Written by Jeremiah Hisel, Bustercube Tuesday, 27 December 2011 06:00
Goozernation recently had the chance to talk with Strange Loop Games studio head John Krajewski about the industry, and a little about their upcoming Xbox live arcade game “Vessel.”
Goozernation: What made you decide to start developing video games?
John Krajewski: This was very early for me. I had a Commodore 64 when I was a kid and some of the games were written in BASIC, and I was able to see all the instructions to them. This was completely amazing to me, like looking behind the curtain at the wizard controlling the scene, and I would change little bits to see what happened. It wasn't long after that I started making my own games. The first one was called 'The Fun Thing' and was colored text scrolling across the screen. I think I still have it on a disk at my parent's house somewhere, I should get that running on an emulator.
GN: Was it what you expected, or was it completely different?
JK: I guess at that age I went into it without expectations. I remember the math being challenging at that age, but it showed to me an immediate usefulness for math and that was the start of a long held interest in math and simulation. I think more kids would love math if they saw the usefulness of it like I did from an early age, they should incorporate games programming in math class.
GN: Has the indie game dev community given you any help?
JK: The indie community is an inspiring lot, and there is a wealth of experience there. I'm on some mailing lists that are completely invaluable for doing business as an Indie, lots of the top performers in the industry discussing the ins and outs of the business. Beyond the money side, I find most indies are very creative people (hence the reason they are indies), and discussing ideas with them is always very productive.
GN: What sparked the idea for "Vessel?"
JK: It grew naturally out of the physics simulation we were building. That was the root of the game from which everything else grew, and I think that lends it a connectedness between the gameplay, visuals, story, music, and everything. I feel like creativity is directed discovery, and with Vessel that was definitely the case. We would create some new feature, something new liquid could do and go 'cool, ok now what can this do?, almost all the features were grown like that with the whole team bouncing things off each other, rather than being pre-planned.
GN: Who inspires your work?
JK: The team I work with is endlessly inspiring, it is really something to see the game evolve as a collective act of creation from all parties. As far as external inspirations I like people who take risks and do something uncommon, like the makers of Braid, or Limbo. People who have strong artistic vision and bring that unusual style to the table.
GN: Thanks John.
JK: Thanks Jeremiah.
Well, we are all excited to see Vessel, and what Strange Loop Games develops after. Good luck, and all the best from Goozernation.
Check out Vessels Trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zqa4C0R6VAs