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Thursday, May 25, 2006 

Diary of the Phoenix - Interview With cactus

Here it is... everyone's been clueless as to what's really going on behind the scenes of 'Diary of the Phoenix' by cactus. He's posted several fake download links and a bunch of screenshots. Some have called him a master of torture, and others have asked if he was on crack. I've got the inside scoop, though. I scored an interview with the game maker, along with sketches he used for the cutscenes. So sit back, relax, and learn!

GMI: Okay, in your first post you said if anyone could guess what the game's about they'd win a free copy. Does this mean everyone else has to pay?

cactus: No, everyone will get a free copy. Maybe I'll have to charge a small fee for the uncensored version of the game, to ensure that people are of the right age to play the game.

GMI: What's up with the fake download links? You mentioned you were bored but was there any other specific reason?

cactus: Yeah, it was fun to tease everyone, but it was also to cover up that the game was in such an early stage of development that I couldn't even release a demo if I wanted to.

GMI: So, without ruining anything, can you tell us what this game's about?

cactus: Hm, I'll try. The game is set in the future, where mankind has migrated into space in order to escape the earth, which has been devestated by a major nuclear war. In order to survive they have constructed four small artificial planets where they've built up their new civilization.

The main events of the story occurs a few centuries later, where terrorists has developed new weapons of mass destruction and tries to subdue the governments of the different planets.

The player will take the role of a rather bleak character that gets pulled into the terror organization mostly just for kicks. It will play out like a simplified, and surrealistic adventure game (think the La La Land series, and add some slightly more refined gameplay and adventure elements, and you'll get the picture).

GMI: The graphics look really nice. Are they all yours?

cactus: Yes, I've drawn everything freehand in paint, without the use of existing motives or models. The only thing that probably won't be made by me is sound effects, but I'll have processed them quite a bit, so no one will recognize them from anywhere else. The music will be analogue, and recorded by yours truly, which will add quite a lot to the filesize (and hopefully to the atmosphere of the game).

GMI: You said you want some beta testers before it's finished... do you know who you're looking for and when?

cactus: I'm looking for serious people who can dedicate more than just a couple of minutes to make an indepth review of the game. Puzzles are hard to do in adventures such as this one, since everyone doesn't use the same reasoning when trying to figure out what to do. And I don't want anyone to get stuck while playing the game. That would just take away the fun from it.

I'm not sure when I'll be needing people to test the game, probably when the game is nearing completion.

GMI: Last question... you told everyone that they should see the real thing by the end of the summer. Do you have a better idea of a certain date?

cactus: No. I keep drawing new stuff for the game nearly everyday, yet I can't see an end of the list of things to do, yet. So, your guess is as good as mine.

Although, I've considered releasing the game in parts. It's going to be built like a diary, so maybe I'd release a few entries every now and then untill the game is done. But I'm not so sure that it's such a good idea, since I might want to go back and change things around when the game is done.

And that was the end of the interview. When I asked him for a few screenshots, he told me he didn't have any at the moment, but he had some sketches he made for the cutscenes. He gave me links to three, but I can only show two, because one was too inappropriate. You can, however, contact me somehow and I WILL show it to you.

Sketch One
Sketch Three

He also told me about the minigame he's working on. Here's what he said.

"The new minigame I'm working on is pretty hard to describe without ruining it. The whole point of the game is to figure out what to do next, and how to do it. It's a platformer made in the same style as the RETRO series, but you will notice right from the start that it's very different from my other projects. As the game progresses the gameplay will successively change into something new.

You basically will have a new type of challenge in each room, and you'll never be able to guess what comes next. It's going to be a seriously sweet, but probably rather short adventure.

Enough talking, I have some games to work on."

Thanks goes to cactus, for doing this interview so willingly. I hope that helps some of you who are really hyped about his new game. Thanks for reading!