Indie games are a messy celebration of creativity and imagination, a lack of resources, and often a not always nailed down schedule.
We don't know the exact mixture that's powering The Other Brothers.
But we do know that the pixel-art style (sort of an urban version of Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery) and the Mario-esque set up - two plumber brothers out to save a damsel in distress - has us excited.
There's also something of legal spat (of which more later), that's gained the game additional column inches.
Anyhow, to find out more about that game that's coming to iOS and Android, we contacted the four man team behind the game: US-based artists Thomas Pasieka and Bjorn Hurri, and UK coding outfit Simian Squared (aka Robert Cummings and Giuseppe Landolina).
Pocket Gamer: What was the inspiration for the game?
Bjorn Hurri: I have always loved playing games and I am still playing games. All the retro classics are gold. Thomas and I wanted to do something quite personal - my day job involves working with triple-A games for large companies that often take years to complete. We wanted to do something more personal in a way that could pay homage to the games we loved growing up and have a great time doing so.
Giuseppe Landolina: The game pulls from a long line of classic games. It's something that the whole team are passionate about. Visually it calls some inspiration from classic LucasArts games such as Day of The Tentacle - the quirky and beautiful art style in those games really resonate with us. But I think that Bjorn's art style really takes advantage of the new things that time has brought to the table. The game has nods to many titles but it takes a very fresh look at platforming.
Thomas Pasieka: Of course, with it being a platformer there are some parallels with the Mario series. They were amazing playability-wise and we definitely hope that The Other Brothers matches up in that respect but it goes much further. We are very fond of many games from that era, such as Great Giana Sisters, as well as games from other genres like Zelda and Street Fighter. We also played a great number of pre-console games from the C64 era.
How did the development start and what was the reason for the formation of Tobgame?
TP: Tobgame is actually just the web address name for the game. To clarify: the IP belongs to myself and Bjorn Hurri, and is being developed with Simian Squared.
Me and Bjorn have been friends for many years and have always wanted to do a game together. Simian Squared are a UK-based team of brothers who are on a similar wavelength to us. We all got together because of a shared passion for The Other Brothers, a determination to make something great, and the fact that we all get along well together!
How did this issue with dotBunny come about?
Thomas Pasieka: After me and Bjorn designed the game, we looked for a programmer and Matthew Davey (dotBunny) was trialled for that role but his work failed to meet our expectations and so we chose another developer (Simian Squared).
What stage is The Other Brothers currently at, and why do you think it will appeal to mobile gamers?
TP: The game is in alpha stage but we're making rapid progress and are eager to share the progress as it happens.
I think visually and gameplay-wise The Other Brothers is unique and different in many aspects. We want to communicate fun first and foremost and that is not all that easy these days with development time but Simian Squared has been a great help. They have a mantra of empowering artists. They allow me and Bjorn to really go wild with artistic vision without the worry of dealing with the technical side of things. They handle all of that.
BH: Indeed. We are now testing out mechanics and Simian Squared have build a solid code base to add features to. We are working together to start implementing those features. For example we are currently working on our cutscene system which will infuse the game with a quirky, comedic and cinematic element.
I think The Other Brothers will let players enjoy a tribute to the old kings of past gaming glory - something that everybody can enjoy whether they're young or old. It will be a bit like The Simpsons in that it is entertaining to kids but adults find value in the nods and winks to games gone by.
Robert Cummings: I'd love to reply to this question, but I'm too busy programming retro awesomeness for you.
Why are you choosing an episodic approach in terms of building the brand?
GL: We went with episodic because we think people want ongoing entertainment, not just a 'flash in the pan'.
We're planning so much awesome for you guys out there that you'll love the episodic format even more.
Will you work together on other titles, or is this collaboration just a vehicle for The Other Brothers?
TP: We have a great dynamic with Simian Squared so we are definitely thinking about future projects!
RC: We are a fantastic fit as developers, so more titles are most likely planned for the future!
Thanks to Thomas, Bjorn, Giuseppe and Robert for their time.
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