Studio: Carbon Games
When we met these guys, our man Phawx chatted them up for a few minutes while the rest of us stared at the pretty screen and watched loads of vividly colored robots unload, transform, and otherwise engage in awesome robotic goodness. The booth was packed, and with good reason. The game looks great, even at a glance, and as a Chrome title, it just might be the most convenient, and therefore dangerously addictive, game we encountered on the show floor.
Task: Find a Carbon Dev and do your best “transform sound”
I was kind of proud of this one, actually. Ask around, I do a mean transform sound. CHHH-CHhh-chhh-chhh-chhh TINK. (The tink is key.)
Dev: James Green
BrainLazy: What title would you like to discuss?
James Green: I love to talk anything and everything about AirMech. From it’s roots to it’s failed attempt to get publisher interest, to us forming Carbon explicitly to make it, going F2P with zero experience in F2P, working with Front Line Assembly on the music, launching on Steam, our “one account” concept which is somehow very confusing to players, to Android/iOS verisons, console versions, why all other RTS games with a controller suck…yeah so just pick anything.
BL: What was the inspiration for this title? How did you conceive of the idea?
JG: Herzog Zwei, Total Annihilation, Red Alert, TF2, Dota in a blender. I wanted to play this game, and no one had made it, and no one seemed to be making it, and I felt it needed to exist.
BL: Does the game differ greatly from the original concept? What inspired the change and how did it evolve? Why did you choose your current direction?
JG: I think we are very true to a modern evolution of Herzog Zwei. The game is very very different, but it plays like the “memory” of the old game, rather than how it actually played. (it’s a bit rough by modern standards) We’re just making the game as I was “playing” it in my head, and it’s coming along great. The only surprising thing to me is how well mouse/keyboard works, as it was originally designed for the gamepad, which is still my preferred control method.
BL: Regarding being an indie developer. Are there any prototype games that never came to fruition?
JG: No, this is our first title as an indie studio. We built it the same way we built Fat Princess–have an idea you really believe in, and make it one step at a time.
BL: What attracted you to indie development?
JG: We’re kind of accidentally indie. Publishers did not believe in AirMech ages ago when it was pitched to them, so we came to the point that we could fund the development ourselves and we did. We’re not at odds with the publishers, we just don’t currently have a need for them. We can self-publish on every platform with the exception of the Xbox 360, so we’ll do them all and then see if the 720 or whatever has a more open model.
BL: Would you ever work for one of the big developers/publishers? If you already have, would you ever go back to it?
JG: I worked for Epic when they were small, and Ubisoft on very large projects. Epic back then felt like indie studios do now, and I love that. Working at Ubisoft I learned a lot about large scale production, and enough to know I am not interested in all the politics involved with 200 person teams. I can’t see myself willingly going to work for a big traditional publisher again–if Carbon totally failed for some reason my preference would be to work for someone like Valve, if they’d have me.
Well, that’s it for your first taste of the Indie Megabooth look back. Our thanks to James Green for answering our questions and sharing his artwork. You can find out more about AirMech and Carbon at www.carbongames.com
Be sure to check back soon for our next installment of our continuing coverage!