Monday, 13 April 2015

Gear Gauntlet Interview with Drop Dead Interactive

Welcome to the first Gamer 2 Gamer interview with the CEO from Drop Dead Interactive. This is a big step for Gamer 2 Gamer as a growing community within Google plus and Twitter.

So I am here to talk to Jay, as I say in addition to being the CEO, he is also the lead designer of Gear Gauntlet, which is a new game coming to the Xbox One this summer.
So I have recently had the privilege of talking to Jay over Xbox live on Evolve, I thought that I would arrange an interview with Jay to talk to you, the community about his project.

So let's get to know you a little bit more Jay, how did you get into the gaming industry, and what made you choose your path to becoming a game developer?.

I’ll be honest, coming from a poorer background I got into the actual development of games at a later stage in my life during my time at university where I did a Computer Science With Games Technology Degree. Before that I had dabbled with some code in college for assignments but nothing to heavy, but I can say from my time with games like Sonic The Hedgehog and Altered Beast on the Sega Mega Drive, game design has always been with me from an early age.

Was there any game in particular whilst you were growing up that made you think about making games?, and what was your favourite game you remember playing so much.

Being ill as a child I was quite spoiled and managed to get the latest consoles ranging from the Commodore 64, Spectrum, to Nintendo and Sega platforms so I had a range of games. I had the usual suspects being the Mario’s, Sonics etc. I even had access to the games that didn’t make it west and played a lot of Japanese games my first experience of Metal Gear Solid 1was not in English which made fighting Psycho Mantis rather difficult lol.
I would have to say Sonic for me had the biggest influence for me and I believe that’s where I knew I wanted to be part of the games Industry I just had to figure out to what capacity. My interest in games remained but as I grew older I became more involved in clan matches with games like Socom, Counter Strike, Gears of War and Call Of Duty, at one point I was determined to get a job as a developer on a Call Of Duty title.

So Gear Gauntlet is coming to the Xbox One very shortly, why did you choose the Xbox One as a platform for your new title?

A lot of people seem to have hate for Microsoft and I don’t really understand why I as a developer and like a lot of other developers use a lot of Microsoft products including their OS down to Visual Studios the best IDE in my opinion. I always say this but I’m a gamer first I’ve gamed on PlayStation consoles long before the Xbox but I can say I do prefer the innovations and controller of the Xbox but even that would not make me leave out a console, I mean I’m small time so I need any exposure I can get so I won’t pretend I don’t. I reached out to both platforms but with ID@Xbox there just seemed to be more interest, help and support coming from the green camp and with a budget of £0.00 getting a license to Unity 3D and 2 devkits was a dream come true. I never said Gear Gauntlet would be strictly exclusive to the Xbox One, but there’s only so much chasing a person could do, but I guess things change once you’re in the public eye.

How long does it take to build an arcade game these days, or is there a time period that has to be met?

How longs a piece of string, lol I’ve always wanted to say that. Ok firstly ID@Xbox are really great and I wish people would actually listen to the words that comes out from Chris Charla’s mouth, the development is in the hands of the developer and we are not forced to meet any deadlines or add any content etc.
I have a full time job creating software so for me making Gear Gauntlet is something I do in my spare time aka evenings when my 3 year twin daughters are in bed and my wife is locked in to her favourite TV show. I won’t pretend it’s not hard but ID@Xbox do their best to help us along the way by making sure we get all the information needed to make the game as great as it can be and it’s the same information available to triple A developers.

So how do you feel Gear Gauntlet will fair on the Xbox this summer, do think that you will bring something new and fresh to Xbox One.

Ahh that would be anyone’s guess but I won’t lie though, if it made me a tonne of money I would be over the moon because that would put me in a position to take game development and make it a full time job without risking my wife and kids leaving me for making our family unstable and re-mortgaging our house. But my biggest goal is to have people play my game who are not friends or family or who want free game codes and genuinely like Gear Gauntlet and for it to review well amongst sites like IGN, Game Spot etc.
I believe Gear Gauntlet does offer something fresh whilst offering mechanics we are all used to, I mean the main mechanics are a mash up of things found in other games, the game doesn’t belong to any one genre instead it touches on a few which can be seen as ambitious or possibly foolish, time will tell I suppose.

So can you tell us a bit about the game and how it plays, looks and what it’s really about?. How many players can you play up to on Xbox live or own console?

Gear Gauntlet is a fast paced game based around a moving cog that must keep ahead of the screen whilst collecting other coloured cogs (bronze, silver, gold) for points. Steve Smith the guy behind most of the levels (send all hate mail to him lol) describes it best saying it’s a mash up of the Sonic bonus levels with the brutality of Super Meat Boy and a dash of Guitar Hero.
The idea of just getting from A to B seems easy at first but with the inclusion of the saws and the coloured barriers (our main mechanic) the levels quickly become more interesting and will test a lot of gamers. We have other mechanics such as the reverse that will change the main direction the player travels, and a rotate mechanic which rotates the world 90 degrees and can really mess with your mind. We also have a few things in there that will separate the kids from the grownups offering bigger scores for the skilful which will all be reflected on the 80+ individual leader boards for top score and fastest time and yes it’s possible to get a fast time without getting the top score.
At launch Gear Gauntlet will be single player I mean there’s only so much one man can code without taking on too much, I’d rather get the things I release done right than put out loads of things done wrong. We have heard the feedback from events such as EGX Rezzed which ID@Xbox included us in as part of the Xbox line up and it seems gamers want a  player race mode either in the format of ghost mode or 2 players. Also we have heard gamers say they want access to the editor, let’s just say these things can be possible but it depends on the response the game gets, being realistic making a gamer functional editor where 1 person bought the game doesn’t make sense, would be easier to just send that person the source code lol.

I would like to say a big thank you to Jay for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do a interview with me. I hope Gear Gauntlet is a big success on the Xbox One.
I hope that the community enjoyed the interview and I hope you all Keep Gaming with us on Google plus and Twitter.

Thank you


Owner of Gamer 2 Gamer on Google plus


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