Psychotic Psoftware Interview
So recently we got chatting to Psychotic Psoftware, about the upcoming release of their first XBLIG, called Power Up. And what we found out was surprising and admirable. Psychotic Software is accentually a one man operation, and not only that it is also his first XBLIG.
Talk about a lot to do, well Mike, who is Psychotic Psoftware knows he has his hands full. Mike is currently developing Power Up, and believe me when I say he is not taking any short cuts. He is doing the programming, graphics, music and coding alone. Mike started out this journey after he had an idea, and decided to learn XNA. He has had experience in the industry, by composing music for some published games and also working as a 2D artist at one point. So he knew what he was getting himself into by starting Psychotic Software. Currently he is working really hard with his normal life, while putting all the time he can into his passion, Power UP.
Mike also had some experience of developing games in the past and published a couple of Shockwave games, without much success. Well let this be a lesson to all of us, as clearly Mike is a very determined and passionate guy. He is also sharing the experience of his journey, through his blog and youtube, which you can find the links to at the end of the article. Which if any of you guys out there have ideas for producing and developing your own XBLIG, is probably one of the first places you should check out. As Mike shares everything including his mistakes, which is a rare thing these days as everyone is striving for perfection. With him sticking to his passion and not giving up at the first hurdle, I think Power Up will be one hell of a title, as it is truly a labour of love.
Power Up is going to be a side scrolling shoot em up, we asked Mike a few questions about Power Up, which he gratefully answered and here is what he said :-
Power Up was just a way for me to get to grips with using c#, xna and all that jazz. I’m not a natural programmer so I had to find any tutorials on the subject that I could. One of the simplest was for side scrolling shooters. I also saw that there was plenty of potential with these lessons for going off and doing completely my own thing with it… that quickly turned into Power Up.
Well, I started learning xna back in November/December of 2011. Then I went to spend Christmas with the family. When I came home in the new year of 2012, I took a look at what I’d started and called that the official beginning of the Power Up project. After a few weeks of work on the game, I was comitted to it. Soon I had a Twitter feed, a facebook page, a YouTube, a production blog and most recently, a website for my little company (or at least, for the logo I’d attached to the game), Psychotic Psoftware.
Having never made an xna game before this is the hardest question to answer. Unfortunately for me, it’s also the most asked one. A while ago, I looked at the workload then decided to bite the bullet and say Spring 2013. I’m hoping to have it ready for AppHub submission at the end of this year and have given it about three months to go through QA. It’s a bit of a guess though and I’m sure people are screaming at their screen over that little estimate… Still, I’m sticking with it. If I’m a bit early, Great! If I’m late, so be it. It’s all part of the learning experience and I’ll promise to be more punctual with following games.
It’s definitely a classic side-scrolling space shoot-em-up. Everybody in my generation (and a decade either side, I’d imagine) knows what that is. Spaceship. Scrolls sideways. Pew, Pew, Pew. Attack waves. Level Boss… and of course, Power Ups!!
Well, I tried to have something of my influences in the game. Mainly, I was hoping to capture something of Team 17′s Project X in the looks, albeit using rendered 3D over pixel popped art. (It’s just quicker and time is an issue when it’s just me). The weapons are also a little reminiscent of Hellfire for the Megadrive/Genesis. (It’s not as well known but Google it and you’ll see what I mean), in that the different directional shots have nuances of their own. Some are more ideal than others for any given attack wave combination or boss.
I suppose that what makes Power Up kinda different is that it gives a lot of control to the player with regards to which weapons you’d like to power-up. Want to power up your plasma to level ten so that you can just plough through those heavily armoured frontal attack tanks? Go for it!….. Just watch out for those little ninja-ships that sneak up behind you. That plasma just cost you a balanced rear cannon and you’re packing a pea-shooter there.
I’m still populating the game and there’s plenty to clear up before I’d even call it ready to test, but that weapons dynamic seems to be emerging nicely. It’s all a bit experimental and a great learning experience for me. With a bit of luck and continued support from the brilliant indie community there’ll be a nice challenging, fun game to play at the end of it. (and hopefully more to follow). Fingers crossed for Spring 2013…
We would like to say a special Thank You to Mike at Psychotic Psoftware, for taking the time out of his busy life to talk to us. So hurry up buddy and get a code to us as we cannot wait to play it. We will try and keep you guys up to date on how Power Up is coming along in the future,
So for now check out Mike’s journey from the links below,
Twitter – @psypsoft