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Can: Could you please tell us a bit about radiangames?
Luke: Radiangames was founded in 2010 to focus on creating a series of small, fun games on a downloadable platform. XBLIG was chosen because of the relative ease of development and reduced overhead required to sell the games, and I also just really enjoy making console games.
Can: Why did you start developing games for the Xbox360?
Luke: XBLIG is the only way to make console games with no concept approval required. I get to make the games I want for a console, which is something I don’t think should be taken for granted.
Can: How long does it usually take for you to finish development of a game?
Luke: It takes at least 4 weeks, with some games more like 6 weeks. Even Fireball, which came out 3 weeks after Fluid, took 4 weeks to actually make. I had worked on it for a bit before Fluid came out.
Can: With JoyJoy, Crossfire, Inferno, Fluid and Fireball you have already released 5 games on the IndieChannel, which one is your favourite?
Luke: It’s a toss-up between Inferno and Fluid in terms of what I like to go back and play. I have to say though that Fireball is the game I’ve played the most after it was released. It’s definitely my wife’s favorite and it’s hard to get her to stop playing at times.
Can: When I think of randiangames the first thing that comes to mind are high polished twin stick shooters, now Fireball and Fluid had other gamplay mechanics. How did you get the idea for Fluid and Fireball? Will you keep expermenting with new gameplay mechanics?
Luke: Fluid was the one game I spent a bit of time prototyping. I was actually hoping for something less Pacman-like, but that’s what worked. For Fireball, I really enjoyed Pacifism mode from Geometry Wars 2, but it was starting to get old after 2 years. Fireball is just my own spin on it, with a bit more variety and some new mechanics introduced. I knew I’d have to do online scoreboards once I started on it, so I made the score an even bigger focus than my other games.
Can: Is there anything you can tell us about your upcoming projects?
Luke: Crossfire 2 and Inferno 2 are the next two projects, and they’re both coming out in December (beginning and Christmas Eve, respectively).
Crossfire 2 will have two main modes: Conquest and Score Attack. Score Attack is like MegaWave from Crossfire 1, and will have online scoreboards but no co-op play. Conquest is like Crossfire merged with a variation of Inferno’s upgrade mechanics. Crossfire 2 will also be part of the Indie Winter Uprising.
As for Inferno 2, it’ll be like Inferno, but with an even deeper upgrade system (that’s the only thing I know for sure right now).
Can: Fireball released recently yeah What are early responses to the game?
Luke: People who like the game are obsessed with it, and it seems like a lot of people like it. I have no idea how it’ll do compared to my previous games, mostly because the new dashboard is so different than before. I think there could also be less initial buzz because Fireball released so soon after Fluid.
Can: Supporting your games after launch, with several updates, seems to be very importent for you and is also good for the relation between developer and community.
How important is communtiy feedback for your updates?
Luke: I pay attention to what people say, but I also take time to think about what I want the games to be and what I could have done better. I wish I had more time to do updates, but 1 update is usually enough to fix any glaring issues.
Can:You habe been looking for a publisher quite a while now, what is the state of affairs?
Luke: I’m not actively looking, and I haven’t heard from the publisher I was talking to in a few weeks. I don’t feel a strong need to get a publisher given the direction I’m going, and the amount of time it takes to get one means it’s not something I even think about anymore. If the opportunity arises, I’ll listen, but I’m not going to jump at a deal because it makes everything more complicated, and I like to keep things simple.
Can: Since the dashboard update there are 50 indiegames in every list, do you think this is enough improvement or what were you hoping for?
Luke: Having 50 is an improvement for sure, and I no longer live in terror of dropping out of the Top Rated (which used to be 20), and I also like that the Top Downloads list reflects the most purchased games, since that should help games with high conversion rates.
I’m a little concerned by the apparent drop-off in traffic even after Indie Games was moved back to the Games & Demos section, but there are a couple issues that could be causing the current dip (child account issues, and Call of Duty). But patience is a good thing, and I’m too busy working on Crossfire 2 and Fireball’s update to really worry about it
Can: Thank you for doing this interview with us. Is there anything left you want to tell us?
Luke: XBLIG is something very special, and I’m hopeful that even more people will come to appreciate how cool it is that anyone can make a game for a console.