Interview by Bobby Blackwolf

Interview with Vince Twelve, Developer of Resonance

Interview with Vince Twelve, Developer of Resonance

The following is a very partial transcript from Episode 341 of The Bobby Blackwolf Show, originally broadcast on June 24, 2012. For the full 30 minute interview, download the podcast episode!

Vince Twelve of xii games joined Bobby to discuss his new PC adventure title Resonance, a game that received a grade of A here at VOG.

Bobby Blackwolf: Tell us a little bit about Resonance, the game and the story behind it.

Vince Twelve: Resonance is the story of a scientist who discovers this new terrible technology, and then dies in a truly spectacular fashion. And then it becomes up to these four strangers to come together and work together to secure his secret hidden vault before it falls into the hands of people who would misuse this technology.

BB: First off, this is something I wrote in my review, and it's not necessarily a knock, it's more I'm going to ask you why you went this route...Why only 640x480?

VT: Actually, let me just point out, the game is 320x240 so even worse than you thought. But when it runs on your computer, it's running with a 2x graphics filter that makes it more compatible with most graphics cards. So when it runs full screen, it's able to render that. But you can also run it in a window at its native 320x240 or you can blow it up all the way to...I'm not sure how large you can blow it up. Pretty large. But again, the pixel density doesn't get any more than 320x240.

The reason for that is, one, it's an aesthetic choice. I'm a huge fan of the classic adventure games, I grew up on the Lucasarts games, and wanted to make an homage to those glory days. And then also, it's a practicality thing. This is a very ambitious game, it's a huge story as you know, I should have never have embarked upon this project. The only way I would have been able to get it done is by doing it low-res. The artists that I know are great, amazing pixel artists. Shane Stevens, who goes online by ProgZmax, does amazing low-res pixel work, and people who played this kind of game might know some of his own games like Limey Lizard and Mind's Eye and a bunch of others. But he does amazing pixel work and he was the first person that I approached for this game...From the start, it was going to be low-res, it was going to be glorious in 320x240 resolution.

BB: This game had a five year development time...What took so long?

VT: Life. When I started this game, I was living and working in Japan. I was teaching English at a junior high school, and that job pretty much gave me six hours a day of sitting at a desk staring at my hands wondering what to do. And about two hours a day in a classroom. So, I decided to make some use of that time and I made a couple of freeware games, Anna and And What Linus Bruckman Sees When His Eyes Are Closed...And eventually started on this commercial game. I had recently gotten married, I had a daughter, and I decided that I was gonna try to make some money off of this, and started making a commercial game. It was way more ambitious than it should have been - rookie mistake. And I worked about two years in Japan, and then moved back to America, and once I was back in America, I got a full time job as a programmer - I program business software as my day job - and I had a second child, so basically I've got a wife, two kids, and a full time job...I basically worked on the game from the hours of wife and kids go to bed to can't keep my eyes open anymore.

That was a very slow way to go about things. So, about a year ago, I started a partnership with Wadjet Eye Games, who is the publisher of the game. Dave Gilbert is the main guy over there, and he writes and creates the Blackwell series of games as well as Shiva and some others. He's also published a number of games, like most recently and most notably Gemini Rue. After the success of Gemini Rue, he went out seeking other games to publish, and it worked out well for both of us because I got his wife as the programmer. She took over for me as the full-time programmer and she pretty much programmed days and I programmed nights. And then Dave himself handled all the voice acting and voice recording and they really helped us get to the finish line and so here we are.

BB: You didn't actually code the engine yourself - you're working with Adventure Game Studio. What does that afford you as a game designer, and does that mean you're limited to the platforms and the stuff that Adventure Game Studio works on?

VT: Yes. I'm limited to what the engine can do, and the engine has caused a few hiccups along the way, but I really love the AGS engine. If for nothing else, for the amazing community that surrounds it. It's a super helpful community if you want to start making games. But it is somewhat limited, especially in portability. And there are some projects right now working on a Mac and Linux port, and I believe there's a somewhat working Android port out there. We're planning on helping along some of those efforts and hopefully you will see a Mac port of Resonance at some point. But I can't promise yet, because we're still decompressing finishing the game for Windows.

Want to find out more?


Download the full episode here, and learn more about the development of Resonance, how the puzzles are designed, working with the voice actors, talking about the innovative inventory system, and a little bit of Sierra vs. Lucasfilm fanboy wars!

Bobby Blackwolf is the host of The Bobby Blackwolf Show on the VOG Network, lead developer of the website, and lead GM for VOG: The Game. Follow him on Twitter at @BobbyBlackwolf

Interview by - 7/4/2012 2:53 PM477 views

Comments

TigerClaw
TigerClaw
7/4/2012 3:48 PM

1 0

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It was a good interview if you wanna listen to it.
Auspher
Auspher
7/7/2012 1:51 PM

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I still need to check out the demo of this game. I just hope it isn't too hard...
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