XBLIG Uprising Developer Interview: Ratchet Game Studio – developer of Pixel

As part of our ongoing coverage of the Indie Game Uprising III we asked Ratchet Game Studio to tell us a bit about themselves and their upcoming game, Pixel (read our PREVIEW of the game HERE).  Ratchet Game Studio was kind enough to take the time to tell us about  their studio’s game and their career as a developer.  The full interview can be found in its entirety below.  Enjoy, and of course a big thanks to Ratchet Game Studios for taking the time to answer our questions.

First, tell the readers a bit about yourself: what is your history as a game developer, previous efforts, why you decided to start getting involved in making games?

3D design and programing had long been interests of mine, I’d played around with Blender 3D and OGRE a bit, but found XNA gave the results I was looking for. I started getting involved in it more and more because it was a challenge.

How would you describe your game in a sentence? What do you feel makes your game special or unique?

A puzzle game that takes a twist on first person game.

Pixel takes puzzle and fps mechanics, and mashes them up in a way that makes you think of how to arrange shapes to get from one end of the map to the other.

If you had to pick one specific game to describe as your inspiration (for this game or in general), what would it be?

Portal…with maybe a dash of tetris? Or maybe the other way around? Unfortunately it’s Bring Your Own Cake though.

How long did you spend in development? Could you walk me through the timeline for the game, all the way from the conception of the idea to the final marketing of the game a few months ago? What software and tools did you use?

I had the idea for Pixel years ago, and tried developing it in Blender, but it wasn’t till I came across C# and XNA that I really even got into game deving back in 2007-2008. I finished school about 2 years ago, and that was when I really got into it. I started coding Pixel fall of 2011 and then had it finished in June, I’ve been doing polishing work since.

Have you in the past, or do you currently have plans to work in any other platform?  What made you decide to develop for XBLIG?

I plan to release Pixel on PC and Android later this year.

A game’s soundtrack can make or break a game, tell us how you selected yours. Did you produce in house, team up with a music producer or simply purchase royalty free music?

The music was done up by Tom Roa (http://soundcloud.com/tom-roa), an old friend of mine. He’s a DJ’s in Montreal and produced this music just for Pixel. It was a bit of a change of pace for him, but I liked what came out of it.

If there was one thing you could improve on, or simply do differently in development what would it be?

My cross platform programing skills are what I’m currently improving on, it opens up an entire other market and also I like the challenge of learning something new.

How did you go about deciding on the name for your game and why did you end up with the title you have?  Were there any rejected titles that didn’t make the cut?

The original name for it was GRID, but over time I thought Pixel was a more flowing title for it.

Many gamers dream of making their own games, what advice would you give someone hoping to make the jump from gamer to developer?

As cliché as it is to say, stick with it, I had it 70% coded when I first tested it on an xbox and had half a dozen different crashes I had to debug through on top of severe lag that took a while to finally find, it’s one of those things that you need to really stick at the problem solving aspect to it.

The XBLIG market has had mixed results so far in its existence. What do you believe could make it better? What do you believe could improve the service as a whole, from designer to consumer?

I think more exposure and advertisement of the indie channel by Microsoft would be a key aspect to it, but them having their on ‘Arcade’ market, makes that difficult. I’ve been really impressed with the way the leads on the Uprising have managed it all; That level of leadership on a more consistent and broader scale through out XBLIG would help improve the service.

What can fans of your game(s) expect in the not too distant future?

I plan on releasing a PC and Android version of Pixel later this year as well as I have a few other projects in the pipeline.

Yeah, much less complex than “Call of Duty.” Ahahahaha… ha… excuse me while I cry in the corner.

What game in the Indie Uprising are you most excited to play (besides your own of course)?

I’m looking forward to playing all of them really (cop out answer, I know, but its true) but I’m really interested in Qrth-Phyl, I’m always pulled in by games that are unique and take spins on already developed genres and make something new.

We would like to thank Ratchet Game Studios once again for taking the time to answer our questions!  Stay up to date on all of our coverage of the Indie Game Uprising III by bookmarking the following page: CLICK HERE.  CBR will be providing previews, developer profiles, interviews and of course reviews for every game involved in the Uprising. And, as always, support indie developers!

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About Tristan Rendo

I've made movies, written and performed music, and in January of 2011 got bored and started the awesome gaming site you see before you. My gaming roots began with the original NES, and endless hours spent spilling quarters into machines at the local arcade. I have a personal collection of over 200 Nintendo 64 games, and for many years it was the only system I owned. I re-entered the modern generation of gaming consoles when I decided to purchase a 360. I typically prefer the single player experience of games, so I’m usually playing through some single-player campaign, but can occasionally be found doing some damage in Halo Reach.