Friday, August 25, 2006 

Interview with AndrewFM by Vance_Kimiyoshi

Okay okay okay! We haven't done anything in what seems a lifetime... but we got a new writer, who did this nice article, and we're working on a new GMI. Yeah, really. It should be done soon. It'll have reviews, previews, interviews, cheats/tips/walkthroughs, it's own site, keeping the forum, and more and just all that stuff!

So don't worry, all your waiting will be so totally worth it. I think so, anyway... yeah, well, here's a good interview our new freelance writer, Vance_Kimiyoshi, scored with AndrewFM. Read!

Vance: Hello Andrew.

Andrew: Hi

Vance: You have two projects, Rocketman 2 and Chaos Heaven. How are they coming?

Andrew: Well, they're coming out pretty well. Chaos Heaven is almost ready for the first demo to be released, while Rocketman is still quite far from there... but, then again, that is a much bigger project. However, Chaos Heaven is currently the more active one.

Vance: Could you describe Chaos Heaven? What will the final version have?

Andrew: Chaos Heaven is a very difficult, and extremely fast paced scrolling shooter. It has 3 varying difficulty levels,and will have 10 (Maybe more or less?) waves, 10 (Depends on the number of waves) different chaotic bosses, and a very large number of enemys and attack waves. You can see a 30 second preview of the gameplay here:

Vance: I've seen the clip, and it looks very nice. You have some interesting weapons, how many are there?

Andrew: Currently there are 4 weapons, with 2 upgrades for each. For the first demo, I plan to have 6 weapons done. I'm not sure how many are going to be in the final version, but I hope for around 20.

Vance: 20 weapons with 2 upgrades, 60 weapons? That sounds like a lot. So, any last words on Chaos Heaven?

Andrew: Nope,no other words that I can think of.

Vance: Okay, onto Rocketman 2. Could we have a basic overview of the game?

Andrew: Rocketman 2 is a game for my nephew about his made up character Rocketman. Its a platformer/shooter, with some RPG elements (spells, items, leveling up and stats). It will feature 6 worlds, with 4 levels and a boss within each. It will have 5 difficulty levels, and hopefully, hundreds of unlockables.

Vance: When you say unclockables, what do you mean?

Andrew: Various things, ranging from big things like New modes, to hidden courses and bosses, or smaller things, such as minigames. Or, even as small as something like a spell, or a new accessory, such as a new gun, or new armor. Basically, anything other than like potions, and standard items. In other words, by an unlockable, I mean something that you aquire, and its permanent.

Vance: Okay, got it. What's the basic story behind the game?

Andrew: Right now there is not much of any. Since its my nephew's character and all, I'm letting him design stuff such as the storyline, the character, and various suits and guns. But as for now, you're some dude that has a laser gun that goes around shooting stuff, and flys from planet to planet. He's trying to save the universe from this guy called "The King of Darkness", who is trying to take over the universe or something from a place called The Eternal Void. Something like that.

Vance: About what part in it's development is the game? What are you working on now?

Andrew: I'm currently working on the shop. However, it is quite difficult to program, and its starting to get confusing, because theres way too many things in the code to keep track of at once. However, I will say that I got the basic system now, just some things such as when your inventory is full, it asks you if you want to swap the item you bought with an item in your inventory, or cancel buying the item. The swapping system is quite glitched right now.
Heres an older screenshot of the shop:

Vance: Sounds good. Do you have any last words on Rocketman 2?

Andrew: Nope. That's pretty much it

Vance: Alright. Do you have any approximate dates for demos of either game?

Andrew: As for Chaos Heaven, I would actually say that the demo might be ready within the next week. As for Rocketman, I cant say. Theres still much to be done.

Vance: Okay. Anything else you'd like to say?

Andrew: Nope.
However, any questions or comments:
AIM: AndrewFMs

Vance: Alright then, bye.

Andrew: Bye.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006 

Interview with YMM, by Jabberwock.

Well well well. Here's another interview from everyone's favorite freelance writer: Jabberwock!

For those who don't know about it, can you give a brief synopsis of your current work-in-progress 'Untitled'?

Untitleed is an exploration-platformer based on old-school platforming fundamentals and the joy of discovery. The player explores a unique world, initially just for the sake of exploring it. You play as an egg and the only real goal is self-evolution (finding more power-ups so you can perform more complex and powerful moves). It is heavily influenced by Super Metroid (Nintendo).

What have you done with Untitled that is different from your past projects?

Most obviously, the art style. All the graphics/music/sounds are done by me, and they all reflect my love of artistic simplicity.

Otherwise, though, the development process has been very strange with this one. In Jumper Two and Jumper: Redux, I had known from the start the entire storyline, how many stages there would be, what amount of collectibles would be hidden in each stage, etc. With Untitled, it's sort of a "this sounds like a good idea, I'll try that here", and "oh, it'd be so cool if this happened" kind of thing. I'm pretty much just coming up with it as I go along.

With any game, though, you're bound to think of stuff before you can implement it. I may have started the game without an ending in mind, but right now I know exactly how it will end, and I'm only about half done with level design (but that is just a rough estimate, again the nature of the game keeps me from really telling anyone exactly how long it will be).

Will 'Untitled' have a storyline and/or different title when it's complete, or is the 'Untitled' permanent?

The demo reflects the storyline of the final game. What I mean by this is, you'll start the final game knowing the same thing syou know when you start the demo: the controls. However, later on in the game a storyline of sorts does surface. You can already see the very basic beginnings of it by chatting with the NPCs in SkyTown in the demo (though you must get relatively far in the demo to do this).

As for the title, I'm fairly certain it is final. If I can think of a title that suits the game better then I will rename it, but I don't think I will.

Can you tell us a bit about what features you plan on implementing into the game (gameplay elements, areas, level design, etc)?

The gameplay is constantly changing and evolving. One day I might think of a cool new move and program it in, so it is ready to be hidden when I think of a good place for it. This combined with the fact that I've already shown much more of the game then I planned on showing keeps me from revealing any new moves to you.

However, I can say that I would absolutely love to implement a multiplayer mode. I've mentioned this before but never really expanded on it. Basically I'm thinking of a split-screen mode where two players essentially play capture-the-flag, except with banks and big sacks of money as bases and flags. I call it Heist mode, and you play as bird characters wearing little bandit masks. It is still very much in the concept stages of planning, so I'm still deciding what to do for moves (start with all of them? find them? steal them from eachother somehow?) and other details, but know that I'll try my best to squeeze a multiplayer mode in.

How much of the game have we seen in the demo, and how large of a game do you expect it to be? Do you know approximately when the game will be completed?

Again, it's tough for me to estimate exactly how large the game world will be. My rough estimate is that the demo contains ~50% of the game. My current projected release date is Q4 2006, but I'm not known for keeping my "projected" release dates, so I'd say the odds of that date being kept are about 1:1.

Do you have any other projects that you're currently working on? If so, can you tell us about them?

Jumper Three is still frozen in time until I feel I'm ready to pursue it seriously. Otherwise, I have a strange little engine with the current codename "Flail" sitting on my harddrive that I'd love to turn into a game post-Untitled.

What are your opinions on the success of the Jumper series (and the fact that people are referring to you as a 'GM Legend')?

The response to Jumper at the GMC was amazing, and I'm very flattered that so many people had fun with it. Considering the simplicity of it, I can understand the negative backlash as well. It was just pure level-design, with no real difficulty curve, polish, or presentation to speak of. Jumper Two did a similar feat, but introduced real physics and storyline to the series.

As for the GM Legend thing: If it really is public opinion I'm honored, and hopefully Untitled won't make them think otherwise!