Back on the first of June we reviewed Celestial Mechanica. We thought it would be a good idea to follow that up with a quick interview with Roger Hicks who is half of the team behind the game.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. So Roger, tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I’m a software and audio engineer who likes to create artsy things. I’ve contributed to many popular projects like ‘Steven Universe’, ‘Lume’ and ‘Pulseboy.’ Currently I’m focused on finishing up my Kickstarter funded game called ‘Band Saga.’
At what point did you think lets make a computer game together with Paul?
Well, at the time, Paul and I were both very active on a forum called tigsource.com, Paul had a portfolio page showing off his work. I contacted him and a few other people to work on Celestial Mechanica. There was another artist who replied originally and they started working on the game but we lost contact. After a long time without receiving replies from the other artist, I contacted Paul Veer to do the graphics instead. From there the rest is history.
Celestial Mechanica. Is this the first game you have worked together on?
Tell me about the game, where did the inspiration come from?
At the time I was really into ‘Metroidvanias.’ I was also really inspired by the game Knytt Stories which was extremely simplistic exploration platformer. The story for Celestial Mechanica was always in my mind since I was old enough to come up with my own stories. It was the most solid story I had at the time so I decided to turn it into a game.
How many hours went into make this?
I never recorded how many hours it took to make the game. I built the prototype of the game over the course of a few weeks. After Paul came on board I remember that it only took about a month and a half to complete. At the time I didn’t have a job an I worked on it everyday until it was done. It was originally meant to be a flash game for Newgrounds or Kongregate but at the time they seemed uninterested so I decided to sell it for $5.
Who made the game music?
I made the music.
Who chose the feel of the game, the graphics and music?
I’m a firm believer in letting the artist do what they do best. I gave Paul a general outline of what I wanted but after that I rarely complained or altered any graphics he made. Everything else I did myself.
Was there memories of childhood games that lead your decision here?
Metroid Fusion and Metroid Zero Mission. These games are a lot different from Celestial Mechanica but I wanted it to give players the same feeling they got when they enjoyed those games.
What game engine did you use to make the game?
I used Flash Punk made by Chevy Ray.
How much of an influence did both you and Paul have in terms of what got made and what didn’t?
Pretty much everything that was made got used. Celestial Mechanica was pretty simple to make. Paul and I both had a lot of experience making games previous so we knew what to do and we didn’t really clash at all.
Other than Celestial Mechanica, what other games do you find yourselves playing alot of?
One of my recently favorite games is ‘Ori and the Blind Forest’.
So why is Celestial Mechanica free?
It was originally released for $5. it did well for about a year but after that sales dropped significantly. I made the decision to make it free because I wanted more people to play the game. As soon as I did that it instantly became much more popular.
What’s your next project?
Band Saga! We used Kickstarter for some funding and asked for $29,000. We surpassed that. Every item in the game, every level, every enemy is all generated by music. Melody’s and sounds are synthesized in real time as you play.
I appreciate your time Roger, thanks for answering these questions for our readers and your fans! Hopefully we will catch up again soon and discuss more about Band Saga! Sounds very interesting!