Eightbitmonster interviews Wanderlust Lead Designer!
Hey guys! Its been a while since I’ve posted a developer interview, so I thought about asking Matt from Yeti Trunk (the guys behind wanderlust!) to answer a few questions.
He was awesome enough to reply within a few hours, so I’m passing that good fortune on to you! Enjoy.
1. How long was Wanderlust in development?
About 5.5 years now. Official start date is December 24th, 2006.
2. How did the indiefort bundle and steam help your sales, thus far?
Immeasurably. Exposure is everything for an indie developer (and by ‘indie’ I mean ‘no budget’) because we have had nearly zero advertising. While we are not permitted to release sales numbers from either platform, being a part of GamersGate, Desura and Steamworks is all an indie developer can ask for. We hope to turn our relative success with these platforms into a launchpad for a career in Game Development whether it be with a larger corporation or our own future projects.
3. Are there any games you looked to while in development, for inspiration?
I was heavily inspired by Guardian Heroes, Gears of War 2, Halo 2, Diablo, Project Gotham Racing and Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Some of these influences may seem strange but they all played a role in how Wanderlust was designed from my end. For example, I loved PGR’s Kudos system in how it rewarded you after a race for doing spectacular feats or racing in an optimal way and this was an inspiration for our Awards system and how you level up your Character Skills. Halo 2 also gave you awards for headshots and other things, which also influenced me. Gears of War 2 for its “Horde Mode” and replay ability because of the skill required.
4. Who is your favorite developer right now?
Bioware. The only product of theirs I haven’t bought since Baldur’s Gate II was Dragon Age 2, I believe. They are a great inspiration for me. Interestingly, their multiplayer mode in Mass Effect 3 works much like Wanderlust in that you gain more experience for doing cool achievements (headshots, kills, biotic explosions, completing objectives, etc) and that the total experience earned by the team is given to all members of the team; exactly like Wanderlust!
5. Did Wanderlust change at all during the development process?
We did a remarkable job (for amateurs) at coming up with a design plan back in 2006 and sticking with it. I would say about 90-95% of what we came up with back then is how the game ended up playing out. Of course, I am speaking on only core mechanics of the game; since launch last year in June, we’ve made many balances and additions to improve the overall quality of the Wanderlust experience.
6. What game are you most looking forward to in the next year?
Halo 4, Borderlands 2… I hadn’t really thought about this very much lately since I have been so busy working on Wanderlust! I still haven’t even completed any of the main quests in Skyrim!
7. Have you ever listened to our podcast?
No I haven’t, but I will definitely give it a listen if/when you guys discuss how you feel about Wanderlust! Lately I haven’t had a whole lot of spare time to do things outside of my personal responsibilities and our game. Even my Xbox 360 is feeling lonely right now.
8. Explain your partnership with Chucklefish.
This is a lengthy story so I will attempt to summarize: Finn “Tiy” Brice found our game while he was still with Re-Logic (of Terraria) when we were featured in the “Top 100 Released Indie Games 2011” at Indiedb.com last December. He played it, loved it, and let us know that he’d like to help us market our game in the future. Since then we had kept in touch with him on and off. Later, after we were offered a publishing deal from another company following the Indiefort Bundle at GamersGate.com, Chucklefish then offered us an opportunity to publish Wanderlust: Rebirth on Steam and, through this publishing agreement, we could provide his team’s fanbase a means to monetarily support his company.
With that said, I do not wish to sidestep the immense amount of fortune we have had, and that we are eternally grateful to all those who have supported us along the way: Desura, Gamers Gate, Tiy, all the people who’ve made contributions to our game over the years, and most importantly our long-time fans! We salute you guys!
I just want to thank Matt for answering the questions! This was one of my favorite interviews thus far. If you haven’t yet, check out Wanderlust: Rebirth steam so you can get your copy and our community at [Eightbitmonster]
article by: CmdrShphrd
Image by: CmdrShphrd