I want to thank Pixelscopic and Ryan Baker for taking the time to talk with me and I hope you guys checkout the Kickstarter and support them.
jdodson: When I play a combat Magic user I totally dig the epic nuking of my foes and big explosions. I wonder if you are considering this play style for the Sorcerer and if you could give us a bit of a taste of what we can look forward to with this class?
Ryan Baker: The sorcerer's Attacks will be dependent on what wand you have equipped as your primary weapon. Some will be weaker, with limited range or area of effect, while more powerful ones will definitely satisfy your interest in explosive firepower. Almost all of his attacks will be some sort of projectile, though we're still determining what his special ability will be — it might be some other form of magic, but will most likely be offensive in nature. We should also eventually have other magic users — some more offensive-based, some defensive with self-protective or buffing abilities.
jdodson: In the Kickstarter video you mention the other games Pixelscopic has worked on outside Delver’s Drop. I am wondering if you could share a bit about some of them?
Ryan Baker: We have done a number of game contracts, as well as several websites and motion graphics videos. The two commercially-released games Pixelscopic has developed since it was founded are Moshi Monsters: Moshling Zoo and Moshi Monsters: Moshlings Theme Park, both for Nintendo DS (in cooperation with Mind Candy, Black Lantern Studios, and Activision). But Delver's Drop is our first original IP effort.
jdodson: As your survey the landscape of other Indie game companies, other Kickstarters or Greenlight projects I wonder what awesome ones come to mind?
Ryan Baker: Some of the games that have captured our attention in the last couple of years are Hotline Miami, Triple Town, Hero Academy, Pid, Machinarium, The Binding of Isaac, and Desktop Dungeons. Some recent Kickstarter projects that we've supported include Barkley 2, Tiny Barbarian, Legend of Dungeon, Telepath Tactics, Mercenary Kings, and probably quite a few others. We have pretty wide interests in game design, and play everything from the AAA PC/console games to tiny flash games. Anything that's inventive in design, has beautiful graphics, tickles the nostalgia itch, or is just solid fun… all of these are probably on our radar. And honestly, we're hoping that our games check off all the items on that list for our audience as well.
jdodson: I really appreciated the scenes in the video where the character was throwing around a ton of bombs and being a general bad ass. I wonder how you guys are building Delver’s Drop so that I can play out my dreams in this way? You can finalize the question by rating how the game accomplishes this on a bad ass scale from Woody Allen(quite low) to Danny Trejo(very high).
Ryan Baker: Hahaha… well I'm sure you know that the infinite bomb section of the video was for testing purposes. But! a couple of ways you could live out that fantasy are 1) we might add a power-up that gives you a time-limited infinite use of one item like the bomb, or 2) you can mod the heck out of the game to give yourself as many bombs as you want. Achievements and such might be disabled if you do, but we want people to be able to essentially "cheat mode" the game to enjoy it however they want. Games are supposed to be fun, right? And modding / cheating / bombing everything in site are all pretty fun. So on your scale of Woody Allen to Danny Trejo, Delver's Drop scores a Chuck Norris.
jdodson: What part of Delver’s Drop has proved to be the most challenging so far?
Ryan Baker: Honestly, just keeping the company in business, keeping contracts rolling to pay the bills, and trying to get the Kickstarter launched (and continue generating interest) are the biggest challenges. Some times it feels like the company/contracts/PR type stuff are the day-job, and Delver's is our rewarding midnight project. But that's what the Kickstarter campaign is all about - to free us to make Delver's not just a passion project, but THE thing we do everyday, full time, full steam, full attention. We want it to be amazing, and amazing often equals challenging.
jdodson: The game is fairly customizable and I am wondering if players can build playable levels to share with each other in some fashion?
Ryan Baker: Yes, all you'll need to build your own levels is a copy of the freely available software Tiled — plug in some of our data, open our the tile sets we package with the game (or make your own), and you're good to go. We're hoping to build a really robust community around the game, and may even promote the most interesting mods on our site or social media.
jdodson: I have an idea for Delver’s Drop class I want to run by you. THE BEASTMASTER, a class too epic to use normal word casing. THE BEASTMASTER wields its epic might in a few ways. One attack SNAKES IN A CAVE, summons a bunch of snakes that attack everything on the screen. THE BEASTMASTER has to be played so epically that he can avoid them or have them get out of his motherfucking way with a punch to the face or tail. Another one of his abilities is DINOSAUR ATTACK!!! DINOSAUR ATTACK!!! summons a few dinosaurs to attack things and stomp around the screen a bit. The attacks could be normal damage or if the enemy is around stomping, some kind of stunning effect. I appreciate you adding particle effects to Delver’s Drop because when the Dinosaur’s stomp around they kick up dust. I am also thinking of something to do with Dolphins that can live outside water but haven’t fully developed it yet.
Ryan Baker: Whoa, you just stunned me with all the awesome. And the all caps. And the dinosaurs. But you're in luck! One of our class ideas is in fact the Shaman (pretty much your Beastmaster), who can to some extent control enemy monsters (as long as they are biological), and has special abilities to summon more monsters and familiars to his/her aid. As for snakes, dinosaurs, dolphins… those are all, shall we say, "possibilities." Some more legitimate possibilities than others. :)
jdodson: I live in Portland and am pretty spoiled that the Indie Game community is as awesome as it is. I am wondering how the Indie game community is in Springfield?
Ryan Baker: Well… I would say it's fairly small. We have a friend Andrew Bilyk (http://www.apbilyk.com/blog/) who recently went Indie, and I've heard about a few other people who work on games, but haven't actually seen any of their projects. We would love to host some events in the future to bring other devs out of the woodwork, or simply encourage others to go into independent development, or game development in general.
jdodson: I wonder what your thoughts were after watching Indie Game: The Movie? Do you find any similarities in how the journey of Pixelscopic and Delver’s Drop has been?
Ryan Baker: Yes, we really enjoyed the documentary, and honestly felt like our own struggles were validated by it. There are definitely some similarities — showing up to PAX with what we thought was an inferior gameplay demo, working from home (around the clock), hoping for interest and praise from the community… definitely all things we've experienced. It's the combination of passion and sacrifice for the art form we all love and want to succeed through.
jdodson: In your Kickstarter backer levels, I wonder what benefits excite you about bringing to people beyond the game itself?
Ryan Baker: I think that we're really excited about the physical DVD boxed copy and the art book + strategy guide. It will also be really fun to get our first hand-crafted figurines from Leah Williams (https://www.facebook.com/littlelazies)
jdodson: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today and as we are departing what last bits of awesome do you want to leave us with?
Ryan Baker: Thank you for your time and interest as well! As for a last bit of awesome — it's currently hidden toward the end of the 2nd mechanics update we posted today on Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pixelscopic/delvers-drop/posts/411164), but we're about to more fully unveil some of the more unique features. Specifically, when your character dies, they leave behind an undead skeletal version of that class, equipped with the same weapon you last carried. You'll have to defeat this past incarnation of your character when you replay the re-randomized level. The dungeon also encloses secret rooms containing people caught between life and death. They can be freed from a magical imprisonment… but they themselves may also be the greatest danger in the dungeons.
Hopefully that little tease will whet everyone's appetites a bit! We really hope to blow past our Kickstarter goal and reach some of the Stretch Goals, so please support us and tell your friends about the campaign.