Remember the days of the game cartridge? Remember when games consisted of holding the right D-pad until your fingers blistered? What about the time you took your 3rd cousin to the prom? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re in the right place. Welcome to The Basement, your weekly dose of polys and pixles to get you through the day!
Firstly, I’d like to say congradulations on reading this far. For those who stopped reading, shame on you. But enough with the shop-talk, lets get down to business. This week, I had a one-on-one interview with Thomas Brush, founder of Atmos Games and creator of Skinny, winner of best audio at IndiePub’s 3rd Indie Developer Contest, to try and get to the bottom of how he started into making video games. Without further adu, lets begin shall we?
The Basement: To start, who are you?
Thomas Brush: My name is Thomas Brush. I am the founder of Atmos Games, and until now, the only game developer in the company. However, my brother Steve has joined Atmos this week, and we will be working together on two new games in the coming months.
The Basement: What drew you to making video games?
Thomas Brush: Watching video games. Not really playing, just watching. I can’t remember not watching my brothers play video games. Besides love and our faith in God, video games were the key to our friendship. Playing games like Resident Evil, Half-Life, and the Legend of Zelda were what we did, period. My brothers were interesting to watch; they would get caught up in the game, as if the game were real. Video games really brought us close, like we were all in it together. I wondered if I could make my games do that, suck the player in, so I tried.
The Basement: How exactly did Atmos Games come to be? Were there others that helped with creating it?
Thomas Brush: Just making animations and stupid games is how it all began. Then I got serious and made Coma and Skinny. And yes! Others were definitely involved. My family, especially my brother Steve (who is now part of the Atmos team) would push me toward my goals, and encourage me to keep trying. Steve would especially offer praise for a certain aspect of the game, but also offer some tough but necessary criticism. Because of him, I would buckle down and fix certain errors, or change the game completely.
The Basement: What about your first video game project? How’d you get the idea for it?
Thomas Brush: My first project ever was a game called The Neverland Apples. I built it because I wanted to see if I could create a top view game where the player would steer a character. So somehow that ended up being a game where the players controls Peter Pan, collecting apples. It really was stupid, and I’m truly ashamed of it.
The Basement: What were the hardest things when creating your first game?
Thomas Brush: Nothing was hard in creating The Neverland Apples, but in creating Coma (which I consider my first real game), the hardest thing was trying to finish the game. I don’t know how many times I would feel like the game was complete, and suddenly have an idea or find a glitch that would restart the whole finalization process.
The Basement: How did the game ‘Skinny’ come to manifest? and how did you choose that particular silhouette art style?
Thomas Brush: It started as a Legend of Zelda grapple hook game that was just for kicks. Then I had the idea to make it about a skinny beast, kinda like Sasquatch. Everything else kinda happened after that. I would be willing to give full credit of the silhouette art style to games like Limbo and Feist, but in all honesty those games were not the start of Skinny’s style. Although those games were incredibly inspiring, you can look at my work from almost five years before games like Limbo and Feist were released, and see that silhouettes have been a style of mine for some time. I came upon that art style because it was easy to do, but also looked great. That’s about it.
The Basement: Did it surprise you when you were invited to the indie game convention in Texas? What were your feelings on the matter
Thomas Brush: Very much so. I felt honored, but definitely unworthy. The games there were amazing!
The Basement: What tips do you have for any aspiring indies such as myself and others out there looking to break into the scene?
Thomas Brush: Make games that you feel strongly about. If you don’t feel strongly about a particular project, you should probably just stop making it. It’s like being married to someone you can’t stand, but trying to convince people that that someone is awesome. It’s probobly not gonna work.
Make games you love! And see what happens! :)
I’d like to say thanks to Thomas Brush for speaking with us and congradulations! We hope to see more games from Atmos in the near future. If you would like to play any one of Atmos Games’ games including the award winning game ‘Skinny’ please visit http://AtmosGames.com. They are free to play so don’t be cheap! See you guys next week!
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