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Road To The IGF: Cryptic Sea's Blob Returns With Gish 2

Continuing Gamasutra’s ‘Road to the IGF’ feature, we talk to Cryptic Sea's Edmund McMillen and Alex Austin about about their IGF 2008 entry Gish 2, a sequel to the 2005 grand prize winne
Continuing Gamasutra’s ‘Road to the IGF’ feature, we talk to Cryptic Sea's Edmund McMillen and Alex Austin about about their Independent Games Festival 2008 entry Gish 2, the sequel to the 2005 grand prize winner that sees the physics-based blob adventuring to the Isle of the Dead to lobby for the return of his murdered girlfriend. How long have you been interested in making games, and what have you worked on over the years? McMillen: I've always been interested in designing video games, but I never really did anything about it until about 5 years ago. I've worked on a handful of video games over the years -- I'm most known for Gish and Blast Miner, but I'm also known for my Flash games (Triachnid, Host, Peashy, etc). Austin: I've been interested in making games since I was young. I've worked on Gish, Pontifex, Blast Miner, Ramjets and Golf?. What motivated you to make a sequel to the original Gish? EM: I wanted to make a sequel to Gish right when we finished the first one. Alex was still adding new things to play with in Gish just days before its release that we never even got to implement. I knew right away that there were so many aspects of Gish we could explore and design around that a sequel was inevitable. It's also been quite a few years, and Alex and I have grown a lot in those years. I think it will be pretty interesting to see what we come up with this time. But the obvious answer would be that the success of Gish is what motivated us to make a sequel. AA: I was motivated by the potential for fame and fortune. Where did you draw inspiration from in its design and implementation? EM: Gish 1 and Zelda 1. What sort of development tools have you been using on the project? I still use Flash to draw and animate and Photoshop to edit, but this time I'll doing more hand drawn textures, so it will be more Flash and less Photoshop this time around. AA: I use Visual C 6 and a text editor. How have you differentiated Gish 2 from its predecessor? AA: We have a lot of ideas we are working on to make Gish 2 more interesting than its predecessor, however we haven't implemented much yet. Some of the general ideas we have are to have more variety in the types of creatures and to have a dynamic story that's interesting. Also, mind-blowing graphics. How long has development taken so far, and what has the process been like? AA: We've been working on Gish 2 for a couple months; progress has been pretty good so far. If you had to rewind to the start of the project, is there anything that you'd do differently? EM: This is the start of the project! AA: ...I would think of a better answer to this question. What are your thoughts on the state of independent game development - which recent indie titles impress you, and why? EM: Things are looking a bit better now than in the past for indies and the state of the indie scene, but I still think we have a ways to go in terms of thinking outside the box, and not just basing our ideas off of nostalgic memories of past games. Braid is an impressive game; I've been impressed by what I've seen of World of Goo as well. AA: The state of independent game development is good -- the potential for people to make games without a whole lot of money is there. It would be nice to have more avenues for distribution than there currently are, though. I'm impressed with Introversion's games; they've managed to make more than one successful indie game, which is not easy to do. Braid is also impressive; I'm looking forward to seeing that released. You have 30 seconds left to live and you must tell the game business something very important. What is it? EM: Tell my wife I love her.

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