When one amateur video game article writer has a chance to interview one of his favorite developers he does not say no. We sat down with Jay Stuckwisch, Marketing Director and 2D Artist for Twisted Pixel to find out who that guy is on the spokes of I.R.I.S spokes, the protagonist from the newly shown game LocoCycle, and questions about the mighty beard of Frank Wilson. If you have no idea who Twisted Pixel is shame on you; luckily you can brush up on their awesomeness here at my developer spotlight of them.
Q.) Just to get this out of the way I’m a huge fan and have really enjoyed everything you guys have put out there. One of the things I love about Twisted Pixel is how, as developers, you’ve kind of tapped into my childhood as far as creating memorable mascots or characters for your game. Is this an intentional process or just something that happens as a by-product?
A.) Thank you! The process of creating memorable characters is definitely intentional, so it’s good to hear that it’s working!
Q.) You’ve gone from XBLA to a full scale retail release. Are there major differences in how you approach development between the two and if so what are they?
A.) There are some different methods for packaging and delivering an XBLA game versus a retail game, and there are some cert differences, but overall it’s not terribly different. Our XBLA games tend to be pretty massive anyway.
Q.) How did the team originally come together and how mighty is Frank Wilson’s beard? We already know it’s powerful enough to run game engines, what else can it do?
A.) Little known fact is that Frank Wilson’s beard actually gave birth to all of Twisted Pixel’s employees. Making game engines is just something that Frank’s beard does in its spare time when it’s not creating new life forms.
Q.) The Maw was your earliest game and still one of my favorites. Can we expect to see anything else from Frank and Maw?
A.) We always have ideas about how we can expand upon that universe and have some awesome things in mind. Sadly, there’s nothing we can report right now, it’s all just random thoughts of “if” right now. We’re still too busy working on new original stuff at the moment.
Q.) Though Twisted Pixel’s trademark so far has been making games that are humorous have you ever wanted to break out of that and make more serious affair?
A.) We want to make a lot of different kinds of games and don’t want to be pigeon holed into any one thing. Every game we’ve done so far has been pretty different than the others in terms of gameplay and genre, and that’s totally intentional. The drive to make new and different things will continue and I’d bet you’ll see us take on some less humorous stuff some day.
Q.) Out of all the titles you’ve made so far, do you guys have a clear favorite or a game that is closer to your heart?
A.) I can’t speak for everyone, but I think the Splosions will always hold a soft spot for me. Those characters are so fun and animated, they are just screaming to have a cartoon made out of them. (Any animation studios reading this ….hint hint) I would personally love to take that franchise into other mediums.
Q.) Joining Microsoft was, I assume, a huge deal for you guys. It seems you make the games you’d want to play, has being part of something bigger changed any of that?
A.) It was a huge deal joining Microsoft, and part of that deal was that we remain Twisted Pixel. We have a formula that works, no one wants to change that, including Microsoft. We want to keep making the awesome stuff we love, and that is part of the deal. Now we get more support and resources, so you can expect even more awesome things to come from us!
Q.) Recently you unveiled LocoCycle at PAX and showed the first gameplay video. I have to ask for all my readers; What on Earth is up with that dude hanging off the back of I.R.I.S?
A.) That dude hanging off of I.R.I.S. is her mechanic, and we have some awesome stuff to announce about him in the coming months. Be on the lookout
And lastly a completely selfish question:
Q.) Are we ever going to see the Splosion Man maquette come back in stock? I would sell my first born for that awesomeness. (No seriously we can totally work something out with the kid.)
A.) LOL, as tempting as it is to take your first born and teach them the ways of Twisted Pixel magics, sadly that maquette was a limited run and there are no plans to bring it back to the store. Better start your Ebay hunting