interview

  • Interview with developers of Aztez: A strategy & brutal combat Next-gen game

    Aztez: A Game of Conquest of Brutality, a beat 'em up and a turn based strategy game meant for PS4, Xbox One, PC and host of other platforms. The first look at the teaser and you will be like "Gosh, that is so much blood!" Aggression and Brutality are the prime aspects of Aztez. Designed by a person with a 'combat fetish', Aztez will definitely get you into the top most gear after a long tiring day.

    We recently got in touch with Ben Ruiz, co-founder of Team Colorblind, to know what the whole story behind the creation of Aztez was. At what resolution will it run on major platforms? What will be its cost? And many more things. Read on to find out all that interests you about, Aztez: A Game of Conquest of Brutality.

    Aztez Screenshot Wallpaper

    Gamepur: Hi, Tell us about Team Colorblind. How is it different from other development studios? 

    Ben Ruiz: Team Colorblind is different from other studios in that we've got a team of 2 building a game that should be built by a team of at least 6. Haha! We're veterans, we're control freaks, and it our style to take big bites and intelligently chew them up.

    Gamepur: What is Aztez all about? 

    Ben Ruiz: Aztez is about experiencing the might and glory of the Aztec empire.

    Gamepur: What inspired you to make an aggressive game like Aztez? 

    Ben Ruiz: Technical beat 'em ups are my favorite type of game, and I've always wanted to make them. My inspiration for the game is a complicated result of my own combat fetish, in which I'm invoking all of the great sports fights, choreography, and action games that ever excited me.

    Gamepur: You described Aztez as "two games at its core", can you provide us some details on what exactly that meant? 

    Ben Ruiz: Aztez is two games stitched together; a beat 'em up and a turn based strategy game. These are very different types of experiences typically played by different types of people, but we've combined them in a way that we think is more interesting than the traditional beat 'em up game structure. It feels like playing two games in one, but in a way that is fun and engaging.

    Gamepur: Coming to a blog post "Aztez: Why I Am Doing This", you talked about beat 'em ups genre and stated that this genre barely changed in 25 years, and currently offers "nigh unbearable game experiences". Can you list out the short-comes of beat 'em ups and are you guys fixing it with Aztez? 

    Ben Ruiz: I think the critical shortcoming of the beat 'em up formula is that the game structure is so tedious and uninteresting. I'm tired of rote platforming and puzzle solving between combat encounters. What we're doing differently is giving the player a tactical thinking experience in between combat encounters.

    Gamepur: What exactly is the Aztez's narrative backstory and how many hours of gameplay does it offer? 

    Ben Ruiz: The narrative back story is that the game starts 100 years before the Spanish show up, at the formation of the Aztec Triple Alliance. The idea is to survive and flourish long enough to witness the arrival of the Spanish, and eventually be good enough to defeat them and kick them out of Mexico.

    Gamepur: The graphics are an interesting part of this game, using a limited number of colors to create something like Aztez. Can you tell us more about the graphics of Aztez? 

    Ben Ruiz: I thought it would be a fun artistic challenge to utilize an unusual art style. But it also happened to help me from a production point of view, because the style makes it easier for me, the entire art and combat team, create the rich environments you see in the game.

    Gamepur: At what resolution will Aztez run of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One? 

    Ben Ruiz: The game will run on the respective console's native resolutions. i.e. 1080p/60fps on both Xbox one and PS4.

    Gamepur: What elements of Bayonetta, Alien vs Predator and Devil May Cry have been incorporated in Aztez?

    Ben Ruiz: The feel and creativity of Bayonetta, the sensationalism and mobility of Capcom's Alien Vs Predator, and the precision difficulty of classic Devil May Cry.

    Gamepur: Does Aztez offer any level of character or combo/weapon customization? Also will there be environmental variety in Aztez?

    Ben Ruiz: The character will be visually customizable in that you will be able to beat the gear (helmets, bracers, loincloths, etc.) off of every enemy in the game and wear them in any combination you'd like. The weapons will not be customizable, but they are by default, very rich with distinct mechanics. As for the environments, we have an unique environment for every single city on the empire map (of which there is roughly 30) and then some.

    Gamepur: Violence is another aspect you guys are giving too much importance in Aztez, so can you provide more details to us on this?

    Ben Ruiz: I am biased because I have a deep and personal interest in combat (of all kinds), but to me violence is fascinating and powerful. Simulated violence in games is, for me, safe and fun and engaging. And as a boxer, I think consensual, controlled, real-life violence can be good for your mind and body. I'm not encouraging anyone to pick up a combat sport, but if you do, be disciplined and be safe and you will grow.

    Gamepur: Coming to combat system of Aztez, it looks like it's had a lot of thought and work put into it. Can you tell us the difficulty you guys faced and how things finally started to fall into places?

    Ben Ruiz: Teaching myself how to make a game like this was the hardest part, but once I'd made a handful of mechanics that looked and felt good, the rest came out much easier. Apart from that, just producing the huge amount of content we've produced (and still need to produce) is the biggest challenge. But that's mostly a time issue; there just isn't enough time ever! Haha! But we're slowly getting there.

    Gamepur: Have you guys decided a release date and price for Aztez?

    Ben Ruiz: There isn't an official release date yet. It looks like later this year and $15 USD but that's not final.

    Gamepur: From critics to fans to developers, almost everyone in the video-game industry praised PlayStation 4's unified architecture, 8GB GDDR5 RAM and its GGPU, as a developer what you have to say about PS4, how helpful have these high specifications been in the development of Aztec?

    Ben Ruiz: We love the PS4 but Aztez is graphically pretty low end. We're very excited to be on the PS4 market, but the machine is extremely overpowered for a game like Aztez. We love that! But the PS4 specs have little meaning for us.

    Gamepur: Coming to Xbox One, the 32 MB ESRAM has been a talk of the town and is said to be the main culprit behind multiplatform games running at lower resolution than PS4. Some developers openly admitted that it is "Bottleneck, Cumbersome, Can't Sustain the speed of GDDR5. On this note, we would like to ask you: A) As compared to GDDR5, is Xbox One's ESRAM slow, bottlenecked and cumbersome? B) How does Team Colorblind plan to use Xbox One's ESRAM?

    Ben Ruiz: We're facing a similar situation with the Xbox One as we are with the PS4. It's grossly overpowered for our game, and we've experienced no real bottlenecks.

    Gamepur: Thank you so much for your time Ben, do you have any message for our readers?

    Ben Ruiz: Thank you for the questions, I'm really happy to be talking to your readers!

    Teaser:

    Screenhots:

    aztez screenshot  aztez-screenshot-2  aztez-screenshot-3


  • OlliOlli On PS4 Dev Interview: "Skating, Learning and Nailing Tricks, looks easy but takes a while to get a hold of"

    OlliOlli, an upcoming skateboarding video game from Roll7 is already out on Playstation Vita and development team has decided to port it to Playstation 4. After watching the launch trailer for Playstation Vita version, OlliOlli caught our eye making us more curious to know about how the next-gen version of the game will look and so we got in touch with Simon Bennett, Director of Roll7 and talked on various aspects of OlliOlli PlayStation 4 version. Read our full interview below.

    OlliOlli

    Gamepur: Can you give us an insight of Roll7?

    Simon Bennett: Roll7 are a team of hard working delinquents from New Cross SE London. We try to make games that make palms sweat with joy. We mainly argue and make up with tea.

    Gamepur: What is OlliOlli all about? What is a gamer supposed to do in OlliOlli?

    Simon Bennett: OlliOlli is about skating, learning and nailing tricks. It’s a game that looks easy, but takes a while to get a hold of.

    Gamepur: What inspired you to make OlliOlli?

    Simon Bennett: We’re all skaters. John, our creative director and mastermind, was a pro skater back when he was a teenager, we skated alot. We are a bit older now, but still riding – in fact OlliOlli has pushed us to get back into tricks and injuring ourselves!

    Gamepur: Tell us about your main character, in the Vita version he did host of things, different kinds of flips, things like 'Smith Grind', 'Salad Grind' and many more cool moves like that. What can he now do on the next-gen machines?

    Simon Bennett: In the port – we are keeping things simple, and the game will for the most part play the same, however – we will be adding comprehensive leaderboards…

    Gamepur: What are the major differences between PS4, PS3 and PC versions of OlliOlli?

    Simon Bennett: The biggest difference, right away, is the bigger analog sticks. It’s weird, because for all of us it’s like learning to walk again. We’re getting better every day though, we’re super happy with it. The extra precision provided really makes a difference.

    Gamepur: Till what extent are the features of DualShock 4 controller like Touchpad, Lightbar used in OlliOlli since it is meant for PS4?

    Simon Bennett: We’re looking at everything available right now. The LightBar is really cool. Right now, we’re trying out using rumble for an extra level of immersion. Having a separate controller for OlliOlli is a brand new thing. The speaker is cool, too.

    Gamepur: And now the most sought after question of this gaming world: "Will OlliOlli run at 1080p & 60FPS?" If not what are the res/fps figures?

    Simon Bennett: You will have to wait for this one!

    Gamepur: How much will OlliOlli cost for PS3, PS4 and PC? Also have you decided on the exact release date?

    Simon Bennett: We are PUSHING for a Mid/Late July release, so fingers crossed we hit that! We reckon there will be a similar pricepoint to the VITA version, around £7.99.

    Gamepur: Do you have any plans of porting OlliOlli to Xbox or Nintendo consoles?

    Simon Bennett: Currently, OlliOlli is Vita exclusive until Summer 2014. After that, who knows? We’re a big fan of all the consoles.

    Gamepur: Please describe your experience while working with Sony. Is Sony easy to work with for developers? What do you have to say about their Indie policies?

    Simon Bennett: Basically Sony are legends, they are loving Indies and we are loving them! We met with Shahid Ahmad and Spencer Low (who run the Strategic Content team at SCEE) after the big launch of OlliOlli on Vita, and they said that we HAD to get the game onto PS4 and PS3. So that’s what we are doing!

    Gamepur: From critics to fans to developers, almost everyone in the video-game industry praised PlayStation 4's unified architecture, 8GB GDDR5 RAM and its GGPU, as a developer what you have to say about PS4, how helpful have these high specifications been in the development of OlliOlli?

    Simon Bennett: It’s so exciting! As you can see, OlliOlli is a pushing the consoles to the limits! But seriously, OlliOlli has never looked better. The console is so fast and snappy. We’re incredibly happy with it.

    Gamepur: Things about OlliOlli you dont want your players to miss?

    Simon Bennett: Remember to check OlliOlli every day for the Daily Grind!

    Gamepur: We wish you good luck for OlliOlli! Do have a message for our readers?

    Simon Bennett: Stay indie!

  • Interview with Visiontrick Media on Pavilion, a mysterious game which will run at 1080p & 60FPS, will launch on PS4 and Vita

    Pavilion which will launch on PS4 and PS Vita, is a fourth person puzzling adventure game, created by Visiontrick Media. The essence of Pavilion is the mystery element; it won't make things easy for you with text bubbles or tutorials. The more you engage in this game, the more knowledgeable you will be.

    PavilionThis unique game caught our eye making us curious to know more about it. We got in touch with the creators of Pavilion, Henrik Flink and Rickard Westman, the pillars of Visiontrick Media. We asked them many things about Pavilion, from the foundation of Visiontrick Media, Pavilion's graphics and in game details to their views on PS4's hardware.

    So just read on to find out what Pavilion is all about:

    Gamepur: Tell us about Visiontrick Media. What is its story?

    Visiontrick Media: It all started 8 years ago when we (Henrik & Rickard) met while attending the same school focused on game development and visual art. After graduating we got separate jobs in the game and movie industry and eventually ended up on the opposite sides of the world. But we kept contact and constantly bounced ideas and game concepts off each other. We continued like that for a number of years, trying to get some projects off the ground but they all ended with not being interesting enough or just ended up unfinished for some time or financial reason. Later, in late 2011, we made a short demo of a simple puzzle game which sole purpose was to hopefully generate some money to finance some bigger and more interesting future project. But we just found that approach to be not motivating enough and from that we decided to shift focus, scrap almost everything, start new and only focus on the interesting bits and make it into something that we were more passionate about, both in terms of game design and visuals. We then put together a design document for Pavilion and applied for a government grant, which we fortunately got in early 2012. Out of that Visiontrick Media was born, as well as the seed for Pavilion.

    Gamepur: Pavilion seems to be a very mysterious game, what is it exactly about?

    Visiontrick Media: It being mysterious is very much a trait of the game, so we feel we can't reveal too much about it. But we can say that Pavilion is about a journey into the unknown in search for something or some things. We are putting a lot of effort into making the game explain itself through the world, character and player interactions and it is very much the gradual understanding and sense of unexpected discover that makes it interesting. Other than that it is a puzzle game where you need to think both inside and outside the box.

    Pavilion

    Gamepur: Can you give us details about the main character of Pavilion? What will be his abilities? What did you have in mind while creating the main character?

    Visiontrick Media: Something that we have not talked much about yet is that our main character is a pretty gentle and unadventurous fellow. For example he has a fear of the dark, is afraid of heights and is reluctant to take risks. These, among others, are traits that the player will have to take into account when interacting with the world and then gradually observe and understand how the character acts and reacts in certain situations.

    Another thing we have put a lot of effort into is making the character expressive with animations. Not only in terms of the character reacting to the environment in a way that one would expect him to but also by expressing his inner state towards things. And since we don't have any text or speech in the game the character is absolutely the most interesting and useful tool for us as developers to use to communicate certain things to the player.

    Gamepur: Pavilion's recent teaser trailer shows a unique style of graphics. The game's overview says that those are hand-painted 2d graphics. Can you give us an insight about the graphics of Pavilion?

    Visiontrick Media: The graphics are made in Photoshop and we layout everything based on an isometric grid. Then we do simple line drawings of the level design on top of the grind and when we have that done we start to compose the graphics by both painting a lot by hand as well as merging and using photo-sourced material. This has proven to be the most efficient and enjoyable process to create Pavilion's detailed, immersive and surreal world.

    Gamepur: Gaming world is buzzing with a resolution and FPS war these days; all of us want to play games which look crisp and clean. Does Pavilion fulfill this requirement? Does it run at an amazing 1080p/60FPS? If NO then at what res/fps figure will Pavilion run?

    Visiontrick Media: Pavilion will indeed run at 1080p/60FPS. This was something we decided on early on and to deliver an excellent game in terms of both visuals and atmosphere. Of course, we are making a 2d game, so obviously today's AAA 3D titles might have a harder time meeting the new standards than us.  

    Gamepur: We only know that Pavilion will release in 2014. What will the exact release date be? Also how much will it cost?

    Visiontrick Media: Right now we are looking at a release sometime during the end of Summer. But as we have said before, we don't want to release it until it is as good as we know it can be so we can't promise any exact date. Price is also something we don't have any exact number on yet, we'll see what feels fair near the end of production.

    Gamepur: Pavilion will be launching only on PlayStation platforms, i.e. PlayStation 4 and Vita, we are curious to know why only PlayStation?

    Visiontrick Media: We are a small team and have to focus on certain things. It is not easy to make a game and Sony has been very supportive in both the aspect of giving us feedback and letting us update things through their channels. For example they have supported us with marketing, like showing Pavilion at press conferences and so on. This is something is very important for a small 2 man operation, there’s only so much you can do on those terms.

    Pavilion

    Gamepur: Do you have any plans of transporting Pavilion to other platforms like Xbox, PC or Nintendo?

    Visiontrick Media: Right now we are focusing on PS4 & PSVita and any other platforms are not yet decided on. 

    Gamepur: What kind of development benefits did PS4's Unified Architecture and 8 GBs of GGDR5 RAM bring to Pavilion?

    Visiontrick Media: Since Pavilion is a 2D game with big painted backgrounds we are very happy with the 8GBs of RAM, enabling us to have more than one level in the memory at the same time making the transition from one level to another seamless. In general this also means that we just don't need to worry about running out of memory as one have done in earlier console cycles.

    Gamepur: Since Pavilion is meant for PS4, can you tell us till what extent are the features of DualShock 4 controller like Touchpad, Lightbar used in Pavilion? 

    Visiontrick Media: This is something we are still exploring but for example you will be interacting with certain entities through the touchpad and the light bar will also be used to symbolize and give feedback on a certain state of the game which we can't talk about yet without spoiling too much. But we are still exploring these features and feel like we want to have functionality that doesn't feel like just a gimmick.

    Gamepur: PS4 has received praises from developer's community for its Unified Architecture and 8 GB RAM, however somewhere down the line slow PS4 Clock Speed has been a cause of concern for developers. How did you guys tackle the slower clock speed of PS4? Has it resulted into any development challenges while developing Pavilion for PS4?

    Visiontrick Media: Pavilion is a pretty simple game in terms of performance so this is something we haven't had any problems with, and hopefully it will stay that way.

    Gamepur: Thank you for this interview. We wish you luck for Pavilion! Do you have any message for our readers?

    Visiontrick Media: Likewise! We'll be posting new material from the game during the coming months so keep an eye out. We would also encourage people to take a closer look on that last video we released, we still feel like there is things in it that holds certain importance but which has not yet been commenting on.Thanks!

  • Jet Car Stunts Interview: "New Features, 1080p/60FPS on PS4, Asynchronous Multiplayer, Xbox One port and more"

    One of our favourite mobile games, Jet Car Stunts is now coming to Playstation 3, Playstation Vita and Playstation 4, all thanks to Grip Games.

    We recently got in touch with Jakub Mikyska co-founder Grip Games and talked on numerous topics related to Jet Car Stunts such as "inspiration behind the game, new cars and features, resolution at which it runs on PS4, asynchronous multiplayer, no Xbox One version and many more things".

    Jet Car Stunts PS4 Screen

    You can read the full interview below.

    Gamepur: Things like "Jet Car — a combination of a race car and a jet plane" and "racing experience that combines driving and flying" sounds pretty awesome, so can you tell us From where did you guys get the inspiration for Jet Car Stunts?

    Jakub Mikyska: The idea originated with True Axis – the makers of the original Jet Car Stunts game for tablets. It's hard to say where did they find the inspiration… but in the end, who would want to own a jet car?

    Gamepur: Can you list the total number of new cars and modes along with details that will be available in Jet Stunt Cars?

    Jakub Mikyska: We have added two new cars. One of them very fast for the Time Trial mode and another one, that we nicknamed the "Orange Devil", for our new game mode Puzzle. This new car has two jet engines and is incredibly maneuverable, which will be quite useful because "Puzzle" mode tasks you with reaching some seemingly unreachable places. You'll have to figure a way how to get there, find a suitable ramp, drop from above, or bounce off an obstacle… We have made significant improvements to the graphics, added many visual effects, changed some of the tracks and added the asynchronous multiplayer mode.

    Gamepur: Does Jet Car Stunts support DualShock 4 Controller Lightbar or touchpad feature?

    Jakub Mikyska: Yes, we will use the Lightbar to indicate various things like jet fuel. Touchpad won't be used to control the car, as maximum precision is required and touch interfaces aren't good for that.

    Gamepur: At What resolution will Jet Car Stunts run on PlayStation 4, is it 1080p/60 FPS?

    Jakub Mikyska: Yes, it will run at 1080p/60 FPS. We will also use advanced anti-aliasing features to make the game look even smoother than a typical 1080p game.

    Gamepur: Can you list features that are returning from original titles?

    Jakub Mikyska: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" was our motto while developing Jet Car Stunts. So, it is essentially the same game. And that is a good thing. The original Jet Car Stunts is one of the highest-rated racing games of all time (94 at Metacritic). So, we took everything that was great about the original – the track design, the art style, the addictiveness, the obsessive need to improve your times and kept it exactly the same way and improved everything else.

    Gamepur: Can you provide us details on Asynchronous multiplayer portion of Jet Car Stunts?

    Jakub Mikyska: The greatest opponent in Jet Car Stunts is yourself, as you'll be constantly trying to improve yourself. But we also wanted to let you compare your skills with other players. So, the game will download a replay of a player with a better time than you have on a particular track and will let you race against his ghost car. That has a competitive use, but you'll be also able to see where the other player was better than you and this will help you improve your times. And if you manage to beat that ghost, the game will download a better opponent for you. And other players will also race against your ghost.

    Gamepur: Jet Car Stunts is also coming to Xbox360 / XBLA also, but there are no details about Xbox One port. Is ID@Xbox and controversial launch parity clause can you he reason behind no Xbox One version?

    Jakub Mikyska: We also hope to bring Jet Car Stunts to Xbox One. There still needs to be some work done before we can confirm the game will be released there, so we didn’t include the platform in our initial announcement, but we hope to be able to get there as well.

    Gamepur: What kind of development benefits did PS4's Unified Architecture and 8 GBs of GGDR5 RAM brought to Jet Car Stunts?

    Jakub Mikyska: If you look at the screenshots from Jet Car Stunts, you'll see that the lighting and shadows are like nothing you have seen in other games. The shadows are incredibly soft and realistic. This eats A LOT of memory to do properly. We had to go with some compromises on the PS3 and Xbox 360, but the next-gen machines let us unleash the full power of the engine we use for Jet Car Stunts and even add a lot of other visual effects.

    Gamepur: PS4 has received praises from developer's community for its Unified Architecture and 8 GB RAM, however somewhere down the ine slow PS4 Clock Speed has been a cause of concern for developers. How did you guys tackle slower clock speed of PS4? Has it resulted into any development challenges while developing Jet Car Stunts for PS4?

    Jakub Mikyska: When you look at spec sheets, you can always find a weakness, but the truth is that both the PS4 and XB1 are very powerful gaming machines. We did some insane things, like running MSAA and FXAA antialiasing at the same time, with real-time lighting and complex particles and post-processing effects and the next-gen consoles didn't even break a sweat.

    Gamepur: Any special feature or features in Jet Car Stunts you want PlayStation players to try?

    Jakub Mikyska: I want the PlayStation players to try the whole Jet Car Stunts. It is unlike anything they have played on PlayStation before.

    Gamepur: How's your working relationship with Sony? What you guys have to say about their indie policies?

    Jakub Mikyska: Sony is a great partner and the most important thing they do is that they stand out of our way when we work on the game, which a lot of other indie developers would confirm is a great thing to do. They also help with promoting the game and provide ideas for improvements. But to be fair, Microsoft has also made some significant progress in their attitude towards indies.

    Gamepur: Did Sony approach you about bringing the game to PlayStation or did you approach them?

    Jakub Mikyska: We work with Sony for almost five years now. When we decided to work on a console version of Jet Car Stunts, we didn't even thing whether or not do to the PlayStation versions. That was a pretty obvious decision.

    Gamepur: Last few words for our readers

    Jakub Mikyska: I would like to invite your readers to try Jet Car Stunts and to see for themselves why it sold over one million copies and gained the universal praise. It is a unique, it is cool and most of all, it is a lot of fun.

  • Interview with The Game Bakers about the upcoming Squids Odyssey: specially made for Nintendo

    The Game Bakers who make games like they cook food, "Just out of the oven, warm and delicious", have created Squids Odyssey. "An epic adventure featuring squids characters teaming up against the hordes of the black torrent", is how they describe this creation which according to them is the most polished and feature rich game of the whole Squids series.

    Squids Odyssey

    We got in touch with Emeric Thoa, Creative Director, The Game Bakers to talk about the third installment in the Squids series: Squids Odyssey. Apart from the game we also got a quick peek into the exciting world of how The Game Bakers work.

    Read on to know more about this Tactical Turned-Based Tactical Action RPG and their Makers in an exclusive interview with Gamepur:

    Gamepur: First and foremost, tell us about The Game Bakers, about your team, what is the story?

    Emeric: "Audrey and I created The Game Bakers in 2010. We both had worked a few years on big console games at Ubisoft, but we wanted to work on smaller projects and to get away from the military shooters. After too many years of Clancy games you need a break of colorful octopus in the warm oceans! The rise of mobile gaming was perfect for us, we were able to make our games with smaller budgets."

    Gamepur: Give us an insight of Squids Odyssey, what is it about?

    Emeric: "Squids Odyssey is an epic adventure featuring squids characters teaming up against the hordes of the black torrent, a disaster that corrupter all the crabs and shrimps of the oceans. Think about Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, but with Squids instead of Jedis and Crabs instead of Orcs! More seriously, we wanted a fun and cheerful and warm game, but we also wanted the story to be epic and the stakes high."

    Gamepur: We have heard that Squids Odyssey is a unique mix of action strategy and RPG, which is more? RPG or strategy?

    Emeric: "Well it's actually even more a mix than that, it's a Tactical Turned-Based Tactical Action RPG. It's a turn-based game where you control up to 4 squids in your team, you characters level up and equip helmets (RPG), you need actual skill to play the game, because you aim and throw your characters on the enemies (Action) and you need a lot of strategy during the battles, to choose who to attack, where to place your Squids or how to use the environment (Tactical). It's the game I always wanted to make!"

    Squids Odyssey

    Gamepur: What inspired you to make Squids Odyssey?

    Emeric: "For the gameplay, two games I loved when I was a kid inspired me a lot: Shining Force for the tactical turn-based gameplay and Canon Fodder for the team-based action. A lot of good diners with nice food and wine gave us the inspiration for the rest of the world!"

    Gamepur: We build a team of Squids, but how we do play? As a team or as one of the characters in a team? Or lead?

    Emeric: "You start with few Squids but you can recruit a lot of them along the story. Each one of them have different characteristics and abilities. There are four classes, but some Squids are more mobile, some other tough, others stronger... Most of the time you have up to four Squids to control, and you play them one by one, then it's the enemy's turn. But some missions will have you play one Squid in solo!"

    Gamepur: How many levels and characters will Squids Odyssey have? Also how long is the gameplay?

    Emeric: "Squids Odyssey has over 15 playable Squids, over 60 helmets to collect and more than 90 missions... without counting the Pro mode with lets you play harder missions for a better tactical challenge. If you just want to complete the story, you can probably finish the game within 8 hours, but if you want to unlock everything, it's for sure more than 20 hours of gameplay."

    Gamepur: Who is your personal favorite?

    Emeric: "I have so many! My favorite character is Sammo because he is so funny. But for gameplay, my favorite character is the secret Scout Kapono. He can have up to 11 dashes! He is great to play with especially on 3DS and WiiU with the stick controls."

    Gamepur: Squids Odyssey, sounds quite addictive, are all the levels designed uniquely? Does difficulty level increase with each one? 

    Emeric: "Each level (even for the pro mode) is designed uniquely, by the hand of a level designer (me or one of my colleagues). We choose very carefully where to place the enemies so that the missions offer a different tactical challenge. The difficulty increases with the level design, but the enemies also get stronger through the campaign."

    Gamepur: How long did it take to create Squids Odyssey?

    Emeric: "Well Squids Odyssey is the best of Squids and its sequel Squids Wild West, with additional content (a new chapter, a new Squid, new helmets...). But we started working on Squids in 2010 and if we remove one year for another game, it's almost 3 years of work! Just the last part for the Nintendo consoles took almost a year!"

    Gamepur: Why did it take a year to complete it on the Nintendo consoles?

    Emeric: "The Nintendo versions are the most polished of all versions, they are not just simple ports. First, we supported all the controls pad controls in addition to the touch. In the game and in the menus. We also supported the full Gamepad mode on the WiiU. The 3DS also has different specifications than the mobile phones, that needed specific code. We also had to deal with the 3D on 3DS, and add all the 3D information in the levels. Then there is all the new content: new chapter, story, missions, helmets. And 40 new pro-mode missions! Finally, all the testing and polish had to be redone on a game 4 time bigger than the first ones, and for 2 different platforms. Here you go: a year of work!"

    Gamepur: Will Squids Odyssey support Wii U Gamepad and other unique features?

    Emeric: "Squids Odyssey is playable fully with the pad, or fully with the stylus. Or you can mix both. It's really designed for both controls! For the WiiU we also added the possibility to play fully on the TV or fully on the Gamepad. It really is a great game for the WiiU."

    Gamepur: As developers what do you guys have to say about Wii U and its power as compared to PS4 / Xbox One?

    Emeric: "I have never looked at a console with its power in mind. Would Mario be better on PS4 with more power? Would Squids be better on Xbox One with more power? Squids is better on Nintendo because of the WiiU and 3DS touch screens and because Nintendo players are a better fit with our game."

    Gamepur: Can we expect Squids Odyssey to release on other platforms in future? Like PS4, Xbox One and PC? Any plans?

    Emeric: "No plans yet but we would love to release the game on other platforms. The PS vita makes a lot of sense actually, but Nintendo was the first choice."

    Gamepur: Coming back to The Game Bakers, who thought of this unique title? Any funny incident you want to share with us?

    Emeric: "We thought of it with Audrey my partner. We both love food and cooking and we thought that we want to make games like we make food. With a lot of love and attention to detail. And then serve our games to our players like little breads coming out of the oven, warm and delicious."

    Gamepur: How will you describe your journey with The Game Bakers?

    Emeric: "I'm learning new things everyday. Working in a small team makes everything go faster than in a big company... So far I couldn't do anything else than working at The Game Bakers!"

    Gamepur: Any message for our readers?

    Emeric: "If anyone of them liked Squids on mobile, they must try it on Nintendo as well! The controls with the pad and buttons really add some new flavor to the game. You can control a Scout while dashing and that's really fun!"

  • The Golf Club Interview: "Course Creator, Real-world Ball Physics, Resolution, No Issue With ESRAM & More"

    HB Studios are currently working on a next-gen golf sim, "The Golf Club". The game is powered by Unity Game Engine. We recently got in touch with Anthony Kyne, Producer of The Golf Club and talked on numerous topic related to the game such as "difference between PS4, Xbox One and PC ports, Resolution and FPS at which it runs, some significant features, course creator, multiplayer, working relationship with Sony and Microsoft and many more things". Read our full interview below.

    The Golf Club Logo

    Gamepur: How would you describe The Golf Club and how is it different from other games that are already available in this genre?

    Anthony: A golf game was something that we’d been thinking about for a long time, so we had plenty of ideas locked away amongst the team. One thing we decided on very early was that we didn’t want to blow our budget on licences and the TV Style presentation like 99% of sports games do. We wanted to make a game that represented the golf world that majority of us armatures play in. We wanted to spend our time and money on making the game play as realistically as possible.
     

    Gamepur: What are the most significant features of The Golf Club that gamers should look out for?

    Anthony: I think the big one has to be the procedurally generated courses. We found with other golf games of the past that after you’d mastered the set of courses that came with it the game started to lose appeal. With a few simple clicks of a button you can create a completely new course, never seen or played before.
    We also realised that a lot of people wanted to create their local course. So we added an extra layer to the course generator that allowed the user to edit and create their own courses. The games only been sent out to a select few BETA testers so far but already the creativity we’ve seen from people has been amazing.

    The Golf Club Screen 1

    Gamepur:  Sports genres are basically dominated by EA Sports games (Tiger Woods golf games if we just take into consideration Golf games part). What unique features/elements The Golf Club brings to the table that sets it apart and do you think that the game will appeal to massive fan-base of EA Sport's Tiger Woods Golf Game series?

    Anthony: I think we’re totally different takes on the sport to be honest. They’ve created a game is very much based in the professional world. Competing on the most well known courses in the world against the top PGA tour players all presented in a flashy TV style. We on the other hand are more about the game of golf that we all experience as amateurs, the game that is one of the most popular in the world. A game where you and your friend can compete on an 18 hole course which you have spent days or weeks creating and something that actually created the fun, sense of achievement and frustrations that real golf creates.

    Gamepur: For our readers can you explain the working of Course Creator?

    Anthony: The course creator is a pretty amazing tool. As I’ve said above, with just a few clicks you can create a completely unique course with as much Water and Bunkers as you want and as difficult as you want. But with the added layer of the Editor you can spend weeks and months on perfecting you master piece. Using your creative skills to create something only in your mind or modelling a course based on a real life course that you play regularly.

    Gamepur:  Can you share with us the difficulties that the development team faced in developing Course Creator (if any) and how did everything work out eventually?

    Anthony: We were really lucky, we only ever planned to create something that would procedurally generate a courses so the user would always have a unique experience. But we managed to achieve that very early in development. From there we started developing the more in-detail editor. At that point everything was a bonus. So we just grouped our designs into stages from the most basic needs to the “Everything we would ever want” and worked through each stage at a time. At release we’ll most probably be about a 3rd of the way through those stages, so we’ve still got plenty we’d like to do in the months and years to follow.

    The Golf Club Screen 2

    Gamepur: Can you please list the differences between all three versions of The Golf Club i.e. PS4, Xbox One and PC?

    Anthony:  Nothing, at the moment everything is the same and that’s how we’d like it to stay. The ultimate dream is to have people on the PS4 competing with friends ghost balls from their rounds on a PC. Technically it’s not an issue, it already works here in the office. It’s just about if we’re allowed to do it.

    Gamepur: Can you tell us about The Golf Club's multiplayer portion and will players on different platforms be able to share courses i.e. will cross platform sharing feature be supported by The Golf Club?

    Anthony: So as it stands at the moment, everything that a user decides to publish is available for others to play with no restriction on platform. This may change as I’ve stated above though.

    We have Ghost Balls and Live balls that you can compete against as well. We decided we didn’t want to create lobbies and worry about connection loss and all the things that come with traditional online play. So we decided we’d give the user the ability to add friends previous rounds as a ghost. Giving you the ability to compete against it. You can also see friends balls that are on the course you’re playing and compete against that. If you lose connection, jump back in once it’s back up and continue. You haven’t lost anything or ruined your friends round. It’d quite unique and works really well. No waiting, it’s very instant and makes playing competitions a lot quicker.

    Gamepur: You guys are aiming to provide a level playing field for all players with ONLY ONE difficulty setting, why did the development team decide to take this route? And in future will there be more difficulty levels added?

    Anthony: Yes, I’m a huge believer in that. Our game is a very social experience its about competing with friends and we didn’t want people going into games having an easier time of it than another just because they changed a setting somewhere. We wanted to make it like real golf.
    We believe that our course decide how hard or easy you want the make your round. That’s how it happens in real life.
    In the future I’d love to add a handicap system, that maybe opened up certain courses but also kept a level playing field for two friends and differing abilities. It’s one of the greatest levelling systems even invented so why not use it in a game about the sport!

    Gamepur: Can you explain in details real-world ball physics in The Golf Club?

    Anthony: In detail, that would be along answer J, Our physic programmer actually did a full article on it on the website, which talks about it in depth. Basically though, we decided we wanted to make it as realistic as possible so we studied up on every bit of information we could find and implemented it. Head speed, stance, spin, club loft, etc is all taken into account. Each surface reacts as it does in real life and we spend a considerable time on tree collision as we felt that other games hadn’t really done it justice in the past.

    Gamepur: With respect to presentation, The Golf Club is skipping some key features such as in tournaments, there is no crowd. The entire focus is on the competition rather than representing a broadcast atmosphere. On this note can you tell us in detail what were the plans of your development team with respect to overall presentation of The Golf Club?

    Anthony: It was one of our key pillars for the game, we wanted to create course and tournaments that represented the game of golf from an amateurs point of view. I’ve played in many tournaments over the years and I’ve never had a crowd come out and watch me J. We wanted to recreate that!

    Gamepur: The Golf Club will go through a beta testing phase on all three platforms, can you provide us details regarding content it will offer to players to test i.e. number of course and other things?

    Anthony:We’re already in BETA Testing on PC, but with PS4 and Xbox One there isn’t really a system in place to let us do that with the public. It’s not too much of a hindrance to us as the game is the same on every platform, it’s just a shame some of the early adopters of the game aren’t able to help us if they’re console owners.

    Gamepur: Is the release date of The Golf Club and The Golf Club beta decided?

    Anthony:Beta is out, we’re currently looking a releasing an early access although nothing is set in stone. And the closest we can say for Full Release is spring. Anything more granular than that only leads to disappointment.

    Gamepur: Is the Resolution/FPS figure 1080p/60, at which The Golf Club will run on PS4 and Xbox One? If YES, can you please provide us the details?

    Anthony: That’s the aim, we’re running in 1080p at the moment but not quite at 60fps. I don’t think we have an actual hard figure for FPS its more about getting to a point where it feels right. I was reading an article the other day that the human brain can’t tell the difference between 50fps and 60fps anyway so as long as it feels right I’ll be happy.

    Gamepur: Since The Golf Club is meant for PS4 and Xbox One, can you tell us till what extent are the features of DualShock 4 controller like Touchpad, Lightbar and Xbox One's Triggers used in The Golf Club?

    Anthony: Nothing specific per controller at the moment. I wouldn’t want to cheapen the features on the controller by us shoe horning something onto them just because they’re there. If we had an idea that suited touch pad more than anything else, we’d do it! But why use it just for the sake of it, it feels fake and the user knows that.

    Gamepur: From critics to fans to developers, almost everyone in the video-game industry praised PlayStation 4's unified architecture, 8GB GDDR5 RAM and its GGPU, as a developer what you have to say about PS4, how helpful have these high specifications been in the development of The Golf Club?

    Anthony: Coming from the old days of development, it’s great to not have to worry about every bit! I remember working on the Sega Mega Drive and Commodore Amiga where RAM was more precious than gold.
    For this project the biggest benefit has been the ability to use Compute Shaders, it means that the procedural generation is seamless. We have minimal loading times and the whole course is there to play, not just one hole. Not having to load each hole at a time makes the game very quick and easy to enjoy.

    Gamepur: Coming to Xbox One, the 32 MB ESRAM has been a talk of the town and is said to be the main culprit behind multiplatform games running at lower resolution than PS4. Some developers openly admitted that it is "Bottleneck, Cumbersome, Can't Sustain the speed of GDDR5. On this note, we would like to ask you: A) As compared to GDDR5, is Xbox One's ESRAM slow, bottlenecked and cumbersome? B) How does HB Studios plan to use Xbox One's ESRAM? 

    Anthony: We haven’t had any issues so far, as it stands we haven’t had to do anything more than expected on either Console. Both are such powerful machines that with a bit of thought you shouldn’t have problems on either. It’s why games get better as console generations age, people think of more inventive ways to squeeze every bit of performance out of the hardware.

    Gamepur: How was your experience working with Sony and Microsoft?

    Anthony: They’ve both been great, we were announced last week as one of the developers on the id@xbox program by Microsoft. They’ve supplied dev kits and worked with us and Unity 3D in getting source code to us, it’s been refreshing. Sony have been equally as good, they love the game. We had dev kits very early in development, they’re always checking in with us, making sure we’re not having any problems with developing on PS4. They’ve even sent a couple a guys up here for one to one’s with the team to see how they can improve development on their console. It’s great that they care so much about the guys having to work with their stuff on a daily basis. It’s nice that they’re taking care of the small guys!

    Gamepur: Are there any plans of transporting The Golf Club to hand held consoles such as PS VITA?

    Anthony: It’s not in our immediate plans, although it’s something we’d love to do. I used to commute for 3 hours a day when I lived in London, so I’m a big fan on portable gaming. Especially portable gaming  that improves the experience I’m having in my living room when I get home. We’ve got a few ideas floating around. We just have to create a plan to do it that won’t impact the other titles we’re working on in the studio.

    Gamepur: After The Golf Club, what's next? Any creative idea you have in mind?

    Anthony: There’s plenty going on, we’ve got a couple of projects in development that haven’t been announced yet. The Golf Club is going to be an ongoing project, we want to keep building on the solid foundation that we’ve built and keep pushing the boundaries. There’s also plenty of other ideas in the bank that we want to start investigating. We’re not short of work, that’s for sure.

    Gamepur: Any special message you would like to give our readers?

    Anthony: Thanks for the support so far, keep following us on Twitter, @thegolfclubgame and on our website for the latest news on The Golf Club. Thanks

  • Nutjitsu Dev Interview: "New Features, Levels/Ranks, Power-ups, Xbox One, ID@Xbox Program & PS4 Port"

    Nutjitsu from Ninjabee will be one of the first few indie titles coming out for Xbox One later this month under Microsoft's ID@Xbox program. We recently got in touch with Brent Fox, Art Director Nutjitsu and talked on numerous topics related to Nutjitsu for Xbox One. Read our full interview below for exclusive information on "Nutjitsu for Xbox One exclusive features, multiplayer, levels and ranking system, differences from other version already available and many more things. So without much ado, here is our full interview with Brent Fox on Nutjitsu.

    Nutjitsu For Xbox One

    Gamepur: First Congratulations for Nutjitsu as your first title to launch on Xbox One. How's your experience to develop for Xbox One?

    Brent Fox: Thanks! We are really excited about our early entry for next generation consoles. So far our experience has really been great. We've been able to get something going very quickly. There have been a handful of challenges but those exist on every new platform.

    Gamepur: What are the new things in Nutjitsu Xbox One version over its version on other platforms like Windows 8?

    Brent Fox: We rebuilt entire systems, like the controls and UI, for the Xbox One experience. We give achievements, post to leaderboards, award gamerpics, rumble the controller, store progress in the cloud, and a lot more! We rebuilt high-res animated assets for every level and we've been constantly working on improving and deepening the gameplay. We also think the game is especially great with a controller, it is a totally different experience than touch controls.

    Gamepur: Can you give us some inside details about features of Nutjitsu which are only specific to its port for Xbox One?

    Brent Fox: We have put a lot of effort into making sure Nutjitsu is a great experience on the Xbox One. We choose to create this game in HTML5. Yes, it really is HTML5. We released very early versions on Windows 8 and used them to get valuable feedback to help us improve the game. That first release wasn't our final target. We are concentrating on making a fun game more than specific console features. We believe that this approach is best for the game and it will provide a ton of opportunities in the future.

    Gamepur: How many Levels and Ranks will be available in Nutjitsu at launch? Can you provide us details about Levels and Ranks?

    Brent Fox: Available at launch there will be 15 visually stunning Levels and 25 ranks to achieve. Levels unlock as the player earns ranks. Ranks are earned by completing Ninja Missions or playing Survival mode. Every new level is not only visually and thematically distinct, but contains a unique set of usable pathways. The change in layout creates new strategies, as movement through the space requires new strategies.

    Gamepur: Any new levels/modes designed for Xbox One only? Something you want to recommend that Xbox One owners must try?

    Brent Fox: I would guess this will be the first introduction to Nutjitsu to most Xbox One players so everything will be new. Try it all. I want to get the game in the hands of the players so they can see firsthand how fun it is.

    Gamepur: Can we expect highly detail levels on Xbox One?

    Brent Fox: Oh yeah. Everything is higher resolution for your HD TV. With the power of the Xbox One we've also been able to add more details. Every level is alive. We've also been able to add features like moving water and other animations to each level.

    Gamepur: The hand-crafted levels of Nutjitsu in Windows 8 version of are amazing and look astonishing. Do you mind telling us source for your inspiration?

    Brent Fox: We settled on the squirrel ninja theme early, because ninjas and squirrels are awesome. We spent time researching and looking at tons of environments that could have fit will with this theme. We drew on a lot of sources for our inspiration. However, I need to give most of the credit to our amazing artists Patrick and Daniel. They are very talented and creative. They came up with the initial concepts, and we just had to have more like it. The whole aesthetic just grew from there.

    Gamepur: How acquiring power-ups system will work in Nutjitsu Xbox One version?, we would like to know some details on it as you made some changes to its working via first update on Windows 8 version after its launch.

    Brent Fox: Windows 8 has been a great testing ground. The game has become progressively bigger and better after each update. The first prototype only contained the smoke bomb item.  After our initial launch on Win 8, we created a total of five ninja power-ups, each with a unique function. New power-ups become available as the player earns new Ranks. In the current version of Nutjitsu, we want to allow the player to react strategically to any challenge presented to them. To that end, players earn generous amounts of acoins whenever they play, which allows them to construct a personal arsenal that suits their play style. I prefer the flame shield myself. By using the power-up store and the power-up loadout screen, the player can decide what set of powers will be best for any level they want to play.

    Gamepur: Can we expect online multiplayer components in Xbox One version of Nutjitsu?

    Brent Fox: Our initial release won't have any online multiplayer components but we see a lot of potential for multiplayer in this game in the future. We've got a ton of ideas to play with.

    Gamepur: How you feel to be a part of Microsoft’s ID@Xbox program, and having chance Nutjitsu to publish via this program? As It’s one of the first title to release via this ID@Xbox program.

    Brent Fox: So far it's been everything it was advertised to be. Of course, we will know a lot more about the program after we have released a couple titles. The big thing to note is that Microsoft is taking it seriously and putting a lot of effort into this program. Developers are actually releasing games and that's a big deal.

    Gamepur: Have you given any thoughts to develop for PS4?

    Brent Fox: Absolutely. We see some big opportunities in addition to the Xbox One and we plan on taking full advantage of these opportunities, both with this game and future titles.

    Gamepur: As a developer, how much freedom you get for developing for Xbox One? What is your experience about Microsoft's next-gen gaming beast, Xbox One?

    Brent Fox: We've been working with the hardware for a long time now. Everything has been constantly evolving and improving. It certainly seems like we have a ton of freedom and we see some really cool features of the Xbox One that haven't been fully utilized by anyone. We plan on tapping into some of that awesomeness for our games.

    Gamepur: Xbox One's eSRAM has been in the news for all the wrong reason. Many developers have openly admitted that it's the main culprit behind games being unable to run at 60 FPS/1080p resolution. Now that NinjaBee has access to Xbox One Dev Kit, we would like to know your opinion on Xbox One eSRAM and how development team at NinjaBee are handling it?

    Brent Fox: We aren't the best team to ask about this right now. The way we've developed it hasn't been an issue for us yet.

    Gamepur: Can we expect more titles for Xbox One from NinjaBee soon? Any ongoing development for Xbox One?

    Brent Fox: Yes. It is a really exciting time for us at NinjaBee. We have a bunch of games in the works. We are doing a lot of testing and prototyping. We even recently released some information on our blog about some of the IP that we are working on. Also, we even have more that we didn't even talk about. If Nutjitsu proves that we can release great games quickly on the Xbox One we will be ready to follow up with more games in short order.

    Gamepur: It was really great to have a talk with you. We thank you for your time. Any last messages for Xbox community?

    Brent Fox: We love community feedback. We want to know what you think of our games. We have you guys in mind as we are choosing what to work on next.