Now let's begin!
Game Rampage: Hey Hey Stefan and Felix! Would you mind introducing yourself to our readers on Gamerampage.net?
Radical Fish Games: Hey, we're Felix (a.k.a Lachsen) and Stefan (a.k.a. R.D.) and we're the lead developers of CrossCode, mainly doing Programming, Graphics, Game Design and Concepts.
Game Rampage: How would you describe Crosscode?
Radical Fish Games: Difficult question to answer! :D CrossCode is retro-inspired 2D Action RPG set in the distant future. It basically combines gameplay elements we love with the type of graphics we love. You have the Action-Adventure parts with puzzles and a fast-paced action combat and the RPG parts with extensive skilltrees, leveling up, equipping stuff in a menu and a nice story.
Game Rampage: How long have you had the idea for Crosscode? Did it go through any iterations or changes along the way?
Radical Fish Games: Well, yes and no is the right answer here. The idea for CrossCode is based on a very old (like 8-9 years old) idea Felix (Lachsen) had. He just prototyped this little puzzle game with the RPG-Maker where you throw balls around much like you do in Yoshi's Island. It was pretty cool back then. Along the way we worked to different ideas and the like. So 2011 Felix worked on the project, which he named "Spherical" at the time, again. This time with Web-Technologies! We already had the idea of forming a group and make games and it seemed like CrossCode was the way to go. So we both talked and said: "Let's do it!". Over the time the idea changed and evolved, because we wanted to add more depth, plot and interaction. Now we all share the same vision and working towards making the vision come true. Oh, here's a little extra.
Game Rampage: How did the name of your company Radical Fish Games come about?
Radical Fish Games: Well "Lachsen" is kinda the German word for "Salmon" and Felix always used fish-designs for his avatars and whatnot. So "Fish" was a must! But we also wanted to add something that comes from my Name. Originally "R.D." is just short for Regiden. However a friend once said that it should stand for "Radical Dude" (It's a compliment, really!). That somehow stuck so when we first discussed the name, "Radical Fish" instantly popped into our mind. After that we designed the logo and came up with this idea of making the fish look a bit classy with mustache and a top hat. Best idea ever.
Game Rampage: Can you break down your methods of how you designed Crosscode?
Radical Fish Games: Our general design approach is to take established ideas (that we like) and put them together to form something new. In CrossCode, we took the ball throwing mechanic of Yoshi's Island and changed the perspective to be top-down. But since we wanted to have something like an RPG, we extended the combat system with more options, like melee and special attacks, and added equipment, skill trees and so on. That was the rough approach, anyway. We took a long time to get the core mechanics right, spend a lot of time customizing the engine to make the collision work as well as possible. And only towards the end we really pushed the actual content development. Of course, we planned the story ahead as well as the general scope of the game, but otherwise, a lot of details are still undecided, such as precise puzzle mechanics, enemies and future boss fights.
When we started off we still had the tendency to design our stuff very sequentially. That means whenever we created any new content, we did it very thoroughly, working out details and doing lots of polishing, before moved on. Over time we started to realize this is a problem if you want to get stuff done, so now we try to move towards a more iterative process, where we simply push content and polish things later on. But it's a bit difficult for us to let loose of old habits :P
Game Rampage: If Crosscode goes well would you consider making a sequel?
Radical Fish Games: Hehe, yeah why not? We have lots of different ideas and we definitely want to do some of them. But if fans really enjoyed the game and asking for a second one, how can we say no?
Game Rampage: What does the future hold for Radical Fish Games?
Radical Fish Games: We hope we can establish a small company with CrossCode and develop more games in the future. Games are the one thing we love. And we want to create them on our own terms with our ideas and our systems. And we want people to be part of this process. We already have to thank the community so much for helping us in make the game possible.
Game Rampage: If money were no objection, which developer would you team up with to create a new game or sequel?
Radical Fish Games: Oh, that is a hard question. We're big fans of certain AAA developers, like Naughty Dog, Double Fine, and Monolith Soft, and have much respect for other Indie Developers like Edmund McMillen, Joakim Sandberg or PixelFerrets. And while it sounds awesome to just join forces with awesome people like this, first you actually need to be able to have a common goal in mind. Just putting many people with great ideas and visions together doesn't necessary mean that you get a much bigger, better vision realized. Then again, in a perfect world maybe... we'd just put everyone together and create the most awesome game ever, which probably includes AAA graphics, an awesome story, great characters, an amazing soundtrack... and probably also balls (because what else could we contribute? :P)
Game Rampage: What are your thoughts on the current state of the gaming?
Radical Fish Games: We are very happy to see how much variety you find today in gaming. On one hand you have strong AAA studies providing technically amazing games with stunning graphics, but at the same time all that innovation within the indie game market. We're just very grateful that today it is possible for us, as a small team, to independently develop and distribute our own games as we want them. And then there is a very large growing casual gaming market, and while most of us can't associate too much with it personally, we still think it's a great development as it brings more people closer to games.