Heya, folks! Lumpz the Clown here, and I have recently had the chance to talk to David Jimenez and Alejandro Santiago, the powerhouse duo behind 2Awesome Studios! These guys have been hard at work on a new concept in the adrenaline-shredding genre of bullet-hell shmups, a game called Dimension Drive!
Have you ever wondered what someone would do with that extra room on-screen for your favorite vertical shmup? Well, these guys have decided to do something about it and have decided to make the action larger than life by adding another screen! That’s right, the action is doubled, and you not only have to worry about your current playable screen, but also where you will respawn if you happen to jump to the other screen to evade bullet hell!
Check out my LP below and get clued in!
Before shooting this LP, I crafted up some questions for the developers, who were gracious enough with their time to answer them! Here are their answers!
At 2Awesome Studio we want to develop games that bring new concepts and new mechanics to the table. Even new genres if possible. But above all we want to find that sweet spot where a game is just pure fun! You can see this with our first game, Dimension Drive. As you know it’s not your average shoot’em up, we’ve introduced quite some new mechanics that breathe new life into this genre while trying to maximize the fun.
What video game genres are your favorite?
We play all kind of games and more than a favorite genre we look for quality and fun. We play FPS, RTS, RPGs, platformers… The important thing is they have to be fun. Some of my favorite games are Zelda: A Link to the Last, Mega Man X, R-Type and Super Castlevania IV. A list of favorite’s for Alejandro would be Italy 90, X-COM, the first Resident Evil, StarCraft I & II, Dune, Command and Conquer, Pro Evolution Soccer, and Gears of War franchise. We both love Halo and Mass Effect.
What inspired you to create video games?
Well, we are 2 guys in the studio at the moment and our stories have differences and similarities. In my case, I’ve played videogames since I was a child. I remember playing first in friend’s houses in their cassette based Spectrum and wanting more since that moment. I’m a hard-core gamer, out of that passion for games I decided to try making games as a hobby. I wanted to make games that I would be happy to play myself. Have you ever played a game and wondered: I would love that this game had such and such feature? Those kinds of questions drove me to game development.Alejandro’s story: around 1993 I’ve got my first PC, an old Intel 286 with MS-DOS 5.0. The OS itself came with a couple of games developed in Q-Basic as a codebase example for those willing to learn basic. I took those games and the OS manual with some help about Basic and started learning how to program and developing my own games. Back in that winter, when I was 13 years old was when I decided that some day I would love to do that for a living. Here I am today, many games played after, trying to make that childhood dream become true.
Whose idea was it to utilize a dual screen concept for a vertical shmup?
It was a brainstorming. Alejandro and I were one evening at my apartment talking about what could be our first game. We settled first for a shoot’em up. I had been playing a lot of Geometry Wars at that point and nostalgia kicked in strongly. Games like Gradius, R-Type, Raiden, Tyrian started to pop in the conversation. So, we decided to do a vertical shoot ’em up. But then looking at the 16:9 TV something was really wrong. All that empty space on the sides of the screen was a waste of gameplay area. We started toying with the idea of playing 2 shoot ’em ups at the same time (one on each side of the screen). After some iterations and prototypes of the concept we ended up with the switching mechanic that we have finally implemented in Dimension Drive.
Are you both (David Jimenez and Alejandro Santiago) fans of shoot-em-up space games? If so, which ones did you start with?
We are suckers of space and science fiction. We work during the day at the European Space Agency (ESA), that already tells you something. More than shoot ’em ups we are fans of space games (Halo, Mass Effect, StarCraft). I (David) played a lot of shoot ’em ups back in the day (Space Invaders, Raptor, Gradius, Tyrian, Parodious, Raiden…) but the more recent bullet hell approach is too much for me most of the time. That’s also the reason why Dimension Drive is not a niche bullet hell game meant only for “professionals” of the genre. We want to make a shoot ’em up where everybody can have fun playing it, as it was the case when the arcades were in vogue. Alejandro never was a big fan back in the day of this genre, but now he is becoming a master on shoot ’em ups, even playing Dimension Drive better than myself.
What are your plans for the future of Dimension Drive and 2Awesome Studio?
Well, we would have liked to finish Dimension Drive within 2014. But after attending some events and showing the game to the public we have decided to make the game bigger and finish it next year. We got really nice feedback and there are some new mechanics that we want to introduce. We can’t tell you much without spoiling it. But let’s say that if you thought the dual screen concept was fun you’re in for a treat. Everything we are planning goes in the direction of further exploiting the dual screen concept. 2Awesome Studio was funded this year (we are not even one year old as a company) and we do this in our free time besides our main jobs at ESA. Once we release Dimension Drive we’ll start working on our next game. And who knows maybe we can hire some people in the future, have a real office and work as full-time game developers.
Is there anything we, as gamers, can do to help you guys realize your dreams? Any planned Kickstarter projects, donation pages?
Buy Dimension Drive when it releases next year! Kidding aside we value a lot the feedback people give us, so play our beta and tell us what you think. It helps us a lot to see what people like and what not. This allows us to focus the development of the game in one direction or another. Besides this, as I mentioned before we have decided to make Dimension Drive bigger than originally intended. So far we have been paying all the development from our own savings but we’ll need help to accomplish fully our vision. We are planning to go to Kickstarter sometime early in 2015, all the help we can get there will go towards making the best game we can!
Where can people find you if they want to remain updated on 2Awesome Studio’s status?
You can always go to the game website (www.dimensiondrive.com) if you want to play the latest free beta. It’s also available at IndieDB. Besides that, we have the studio website (www.2awesomestudio.com) where we publish updates regularly (every 2/3 weeks). And of course the fastest and more direct way to stay in contact with us is to follow us on Twitter (@2AwesomeStudio). We are really active on Twitter and most of the feedback we get goes through there.