Indie Developers Showcase 2010Indie Developer Showcase, Day Two: VVVVVVIndie Developers Showcase 2010 - RSS 2.0
TE: You've created a lot of games for game jams. Can you talk about those events and how they've affected your development as a designer?
TC: I think of jams as taking a holiday from my normal projects. The best part about them really is just getting to meet other game designers, and working on stuff I wouldn't normally work on.
I'm just back from one in Cambridge, actually, though it was a few days after I'd launched VVVVVV so I was really too tired to do very much. Made a start on what'll probably be my January game, though. And I made this, which I'm really happy with.
TE: How did you come up with the concept of Don't Look Back?
TC: The concept came about from fusing a lot of different game ideas that I had together - the main idea of the game isn't just that it's a retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, but that it's telling it in such a way that adapts consistently as a traditional platform/shooter. For me, that's what gives it its impact. When I originally had the idea to make a game about Orpheus and Eurydice, it played out in a completely different way. The game didn't really come together for me until I came up with the idea for how I wanted to make it.
TE: Are there any other myths that you think could translate into novel game mechanics?
Probably - for a while I thought about making a JRPG based on Tochmarc Emire! But having done it twice already (Judith is based on Bluebeard), I'm not sure I'd approach another game that way - people would just start saying "oh, I wonder which myth he based this game on?"
TE: You've developed a sort of minimalist art style that really lets the designs of your games shine through. Would you ever work with an artist on more visually detailed projects or do you prefer to keep it simple?
TC: It would depend on the project, but I'm generally happy to do my own artwork for my games for reasons I'm finding hard to explain. I don't feel this way about music in my games.
TE: I understand a lot of your peers in the indie development community were disappointed that VVVVVV wasn't nominated for an award at this year's IGF. How'd you react to the news?
TC: I had my fingers crossed for a design nomination, and I was a bit gutted that I didn't get anything. But then so were a lot of other people - it is a competition. Maybe I'll do better next year?
I was mostly upset because I really wanted to go to the IGF this year, and I felt like if I didn't get a nomination then I had no right going to it. But that's a bit silly - I don't get a lot of chances to meet other people in the indie games community in a social setting like this, so I've decided to go anyway. Captain Forever's Farbs is giving me one of the free passes he got when he won IGF China, and I just booked the flights to San Francisco a few days ago! I'm very, very excited.
TE: How do you define success as an indie developer?
TC: I don't really know, but I'm very happy with how things are going. Right now I just want to make games; long term, I want to make better games and become a better game designer. I feel like I'm on the right path.