Most Recent: Interviews

Interview: Serving Up Conversation About Joysticks, Pints, and Kickstarter With the Owner of Glasgow’s First Arcade Bar

One of the rare delights of following projects on Kickstarter is when you spot someone trying to build something in your own town or city, be it a video game, an album, a film, or, in this case, a bar. There is an instant, and intimate, connection of homegrown pride and creative curiosity. That’s especially true after Super Bario popped up on my radar late in its campaign.

For my sins, I never contributed to Super Bario when the project was live, despite my love of both video games and tasty craft beer. The arcade bar occupies a small space on King Street in Glasgow, Scotland, in an area teeming with art and creative spirit. It backs onto the Tron Theatre, while directly opposite there is Trongate 103, home to Glasgow Print Studio, Street Level Photography, and the Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre.

I have now become a patron of the bar, and try to pop in when I can, enticing friends who love video games, or those who remember being a kid standing before that monolith of entertainment… a cabinet of wood and a CRT display flickering sprites into our awestruck eyes.

Super Bario has proven to be a great success, a space for gamers to chill and enjoy a drink while sucking in the sweet smell of nostalgia. Amidst the craziness, I managed to chat with co-owner Shaun Murawski, who along with Scott McLauchlan and George Black, conceived of the arcade bar back in 2015, and fought hard to make it a reality with the backing of 166 donors. (more…)

Posted in Features, Interviews, Retro, Top Story |

Kickstart This! Anniversary Interview: Holden Boyles Talks About Qora

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Spirit, as it was known then, featured in in March 2014’s Guinness Aftermath Edition of Kickstart This! At the time, the project managed to earn $10,692, more than double its $4,000 initial goal. Since then, it underwent a title change to Qora, and was released soon after in October 2014, making it one of the quickest turnarounds for a Kickstarter campaign I’ve ever seen.

We caught up with creative mind behind Qora, Holden Boyles, to discuss his game, as well as other projects he has funded through the crowdfunding platform. (more…)

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Kickstart This! Anniversary Interview: Chewing the Fat With Bacon Man Director Neal Laurenza

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It is perhaps somewhat ironic that Bacon Man appeared in July 2014’s Common Creative Wealth Edition of Kickstart This! While athletes from around the world competed in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the developers at Skymap Games were hard at work campaigning for their project, which stars an anthropomorphized version of the fatty foodstuff in a surreal Earthworm Jim-style platformer. The game achieved its funding target of $20,000 (with an extra $1,280 to spare), and is expected to be released for the PC and Xbox One before the end of the year.

Neal Laurenza, Managing Director at Skymap, recently sat down with us to share a slab of bacon and to discuss Bacon Man. While we pondered if the breakfast staple proves the existence of God, we also talked about the game’s Kickstarter campaign, how bad emails can do good things, and other sizzling topics. (more…)

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Kickstart This! Anniversary Interview: Bendik Stang of Snowcastle Games Takes A Turn to Talk About Earthlock: Festival of Magic

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Earthlock: Festival of Magic was one of those rare Kickstarter projects that immediately grabbed our attention with its strong, colourful art direction, firm sense of genre, and polished gameplay. Its ambition was only matched by the passion of small Norwegian outfit Snowcastle Games, who, with only a couple of games under its belt, sought $150,000 to make a huge RPG for both PC gamers as well as the new generation of consoles. Originally featured in March 2014’s Guinness Aftermath Edition of Kickstart This!, Earthlock: Festival of Magic is expected to be released for the PC, PS4, Wii U, and Xbox One later this year.

We caught up with Bendik Stang, Snowcastle’s Game Director, earlier this year to talk about the team’s progress from campaign to nearly-finished product, as well as their experience at the 2015 Game Developers Conference. He even shared two brand new pieces of concept art with us… (more…)

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Interview: Looking at Geometry Wars 3 From All the Angles With Creative Director Craig Howard

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I thought the Geometry Wars series had gone dark forever after Bizarre Creations closed its doors in 2011. It was a surprising end for the developer that had created Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, a simple twin-stick shooter that many people consider the first great Xbox 360 game. Retro Evolved was followed by a well-received sequel in 2008, which lead Bizarre’s Craig Howard to admit to the MTV Multiplayer Blog that a third game in the series was already in the works.

Howard moved on after Bizarre’s closure and he’s now the Creative Director at Lucid Games, which teamed up with Activision’s Sierra Games imprint to finally release Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions last year. The game was an instant smash hit was fans of the series, as it expanded the playing field into the third dimension and added a wide variety of new weapons and modes to the franchise’s standard formula. But rather than jump right into Geometry Wars 4, Lucid doubled the size of Dimensions earlier this year with the Evolved expansion. The developer also wanted to take Geometry Wars 3 on the road with portable ports for iOS, Android, and the Vita.

I recently got the chance to talk with Howard about Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions, which will be available for the Vita beginning today, and Lucid’s journey to bring the franchise back. (more…)

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Interview: Crossing Swords in Knight Squad with Chainsawesome’s Jean Simon Otis

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We played a ton of Knight Squad at PAX East. Read our Hands-On Preview here.

Every year at PAX East, there’s always one game that attendees begin to whisper about as they’re chatting with strangers while waiting in one of the many lines. This year, that game was Knight Squad from Chainsawesome Games. All weekend long, crowds were pushed towards their little booth to play their eight-player game that very closely resembles the love child of Gauntlet and Bomberman. This left the developers, including Lead Programmer Jean Simon Otis, completely exhausted, but also excited.

Both feelings were very present when we sat down to talk with Otis at the show. (more…)

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In the Year 20XX: An Interview With Chris King of Batterystaple Games

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Back in the day, Sega used to run an advertising campaign that claimed “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t.” Aside from angering my inner nerd (I was an excellent speller in grade school), I could never actually figure out what Sega did that Nintendo didn’t. The same benefit of the doubt does not apply to the people who currently run Capcom. We know exactly what they aren’t doing, and that’s treating Mega Man, one of gaming’s most beloved characters, with the respect he deserves. There hasn’t been a new Mega Man game in nearly five years, and aside from an appearance in last year’s Super Smash Bros. For 3DS/Wii U (a Nintendo production), the character has been completely forgotten.

Enter Chris King, the programmer for Batterystaple Games. He saw the Mega Man-shaped hole in the market and decided to give the people what they wanted. His new game, 20XX, is a loving homage to Mega Man (more specifically, to the Mega Man X series) that adds in a lot of things that Capcom couldn’t do back in the 90s.

What does Capcom think of 20XX? After playing a few rounds of 20XX, we asked the developer that question, and a few more, at this year’s PAX East expo. (more…)

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Don’t Leave… Take This Interview With the Developers of Guns, Gore & Cannoli

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At first glance, zombies, mobsters, and a wonderful cheese-filled dessert don’t seem like they’d have much in common. But while Clemenza instructed a young mafioso to leave his gun and take the cannoli in The Godfather, players will need both if they’re going to find any success against the rampaging zombie hordes of Guns, Gore & Cannoli. Belgium-based Crazy Monkey Studios is currently seeking funding for the game through Kickstarter, and we recently talked to Benjamin Claeys, one of the game’s artists, about the Prohibition era side-scrolling shooter and its unique art style.

Naturally, the conversation drifted away from the cartoonish violence of the game towards an appreciation for really good cannoli… (more…)

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