Interview: Pixel Trip Studios – Building ‘The Breakout’
With over thirty years of combined industry experience the four members of UK indie developer Pixel Trip Studios are now working towards releasing their first game – point and click adventure The Breakout.
As the name implies, the adventure game tasks you (as Lt. Guy Kassel) with breaking out of a prison camp, with the hope of acquiring your freedom and returning home to your fiancé.
The game is currently in active development with no release date set. The Breakout will be available on Steam.
Gamebrit caught up with studio developer Adam Jeffcoat to talk about their debut effort.
What separates The Breakout from other point and click games.
I wanted to take the immersive story of a point and click but make it a nailbiting intense experience for adults. Imagine a prison break movie where you play the main character and you really care about whether he makes it or not.
What was behind the decision to go with the genre? Will you be paying homage to any classic point and click games?
I was a huge fan of point and click games when I was a kid, especially Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle and was completely fascinated by how they drew you into the story and made you feel that you were the main character. So I wanted to take that story telling potential but combine it with a tense prison break story where you really care about the characters desire to escape.
Point and click games are relatively relaxed, whereas prison breakouts are tense. How do you think the two will match up in terms of gameplay?
I felt point and click games were missing that sense of urgency . You could take as long as you liked to complete a challenge whereas in this game you have guards and watchtowers everywhere and if they catch you they confiscate your supplies which will push you back a step. I try to look at games in the same way as film, in that a powerful story has to have tension to draw the audience in.
The Breakout’s art style is quite unique, how did it come about?
My background is in animation so i have tried to create a modern animated art style that is a little different to most of the games out there. We actually started off designing all the characters using pixels as that style had a resurgence recently but when we started showing our work to the fans, although they had that nostalgic element, they lacked personality so we pushed for a more graphic and expressive style. Right now it sits somewhere between a game and an animated movie.
What stage are you at in the development?
So far we have written the story, mapped out the Prisoner of War camp and the levels, we have made a playable demo to test out the gameplay and designed all the characters.
Why did you decide to fund via Kickstarter? How has the development been funded so far? How have you found getting funding?
The intention was always to use Kickstarter to fund the actual production of this game as its one of the few ways truly independent games can be made, plus you get a lot of exposure and build up a valuable fanbase along the way. We paid for the development from our own pocket for the past 6 months to get it to the level its at now. Next step is to create the game!
This is your first game under the Pixel Trip name, how have you found the development process. Collectively your team have a lot of experience but have you learnt anything new?
So far its been a lot of fun but its been a steep learning curve as its our first title together. One of the challenges is working with a team that aren’t all in the same studio, we have a coder in Sweden, a composer in the States and the rest in London, luckily Skype can connect us all together. We have also learned that turning an idea from concept into an actual fully functioning game has proven to be a masterclass in problem solving.
What aims do you have for The Breakout? Is Steam just the first step or will you move on to another project?
We have written a story for the breakout that could potentially span a sequel or even a trilogy but we’d like to see how it is received by the audience and the industry before deciding where to go with it. One thing is for sure that we all want to be making games for the rest of our lives!
Thanks go to Pixel Trip Studios for speaking to us. The Breakout currently has no set release date, however a playable demo is available from the developers website.