Gamestick Gaming

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9/23/14

Interview with Davide Pasca (Final Freeway 2R) of OYK Games



What brought on your first itch to gaming?

I was born in the 70s, so for me the first itch came from the arcades, which at the time was the only way to play games.
Those were exciting times, because games were rapidly evolving, and one could tell that they would reach incredible realism one day. Now the hardware technology is growing even more rapidly, but it's actually hard to tell the difference between generations of games.
 
Final Freeway looks like it was inspired by the classic Out Run.  Is that so, or was it something else?

Out Run was definitely the main source of inspiration.
I always wanted to make a game like that, but at first I didn't have the means and the skills, and then by the time I became a decent game developer, that type of game with that type of style was a thing of the past, also, as a software engineer, I never had a chance to pick a title to work on anyway.
But it was something that I always wanted to make. So, that kind of racing game was the clear choice as a starting title for my independent development path. 

What engine did you use to create Final Freeway and do you use any other sources?

I like to keep dependencies from external sources at a minimum.
The game is written in C++ using OpenGL for graphics and OpenAL for audio.
I had an earlier prototype of the first Final Freeway that wasn't even using OpenGL, but that would have been a waste of CPU time and energy, which is especially important on mobile and mobile-based consoles.
Needless to say that Final Freeway 2R wouldn't amount to much without the characteristic art and music. Respectively by Giuseppe "MisBug" Longo and Simone "UNDAtheC" Cicconi.
Also, all core Android platform development is by Duncan Tebbs, without which I don't think I'd have the energy to deal with Android in general.
 
What were some challenges in developing Final Freeway and were you able to find a better solution for future game making?

Both for the first FF and the sequel, FF2R, a few problems arose from the unconventional way that the road is rendered, which required a lot of tweaks. In particular, adding road splits to FF2R was a major hack job. It was both stressful and interesting, as it put me back to 20-30 years ago, when some problems weren't aways solved in the most orthodox ways.
Another major hurdle is the UI. That's always time consuming, especially since at the time the basic GUI engine was still being developed.
Things now are simpler in terms of code, because our game engine has evolved and increased productivity, but UI design remains a major time grabber.
 
How did you end up getting the game on the Gamestick?

I've heard about it from Kickstarter campaign and I liked the idea at the time.
One day the guys at GameStick contacted us, offering development support and we decided to jump in.
 
Any challenges porting it?

Having released an Android version of the game with controller support, the porting to GS was fairly simple.
The only puzzling issue was with the way we were doing audio fade. That apparently was upsetting the audio driver, so we had to find a way around it.
Nothing major though, it's the kind of stuff that one learns to expect while developing for Android in general.
Other than that, it was pretty straightforward.

What advice can you give to those who want to get their games on Gamestick?

I'd say, to just start to develop mobile games that can be fully controlled by a game controller.
Once that's in place, the actual port to GameStick doesn't require much extra effort, and the result is great, I mean, playing your own mobile game on a big screen while sitting comfortably on a couch, that's a pleasure that I was glad to rediscover!

Any games you think should be on the Gamestick?

For the sake of GameStick, whatever is popular, I guess.
I'm personally a big fan of arcade games. Racing, planes, robots, give me those and I'm an happy player!
 
Can you talk about future projects and will they hit the Gamestick market?

We've released Fractal Combat X a while ago also for Android. We've tested it briefly, and it's already running on GameStick. We just need to gather up the latest build and test it properly.
Beyond that, there's this dream of making an on-line robot fighting game. But it's still only an early prototype.
If and when it'll come out, I don't see any reasons why not to release it for GameStick as well.
 
Any other things you would like to share?

I've been living without a TV for a while now but when I got the GameStick I started thinking that I needed one again.
I'm currently set up with an old 24" monitor for the GameStick, but I'll eventually buy a new TV, mostly for the pleasure of playing games on it!

Thanks again for your time.

Thanks to you 8)


Nice place for a picnic.

 

FINAL FREEWAY 2R

 

9/01/14 

Interview with Ali Motisi, Lead Developer for SOUND RIDE (OutOfTheBit Company)

     (Special Thanks to Rosalia TRUPIANO for help setting this up.)



How did you get interested in creating games?
We all come from different backgrounds but we are all gamers, in some way.​ I, personally (Ali, founder and lead developer of OutOfTheBit), have always been inspired by game studios like Team 17, Bullfrog Productions, Sensible Software and The Bitmap Brothers and their ability to make pieces of art with the technology they had at hand. I started programming when I was 8 on an Olivetti PC 128s (basically a rebranded BBC Master) and I was in love with making games ever since.


Where did the idea for Sound Ride come from?
We wanted to make a game to test our own game engine further, after releasing Anima (www.animathegame.co.uk). This time, a single player, 
​a runner with vector graphics witch includes
 the Daily Ride. Everyday you have an auto-generated infinite level to try as many time as you want, but you can upload your score just once a day and compete with riders from all over the world. 
Then we wanted a unique element: to create music while you play. The better you do, the more enriched the music becomes.
And we are going to "play" with music even more in our next game, a rhythm game we are beta-calling Planet Quest! 


Sound Ride was created with what program or programs?
We used our own game engine, The Stork, which is vector based and allows Arnaud, our designer, to draw everything on a touchscreen device. Here is a video of Arnaud drawing with this tool: http://youtu.be/SGeGYYO7ky0


What challenges did you have creating Sound Ride? Any that can help you with future games?
Since we used our homemade tools, everything we did for Sound Ride helped us refine them during the development of the game. Maybe the biggest challenge was managing the camera and making it run smoothly even on the
low end devices
.
Also, since we decided to draw with polygons and no texture, no outlines, no gradients, it was quite a hard job for the artist....

Then, we found a problem with the way the engine would cue and loop the MP3s; there was a delay in between one loop finishing and the other starting. You can read more about how we solved it here: http://goo.gl/ekBlLE


How did Sound Ride get introduced to the Gamestick?
We met the Gamestick crew during the EToo last year. They were kind enough to give us a dev kit. We liked the idea behind the Gamestick and it's very versatile and easy to code for. Also, being Sound Ride graphics vectorial, it scales superbly on every screen.


Any advice you can part with for future game developers?
Make games that you are proud of. 

What particular games would you like to see on the Gamestick? 
We can't wait for our next one!! : P

Will the Gamestick community see more games from you, and if so, care to share details?
Definitely! We are working on a secret project which will be released next year. Don't want to spoil anything yet, but you can follow us on our blog.outofthebit.com and on twitter: @outofthebit

Any other final thoughts?
Run like a chicken! ^_-


Thank you!
Ali
@alimotisi


Let the Music Play On

 

Sounds about Right!

 

8/17/14

Interview with Jorg Winterstein (BLOO KID) from Eiswuxe



How did you get in to creating games?

I have always wanted to create games since I first played them on the Atari 2600 in the early 80s. So I teached myself programming on the C64 when I was a kid. I managed to get into the german videogame industry in early 2000 and spent many years learning and working for different companies. I finally decided to start my very own company in 2012 in order to make the games that I always wanted to make.


What program/engine do you use for your creations like Bloo Kid?

I used the "Corona SDK". It is a high-level mobile engine that runs on iOS and Android and lets you create runnable stuff in relatively short time. This way, I could focus 100% on the games itself instead of "wasting" time to produce own "basic-functionality". But the more complex games get, the more "custom" functionality is needed, so nowadays I am indeed working on my own "engine" which will be used for my future games.


Bloo Kid seems Mario-type inspired.  Is that the case or are there other games that drove you to create Bloo Kid?

Mario is of course one of the main influences. The first "Mario Bros." game was also a "one-screen" platformer. But you can also find influences from Bubble Bobble, Rainbow Islands or even Wonderboy in the game. Basically, my own games "only" consist of hundreds of micro-inspirations from all the games I loved as a kid.


How did you hook up with the Gamestick?

I was contacted by the gamestick creators on the Touch-Arcade forum and they asked me if I wanted to release Bloo Kid 2 for the Gamestick. At that time, the game was not yet "content-complete" (and it still is not), so I offered them to port the first Bloo Kid game to the Gamestick. The aforementioned Corona SDK lets you build for Gamestick, too, so I sat down and implemented the Gamestick-relevant stuff like gamepad-support into Bloo Kid 1 and, Voila! Here it is =)



What are some pointers you can give others wanting to get their games on the Gamestick?

Of course, the first answer would always be "make something innovativ that has never been seen before". This is simply impossible. Everything is a remix. I would say, it is totally sufficient to "make a good game" and then directly get in contact with the gamestick guys. They are always looking for new games for their platform.


When time allows, what are some games you enjoy playing and would any be fun to play on the Gamestick?

I myself am a big fan of the Contra / Probotector game series. Fast paced action, with a "two players on one screen"-mode always works for me. I am considering making such a game myself in the near future :D


Any future creations coming down the pipeline?

At the moment, I will focus on porting Bloo Kid 2 to more platforms. The "Boo Kid 1" gamestick experience showed me that the games I like to make are better fitting real, physical controllers than mobile-device touchscreens. That is why I would like to focus on consoles and handhelds in the future. That being said, BK2 will definitely come to the gamestick soon, as all my future games will very likely come to the gamestick.


Please provide any other bits of information regarding gaming you would like to share.

Always remember: Shoot! Or Die! =)


Thanks Jorg!

Just skimmed the head

 

Running on Gamestick

 

This might not land well

 

8/06/14

Interview with Mike  L. (From Happy Giant) of Usagi Yojimbo (Way of the Ronin)


Were you a huge fan of Usagi Yojimbo or Japanese History or both?
​ML: ​
Both to be honest. I have always been fascinated with Japanese history, culture and comics. I read every Lone Wolf and Cub when I was
​i​n high school. But I only discovered Usagi about 5 years ago. Somehow I had missed it growing up, but I instantly fell in love and read every issue.
​ Its such an amazing body of work and storytelling, and history teaching!​

What are some of your fondest video game memories?
ML: ​I think my memories like that are so old you would laugh. Playing Intellivision and Atari, and even the arcades really ... thats where it all started for me as a kid. As a developer, certainly working on many of the classic LucasArts games - both Star Wars and ,
​games like some of the Monkey Islands, Sam & Max, Full Throttle, Etc.​
are still great memories.


What engine was used to create Usagi?
 
ML: ​Unity

Were you able to get everything regarding Usagi you wanted in to the game?  
 
ML: ​Yes and no - as a developer and artist you are never satisfied. You always want to add more. But our goal was to make a pretty simple fun, retro smash ​'em up that stayed loyal to the art, story and spirit of the comics, and I definitely think we achieved that.

How did you get involved with Gamestick?
 
ML: ​They approached us about getting Usagi to it. They were also fans.

What advice would you give to others wanting to get their game on the Gamestick?
 
ML: ​Well - its fairly easy if you have an android build made. Go for it is my advice! 


Can people expect more projects from you whether new games or extensions with Usagi?
 
ML: ​Oh yes! In fact our NEW GAME is out just now on iOS and Google Play - check out Ninja Time Pirates!
​You battle as George Washington, Ben Franklin and others against aliens trying to alter the past - Learn more at www.ninjatimepirates.com
 

What games do you enjoy playing and would they benefit being on the Gamestick?
​ML: Castle Crashers was an influence on Usagi - that would be pretty awesome on the Gamestick!​

Gamestick has to compete with other new tiny consoles like the Ouya.  What suggestions do you think could improve Gamestick's popularity?
​ML: I think the small size is their edge - now its all about getting the word out and getting more great games on it.​

Any last pieces of advice, promotion, or thoughts you care to share?
​ML: We love feedback and to hear from fans, so send us any to [email protected], and check out Usagi, read the comics, and check out our new game Ninja Time Pirates!​ Thanks for the interview!

Mike

Wield the blade!

 

Ninja Time Pirates (Gamestick Soon???)

 

Wayward  Ronin

 

7/29/14

Interview with Robert Cummings of Simian Squared, Makers of THE OTHER BROTHERS



>What is your origin story regarding video games?
My origin began in the early 80s where I taught myself to program on the ZX spectrum without instruction books. A different era back then, but it helped enormously.

>How did Simian Squared begin?
Two brothers, one of them big and bulky, the other one wiry and small. These guys were the Ape and Chimp, and they form Simian Squared! We're a very creative duo so it wasn't a difficult decision given 30+ years experience on my side in game development, and his love for the arts.

>Off the bat, The Other Brothers bring Mario Bros. To mind.  Is there a coincidence? 
The Other Brothers is a very different game to play compared to Mario. There's no pipes to go down, no blocks to bash with your fist. It's about a couple of brothers, and while it's influenced by the lead of Mario in terms of it being a platform game and has brothers in it, it's not based on Mario nor does it try to be, it's a darker universe.

We don't want people to be confused between Mario and TOB. We want people to recognize they're very different games.

>The Other Brothers is a fun platforming game.  What type of engine did you use to build it?
We used Unity - Unity has been developed for almost a decade now and more than robust and capable enough to build any kind of game. It rewards what you put into it. If you want to go quite low level like we did with The Other Brothers, you can practically rewrite the entire rendering system if you choose - to get any kind of look at decent framerates.

>What were some challenges programming Other Brothers?
The biggest challenge was a technical one: We wanted heat distortion, endless lights, physics, realtime cutscenes, megatextures (every pixel is actually unique), mosiac effects, screen burn and vignetting. Best of all, it had to run on a 3GS... and it ran very well - between 30 and 60fps on that ancient device until Apple released a new os Update which pretty much ruined it on there. Runs 60 on everything else though (or should!).

>How did Other Brothers team up with Gamestick?
Gamestick are local to us, so it was a no brainer to meet up and have a chat. We decided that we really liked the guys there, and it's mostly just a friendly helping hand from us. What we like most of all is when interested parties approach us for a chat. We love having a chat because anything can happen. If they keep quiet, there's not a lot we can do!

>Please provide some tips for other developers wanting to port their game to the Gamestick.
In Unity it's simple. Practically just press a button and go. You can also download InControl, which supports the controller for it. We didn't do that, but we didn't know about InControl at the time!

>Will we see future add-ons to the Other Brothers and will they hopefully make it on the Gamestick?
We want to add content to The Other Brothers but currently lack the time to do it. We work with Sony at the moment on a next gen PS4 title. When we get the time we will go back and give TOB some love. 

>Any other projects you are working on?
We're doing a realtime 'PBR' rendering style game for PS4 and Vita. Sony have been a wonderful support partner and mentor in this process, an amazing company.

>What are some games you think would benefit on the Gamestick?
I think gamestick would benefit from having a ton of hardcore titles like Japanese shooters and bullet hell games. It's a great little system that is incredibly easy to port to using Unity. Platform games are also a natural fit. I don't feel that FPS games really shine on this though, compared to more immediate titles like the excellent Gang Beasts.

>If you have anything else you would like to add, please do so?
I just want to shout out to TOB fans and let them know we've not forgotten them. We really care about the people who play our games and at Simian Squared, we consider them our extended family. We just want to make games to make people's days a bit brighter as we're avid gamers ourselves. So when someone plays a game we've done we feel incredibly humbled by that and grateful.

>Thanks so much Rob for your time.
No problem, we always have time for anyone, big or small. 


Best of luck!

Thanks :)
-Rob

Check out Rob and the Crew's site:  http://www.simiansquared.com




Sewer Rats! (and a frog.)

 

Joe & Jim or Jim & Joe

 

7/24/14

Interview with Matthew of LvLn from Tanuki Entertainment




So Matthew, where did your origins in gaming begin?

I'm 41 so I guess you could say I am "that" generation... I grew up in the '70s and '80 when video games first became a household item.  The first year the Nintendo Entertainment System landed in the US, I was 13 - the perfect age to get sucked into video games.  And I fell in love with them baaaaaddd.... I've been playing them since!


 
What inspired the game LVLN?
I'm always looking for fun and ligh-hearted games that I can pick up and play on my iPhone.  Last year I found a great one called Slayin' that was fun but limited.  I decided that the concept was enjoyable but it needed more meat on the bone so with that inspiration we built our own take on the mechanic.


 
What are some challenges developing the game?
There were three big challenges.  1.) Framerate. 2.)Framerate and 3.)Framerate.... the IDE we used made sprites tough to work.  This was really the only challenge we had along the way, making the game tight enough to run on low end Android devices.

 
How did LVLN get ported to the Gamestick?
I want Tanuki Entertainment to be a diversified studio with content on as many devices as I can manage.  So when the opportunity came up to port LvLn to the GameStick, it was an easy decision.  Fortunately the GameStick is an Android SDK and since we developed the code base in a flexible IDE, it was fairly simple to port it over.  We really only had to polish a handful of art to get it ready.


 
What are some pointers you can provide for a new developer or a developing team?
Fun sells games, not art or story.  Sorry kids, but it's the hard truth...  The best thing you can do is come up with a fun concept (or find one out there you love) and put your special stamp on it.  Don't try to pander to an audience and develop what you _think_ they want, you need to love the product you are making.  So find a mechanic you love (or invent one yourself!) and put the best content you can on top of it.


 
If one wanted to port their game to the Gamestick, what are some suggestions you can give to help it go smooth?
When developing, keep the UI as flexible as you can - inevitably you will need to scale and reposition it for some portal or device.  Whatever IDE you make games in, make damn sure that it is scalable to meet as many future needs as possible.  The last position you want to be in is that of not being able to move on a big opportunity because the game "wasn't built that way".


 
Do you see LVLN expanding in to bigger worlds or add on type scenarios?
Oh yeah - we've got great plans for our little love child!  New settings, time periods, characters, bosses, items, vehicles, gameplay modes... When you make games where the tone isn't some serious epic - you just get to have a BLAST with their design!

 
Can Gamestick owners expect more games from Tanukie Entertainment?
Count on it!  We'll keep giving you fun, quick and enjoyable content as long as we can!


 
Any favorite games you enjoy playing would benefit on the Gamestick?
The GameStick needs a good space flight combat sim.  I think the whole console industry is primed for a big budget, kick-ass space flight combat sim!


 
Final question; what do you think of all these new devices like the Gamestick, Ouya, Amazon Fire TV, MK808...etc.?
As a developer I'm intrigued and excited, as a consumer I'm getting a little fatigued...  But, I guess you could say I'm an anomaly maybe?  When it comes to hardware, I'm an unashamed conformist.  I'd gladly take one single device that ACTUALLY does everything everyone wants - regardless of who made it.  When the "one device to rule them all appears", I'll be first in line to buy it!

Cheers,

Matthew

Thank you Matthew!




Where to go to next?

 

Your Quest Awaits

 

Is that a Ninja?

 

7/18/14


Interview with TALES OF ILLYRIA'S Little KillERZ





 Recall and share your fondest memory in regards to video gaming?


 

My greatest memory is the unboxing and playing of Ultima IV. The game included two books, a cloth map, and an ankh that were designed as if it came from "Britannia".  The game starts with you discovering these items. You then encounter a carnival and a gypsy that asks you a bunch of morale hypothetical questions.  The way you answer these questions dictates your class.  After the reading, you are transported into "Britannia.”  Unlike other games, your quest is not to save the world by defeating an evil wizard, but rather to become the Avatar.  You do this by leveling up your virtues.  It was truly an epic and ground breaking experience. 



How did creating and developing games come about for you?


When I was in the fourth grade my class had a TI-99/4a computer.  I was fascinated by it and my teacher let me take it home for the summer.  I wrote a bunch of small programs on it.  In high school I wrote several video games for fun, they were almost professional.   I quit developing games while I was in college.  The dot com boom hit and I quit college and got a job writing code.  When the Apple App Store lottery hit I became interested again in developing games, because I now had a way to get them published.  Shortly after Android came along and it used Java, the language I use at my day job, so the rest is history.



What is the origin for Tales of Illyria?


 

It was mostly my partners Jon Smith's idea.  After releasing Legends Arcana we felt it wasn't popular enough to warrant a sequel.  We were looking around for another game to make.  One night Jon and I were playing Talisman the board game. He really liked it and felt we should make a video game version of it.  He also was a big fan of Oregon Trail and wanted to incorporate that style game play as well.  We brought on a writer and the game we had intended to play like a board game became more of a character driven choose-your-own adventure.  It really evolved during development.  There were times I was like "What the heck are we making, is this even going to be fun?"  It wasn't until the very end after the tools, engine, and content all came together did we really know we had a good formula. 



Tales of Illyria 2 has just been released.  What are some of the differences between this one and the first one?


 

Episode 1 & 2 are really fairly similar in game play. The differ on content...


    1. Longer with more events
    2. Kingdom Vasena 
    3. Djinn, Lamia, Sand Worms, Dire Vultures
    4. Vasenian equipment
    5. Vasenaian character models, they are darker skinned
    6. New environments: Jungle, Savannah & Desert
    7. A choice at the half way point of the game which alters the entire second half of the game
    8. A female lead character and new party members
    9. EP1 Cameos
    10. New music
  •  

    What were some of your developing lessons you learned creating the first one that made it easier to develop part 2?

     

  • We were able to reuse the tools, game engine, graphics and music for EP2.  However, we still had to develop Vasena, which is the desert kingdom hidden behind the wall in EP1.  It's culturally different and required creating a Vasenian version of most everything.  We had to make heads, armor, equipment, background, monsters, and music.  It was very expensive to make and it's a shame it is not selling very well. The good news is EP3 will require only the writers write it.



  • How did you partner up with the Gamestick?

     

  • Gamestick contacted me and asked if I wanted a developer device, and of course I said yes.  I had already added game controller support for Moga so the code was already written. The Gamestick controller uses stock Android so it was a breeze to implement. 



  • Please provide some guidance and knowledge for people wanting to develop games and maybe porting the to the Gamestick?

     

  •  Seriously.. don't do it for the money.  If you want to do it for fun then...


    1. Get a small dedicated team
    2. Start with a really small game
    3. Develop the game in Unity or a similar multi-platform environment
    4. Make games you want to play

At this point, can you spill the beans and share some new concepts you might plan for part 3?

 

EP3 was supposed to be a prequel to EP1, but we shelved the concept after designing most of main quest line.  EP3 now is going to be a more open, make it what you will type game.  When the game starts you pick a name, sex, head, and kingdom.  Depending on the kingdom you pick you will get a short origin quest line.  When the quest line is completed the game is not over.  You will form your own party, which you can reorganize at any tavern.  You will still have six party members, but can have more than that in your roster.  Things like alignment, morale, and kingdom reputation will be more important.  You can now make your party members so mad they leave your party.  Interesting idea, strange you don’t see that more often in games.  You can also choose which kingdoms to ally with.  We also implemented port travel.



What are some of your greatest challenges coding and developing your games?

 

Bugs! They can ruin an entire weekend.  Nothing makes a coder more miserable than bugs.  Lost free time.  I have a day job so developing games has taken up almost all of my free time for the past five years.  This is time I could of spent doing lucrative consulting jobs or with friends and family.



Name some games you would like to see on the Gamestick?

 

Legends Arcana, I'd really like to add game controller support to it.  However, the way I coded it makes it difficult to implement without an entire rewrite.



Anything else you want to share, if so, please do so?

 

I think you gave me ample to blab about. But, I'd really like to thank you for your interest in Tales of Illyria.

 




Buy the 1st, 2nd, or Both

 

Adventure Awaits!

 

7/11/14

Interview with Neil Glenister of 232 Studios, maker of EPIC ERIC


What sparked the idea for Epic Eric?

The idea was inspired by Batman Arkham Asylum (strangely enough). In the popular Batman game you could fling your chosen character across the map by swinging on poles, girders, scaffolding etc. I've always had an interest in taking 3D mechanics and trying to convert them to 2D, which is how the cog mechanic came about. The rest of the game just grew from there.

In creating Epic Eric, what were some challenges you faced and any hints to prevent other future developers to make game creation more smoother?

Epic Eric met a number of challenges throughout production, this is our debut mobile game and our first foray into self publishing so we had a great deal to learn. Our biggest challenge was steering the game away from the 'damsel in distress' sexism trope. The gender cliche sadly wasn't something that we had considered prior to developing the game, however, having listened to the players and critics we set about tweaking the game and introducing the ability to play as the princess. This move was crucial to the games success and is by far one of the best features in the game.

Epic Eric is an exclusive first on the Gamestick.  How did this come about?

I fell in love with the GameStick when I first saw it being demoed at Develop in Brighton. It's an incredibly innovative console which is affordable and available via high street stores, so it's fantastic to see the game being played on the big screen alongside some outstanding games.

If one was to create for Gamestick, what advice can you provide to get them going?

Epic Eric was developed using the cross platform Corona SDK, which meant it only took us a couple of days to port the game to GameStick and was relatively painless. The two key things to consider when developing a game for GameStick are:

  1. Try to develop your game using a cross platform solution. The Corona SDK (http://coronalabs.com) has worked very well for us.
  2. Get in touch with the PlayJam team directly, they're incredible helpful and friendly.


Where do you plan on taking Epic Eric next?

We have some new level packs currently in production which will be available to everyone via a free update. We also have a number of easter eggs, unlockable characters (look out for Buck Morris and Maverick) and bonus secret levels.

Can fans expect more titles in the future to pop on the Gamestick?

Absolutely, we're currently toying with the idea of creating a follow up game called Epic Erica...but it's in the very early stages.

Name some of your favorite games?

My childhood favorite would have to be Zelda Ocarina of Time, more recently I've been very impressed with Papa Sangre II for it's inclusive design and I'm getting stuck into the beautiful Mimpi which has recently launched on GameStick.

Any particular games you would like to see on the Gamestick?

Icycle 2, with it's stunning animation and fantastic storyline would be fantastic on GameStick.

Any last advice, concept art, links, or thoughts you would like to share?

Any new developers looking to break into gaming, make sure you enter your games into lots of competitions, go to hack days and hit up the big events. You'll find me ambling around and I'm always happy to chat to a fellow game enthusiasts! For more info I'm reachable on Twitter via @232studios


Thank You Neil

Swing on over to Gamestick's site and purchase this tale

 

Now only on the Gamestick

Exclusive Gamestick Title

Fling in to Action

25% off for a limited time

7/05/14


Interview with Nicoll Hunt, Creator of FIST OF AWESOME!  (Links below)


First off, the sense of humor in Fist is refreshing.  Is this something that runs in the family or just a style you truly enjoy?

I've always enjoyed making people laugh. When I was at school I used to make elaborate comics for my classmates to read and laugh along to. It's important in life, I feel, to not take things to seriously and that's something I try to carry through to my work.

So are you a fan of Double Dragon, Final Fight, River City Ransom, or some late 80's early 90's action flicks that drove you to creating Fist?

I'm a *huge* fan of scrolling beat-em-ups from the early 90's. I grew up on Final Fight, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Streets of Rage and dozens of other games where you punch things in the face. I tried to take influences from all of them, and at the same time add my own twist on it.

What were some of the challenges throughout the "Awesome" process?

Making the game largely solo meant I was always the bottleneck for the project, and time was always an issue. For most of development I was working 4 days a week full time in my day job, which paid the bills but meant I had to cram a lot into my spare time. Making all the art was a significant challenge too, as I'm primarily a coder, but the longer it did it the better I got.

Was video game creation always your destiny or are you still searching for something else?

I did always want to be a rock star. However it's clear to anyone who's heard me sing that I'm much better suited to being a game developer :) 

How did Fist of Awesome get tangled up with Gamestick?

One of the Gamestick guys approached me at Develop (a yearly games conference in Brighton) last year and offered me a pre-release development kit if I'd port the game across. It wasn't much work on top of what I had planned for Android and Ouya so it was an easy decision to make.

Fist is on multiple platforms.  Do you see a sequel and if so, would there be a co-op mode or any other surprises you can release at this time?

It's likely I'll come back in a few years and make an all-singing-all-dancing sequel with co-op and all the other stuff I had to leave on the wish list. There's nothing firm yet though, I need to make another game first and come back when I can give it the attention it deserves. 


Do you see your company, "I Fight Bears," expanding and venturing out to produce for other platforms like Xbox or Playstation?

Yeah, very much so. Our next project will be aimed at next gen consoles, and I already have XBOX ONE development kits for prototyping ideas for the next game.
 

Any final advice for people wanting to start develop games?


Just do it! Download Gamemaker or Unity, or one of the many other game engines out there, start following tutorials and MAKE STUFF. The only way to get really good at something is practice, and the first step to being awesome at making games is to make rubbish games!

Hope that all makes sense!


Feel free to grab any pictures and screenshots you like from http://ifightbears.co.uk/press/ and http://ifightbears.co.uk/press/sheet.php?p=fist_of_awesome

Thanks,

Nicoll


Thank you Nicoll for your time!

Plenty more of where that came from

 

Some people really do belong in a zoo

 

The fist talks...the fist talks!

 

6/26/14


Interview with Amir Fassihi, Developer, for the hit SHADOW BLADE (Scroll down for Concept and Development Art provided by Amir.)



What sparked your interest in gaming?

For me the roots of my gaming go back to when I lived in Japan in the 80's and the rise of the NES, known their as Famicom! I was mesmerized by the games at that time like any other 10 year old. I pursued game development ever since I realized what computer programming means and this was when I was 12 years old.
 

How many people were involved in developing Shadow Blade and what was your role?

We had a core team of seven developers. I played the role of the team lead and also helped with programming and design.
 


Shadow Blade reminds me of a cross between Shinobi and Ninja Gaiden, but a little more forgiving and more fluid.  Was either game an inspiration or does Shadow Blade originate differently?

We never sat down to study the old Ninja Gaiden or Shinobi games in detail in order to make Shadow Blade but I am sure they have had enough of an effect on our developers subconsciously. The forgiving part was definitely intentional as Shadow Blade was designed for touch devices initially.
 

Shadow Blade would have been an easy top of the line $40.00 purchase had it come out back in the Nes or Super Nes days.  Do you see Shadow Blade porting to a console like Wii U, Xbox, or PS, of course with expanding the worlds and so forth?

We would love to be able to do that. We are already thinking about it and its requirements. Our first step is PC and steam which should be available very soon.
 

How did you hook up with PlayJam to port Shadow Blade to the Gamestick?

Well we always knew that Shadow Blade can be quite fun to play with physical game controllers also and once we realized that the quality on larger screens is good also, we decided to work on ports of the Android consoles and Gamestick was a main choice.
 

What was the process like getting the game to work on the Gamestick?

Since we used the Unity3D engine to develop Shadow Blade, the port was rather straight forward for us and we had already thought about mapping the controls. (We had done this while developing the game on PC) Overall the process was very smooth even for our small team.
 

Any advice to developers thinking about putting their game on the Gamestick?

For any platform, thinking about the unique features of that platform is very important. One thing that we would like to do for Shadow Blade also is to add local multiplayer features since that can be something that matches a console like Gamestick very well.
 

What are some hints as to what gamers can expect next from your team (maybe extension of Shadow Blade)?

Definitely more Shadow Blade :). The PC version will include multiplayer modes and also a level editor so that the gamers can created and share their content.
 


If you were trapped on an island, what 5 games would you need to pass the time?

I have loved many games but the 5 games I would need right now would be: 
XCOM Enemy Within
Diablo 3
Hearthstone (I hope their is internet connectivity in this island!)
RAD Soldiers
Any Mario Game
 

Thanks again for your time, and do you have a specific site or any other info you care to share?  If so, go ahead.

Our development blog maybe:
http://dev.deadmage.com/

 

Thank you Amir


What are you waiting for?  Buy Now!

 

Don't need Batman

 

Smooth as butter controls

 

6/22/14

Interview with Michael Buettner, creator of BATTLEBOW:  SHOOT THE DEMONS HD and STOP THE BIRDS from Haybyte Studios. (Bonus:  Scroll down to see Battlebow Concept Art)


 What game or what sparked your interest to create games?

That's a tough question. I have created card games and tabletop games before I even had a PC and knew how to program, so I would say that games in general sparked my interest.


How did the concept of Battlebow come about?

I wanted to make a defense game and was not sure what exactly it would be. So I started making a prototype and after 1 week I had the basic playable game with little demons jumping left and right, and a crossbowman shooting very pixelated arrows. After that I started planning the game and wrote a small game design doc which defined the playable characters, their weapons, their advantages and disadvantages. I looked at typical Shoot 'em up features like weapons with spreading projectiles, power-ups and so on. Then I adapted these features so they would make sense in the medieval setting of Battlebow.


Any major challenge or challenges during the development of Battlebow?

Battlebow has a unique kind of perspective, and it's not easy to get this right when animating in 2D. For the hero characters, we actually animated them in 3D and then used that as a reference for the final image. It is a lot of work but I really like the result.


 Are there plans to do a sequel and if so, can you divulge any spoilers or changes?

Maybe at some point, but first I have to finish this pixel art game I'm working on.


 So, how did you get involved with porting Battlebow to the GameStick?

I have to admit I'm not a backer of the kickstarter project, because I heard of it after the funding was over. I have long been waiting for a good android console to come out, and when I saw the GameStick I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. The gamepad feels so awesome... in my opinion it has the same quality as a PS3 gamepad. Developing for the GameStick has been a great experience so far and the nice folks as GameStick are very supportive.


 Can you provide some good advice for someone not sure or maybe on the fence to porting their game(s) to the GameStick?

The only good excuse to not port your game to GameStick is if the controls would not work with a gamepad. If you think the game would benefit from a big screen and gamepad controls, then go for it.


What are three games you would like to see on the GameStick?

Personally I like to play multiplayer and co-op games.  (Co-Op like Double Dragon.) I would love to see more indie games with elements from Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros., and Fat Princess on the GameStick. When it comes to single-player games, I'd vote for a God of War type of game.


You released a second game, Stop The Birds, for the GameStick.  Besides another "fingers crossed" sequel or add-ons to Battlebow, do you have plans on creating and releasing future games for the GameStick?

Definitely! I already started working on a prototype, a 4 player action game, specifically with GameStick in mind. It is a game idea that I programmed in Visual Basic about 16 years ago, and then lost all the files. This year I rebuilt the game in Unity but it is still a long way to go until it is ready for release.


Looking forward to it!  Thanks for your time Michael.


Cheers,

Michael

Build and Equip your Bower

 

Forget 911, Call Thor!

 

Look at the pretty birdies

 

6/16/14


Interview with the Lead Developer for the game SMASH COPS from Hutch Games.


How did Smash Cops originate?

The team were researching action driving ideas and came across the OJ Simpson chase on YouTube, whilst we didn’t use that content specifically it did inspire the team to make something in that space.  It does look like it came straight from the live news action scenes during the OJ Simpson car chase.

What brought about the porting of Smash Cops to the Gamestick and what was the reason to have it free?      We spoke to the Gamestick team whilst they were doing the kickstarter campaign and thought their vision and plan was pretty awesome, we showed them our game running and they suggested this plan which worked well for everyone.

How long did Smash Cops take to develop?

The original took 7 months for iOS, but we have spent many months updating and evolving it, bringing it to Gamestick took a few weeks at most.


Any advice to a developer thinking about porting their game to the Gamestick?

If you’re a unity studio then its very simple and doesn’t take much time.



So, looking back what were some of your favorite games to play...or still favorite to play?  A whole range of games, my all time favorite is a PS2 game called ICO.

Are there any future games coming from Hutch that will make it to the Gamestick?  We have some really cool plans in the future and some will work very well on Gamestick!

Acquire better vehicles

 

Don't let them escape

 

Always buckle up