Going The Distance: Moving From School To Indie Development [11.08.12]
- GameCareerGuide.com staff
You've gone from a team of 11 to a team of three - has it been a challenge to work on this game with such less manpower?
While we're working as a much smaller team, we're more focused than we ever were at DigiPen. We're going into this game with the mentality of building a very similar game beforehand, and we're using tools like Unity, which were unavailable to us in the past. On Nitronic Rush, the team basically boiled down to five core members spending 30-40 hours a week on the game, and 6 being part time (mostly creating art content). Our priorities have shifted to better cover our tasks with just three people, but with us working full time we've been more productive as a team than ever before.
What are things like at Refract Studios right now? Where are you guys working, and how are you supporting yourselves financially -- other than the Kickstarter, of course?
We're actually working out of our apartment, entirely off of money we all saved up over the past few years. Generally we work around the clock everyday, and lately we've been focused fully on promoting the new project and its Kickstarter.
How far along is the new game at this point?
Before launching the Kickstarter we wanted Distance to be at a strong prototype stage where everything we would be talking about, we could show. We wanted to prove to ourselves and our community that multiplayer in this type of game makes sense, and that we as a small team could pull it off. We're in pre-alpha, meaning that the game has many of the core mechanics and features implemented, but much tweaking is still happening to make sure the controls and multiplayer action feel balanced. Our level editor is really far along, with a new spine editor for the track that allows the road to be procedurally created within the editor. We think it's already quite a bit more powerful than the one from Nitronic Rush, largely in that the interface and specific tools have been smoothed out really early.