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Dead State Interview at Rock Paper Shotgun

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Dead State Interview at Rock Paper Shotgun

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Wed 20 March 2013, 18:18:34

Tags: Brian Mitsoda; Dead State; DoubleBear Productions

Following up on the release of its combat demo, the folks at Rock Paper Shotgun have conducted an interview with Dead State project lead Brian Mitsoda. It doesn't really have much new information beyond what we saw in the demo, but Brian's description of the overall progress of the project is fairly interesting:

RPS: Hey, Brian! It’s been a while since we talked. How are things going with Dead State?

Mitsoda: Well as always it’s a lot of people working on a lot of different things! As far as the project goes we’re breaking it into three categories: one is the dialogue and writing, which is something I have been doing a lot of work on in the past few months. That’s coming along really well now. Then there’s the combat portion, which is what we’re showing off now. It’s obviously not 100% done, but the basics are there and it’s pretty much everything we promised. It’s got the exploration of Fallout, it’s got the turn-based combat of XCOM, and it’s feeling pretty nice right now. There’s a long way to go, of course, with stuff like getting the AI up to spec, getting every single thing in to every single area of the game, but there’s progress there: we have pieces of our sets built, everything is very modular, so we can just drop down sets of sidewalks or shops. We’ve going to do a bunch of tweaks to combat based on the feedback we’ve had from the team. So that’s progressing well.​

Then finally, the third thing, it’s a case of working on the shelter, which is the element which pulls it all together. You’ve got the management there, you’ve got a lot of the scripting in there, day by day triggering conversations, all the allies stuff, launching stuff to the area map. We will be facing that as the next challenge: bringing the combat and dialogue sections together.​

RPS: This has been a long haul for you, hasn’t it? Didn’t you start around 2010?

Mitsoda: We started the very basics in 2010, but we did not start picking up momentum until we were getting ready for the Kickstarter. After that we were, of course, able to get people in working on the game full time, so the major progress has been since the Kickstarter ended (in summer of 2012). Now we’re getting daily builds and there’s just a lot of progress. Everyone’s contributing new stuff all the time. All of these various pieces are now going in, and it’s awesome to see. Even though we technically started in 2010, we didn’t hit full production until we were able to fund it. It’s an RPG too, and even with a team of ten people this is a massive beast to make. It’s still a very large game to create, because there is so much to go in, but we’ve been making a lot of progress.​

RPS: What did that Kickstarter money mean?

Mitsoda: Well before the Kickstarter people were just volunteering time on it. After it we were able to give everyone some money. We’re not making huge amounts, but we were able to bring on people like artists and fund them. We were able to buy equipment and licences, so it made a world of difference. It’s a tight budget compared to some other RPG projects out there, we don’t have millions of dollars, so it’s a balancing act, but we knew exactly what we were getting in to. We knew what was needed, when we need to bring people in, and so on. That’s all going according to plan, which is great.​

The team is me, my lead artist Oscar, my lead programmer Nick, our animator Ivan. Then there’s the additional programmer, Eugene, and several other artists for environmental, GUI, prop, and 2D stuff. We have a new producer, and we’re probably going to bring in a couple of other people at some point. And of course my wife Annie has been contributing to the project. She’s a big reason the design was in the state it was when we started it. Most of the people in this project has been working on this since they were working on it in their free time. They’ve stayed on the game, and that’s great.​

The rest of the interview actually seems to focus mainly on the game's writing, which is clearly a subject close to Brian's heart. Speaking of which, I do believe he is officially part of the Torment writing team as of this morning (okay, yesterday including Paypal). Congrats, Brian!

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