’ve also been lucky enough to meet up with a number of Seattle local developers to get their advice on things which has been a lot of fun.

6. How will the game differ from Nitronic Rush?

We’re actually starting fresh with Distance and rethinking almost every aspect of the game. Nitronic Rush was a student project and in many ways only a prototype for what Distance will become. All of the major things that the our community loved from Nitronic Rush will be making an appearance again like the car mechanics, obstacles, and the general feel of the game. A big one that we’re trying improve upon is the world and atmosphere. The city in Distance will have a mysterious past and will be much more detailed. We’re also focusing on multiplayer this time since it was sadly missing previously. With that said, there will be many more modes this time around in hopes that it will add to the replay value of the experience. We’re also working on making the modding and customization support much deeper in Distance. Along with that, we’re releasing an official level editor so anyone can easily build and share levels with others. Last but not least, we’re proud to say that the game will be supported on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

7. What platforms are you planning to release Distance on, now and in the future.

Distance is currently being built for Windows, Mac, and Linux. As for digital distribution platforms, we’re pretty open to them all but we still don’t have any set in stone just yet. We do have the game up on Steam Greenlight and you can upvote that here. As for the future, we’ll be looking into possibly porting Distance to other platforms but it’s still a bit too early to say on that. The last thing we want to do is put out a bad port, so currently we’re not ready to promise anything there.

8. Any other ways to donate money to your project than just using kickstarter?

The easiest way to help is by backing the Kickstarter since if we don’t make our goal on there we won’t get any of that funding. Unfortunately there isn’t another easy way to back the project yet since setting that up is actually pretty challenging. If you want to back the project but you don’t have a credit card, you can still go to a local store and buy a prepaid card and back it with that. We also want to encourage you to spread the word about it, the more people that know about it the better chance we’ll have with hitting our goal.

9. What are your stretch goals for the game ( if you have any)?

We’re not quite ready to announce our stretch goals just yet. If we get closer to 100% we might share them but we need to get to that point first.

10.What is your favourite video game?

This is always a tricky question so I’ll give you a couple of answers. Probably my all time favorite game is Final Fantasy VII since I absolutely adored it’s story, setting, and characters. I really enjoyed Half-Life 2 for it’s incredible atmosphere and mood and it’s probably my favorite FPS ever. More recently, the world of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim kept me busy and fascinated for quite a long time.

Thank you again for the interview, it was a real pleasure!

Please support their game on:

They deserve all the love they can get

Game on

The game Mistress

BFG Interview with level designer Stefan Schmitz about Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams

[intro] I would like to thank the team from Black forest games for taking time to answer these questions. A big Thank you to Stefan Schmitz The Level designer of BFG [/intro] 1. What was the Development time spent on Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams? Stefan Schmitz: We spent about 12 months developing the game. 2. … Continue reading “BFG Interview with level designer Stefan Schmitz about Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams”

[intro]

I would like to thank the team from Black forest games for taking time to answer these questions. A big Thank you to Stefan Schmitz The Level designer of BFG

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1. What was the Development time spent on Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams?

Stefan Schmitz: We spent about 12 months developing the game.

2. What was your motivation and Inspiration in creating Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams?

Stefan Schmitz: For our new Giana game, we really wanted to bring something fresh and new. Doing another clone wasn’t an option for us. So Jean-Marc, our Creative Director, started by thinking about what made The Great Giana Sisters outstanding and different from SMB. He came up with her transformation into the punkie girl that was really defining. Expanding on that concept should be the approach – so he came up with the idea that not only she should be able to transform, but her whole dream, with even more impact on the gameplay. We started prototyping the environment morphing and thought about switching Giana’s abilities, the enemies and obstacles.

With the first playable version, we realized that it turned out being really fun. It was also exciting to explore the meaning of Giana’s experience a little further. She is a teenage girl who is trapped in a twisted dream. She can transform her dream because she is in a stage of her life that implies transformation, with all the inner conflicts between rage and self-confidence.

This haunting dream tries to keep her in her childhood, while she desperately wants to grow up. In one layer of her mind, the dream tries to remind her how scared she was from monsters lurking in the darkness. Getting wiser, she is now much more able to keep her composure and rather amused than frightened by it. Which in turn let’s her jump and twirl lightly over her demons. The other layer overwhelms her with candies and plushies in that bright “princessy” world she used to love so much. Now, however, she can’t stand that anymore and goes on a rampage!

3. Could you please share with us some of your fun moments while the game was under development?

Stefan Schmitz: We had several memorable moments during the development of GSTD. One of it was when we saw the first time the morphing world working. It was really a doubtful bet before checking if it wouldn’t be annoying to switch back and forth during the game. When we finally had a prototype, which was a real milestone for us!

The Kickstarter campaign was also a lot of fun through the interactions with the backers. All the communication, through videos and live streams, was an exciting experience and we discovered so much fantastic people! Recently, when the game was finished, one of our backers asked us if he can come to our place to pick it up! He took his car and covered 150 km around midnight! Isn’t that mind blowing?

And there was that one infamous level nicknamed LoLa. I wrote a design card for that level and Sarah burst into laughter when she saw it. Since then we have a poster on our wall telling “I don’t have a dirty mind, I have a sexy imagination” – jokes about this level are always on me.

4. Any plans to bring Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams to the WiiU?

Stefan Schmitz: We have been tempted by and put some thoughts into a Wii U port. With a handful of core third party titles that are already confirmed for Wii U, the console positioning seems perfect Giana and it would be reasonable for us to release it there. It goes without saying it would be great honor for us to stand shoulder to shoulder with these great Nintendo platformers. Right now, however, we concentrate on PC, XBLA and PSN.

5. On kickstarter you had long term goals for the game, are there any plans to develop them still?

Stefan Schmitz: Of course. We still want to deliver the additional content that was promised in our stretch goal. While we were not able to fully implement them in the first release, we will deliver them in DLCs. And as promised – the first DLC will be available for free to all our backers.

6. What is your favourite level in Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams? (Both developing and playing)

Stefan Schmitz: I guess my favorite level is 1-6, the Amethyst Mines. It was the first boss level for the game and ate about a man month production time, not to mention the polishing afterwards. In the beginning it was supposed to be a level centered about the dropped mine cart feature. I like to improvise a lot when confronted with Design challenges, so working around the missing feature and adapting the level was no problem. Boss levels were supposed to be challenge peaks, so I reflected this within the design – I guess I have overdone it a bit Laughing

7 Are you guys planning to work on other games for the future?

Stefan Schmitz: I hope Giana 2 will happen and I would be glad to direct the Level Design again. As a big Mega Man fan my dream would be to work on a Jump’n’Shoot platformer in the future – let’s see where things are going.

Above that we do have a lot of ideas and projects up our sleeves. As of yet we haven’t decided which one to follow next. Looking back at the experience we had with Giana so far, we will definitely consider crowd funding as part of the project funding. A large part of our heritage is our proven open-world-streaming technology, which we intend to enhance and develop further. You can rest assured that everything we release will have a great art style, state-of-the-art tech and game play and always something special.

8. What is your favourite video game out there?

Stefan Schmitz: Mega Man X (SNES 1993), is the best game Ever! … Oh, you mean today? Hmm… today Borderlands 2 is my current favorite game Laughing, the Mechromancer class pretty much reminds me of Punk Giana, lol.

Thanks again for your time!

Game on!

The Game Mistress