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By otakuman5000 On 11 May, 2010 At 01:58 AM | Categorized As Featured, Interviews | With 0 Comments

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We are back with the conclusion of our interview with Frank Wilson, co-founder and CTO of Twisted Pixel Games. This time we talk about success after the Maw and ‘Slposion Man, Comic Jumper and much more.  These are some of the best and most down to earth group of people in gaming. I wish them much success.

Here is the conclusion of the interview.

6. After the success of the Maw and ‘Splosion Man, how have your lives and your work ethic changed?

I wouldn’t say that our lives have changed that much.  We worked really hard on both titles so that we can push how much content we can get into our games given the budget and time that we have.  If anything, we probably push ourselves more now that we know that people like our games.  We want to put as much as we can into every new game we make so that it’s our best one. Our goal is to keep getting better and to keep making better games…..and the only way to do that is to work really hard.

7. What was the inspiration behind Comic Jumper and its style of gameplay?

It’s an idea that our Creative Director, Josh Bear, had as a kid.  We all liked it so we flushed it out into a full game idea.  We’ve basically taken the fast-paced shooting of Contra and Gunstar Heroes then combined in lots of the personality and variation of Earthworm Jim to make something that’s really fun.  We want the player to always feel like he’s doing something cool, whether it’s shooting a bunch of dudes while sliding down a building or running through a bank punching dudes in the face or even just watching some cool cinemas that remind you of reading a comic.

8. What you do guys think about the industry now and the quality of games now as compared to past generations?

I think there are a lot of quality games and a lot that aren’t….just like there’s always been.  I feel like there are a lot more independent developers now that are finding funding in order to help them make games that they’re really passionate about.  Really believing in what you’re making and really working hard is what makes a game good.  I think it’s easier for independent developers to be more passionate because one of the top reasons for being independent is not have publishers breathing down your neck with hard time constraints and bad game ideas.  Also, independent developers need to work harder and make sure their games are good because one bad game can put them out of business.  Big publishers can recover if they have a game or two that bombs but indie’s can’t.  There’s also a lot of bigger teams that you can tell really love the game their working on and put their all into it.  Games like Uncharted 2 and Bayonetta totally feel like passion projects to me.

9. Who are your top 3 game designers and why?

While there’s usually someone on any given team whose in charge of the overall vision of the game, it’s really the whole team that puts the game together and makes it happen.  So, I feel like the top game designers are the ones who have great ideas but can also pull a team together to help them utilize their strengths and make an awesome game.  I think that the term director suits them better than the term designer.  One that comes to mind is Amy Hennig from Naughty Dog.  Uncharted 2 is an incredible game and it takes a lot of people, a lot of talent, a lot of ideas, and someone to pull it all together….which it seems like she was really able to do.

10. What is next for Twisted Pixel Games?

Right now we’re mainly just focused on finishing Comic Jumper, but we have lots of ideas floating around and have pitched some ideas that we think are really cool.  We don’t have a definite plan yet, but everything we’ve come up is something that we’d love to make.  One thing I can say about us is that we never have a shortage of good ideas.  It mostly comes down to figuring out which idea suits us the best at any given time.

I would like to personally like to thank Frank Wilson and Jay Stuckwisch from Twisted Pixel Games and A.B. Frasier from The Koalition for setting this up for me.

Now just in case you are wondering what all the fuss is about, here is the latest video from PAX East.

[youtube dDnfVncP9Nc]

By otakuman5000 On 6 May, 2010 At 05:56 AM | Categorized As Featured, Interviews | With 0 Comments

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This has been a few months in the making, but Real Otaku Gamer has just scored its first interview. We will be talking to Frank Wilson, co-founder and CTO of Twisted Pixel Games. We will discuss the history of Twisted Pixel, favorite games and the design process. These guys are some of the most innovative game companies around today.

1. How long have you guys been gaming?

We’ve all been gaming our entire lives.  My family had an Atari 2600 when I was a kid and I always spent as much time as I could playing it.  The love for games just grew from there with every new gaming console that was released.

2. What are some of your favorite classic games?

Super Mario Bros 3 has always been one of my favorites.  I also played quite a bit of Contra when I was a kid.  The best thing about it was that I got it for free.   My family bought a NES shortly after Christmas one year and on the ride home, I opened the box and found Contra still in the console. Apparently someone had returned the NES to the store and forgot to take out the cartridge.

3. How did Twisted Pixel get started?

Josh Bear, Mike Wilford, and I worked together at another game company making mostly licensed titles prior to starting Twisted Pixel.  We all had dreams of making our own game company using our own ideas.  The three of us found each other and unified the dream when we saw that game consoles had a market for downloadable games.  We’ve all always been mostly console gamers and the scope of downloadable console games seemed like a good fit for us. Consequently, Twisted Pixel was born.

4. What is your design process like?

The whole company contributes ideas to our games.  We come up with an initial design, however it’s always evolving based on new ideas that people have and what turns out to be fun or not fun.  We don’t have any really strict rules for how we design a game.  Mostly, we just want to have some cool characters that do some cool things.  For the most part, we hope that if we think something is fun that there are probably others out there that do too.

5. Why did you choose the XBLA platform?

Initially it chose us.  When we were first starting the company, we pitched ideas to all of the console manufacturers.  Microsoft was the one that liked our ideas and was willing to give us a shot.  Since then, we’ve established a great relationship with Microsoft and they treat us well so we’ve continued to build games for XBLA.

Part Two of this Article is coming in the next few days.