Flavor of the Week: Zack Jordan; Killbot!

Flavor of the Week: Zack Jordan; Killbot!

The internet has always been a good source of indie gaming whether it’s titles created and distributed through Flash portals or by the modding community of various games. So, it’s always a pleasure to stumble upon a game that’s just as fun to play as it is unique. You can imagine the joy we at Smooth Town had when we managed an interview with creator, designer, composer, etc. (he wears a lot of hats) of Killbot!, Zack Jordan!

Smooth Town: You mentioned in a post on Reddit you had made (which is where I caught wind of your game) that it took some work getting up at 4:00 a.m. for a year to get this title in development and then ready to be released. That’s a ridiculous schedule to commit to but I’m sure a lot of people are thankful for your sacrifices! How was it like going through that? Were you that determined to get this game out to the masses?

Zack Jordan: It wasn’t so much the game that was important; it was just being able to make something. I always have to be making something. And when most of your day is already spoken for, you just have to make more day. The advantage to doing it in the morning is that you’re nice and fresh and you can “caffeinate” without turning into a husk of former humanity.

ST: Are you looking to build Killbot! into a future franchise? That might sound fancy at first, but what I mean is if you’re going to port it to the iOS or Android platforms or even continue to make sequels.

Jordan: I don’t have plans to port it to anything. Wii controls would have been perfect but WiiWare is pretty much dead now. Sequels, on the other hand… sure! I learned a lot from watching people’s responses to the first one, so I definitely think I could improve the game for a second outing.

ST: What were your inspirations in coming up with Killbot!, if any?

Jordan: World of Goo, Mega Man X, and an obsession with robots. Probably a lot of other influences here and there, but those were the big ones. World of Goo might be the more obvious one; I had my own “Sign Painter,” after all.

ST: The music definitely adds a captivating atmosphere through a person’s play-through of the game. What were your intentions on putting your music into the game? Were you hoping players would get a certain feeling out of it?

Jordan: Well sure, that’s the goal of any soundtrack. And this one kinda matches in a weird way; it’s got a dark humor to it. But it was also an experiment to see if I could find a new way to make money from a game. Most games are sold or sell content, but I wondered if a game could sell music. So, Killbot was my first experiment.

ST: You also mentioned on Reddit that you were working on the music and game simultaneously. “In parallel”, as you put it. Did that ever get too stressing? Did you favor one’s development over the other?

Jordan: It probably reduced stress. Any time I was tired of working on one I could always switch. I’d usually spend a few days on each one in turn. It also gave me the benefit of perspective. When you first put together a track, for example, you’re thinking “Holy crap this is the best thing that I have ever made!” Come back to it in a week and you will be thinking more realistically about it. The same goes for game-play or level design.

ST: Any remaining movies you’re looking forward to seeing this Summer?

Jordan: Total Recall, The Bourne Legacy, Dredd, Solomon Kane… but I would skip them all if I could somehow time warp to the Winter to see The Hobbit. Man, I love me some Tolkien.

ST: Would you ever get up at 4 a.m. for a year to develop another game?

Jordan: Funny you should ask… I’m doing that right now! It’s actually not a Killbot sequel, but an entirely different kind of game. Although yes, before you ask: there are robots. I’ve brought three other people on board for it too, including a killer Magic the Gathering artist and a guy who’s designed the soundscapes of some major console games. So, I’d say it’ll probably be a step up from Killbot.

Be sure to try out Killbot! and purchase some of the in-game tracks while you’re at it. To get your feedback heard about Killbot!, do check out the official Facebook page!

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