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Interview with Size Five Games' Dan Marshall

IndieMonth | 117d ago
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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

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cgoodno  +   117d ago
His answer to the first question is exactly why I think most developers get into the Indie development scene. A huge move away from the need to manage everything to one that's more in tune with remaining honest and connected with the people who will play your game.

That and who likes to see managers take home a large percentage of the money that is made off of the labor of people who actually create games as opposed to just manage people and money?
MrxDeath  +   117d ago
so there is an up coming game :3
i hope it's fun like this one
oasdada  +   117d ago
" make whatever you like, make amazing, clever, unique little games but don't make pure multiplayer. That's the extent of my advice! "

For some reason this also what i feel.. mp only games are more like a competition than an experience worth having
Derekvinyard13  +   117d ago
Golden tea bag part huh sounds fun
nunley33  +   117d ago
Gun Monkeys was heavily influenced by Bomberman and Worms. It also has a bit of unreal Unreal Tournament running through it, this sounds great to me.
beepbopadoobop  +   117d ago
Yess get this on console, looks like it would be an awesome couch co-op game!
shadowvisa  +   117d ago
nice read
beckisback  +   117d ago
" I guess it means freedom to do whatever I want..."

Apart from games - obviously - thing I love the best about indie developers, is their attitude towards what they do. No money driven BS!!!
ichizon  +   117d ago
Ah, Bomberman and Worms, two of my favourite games (franchises?) when growing up. I guess Worms 2 and Super Bomberman 2 were the ones I played the most with my friends. I clearly see the Worms part. I had a lot of fun playing Liero with my friends back in the late 90s, which was somewhat of a moddable, Worms inspired game. Gun Monkeys looks very similar gameplay-wise, but the singularity of it also shines through.
dictionary  +   117d ago
The game looks stylish, nice
fllysurfer  +   117d ago
Does this have online and local mp?
herobyclicking  +   117d ago | Helpful
Yes, online and local.
randomass171  +   114d ago
Awesome! Thanks for the info. :)
LukeFair  +   117d ago
Having freedom to develop any kind of game you want, as said in the interview, I think is the best strong point of being an indie developer, instead of being in a big company
Crazyglues  +   117d ago
Wait, what? he said it has influence from a little bit of Unreal Tournament running though it, OK I'm in now..

-that was some awesome multi-player on ps3, Loved it... especially the mods..

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SpeedDemon  +   117d ago
Hope it does come to consoles.
pyrocloud7  +   117d ago
Having a couch co-op version on console would make this game infinitely more fun! (Not to say that it isn't already fun). Would love a PS4 port.
Monster_Tard  +   116d ago
Seems like it would be fun.
Disagree  +   116d ago
nice knowing the different type of influences that had an impact on dan.
BiggCMan  +   116d ago
This game just looks like crazy fun. Can't ask for anything better!
kalebninja  +   116d ago
it really isn't that important if it comes to console but, I'd be able to enjoy it on my couch if it does. :|
XtraTrstrL  +   116d ago
It does remind me of Awesomenauts visually.
xHeavYx  +   116d ago
Nice interview, it does look like Awesomenauts
KellyRay  +   116d ago
"I'm allowed to make my own idiot mistakes." Yup. I totally agree.
dota2champion  +   116d ago
Great interview. I'm eager to try this game out.
grashopper  +   116d ago
Would like to see this on consoles some day. Online would be great if you could make it happen.
Magnagamer222  +   116d ago
I like the Golden Tea bag award. Looking forward to checking out Gun Monkeys on the console. Big fan of Worms and Bomberman.
Darklurkr23  +   116d ago
Definitely looks like it could be fun for awhile. Good luck w/ the game and company
Virtua_Awesome  +   116d ago
Funny that the game was influenced by the Worms series, because that was the first thing that I thought the game reminded me of when I saw the trailer. And I wonder why exactly he would advise an indie dev against making a multiplayer game? Maybe that it's too hard to balance the gameplay with a small budget, or too much outside testing? Anyway, thanks for the interview :)
Jeice  +   116d ago
"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."

I love this answer. Independent is definitely the way to go in this industry these days.
#28 (Edited 116d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
LostFlock  +   116d ago
Looking forward to seeing what these guys do in the future. Love these kind of indie companies.
Pixolator  +   116d ago
Nice article , wish he gave more details about their upcoming project, also Sony is giving great support to indies, hope to see their game on ps4 someday!
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