As with any three-man indie team, putting together your first official game brings certain challenges. The pressures are hardly lessened when your game has garnered the kind of pre-launch buzz of Asteroid Base”s colourful shooter-cum-platformer, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime. With launch C4040-123 drawing nearer, developers Matt Hammill, Jamie Tucker and Adam Winkels reflect on the year that saw Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime Karen Millen outlet go from hobby project to sleeping giant.
“We weren”t really a studio, we were just some friends,” says Asteroid Base”s Matt Hammill of the team behind Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime. “We”ve known each other for quite a long time, and it”s just been over the last couple of years that we”ve been working together on projects.”
When Hammill says friends, he really means it. Hammill and colleague Adam Winkels go back far enough to share cringe-worthy memories of failed attempts at high school C4040-124 grunge bands, while he and fellow dev Jamie Tucker have been close since college. “I”ve known Jamie for ten years and Adam for fifteen years,” he says. “We were friends in school and then we went to different colleges and studied different things – none of us studied games, actually.”
In spite of academic pursuits removed from games, all three found their way into the Toronto game jam scene around the same time, leading to the creation of the indescribably addictive Shuriken Skies.
“A year later we did the first version of Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime,” Hammill says. “We intended it just to be a little game jam project that would be done in three days. We had this terrible, gross, buggy prototype at the end of those three days that sort of was broken and sort of worked a little bit…”
“It was more than sort of broken,” Winkels interjects.
“It was pretty broken,” Hammill confirms.
Less than perfect
In spite of a less-than-perfect prototype, the team didn”t shelve the project altogether. “There was something about it that, when people would play it, there was a reaction that we would get from them,” says Tucker. “I think that sort of stuck with us that people started to see the beginning of something and I felt like, when I would see that reaction, It would be a shame if we just abandoned the game at that point, so we kinda sat on it.
“It was at that point where we had worked enough together that we could start seeing that we worked well together. That was part of the decision, too, I guess it
was February when we officially founded the company. Before that, it was like a loose sort of collective that we were just calling ourselves.”
“At that time, when we picked it up again, we didn”t know how real it was going to be,” continues Karen Millen outlet sale Hammill. “We showed it at some festivals around Toronto and eventually submitted it to IGF – and that was around the time we decided to make a shift and
start a company together so we could work on the game.”
As it turns out, Lovers” submission to IGF proved crucial. While the game didn”t come away with the Excellence In Visual Art prize for which it was nominated (in a year that included the likes of Guacamelee!, MirrorMoon, Cart Life and Hotline Miami across various categories), the recognition alone served to affirm the team”s belief in the project.
“It kind of made a lot of decisions easy because we saw that we had traction,” Tucker explains. “We were really at a crossroads in all of our career aspects. I think we made a lot of decisions based on being at IGF because it showed us that people were really responding to it.”
Reward and recognition
As Hammill outlines, the positive response at IGF caused Asteroid Base, at this point just a group of guys, to become a fully fledged team, fully focused on Lovers” development. “For us, we didn”t start online casino it as a business or anything so it was just this little hobby project that we enjoyed working on, that”s the way we were thinking about it. But then having the outside world think that it”s cool too… it was like, wirkungszeit viagra 100 “Wow, maybe we”re actually making a viagra online no prescription real thing,” instead of just screwing around. It was sort of a wakeup call in a way.”
The team”s enthusiasm as they reminisce on the experience shines through – without the tiniest hint of regret at not taking home a trophy. “As far as winning,” Tucker says, “We were just like, “We have this prototype which is going against full, finished
games,” so we obviously had no prospect [of winning] but the fact that we were nominated was huge.”
The group chuckles at the idea that they might ever have won, with a collective humility that I imagine can only have helped certified online pharmacy viagra them come this far.
Originally slated for a late 2013 launch, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is now set for an unconfirmed date in 2014. With a development schedule unburdened by publisher demands, the team has as much time as it needs to get the game right, however; that”s not to say that getting it done promptly doesn”t carry its own internal weight.
“There”s a lot of pressure,” Hammill admits. “Because we are doing this game on our own we have the freedom to take as long as we want on it – which is also a bad thing because if you really indulge that you”ll never cialis free coupon release a game. So there”s pressure on both sides.”
“I think one of our biggest fears, besides actually making a game that”s good, is being able to make it before people begin to forget about us,” adds Winkels. “We”ve been so lucky to get really positive reaction and buzz and press about it but we”re really afraid that we”ve got to capitalise on it without releasing a crappy product.”
“We made a really polished prototype,” says
Tucker, “And what we casino were showing people was a really polished prototype where they assumed it was a cialis online lot further along than it is. It”s like, “Oh, you can release it tomorrow, it looks like it”s done.””
Working on a real game
It goes without saying that Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime isn”t done. But horizons have broadened since its conception last year, and the development schedule has had to stretch to fit. “When we started in the summer (of 2012) it was just a learning experience dgfev online casino to get our feet into Unity,” Tucker continues. “We were just going to redo the prototype that we had done at the game jam and then it was going to be done and we were going to release it at that stage. That was it, we were going to work on a real game after that,
it kind of felt like a shame to just abandon the game when it was still just a little idea instead of exploring it. We could”ve rushed the game out and had it be this really small thing, but I thought that was
doing it a disservice.”
“I would be happy if we could just go in a cave somewhere and not talk to anyone for a year and just work on the game,” adds Hammill. “We really want to put it out but we don”t want to push it out before it”s cooked.”
Although Lovers” visuals are consistent with even Matt Hammill”s earliest concept sketches, he explains that not only has content been added, but the core structure has altered significantly. “The original prototype was a sort of never-ending arcade mode where it was just a high-score-based thing where you always die,” he says. “After a lot of chewing on it, we decided
to go and do this next bigger push to try and canadian global pharmacy make it a real game with meatier content. Our ideal inspiration is Left for Dead – the idea of sitting down, getting a solid play session, you play a few missions in sequence, you can get a satisfying play-through.”
“We could all play together and scream at each other,” Winkels adds, “I think that kind of experience is so much fun. To be cliché about it, it”s the emergent story that happens between the people who are playing it rather than what the game is presenting, by playing with more than one person it creates another story.”
Perhaps a fading entity in modern gaming, local cooperative play is a facet the studio holds dear. “For us, the heart of it is in the co-op,” says Hammill. “There”s just something about teaming up and going on some silly adventure together. When I was a kid I used to draw crazy underground tunnels connecting my house to all my friends houses, it”s like you”ve got this secret adventure together or something.”
There”s a romanticism to his tone. In fact, the team”s infectiously positive vernacular even extends to their journey to PAX Prime earlier this year. buy generic viagra At the time, some headlines painted PAX in a less than stellar light however for Asteroid Base, a fledgling developer, the experience was a validating and positive one.
“We had a line-up of couples waiting to play the game and there”s a really positive force there,” Tucker recalls. “We had this couple and they played it like four, five times trying to get the high score and they gave us a drawing that they did.”
They visibly brim at the awesomeness of receiving fan buy cialis 60 mg online art at an expo from people who had only played the game that weekend.
“We”ve had parents and children play the game together at events,” Hammill says. “Couples playing together and friends playing together and brothers and sisters playing together – you can watch people and see that they”re really enjoying it. If that kind of thing could just happen outside in the real world, that would be the most ridiculously amazing thing.”
“The enthusiasm is why we do these things,” says Tucker, “And you just hope for that enthusiasm when it comes out. The worst thing is that no-one cares – if enough people love it and some people hate it then that doesn”t really matter. The worst thing is that no-one cares, that”s the saddest thing.”
“You”re making me sad,” Hammill jokes. “I can deal with hatred if there”s love involved,” Tucker counters. “Choose love.”
“When we were kids,” he continues, “We had experiences playing games that have stuck with us our whole lives, and as a creative person that”s what I”ve always wanted to do in life. To be http://genericviagra-toprxstore.com/ able to inspire the next generation of people and if you can do that with something positive then that”s all I want to do.”
They all laugh as Tucker realises the enormity of his statement. “That”s not too much to ask, right?” he jokes.
I recall what Hammill said earlier: “There”s just something about teaming up and going on some silly adventure together.”
He”s right, and it strikes
me that for the last year or so, from hobby project to full-time obsession, the small team behind Asteroid where can i buy viagra Base has been on a real-life co-op adventure of its own. Inspiring a generation might come later, but as the saying goes: Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you”ll land among the stars.