My first real interview from the other side! Up until now, I had only interviewed from the side of the people who create machinima or video-game esque creations, but now, I actually managed to land an interview with an actual game/animation company!
This interview is with the studio, but more specifically regarding their indie hit Lume. It was released on the 9th of May, 2011 on Steam and Mac, and more recently, it was released on iOS. I actually gave away a free Steam key for it a while back (which bbain won), and having bought it myself, can highly recommend it. Definetly one of my favourite indie games ever made, it has really stuck with me and I'm itching to hear more about any kind of sequel.
And if you don't take my word for it:
[i["Undoubtedly one of the most unique-looking games around."[/i] Eurogamer "The best of point and click gaming... amazing visual presentation." Jay is Games "Wow! The effect is breathtaking." Rock, Paper, Shotgun "A rare treat. Even Lume�s main menu is more beautiful than most big-budget shooters." Bit-Gamer "Charming to the extreme." Games TM
In this interview, I talked to Katherine Bidwell, one of the founding members of State Of Play and general awesome person.
1) Who are you and what does your studio/you do?
We're State of Play and we're an Indie Games Development team in London
2) How did your studio originate?
We came from an Browser Game/Graphic Design/Animation background and we were founded in 2008,
3) How big is your team?
The team expands and contracts as and when it's needed currently there is a team of 3
4) Why do you do the work?
We do the work because we love it, as simple as that. I don't know what else we would be doing! It's a fantastic way to express yourself and your creativity via playing. *Specific questions about Lume start here*
5) Where do the idea for Lume come from?
I think the idea for Lume had been mulling in our heads for quite a while, aesthetically we were and still are drawn to hand-made qualities, these were present throughout our previous games and animations. So this hand-made approach seemed natural for Lume, and we took it to the extreme approach. The Puzzle Adventure genre, are the type of games we had enjoyed playing for many years and influenced us hugely with Lume. From the classic point and click games such as Day of the Tentacle and Monkey Island to the recent re-appreciation of the genre such as Machinarium and the Professor Layton series were influences on us. Along with this the idea of a small girl and her Grandad having adventures together stuck a chord with us early on.
6) How did it go from a concept idea, to a committed project?
Lumi as a character was developed early on and we were working on lots of different hand-made buildings and towns just as kind of little paper sculptures. We worked on those ideas separately, working on these around other projects we had. It was only when we put the concept together (Lumi's animation sequence and the paper sculptures) and saw the effect these two elements had. That was the point when we committed to the project, and knew it could be a fantastic game.
7) Why use such an innovated concept to design your game world (the creation of the real life set)?
We had been working with hand-drawn elements a lot with our previous projects, especially in our game Headspin: Storybook. We have a real fondness for papercraft and pop-up books, and we wanted to create this style on the screen. The beauty you get with creating a real set is that you can create elements that would almost be impossible to create using a 3D package. The subtle changes of light, the beautiful shadows cast on the walls, we think that if we made this game any other way these subtleties wouldn't of occurred as well. It was also a really fun and satisfying way to make a project.
8) Where did the simple yet compelling storyline originate from?
I think it came from the desire to put a human touch on a very simple idea. That being the power is off and you must fix it with sustainable ways. Everything else about the storyline evolved from that premise. We loved this idea of a Grandad that would love creating puzzles for his Grandaughter, and it just developed from that.
9) How long did it take to create?
On-off 6 months in total for the first build
10) How much love did your team put into it?
A whole lotta of love! I don't think projects get made without it.
11) Is there any news regarding the sequel (i.e. is it in production?)
Yes it's in production, and we're really excited about it. Lumi's world is about to get a whole lot bigger as she explores beyond Grandad's house. We're stocking up on paper, card and string now! *Specific questions about Lume end here*
12) Most importantly, do you enjoy your work?
Yes, it's a joy to be part of this project, and as an Indie Developer you have to or else things simply won't get made.
Really, I really want to give my biggest thanks to State Of Play for giving their valuable time up to answer my questions. Thank you so much guys.
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