An interview with The Impossible Game creator FlukeDude

April 5, 2010

Following on from last week’s developer interview for FlipSide, infinitecontinues brings you another Q&A session with the creator of this week’s reviewed Xbox Live indie title, The Impossible Game. FlukeDude (Twitter feed here) gives us the lowdown on the choices he made whilst developing the game, how it’s so difficult even he struggles with it, and what other games he has up his sleeve. Full interview after the jump.

infinitecontinues: Hi FlukeDude. Who are you and what do you do?

FlukeDude: I’m an indie games developer who simply enjoys to make games across lots of platforms for people to play.

ic: Tell us, in your own words, about The Impossible Game?

FD: The Impossible Game can be summed up in two words: frustratingly fun. You control an orange square with one button to let it jump. Spikes and blocks scroll across the screen and the aim is to get as far through the level as you can by just jumping. However every time you hit a spike or fall in a pit, you’ll respawn at the beginning. With an awesome soundtrack synced to the game you’ll quickly become addicted.

ic: Tell us the thinking behind your inclusion of dropping flags to spawn from, with the downside that this instantly puts you into ‘practice mode’. Was there a temptation to include the flags in normal mode, and allow more people to reach the end? There is an end, right?

FD: Actually flags were never planned to be in the game, but someone suggested it during playtesting. It helps people get further through the game to make it more interesting. I made sure to always devalue practice mode as I wanted people to concentrate on beating it without flags, as that was how the game was originally. And there is an end, yes.

ic: In your experience, what percentage of playthroughs actually beat the game? How do you fare at your own evil challenge?!

FD: I’d like to think I’m good at my own game, but I don’t complete it often. In fact I’ve only beaten it with no flags twice since it came out. I can pretty much do it all in one attempt, but I always die on the three spikes! I hate those triple spikes…

ic: Tell us a little bit about the aesthetics and music of The Impossible Game. We love the minimalist art style – it seems to be a look much in vogue in videogames at the moment, particularly indie releases. Was it always your intention to keep that part simple? Also, unless I’m mistaken, a lot of the platforming seems to be in sync with the soundtrack… was that intentional?

FD: I’m not a natural artist and as I wanted to do this project on my own I knew I’d have to go for a minimalist abstract style. Also, because the game’s mechanics were so simple, it was good to reflect that in the art. Personally, I think the soundtrack is one of the best parts of the game. Before making Xbox games I’d been making Flash games, and knew of some awesome tracks from the Newgrounds Audio Portal that I could use in my game. The platforming wasn’t originally going to be in sync but when I was planning out the level I thought it would be a good idea. I was pleased with how the game had become almost a rhythm-action game.

ic: How long did The Impossible Game take for you to complete, from initial idea to it going live on Xbox Live Indie Games? What were your biggest challenges during development?

FD: From initial idea to going live took about one month. This was actually done while taking a break from a much bigger project, and I was pleased with the development time. The biggest challenge was the saving – I kept failing peer review for potential crashes in my storage code (such as if people pull out their memory card). Every fail meant I had to wait another week to submit the game, so it was a frustrating process, but I got there eventually.

ic: Can you tell us anything about this bigger project? What other games can we expect to see from FlukeDude in the near future?

FD: The bigger project which has just been announced is called Sci-Fighters. It’s an arcade style game where there are four characters, one in each corner, and a monster in the middle. Each player must avoid the monster whilst the stage gets increasingly smaller. Power-ups appear which players can use to get the other players caught before them, such as super strength and bait guns. It’s an incredibly fun and competitive multiplayer game, with a clever AI to fill in for the other players. This will be on Xbox Live Indie Games and there will also be a free single player Flash version. Dim of The Super Flash Bros. is doing the artwork and Egoraptor (known for his ‘Awesome’ series) is one of our voice actors. It will be out sometime this summer.

ic: That sounds great – we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for that. Finally, FlukeDude, what games have you personally been playing recently? Anything out there that you’ve really been enjoying?

FD: I’ve just finished Mass Effect 2, using the same shotgun-mad Shepard from the first game. Before that I was playing Modern Warfare 2, but really started to hate it online. I thoroughly enjoyed Mass Effect 2, and the levels of depth in the game are astonishing. I really admire how Bioware did the different options for speech and the subplots. Definitely one of my favourite games.

ic: Well, thank you FlukeDude for taking the time out to talk to infinitecontinues. We hope The Impossible Game continues to go from strength to strength and we look forward to getting our hands on Sci-Fighters when it comes out in the summer.

You can download The Impossible Game on the Xbox Live Indie Games platform from the Game Marketplace section on your Dashboard, or alternatively you can purchase it online here. Be sure to keep up with FlukeDude’s updates, and future developments on Sci-Fighters, on his Twitter feed here.

Also, don’t forget to Become A Fan of infinitecontinues on Facebook to stay abreast of all new content going live on the site.

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