Retromade Games hit the headlines last week, when it was revealed they were not only releasing their debut game, Fixie Joe on the Wii U, but also seeking funding for Hell-IX, a classic inspired helicopter-sim for the Wii U. I spoke with CEO and Lead Developer Jose A.Gallardo, to find out more about both games! Read on below, and when you\’re done, check out the Kickstarter campaign for Hell-IX…
You\’re bringing both Hell IX (Should it achieve its funding goal) and Fixie Joe to the Wii U…
How long have the games been in development and which games inspired them?
Fixie Joe is our first serious game, we were developing it close to a year for iOS and Android. This was a learning period too and we like to think that we learned a lot – especially about optimization. Now, Hell-IX will be our second title which we\’ve worked on for over four months and we will need another four months to release it in time for Xmas 2013.
We always draw inspiration and like to base games on classics because they are easy to control and have simple game play. Fixie Joe was inspired by retro classics, like Mario, Pitfall and Jet Set Willy. Hell-IX was inspired by Desert Strike (and all the ‘strike’ series) and others like Tiger Heli, Seek & Destroy, etc…
How many people are currently working at Retromade Games and what have your team previously created?
Retromade Games Studio was founded two years ago by veterans from the advertising and technology industries. We’re developers who not only make games, but we play them too! Our basic philosophy is to return to classic game play. If you remember the old coin-up machines and consoles like the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Nintendo. We decided we can make games, keeping controls as simple as the classics but with a modern visual twist. New games with a classic soul!
There are 5 people currently working on Hell-IX, a small team but we work hard and we love what we do…
I am Jose A. Gallardo, CEO & Lead Developer and I worked for several years at an advertising company as Lead Multimedia Developer; we had big clients — companies like Publicis. Last year for example, I was developing \”advergames\” for customers like Heineken, LG, Samsung and Renault.
Alex Cervantes is our Lead 2D Artist worked several years in illustration and animation making films and shorts as freelancer for many studios like Disney.
Fabio Ospitio is our CTO and has worked for several years at technology companies. He handles all the magic on the server side connecting players, pushing info between them and so on.
David Pereira is our Lead 3D Artist – he is our youngest member but is very good at modeling and sculpting – he designs and sculpts for Marvel action figures.
Dan Muir is our PR guy, handling our marketing and media relations; he’s an essential part of the team. Not only is he well connected, he’s also incredibly reliable at getting results.
There are quite a few indie developers making platforming games for Wii U, do you think Fixie Joe will stand out and why? What makes the game unique?
Oh, to be honest we have a special place on our hearts for Fixie Joe; basically because it was our first serious game, we know as a platformer game it is very simple. However we think the game has pleasing visuals and it is very fun to play! As the game’s been out a few months for iOS & Android we will focus our strategy on price, ultimately this means $1 or less. The Wii U version will have some improvements on visuals and maybe even some extras involving the Gamepad. What people will enjoy is a real controller to play with and not like on touch devices with a virtual controller.
Some developers have vowed to bring their game to Wii U despite not reaching the specific stretch goal. Should Hell IX fall short, could you see this as a possibility?
Yes, but the release date will be substantially delayed; this is because we need to share our time with freelance work for other companies in order to finance our own projects.
Have you looked into the Wii U’s unique abilities for Hell-IX and when do you see the Wii U version launching?
This depends on many factors, as I said, we are small studio and don\’t have endless funds. The Kickstarter was created to help us continue with development and if the stretch goals are achieved, we will feature more modes, levels and Wii U specifics. If we get funded or if we can find an investor, we were thinking about some upgrades like online co-operative mode. We are definitely considering touch controls, which will be used to select targets and other stuff.
We hope to release the Wii U version near Xmas 2013.
The Wii U has garnered a lot of negative press since its launch last year, why did you decide to bring your games to the platform? Do you think Nintendo are on the right track to improve the perception of the console and if not, what could they do?
Hey!! Nintendo is more emotional than rational!! Press always try to compare Nintendo with Xbox and Playstation. Maybe Wii U is not the boom as the Wii, because they focused so much on casual and this scared a lot to gamers. But the Wii U with the eShop is really a nice step forward. When a user buys a Nintendo console, it is a more emotional decision than rational… and gamers have Mario on Nintendo 😉
I think Nintendo it is doing a great job with Wii U. Only need to continue to have great games, we\’re here to help on this 😉
Once development is complete, what’s on the cards next for Retromade Games? Do you see additional content being created for either game? Do you see yourself developing more games for the Wii U or perhaps the 3DS?
Well, we might release more maps for Hell-IX, but we want to focus on other games, we have plans for a strategic game located in an alternative present and future. We\’d also like to develop an MMO based on ancient Asian mythology. We would also like to release FIxie Joe for the 3DS!
How much would a reader need to pledge to secure a Wii U Key for Hell IX? Would you recommend a certain Perk for anyone who love the games which inspired Hell IX?
Well… We recommend the $25 pledge because this way you can have 2 copies of the game… one for him/her and other to gift to a friend… or both for him/her… one for Wii U and the other for a computer or smart device. This version of the game is a special edition, a sort of “Director Cut” only available for backers during first 6 months.
If you\’d like to get more involved, you could pledge $50 and become a beta tester…
If you\’d want even more… pledge $200 and have influence on game development. This is really unique because backers will have access to a private developer forum and suggest improvements, items on maps and can potentially be featured in the game!