Dan Marshall of Size Five Games talks to us about what it means to be an indie developer, the deeper meaning behind Gun Monkeys and refuses to share even the slightest morsel on his next project.
Herobyclicking What does being an independent game developer mean to you?
Dan I guess it means freedom to do whatever I want, not having to answer to anyone. Really, the most important thing is the fact that I can sit here with a cup of coffee, talking to fans and customers and not having to get approval from a single other soul. I'm allowed to make my own idiot mistakes.
Herobyclicking Gun Monkeys is about the annihilation of the human race in the quest for an energy source. Is this allegorical? Or is it just about monkeys with guns?
Dan I'm pretty sure the Gun Monkeys plot is a complex, intriguing and industry-defining metaphor, I'm just not 100% sure what that metaphor is, yet.
Herobyclicking What are your thoughts about the current landscape of PC gaming, specifically sales platforms like humble bundle, steam, gog and green man gaming?
Dan I think gaming's in great shape, there's never been so many amazing funky little games to play. I love the fact that when I've got an hour to kill and fancy something new to play I can get a whole new experience at the click of a button.
Herobyclicking Is it likely that we will see Gun Monkeys on the consoles?
Dan It's something that's been on the back burner for a year, we're sort of looking at how it'd work as an offline, sofa-play kind of game. I think it'd work great, it's just a matter of finding the time to make it!
Herobyclicking Tell us about your next game, or your next concept?
Dan Ha ha, sorry, at the moment I'm not quiiiite ready to talk about it. I'll be banging on about it over at @danthat soon enough, don't worry.
Herobyclicking Is it comedic? Or will you consider venturing into a more dramatic genre?
Dan Uh, neither really. It's a different kind of game, and I'm not sure how much or how little plot to put into it just yet. At the moment, the alpha is pure gameplay.
Herobyclicking Whatever possessed you to make a multiplayer game?
Dan Oh, I have no idea. I think I thought I was being clever.
Herobyclicking What were your influences?
Dan Gun Monkeys was heavily influenced by Bomberman and Worms, that kind of 'sharing a monitor' old school fun. It also has a little bit of Unreal Tournament running through it, I guess, that meta-game to stop it being pure deathmatch...
Herobyclicking On your blog you warn against making a multiplayer indie game altogether, any other advice for aspiring or fellow developers?
Dan Hah, I don't know, I think that's it, actually. Make whatever you like, make amazing, clever, unique little games but don't make pure multiplayer. That's the extent of my advice!
Herobyclicking What non-video game games, movies or books if any, have influenced your design/development processes?
Dan I've been thinking a lot about how much of an influence Rik Mayall's comedy was, recently. It's so sad that we lost him, and I'm gutted I'll now never get to tell him how much of my games, how much of my sense of humour he influenced. To that degree, I guess Stewart Lee has also been a big big influence.
Herobyclicking What are the Golden Tea Bag Awards and IndieVisibility?
Dan The Golden Teabag awards are something I run sporadically when the opportunity arises. They're just a bunch of silly/ genuine awards to honour some of the brilliant stuff the indie industry does. They tend to be British-focused, and everyone who wins one gets an actual teabag spray-painted gold. Some idiots try making a cup of tea with it, and email me photos of the disastrous results.
We ran one recently at the Develop conference. I'll put the winners online when I get a sec!
Day 29 | Size Five Games