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Posted by drew10 on Oct 7, 2011
An interview with Twisted Pixel’s Jay Stuckwisch

An interview with Twisted Pixel’s Jay Stuckwisch

All of you who read Game4Anything on a regular basis (We know who you are. Yes you there, behind the curtain!) will know that we are big fans of developers Twisted Pixel. The insane genii that have brought us the delights of The Maw, ‘Splosion Man, his other ‘alf Ms ‘Splosion Man, Comic Jumper and Gunstringer.

Whilst out walking in the hills somewhere in the US Drew fell down a hole and discovered their secret lair! Whilst being ‘escorted’ out, he took the opportunity to quiz Marketing Director & 2D artist Jay Stuckwisch about what it is really like inside Twisted Pixel.

 

G4A: Firstly let us commend Twisted Pixel on the consistently high quality of your releases. How has your company changed over the last few years?

 Jay: Thank you!  It’s been a crazy few years, but very good ones.  We started out as a handful of people and are now up to 25 in-house staff.  We have also gone from 1 game a year to working on 2 games a year which is very exciting.  Only means more fun stuff to come!

Jay: Like all at TP very nice but slightly unhinged!

G4a: Your commitment has generally been to online titles although your latest release, Gunstringer has seen you move into the full retail market. Does this spell the end of your development for XBLA?

 Jay: Not at all.  Gunstringer was a great opportunity to take the game further than originally planned and we were excited to go the retail route with it.  The company was started  with the intent of working in the downloadable realm, and we will continue there for sure.  That’s not to say we will never do retail again either.  It will come down to the size and scope of the game and where we feel the best fit would be.

 

G4A: Gunstringer also saw your first development for Kinect. What do you think of Kinect and is it something you will be looking to develop more for in the future?

 Jay: Kinect is a very cool addition to the 360 universe.  It was fun to work with and try new things that we have never explored before.  For us it really comes down to if the game fits for that technology rather than trying to force fit something to it.  If we come up with an awesome game that feels like “yeah, we HAVE to use Kinect for this” then we will.

 

Comic Jumper

G4A: Comic Jumper was one of our favourite games of 2010 coming in third in our game of the year awards. The release of the brilliant Ms. ‘Splosion man has our raised our hopes for a sequel, any hints?

 Jay: Thank you, again!  We would love to add on to the Comic Jumper world.  It definitely lends itself to new content, be it in a sequel or even DLC.  However, we really like to focus on new IP to expand our universe of characters so we are working hard on that now.  You never know what may happen down the line though 😉

 

G4A: What we love about Twisted Pixel is the use of comedy in all of your games. So many companies get comedy wrong in games yet your titles are genuinely funny. Is this something that you work specifically on and do you have dedicated comedy writers?

 Jay: We do have a couple guys that help in writing our games, but a lot of the humor comes from us internally.  Everyone here has a really “warped” sense of humor and if we find something  funny to add then it ends up in a game.  In fact ‘Splosion Man kind of came from a running gag.  For some reason there are people out there that gravitate towards our humor too.  Not sure what is wrong with those people.

 

G4A: With the entire team at Twisted Pixel seemingly being insane, is this something that happened by chance or is it a specific job requirement?

Jay: Absolutely!  When someone comes to interview, we are sure to administer “the test” to see if they are willing and able to becomepart of this team.  It’s not a skill that one can learn, it must be ingrained within the individual.

 

Splosion Man

 

G4A: Where would you sight as the main influences behind your games?

 Jay: We all really have a special place in our hearts for the classics.  It’s those early consoles that made us want to get into the gaming industry.  Games then were simple in design, yet pleasing and challenging and we try to bring that aesthetic into the games we make.

 

G4A: So far you have developed exclusively for XBLA. Are there any plans to bring your games to the poor folks that own PS3’s who are missing out?

 Jay: Unfortunately at this time, no, we will not be porting or developing for other consoles.  The poor PS3 folks are going to have to steal their friend’s Xboxes to play our gamey goodness.

 

G4A: Are you excited about the next generation of consoles and what features would you as a developer like to see implemented?

 Jay: Very excited!  We are hoping to see holo-decks implemented in the new systems.  Let’s stop pussyfooting around and jump right into the future of gaming.  We all know it’s headed that way!

 

Gunstringer

G4A: What now for Twisted Pixel, where do you envision the company being in five years’ time?

Jay: I wouldn’t get too excited to see what we come up with for games, because in five years’ time we will most likely all be in prison…..or hell.

 

G4A: We can’t wait to see what you come up with next. Can you give us a little hint as to what you are working on right now?

 Jay: I can’t reveal too much, but it will be very awesome and unlike anything we have done before, so keep your eyes peeled!

 

G4A: Well Jay, thank you for your time but before we go, tell us a secret about Twisted Pixel that you have not told anyone else.

Jay: One of our deep dark secrets is that no one here at Twisted Pixel has or can actually grow a beard.  They are all fake ones from a local costume shop.

 

So there you have it, an insight into the minds of the people at Twisted Pixel. Drew would have told you where their secret lair is however they flashed something into his eyes and now he thinks he is an evil leprechaun. Whilst we try to convince him he isn’t, we look forward to what Twisted Pixel will be bringing us next.

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