An Interview about Nasty with Myself
A little over a month ago, I answered several questions about my game Nasty for a gaming/game blog website. While a little slow getting the piece out, you can now see it all here. The article is part of a series talking about the opportunities currently available for indie game developers and includes a couple quotations from me.
Since I wrote a lot more than what got included, I've posted all the questions that I answered below. Keep in mind, as you read this, that this was written on 5/1/2009... some of the information and commentary presented may be dated.
1.) From the screenshots on your site, it looks like "Nasty" is an old school sidescroller, ala "Contra." What else can you tell me about it?
Nasty definitely has a similar feel to that of Contra. In many ways, it's almost as if you took the characters from Contra and stuck them inside the level structure of Bubble Bobble. Nasty is a very action packed game with some platforming elements too. The game features one hundred levels in which you must kill all the enemies, typically by shooting them, to advance to the next level. There are twelve different enemies and five bosses you must battle along the way.
Nasty was also created with co-op gameplay in mind. Some of my favorite memories from my youth were sitting next to a friend and fighting through level after level of monsters, aliens, and robots. Sadly few games today really offer this sort of co-op play. It's my hope that Nasty can recapture that feeling for more seasoned gamers while also introducing a new generation of players to an old school co-op style of gameplay that's not often seen in today's games.
2.) What made you want to develop with the XNA tool set, instead of, say, Flash or Game Maker?
First, my programming education is primarily in C++. I've spent the past year doing exclusively C# programming. It was easy to get into XNA programming because it uses C# plus Microsoft has really done an outstanding job of creating an easy to use yet still very functional framework for creating games.
Second, I really like the Xbox platform. I've owned both the original Xbox and the Xbox 360 and they've been two of my favorite gaming consoles. To actually develop for a high end console like the Xbox 360 is a dream come true and something that would not have been possible for an indie game developer just a few years ago.
I worked with Flash about five years ago, but I found the interface to be very frustrating to use. I know some people have done really cool things with Flash but my prior experience was a large enough turnoff for me to dismiss this avenue. I worked with a program called Klick and Play over ten years ago, which was a Maxis licensed version of Game Creator. I did manage to create some fun games (including the initial concept for Nasty) but found that I was very limited in what I could do.
3.) Tell me everything you know about releasing a game on XBox Live.
Microsoft has really done an outstanding job setting up this service for indie game developers, which they refer to as Community Games. You first start by creating your game. Along the way, developers can upload their game so that other developers can playtest it, find any bugs, and give you any suggestions to improve your game. The whole process is designed so that end user gets the best possible end product though sadly not every XNA developer has taken advantage of this. When the game is ready for release, you submit the game for Peer Review which is a more thorough review looking for bugs, crashes, and anything that would be confusing to the player. Once approved, your game becomes a
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