Friday, January 16, 2009
Today, I had the honor of interviewing Banov (Of Assassin Blue fame)
Here's how it went:
David: Just for people that don't know about you, can you explain a little bit about yourself?
Banov: I'm Banov. I'm a cool attractive guy who makes kickass games.
David: Why and when did you start making games?
Banov: I started making games in 2005... As I remember, I had a web comic, and I wanted to make a game using the characters in it. I searched around for a program to do it with, and found Game Maker. I dropped the web comic game and started working on other things, and bam... Now I'm here today, ignoring my web comics and doing nothing but game design.
David: What are some of your favorite indie game developers?
Banov: Hmmm. You know, I hate to sound like everyone else, but I really like cactus.
He has some bad games. But when he's good, he's good. Usually when I find a good game by someone, I'll check out their other stuff and find that it's less impressive. So it's rare I follow a game developer. I have my game making buddies, though. Watch out for brod, LeonsBuddyDave, bear1991... you might see them at the top of the featured list someday.
David: How did you get the idea for Assassin Blue?
Banov: I had the character Blue in my head for a few years. I'd planned to put him in a bunch of games--including Wolf--but he always ended up getting cut. So I decided to make a game just for him. Around the same time I was getting into platformers again, and so I thought I'd just make it happen.
David: Were you inspired by other games at the time of development?
Banov: When it came to game's basic concept, I drew from No More Heroes, Mario games, and Fancy Pants Adventure.
I wanted a game where the main character was just really, really badass. And when you played as him, you felt really, really badass. So, everything was made with "This is going to be awesome!" in mind.
David: How long it take to make Assassin Blue?
Banov: I made the basic engine in about 2 weeks, and I spent a lot of time trying to get a background artist, and I actually had one(See Snapshot), but then he decided to disappear for a few months, and then I quit the game… A few months later, I picked it up again, gave up on spriting backgrounds and resorted to the next best thing. 6 months later... it was done. And my soul was depleted 15%.
David: Was Red an original character, or was he simply made to contrast to Blue?
Banov: When I started the game, I took the story really seriously... and I wanted to do some serious moral questioning about a killer who thinks it's just to kill. Red was there, basically, to show Blue the wrong way of going about things. So yeah, he was there essentially as a contrast to Blue.
David: Did you ever think it would become so popular?
Banov: I thought Wolf was going to be my breakout hit, but it wasn't. But when Assassin Blue became this popular, it was really a pleasant surprise. It's good to be a popular game developer... Until next week when the next big game comes out, and I'm forgotten forever…