This past week I had time to speak with James Mearman, the developer of ENYO Arcade. You can check out the interview below.
JB: Your game ENYO Arcade looks to be an interesting run and gun shooter with visual inspiration from other series. Am I wrong in thinking Metroid, Contra and Metal Slug were an influence?
JM: Thank you! Yes, those games have certainly influenced my development on ENYO Arcade. But I try to stick to the memories of how I would have liked those games to be, rather than designing my work to be like any of them. Abuse is another one by the way.
JB:What got you into game development? That is what led to your decision to work in video games?
JM: At the age of 11, I used to dream about becoming a game developer and living off little to nothing to build my own studio. I started modding games in 1999 as hobby. In the year 2k I organized a trip to Lionhead Studios (UK) to beta test Black&White that sealed it for me. Seeing the creative environment there and talking with the artists gave me the motivation to pursue this as a real goal. And it was a long journey from there.
JB: From your own experience, what are some challenges you have faced as an indie dev?
JM: As Indie Developer the biggest challenge surely is to get noticed by relevant media in order to gain exposure. Especially since the amount of newcomer developers has exploded. Aside from that I found it pretty challenging to deal with that exposure at first since in my jobs at larger Studios used to shield my person from the public relations.
JB: How has your game been received so far? Does it motivate you to continue or make changes?
JM: So far the feedback has been very positive and I do my best to deal with any issues as soon as possible. I’ve had a share of ignorance too, due to the main character’s provocative appearance. Although it might not be relevant or even noticeable, I once stated that it is a strong yet naked female heroine – and I received a ton of negative input for it. That had taught me that other people’s judgment is beyond my influence and holds no real value to me. I accept and respect opinions but in the end I feel perfectly capable of making my own choices even against popular demands.
JB: What are some of your biggest influences in gaming? Namely companies, individual creators and game series.
JM: Quake 3 Arena was the first game that I picked apart and produced modded content for. So the style of John Carmack’s work definitely had a great impact on the way I look at game architecture. Valve Software’s attitude and work ethics also inspired my own. Also a lot of my ex-colleges from my years in the industry have helped a lot to polish my artistic perception and abilities.
JB: The music in your game is very interesting. Who did the music in your game?
JM: I made it. It is pretty experimental, I admit that. Music and sound production is one of my favorite aspects in game development. I love synthesizers and also busk in the streets of Munich with my guitar. Music is a big part of my life and I’m constantly learning a lot together with friends and will continue to expand the musical diversity that I can provide. And I’m planning on adding more of that diversity to ENYO Arcade too.
JB: Have you thought about bringing ENYO arcade to consoles? What are some risks in doing so?
JM: I do see ENYO Arcade as a great console title. But sadly, having access to development consoles is currently not in my budget. From my work on other games I know that consoles have tight restrictions on quality assurance, but I think that is a good thing. I can’t really see any major risks involved besides the financial barriers.
JB: What advice do you have for other indie devs coming into game development?
JM: Take great care of your physical and mental health! It’s the most precious thing you have! Take regular walks outside and eat well! And don’t let other people’s judgment fool you.
JB: What is next for you as a developer?
JM: I’m currently working on my next title ‘Temple of Rust’ that is currently on Steam’s Greenlight for public prioritization because I would love to involve gamers as early as possible this time. I’m also looking at further content additions to ENYO Arcade in the future.
JB: Do you have anything you would like to say to the real otaku gamer audience?
JM: Thank you all for being who you are! Hakuna matata!
You can check out the trailer for ENYO Arcade here
And the game can be purchased now on Steam
You can follow James Mearman on twitter @