Game development is a funny thing, in order to successfully make a game, you need a development team. Usually a development team involves coders, artists and testers and so on.
Brandon Lackey , better known as Brando from Duane and Brando, is managing mostly on his own good will. Animus : Before and Beyond is an indie title inspired by games of the past. Brandon was nice enough to sit down with us to talk about development of the title.
Q . By name, you're most famous for your work with Duane & Brando. Is Duane involved with this project?
A. So far, he has no direct influence beyond wisecracks in the studio and at band practice, however, he is a great artist.
We've talked about it. It's still very early in the development of this game. So far, I've had lots of help from other programmers and artists, and have been very inspired by some idea-bouncing sessions with friends, Duane included.
Q. What inspired you to start work on Animus: Before & Beyond?
A. I've always wanted to make an awesome video game, and I've never had a real or great use for my artistic abilities. For years, I'd been animating other games' sprites for music videos. This is merely a humble attempt at trying something new and original.
Q. Have there been any hardships while developing Animus?
A. Absolutely, and how unfortunate it is for game development that I enjoy a good challenge. The biggest hardship will be programming. I'm completely new to coding, but it's coming along surprisingly well.
A. The first aspect I worked on was having tight controls and attacks in all the right directions. I want it to sound good and I want it to feel good. Fixing conflicts has been nerve-racking, but it's its own reward. It's just a matter of doing everything twice. So far, the most difficult thing had been switching rooms seamlessly. Then it was implementing dialogue.
I suppose the next step in frustration would have to be... RPG things, like equipping armor. My end goal as far as that is concerned is to be able to mix and match weapons and armor in a menu and have the character stats (and the sprite itself) reflect that
change. Customization and being able to play a game in many different ways is something I've always really appreciated.
Q. Do you find Animus drawing direct inspiration from any games of the past?
A. There are lots of aspects in games I really appreciate. Castlevania 3's path selection and character swapping, Symphony of the Night's rare item drops, Super Metroid's eerie factor, Earthbound's quirkiness, Megaman X's weapon switch, Zelda 3's puzzles, etc.
My intention is not to make a clone or to write a love letter to a particular game or genre. My aim is to create something with cool playability, fun characters, a solid story, and a kick ass soundtrack.
Q. Do you have a name for your studio when developing the game?
A. Not yet! It's still very early in development.
A. I've given this lot of thought. Patreon isn't typically used to fund game development.
Rather than start up a big fundraiser with a grand total and stretch goals, I decided taking it from month to month is a far more reasonable option.
Here's why: I don't need new equipment to make this game, and I don't have a full time crew. All I need is time. Unholy amounts of time. It can take days just to animate and program a run cycle, especially if the character you're animating is wearing a cape.
What we're doing here is a lot more engaging than typical crowdfunding. Patrons get to see game progress in real time and have the chance to interact and influence the creation process. We're all collectively working toward making this the best and most fun it can be.
Q. How did you decide on the art style for your game?
A. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an artist. My mom is an artist, so I grew up getting paint and pencils and easels for Christmas. I always loved painting and drawing. The art style originates from an animated sprite cartoon I was going to make a long time ago.
I hate being on camera, so my plan was to animate a little sprite of myself giving updates on stuff for the YouTube channel. A little "Misadventures of Brando" type thing for fun. I've been wanting to do something cartoon-wise for many years, but this is way more fun than a cartoon.
Q. Is there any message you're looking to deliver with Animus? Do you have anything to say to your fans who support you?
A. No message, just a fun and unique Sci Fi Adventure! To those brave patrons who have pledged: You are a credit to mankind.
You have created a solid foundation for this project. This is our game and I can't wait to type out each and every one of your names at the end of it.
Q. Which platforms is Animus in development for?
A. So far, it will be for PC. I'm taking things slowly, but if it were to be released on a console, I'd start with Playstation.
Q . If Animus is successful, do you see yourself developing a sequel?
A. In some of my happiest daydreams, which is probably a good start. I feel the title absolutely keeps the door open as far as a sequel goes, but I guess we'll see what happens. It all really depends on if people like it.
Well there you have it, after hearing Brandon's feedback i'm definitely interested on Animus : Before and Beyond. If you're interested in Animus : Before and Beyond be sure to show your worth by backing Brandon's cause on Paetron.
Are you excited for more information on Animus? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!