Interview With Shane Brouwer of Initials Command
It’s really cool to see reddit and deviantART referenced in your credits links to the character artist and voice actors. Did you actually approach them through these sites? How much searching did you have to do before you were sure you had the right artists working on the project?
I’ve been bookmarking artists I’d like to work with for years, so when Super Lemonade Factory started to come together, I had a good idea who I wanted to ask. I’ve been a member of deviantART for quite a few years now, so yes, sending a private message was how I contacted them.
In the case of voice artist Roy Kelly, who you can hear in the cut scenes, he saw a post I made on reddit and sent me a message. I listened to his YouTube channel and knew he had to be a part of it.
And how did you meet up with your spriter, Miguelito, and your musician, Easyname, for that matter? Did you have your heart set on the ultra-retro aesthetic in these areas from the beginning, or did Lemonade’s graphics and music kind of shape up that way by chance as you found the artists?
There’s something about pixel art and chiptunes that really excite me. Pixel art is extremely practical in a 2D game too, because it can be scaled with no anti-aliasing and you still get a nice result.
I followed both artists for a while, and after going through my list of people I would love to work with, they were both at the top. They were actually the first people I asked about graphics and music, and both said “yes.”
The pixel art came first. Miguelito created a fantastic set of sprites with real personality in each animation loop.
I showed these sprites – which are only maybe 25 pixels high – to deviantART user doggerland, and she really transferred their personality into great illustrations!
And finally, how are plans for user-generated levels coming along? Do you intend to implement this through the Ogmo Level Editor, and what will the sharing process look like?
The sharing process has begun! Fans can download a level pack from the Super Lemonade Factory website. You can load that project into the Ogmo Editor, a free, multiplatform tool, and either open some existing levels or create your own.
These levels can then be tested in a Flash version of the game which is also on the website. If you’ve got a friend, you can actually play two-player split screen.
Once you are happy with the levels, just email them to the address on the website and I’ll get the best ones into an update in the future. There are some custom iPhone cases for the best designs.
Our thanks goes to Shane Brouwer for taking the time out to answer our questions, and to Chris Wright at Surprise Attack for facilitating. Super Lemonade Factory is slated for a March 15 release. Don’t forget to check out our hands-on preview in the meantime, as well as the Initials Command website and Twitter feed!