Welcome Robert! Please introduce yourself and tell us all about who you are and what you've been up to...
'Firstly, thank you Ninichi for reaching out to me and for giving me this great opportunity to be presented on your lovely blog. My name is Robert Anderson, senior software engineer and project lead by day, and an indie game developer for my own studio (Devil’s Peek Games) at night. At the moment I am currently flying solo on the project with exception to the music - which has been beautifully composed by a very close friend friend of mine (Rene Kimble).
O-R-B is a game about the death and the birth of a star. Shortly after his home is destroyed, Orb finds himself caught in an alternate dimension called the Puzzleverse. Here, he quickly learns of Ophicius, the evil behind his home world devastation, who is based in the center of this new dimension. Reaching him will be no easy task as he is surrounded by puzzles and wormhole challenges - which increase in difficulty the closer Orb gets to his goal. Orb will need to discover the 12 fragments of the galaxy, hidden away throughout the constellations of the Puzzleverse. Only then, will he hold the power to face and defeat Ophicius.'
This sounds really creative! Where did the idea come from?
'A few of the game mechanics spawn from my love of the two games Sokoban and Chips Challenge. Although the games may appear remarkably different, they share a few similarities, for example, you are able to push blocks around and onto pressure panels (such as in Sokoban) or take one way conveyors into a puzzle area (such as in Chips Challenge).
Orb himself is essentially a flare from a black hole - The inspiration of this particular "event" can actually be traced to an article in which I read where scientists see something shooting out of a black hole for the first time:(http://www.zmescience.com/science/black-hole-corona-ejection-09112015/)
This is not my first attempt at writing this particular title: Back in high school I wrote a very similar game - unfortunately due to my lack of experience back then, the game was left for dead. It had a brief resurrection two years ago in the form of 3D, however this attempt did not last long as I felt that I was not capturing the style that I initially wanted for the game. Enter O-R-B. This is third attempt at re-writing the title - and I can possibly and hopefully say that it will be the best attempt!'
O-R-B - What’s in the name?
'Initially when I began writing the game, I had it in my mind that Orb was actually some sort of bot that a player controlled. The goal back then was to find and collect all the coloured orbs in the level, in a limited amount of time and moves. Thus the game was actually named ‘Orb Retrieval Bot’ or (ORB) for short.
My love and fascination for space was difficult to ignore, which then led to the theme of the game. As i began exploring this idea and integrating more of it into the game, Orb had transcended into a Orb of light.'
Who might like the game and why?
'Orb is essentially a puzzle game, anyone who loves to solve complex puzzles should enjoy this. My aim with the progression of the title is to try and appeal to the casual puzzler as well as the serious puzzler, therefore it will have secret areas and more advanced puzzles which are not required to be found or completed for you to finish the game. The game will also appeal to those who like to challenge their reflexes as there also are side scrolling wormhole challenges interspersed between each constellation.'
As a game music composer, I'm always interested in people's views of music in games. What are your thoughts on the importance of music in a game?
'The music in a game is of paramount importance - it can either make or break a title very quickly. Much like being trapped in an otherworldly dimension, being an indie dev can at times be a very lonely and daunting experience. I wanted to capture both this feeling, as well as a certain eeriness and atmosphere one might expect to find when making their way through a dimension full of puzzles. This is of course contrasted by the fast paced upbeat music one might expect to find in a high action scene.'
What's your favourite game music soundtrack?
'Favorite game music to date? Ori and the Blind Forest followed by Braid.'
Great! So what's your development Road map looking like, and where can we find out more?
'Currently Orb is being developed in whatever free time I have available. I am hoping to launch a Greenlight Campaign closer to the end of the year or early next year. An alpha version of the game will be available before the end of the year.'
For more information on the game visit www.orbgame.net
From the author Ninichi: If you enjoyed this interview article and would like some custom music for your game, film or media project - I would love to help. Contact me now to explore how we might work together. Also find out more about me (Ninichi) and listen to my game music.
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