What do you do once you’ve added working on games like Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Open Season and Rayman 3 to your resume? You go indie, of course. That’s just what former Ubisoft / Eidos employees Jonathan Lavigne, Justin Cyr and Jean François Major did. These three amazing talents have come together to form Tribute Games, developer of the newly released game Wizorb on Xbox Live Indie Games and coming soon to PC.
The Tribute Games team was kind enough to offer some comments on Wizorb, Tribute Games and the indie game scene. I’d like to share that interview with you now.
Chellemo: Who is Tribute Games? What inspired you to go indie?
Tribute Games: Tribute Games is basically three guys passionate about videogames. Jean-François Major is our programmer, Justin Cyr is our animator and sound design and I’m game designer and pixel artist with some coding skills. We decided to go indie mainly because we’ve wanted to make the kind of game we love for a long time and that was the only way to really achieve that.
Chellemo: Tell us about your current project, Wizorb.
Tribute Games: Wizorb is a breakout style game with some RPG overtones. It’s like a lot of breakout games you might have played before but with some strategy on how you spend your money in order to progress. We wanted to make sure you don’t have to grind like you would in some RPGs but rather focus on a performance and skill based style of game. The RPG side of it, while light, is really just there to help you along, add some variety and help solidify the world in which it takes place. It’s also got some modern touches like leaderboards so we’re hoping that after players finish the game they’ll compete for high scores because the potential for oneupmanship is there. ^_^ The game is mostly targeted at old school gamers but it’s fun in its own right so I could imagine anyone playing it really.
Chellemo: What sets Wizorb apart from the other games on the market?
Tribute Games: There’s definitely a graphic aesthetic that we feel sets Wizorb from a lot of games. It’s a blend of different styles from bygone eras of gaming with our own sensibilities mixed in. It’s also a very straight up kind of game where you don’t have to learn some kind of never before seen kind of game play. That’s not to say that you don’t have to learn a few tricks to your advantage in order to play well but we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel.
Chellemo: I see that Wizorb will be released for XBLIG and then a PC version is coming at a later time. It is my understanding that this can be done in two ways, making a solution file for each platform or using one solution file with multiple projects. Which have you chosen and why?
Tribute Games: We use one solution file with multiple projects since both versions share most of the code and the same assets. This allows us to build versions of the game for both platforms while keeping things simple and organized. In the case of Wizorb, the PC version is already working and is stable, but we need to adapt the menus and controls for mouse and keyboard input.
Chellemo: Since I’ve started writing about indie games, I have felt an increasing willingness from gamers in general to try something new which doesn’t necessarily have the backing of a big name producer. Do you feel this is true as well?
Tribute Games: I can definitely relate, yeah. ^_^ Right now we’re hoping to do everything ourselves and gain as much experience along the way. Someday we could work with a big name producer but only if it worked to our advantage (like helping us work out a release on a major platform). We’ve all worked for other companies in the past so now it’s time for us to do things ourselves.
Chellemo: What can be done to increase awareness for indie games?
Tribute Games: I’m not sure if it’s important in increase awareness for others to want to make games that don’t involve a big producer but I do think it’s important to shine a light on people making indie games. We’re at the point where we are now because we’ve had the chance to make great games for companies other than ourselves. I’d actually encourage somebody to work for a bigger company first before making games independently. That way it almost seems like a rite of passage of sorts.
When I asked if there was anything else he would like to add Mr. Lavigne thanked me for the interview and added this, “I hope that you’ll enjoy Wizorb and our next game (which is still top secret ^_^) !”
Thank you, Jonathan and Tribute Games for sharing your positive insight with us! Good luck to you with your company and all your future projects!
If you would like to know more about Tribute Games and their projects, visit their website at www.tributegames.com or the Wizorb website at www.wizorb.com. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
The cover art for Wizorb was done by Stephane Boutin, also responsible for the backgrounds for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. You can view it and her other work HERE.
Available now on XBLIG for 240 MSP
Stay tuned to Real Otaku Gamer for my review of Tribute Games, Wizorb coming up next week.