Relevant Gaming recently had a chat with Dave Gabriel, Quality Assurance Lead and Production Assistant from Futurlab, creators of the award-winning “Velocity2X”
AJ: Thanks for your time first off:
DG: No problem at all 🙂
AJ: Congrats on the award! Were you guys surprised? Did you already have space cleared on the “award shelf?”
DG: Thank you very much, it feels amazing to have a huge industry site like GameSpot choose Velocity 2X as their PS Vita game of the year. I didn’t expect it to win awards, but I certainly hoped it would. I knew we had a great design and we put a lot of work in to fine tuning the game play so I was confident in the final game. Velocity 2X was up against some amazing titles like Roll 7’s OlliOlli and Ubisoft’s Child of Light so there was no way I was going to clear a space on the award shelf haha!
Having said that, James totally did believe it would win awards, as he said so in August on PlayStation Blog
AJ: How did you get your start in gaming? Did you already have industry connections or did you just wing it?
DG: James taught himself how to make Flash games and over a period of about ten years learned a lot about game design doing that. Then, he pitched an idea to Sony in 2007, which you can read all about here.
AJ: A huge part of the charm of the Velocity series has been the music. Who does the composing?
DG: The ideas, influences and general direction are set by James. He puts together sketches in Logic Pro and sends them to Joris de Man to develop into the wonderful sounds you hear in the final versions.
You can hear James’ sketches to compare here.
AJ: What was the main inspiration for combining a platformer with a space shooter? Whose idea was it?
DG: Our design team is led by James and Kirsty. James is the ideas guy, and provides the conceptual starting points. He also manages the overall vision and creative direction, whilst Kirsty fills in the blanks, asks all the important questions James hasn’t thought about and takes care of the player experience and learning curve. It’s a very effective team.
Regarding the platforming, it was James’ solution for building on strong foundations to bring greater scope, appeal and excitement to a sequel without risk of spoiling the core mechanics. It’s also about keeping an audience entertained with surprises.
AJ: What’s the next big project? What’s Futurlab working on next? Velocity 3X? Or something else?
DG: We can’t say anything about what we’re doing next just yet, it’s very early days and there is lots of brain storming to be done before we present our next game to the world.
AJ: Lastly, what advice would you give to a young group of college kids who want to make a gaming company?
DG: Keep it simple. Find a single mechanic that is fun, and build the game around that. Communication can make-or-break you. Ensure the team takes some time every day to talk briefly about what they’re working on. It’s going to be really tough. Everything will take longer than you expect, but always review the game with your initial goals in mind? Towards the end of development you need to be confident enough in your product to shout about it. Never under estimate the passionate community around gaming, if you give them a reason they willll support you and will be one of your greatest assets.
Also, read this for more about game design.
Whoever has not yet experienced the awesomeness of the Velocity series, do yourself a great service
and check it out now on PSN!