Episode 24 – Kevin Giguère, Dragon Slumber

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Kevin-Giguere

Kevin-Giguere

Kevin Giguère is a  programmer in his thirties from Quebec, Canada, and the man behind Dragon Slumber, a studio behind the SNES inspired  RPG Arelite Core, created with XNA.  Originally started as a dream project to create his own game from scratch, Kevin has done everything himself.

Benjamin Briggs

All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs.

Episode 23 – Sean Colombo, Blueline Games

Sean-Colombo-Blueline

Sean Colombo has been making games for 15 years. After quitting college to run web-startup “LyricWiki”, he sold the site to Wikia in 2009. A couple years later he founded BlueLine Games to focus on making digital versions of award-winning board games. BlueLine’s flagship games “Hive” and “Khet 2.0” are currently the top two rated board games* among the 80 that are on Steam.

Currently, BlueLine is working on the Steam version of a famous Euro-game and updating all four of it’s Steam titles which includes the free-to-play Simply Chess.

Benjamin Briggs

All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs.

Episode 20 – Daniel Parente, Hydra Interactive Entertainment

 

Daniel Parente

Tonight I am joined by Daniel Parente, CEO and Game Director of Hydra Interactive Entertainment, a young indie development studio based out of Madrid, Spain.

He’s previously worked on a number of titles, including Alien Spidy, History Legends of War: Patton, and Aliens in the Attic. The current title that his team is working on is Upside-Down Dimensions, an action adventure game of love and war, in a colorful paper crafted world, inspired by Japanese folklore and Origami.

We talk about how to properly scope a title that you’re developing,  in addition to understanding the role that publishers play in today’s game development landscape.


Benjamin Briggs

All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs.

Episode 18 – Livid Interactive

Livid-Interactive

Melissa Pennock, Jacob Pennock, and Mike Schaiman

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Joining me today are Game Designer / Leader Developer Jacob Pennock, Executive Producer Mike Schaiman, & Art Director Melissa Pennock of Livid Interactive.

We talk diversifying a studio, making money in the middleware marketplace, how to stay afloat as an indie, and how they use Intel’s RealSense technology and Unity to create their gesture based first person combat game, Head of the Order.

In 2010, the husband/wife team of Jacob and Melissa Pennock founded a small studio in North Carolina called Unicorn Forest Games. Unicorn Forest was mainly focused on providing outsourcing services, for games on facebook and mobile devices.

Soon after arriving in California, Jacob was introduced to Mike Schaiman, and joined the team at Helios Interactive. Helios uses a variety of technologies to build interactive experiences for consumers in retail and at large events.

In 2013, Head of the Order, a tech demo,  was entered into Intel’s Perceptual Computing Challenge, and took the first place prize in the games category.

Early in 2014, Helios took notice of the potential of the game, and the saw an opportunity for the company to open a new games division. So Livid Interactive was created, under the wing of its parent company, Helios. Their latest title, Head of the Order, is a magical fantasy game played entirely with gestural spell casts. It’s format is similar to a tournament style fighting game but with magic instead of martial arts.

Episode 17 – Illyriad Games

Illyriad-Games

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Illyriad (ih-lih-re-ad) Games is an independent studio based across three continents. Realizing that WebGL isn’t just a pipe dream, they’ve built their latest game on it. Their lcurrent title, Age of Ascent, is built on a custom WebGL engine, and is using Azure as a backend, with the ability to scale to 50k+ concurrent users.

Joining me tonight are CTO, Ben Adams, and CEO, James Niesewand. We discuss what it’s like to manage a small team of developers across 3 continents, the importance of managing every last bit of processing power, when it comes to a game that scales to this size, and performance implications across browsers.

 

Benjamin Briggs

All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs.

Episode 16 – Wimbus Studios

Wimbus

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Founded in 2011, and based out of Wilmington DE, Wimbus Studios is the culmination of a few friends wanting to get together and make video games! Fueled by the passion to make awesome games that they would love to play themselves, Wimbus Studios is dedicated to making games that don’t suck! Their first title, The Island of Eternal Struggle, is a turn based RPG adventure.

Joining me today is Steve Sefchick,  and Mike Williams. Becky Mount is also part of the team, but not able to make it on that evening. Join us as we talk about how they got started, why game development can often take so long, and their decision to stick with XNA and MonoGame at this time.

Benjamin Briggs

All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs.

Episode 13 – Richard Weeks, Total Monkery

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Total Monkery is an independent game development company and family business with a healthy fixation on mockery, puns and primates. Created in 2012 by game development veteran Richard Weeks (LucasArts, Psygnosis), Total Monkery aims not only to produce high-quality products, but also to foster new talents, collaborate with passionate indies and contribute value to the industry we love.

We talk the FM Towns Marty, his experiences at Psygnosis and LucasArts, and the necessary skills for establishing and maintaining a studio of his own. Furthermore, we conclude the discussion with the importance of keeping in touch with your audience during development, either by use of Twitch.TV, blogging, and attending industry events.

Benjamin Briggs

All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs.

Episode 11 – James Parker, Opposable Games

James Parker

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We’re joined this week by James Parker, of Opposable Games. 

Founded out of the UK in 2011, the studio is comprised of veteran console and mobile developers.
Their first iOS release was Clockwork Racers – a throwback to 90s local multiplayer games such as Micro Machines. Their current project, Salvaged, is the culmination of their ambitions in multi-screen game development, and does a phenomenal job of illustrating novel ways of using a second screen. You can find it currently on Kickstarter, too.

If you enjoyed what you heard here today, or found this show to be helpful, please consider donating to Gamer’s Outreach Foundation, which is organized by fellow Xbox MVP, Zach Wigal.

Benjamin Briggs

All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs.

Episode 10 – PHL Collective

Collective_Team

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This week I’m joined by seven gentlemen from the PHL Collective. Nick Madonna, Terry dee-fel-ee-cee-an-toe-nee-oh, Ryan Reed, Bren King, Brian Gitlin, Vincent Erhard, John Sepa, all of whom  are based out of Philadelphia.

Their first title, Knight Strike is an old-school arcade style game where you will battle endless hordes of enemies which get harder to beat the further into the game you get. It is also currently available on Steam Greenlight.

Noodle Arm Royale was built in two days as part of a rapid prototype/internal game jam. The game was specifically built to sit in an art gallery space and be the most ridiculous and irreverent installation in the place.

If you enjoyed what you heard here today, or found this show to be helpful, please consider donating to Gamer’s Outreach Foundation, which is organized by fellow Xbox MVP, Zach Wigal.

 

Benjamin Briggs

All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs.

Episode 09 – Nick Gravelyn, Brushfire Games

Nick Gravelyn

 

Nick Gravelyn has experience making games and apps for Xbox One, Xbox 360, iOS, Windows, and even the Zune HD. He  worked for Microsoft on XNA and Xbox LIVE Indie Games, enabling independent game developers on Xbox 360. He also built technology for interactive television with Microsoft Studios including the interactive 2012 US Election coverage.

Nick now runs his own studio, Brushfire Games, which has recently released their first title, Shipwreck on the PC.

In addition, we also cover indie-friendly tools such as Maya LT, a stripped down version of the 3D modeling tool with an attractive price point for smaller development teams. Nick also covers the process of establishing a small business and some of the related costs associated with it. Unreal Engine 4 was recently released and has a new set of tools and licensing costs, so we discuss that as well, before wrapping up with what makes a platform attractive for indies.
If you enjoyed what you heard here today, or found this show to be helpful, please consider donating to Gamer’s Outreach Foundation, which is organized by fellow Xbox MVP, Zach Wigal.

Benjamin Briggs

All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs.