Let’s Talk: Baylor Shahan, Lead Developer of GoodNameHere_
I had the chance to play the demo and from the beginning, there’s this emotional darkness looming which eventually becomes the overlying theme. What was the original inspiration going into the initial development?
As far as my inspiration for Tumbling Apart, it would have to be To The Moon. I’m 30 now and I’ve been a gamer all my life. Over time, the desire to produce something rather than consume took hold within me. Problem was, I’m self taught, and could never find a launching point. Then one day I hear on some forum about this super underrated game developed by Kan Gao and I pick it up because it’s only like five bucks. And then I’m blown away. There’s this beautiful game with this incredible story that’s just screaming to be heard, and it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played. And get this… it’s done on an insanely simple game engine. To the Moon had a story to tell, and the game engine was irrelevant. I decided that day I would try my damnedest to do the same thing as Kan.
I’m self taught, and that means things can be a little tough to learn because there isn’t a lot of direction. It’s all trial and error, and thank God for Google and Youtube. I’d say the best thing about developing Tumbling Apart is learning just how difficult it can be to program anything- even something as simple as RPGmaker. It’s provided a lesson. And that lesson is there is a lot to learn.
That supernatural entity you encounter at the end of the demo is as much a mystery to Isaac as it is the player. It ends up playing a tremendous role in Isaac’s journey, but the goal is for the player to be able to connect to Isaac on an emotional level. Part of making that connection is getting the player to feel like they almost could be Isaac, living out what he is during the game, if things had turned out differently. So you go on a journey of discovery alongside Isaac, and the shocking revelations he upturns along the way are just as big a surprise to you. Trust me, you’ll learn far more about the “entity” when Tumbling Apart is released.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve taken away from this foray into the independent gaming scene is the need to self promote. You’re not even going to get off the ground unless you hit the pavement every day. So yes- definitely, there will be more before release. We launched the green-light campaign way earlier than what was ideal, but with Valve undoing the service, our hands were tied. Hopefully there will be new artwork and animations once we find an artist, and we’ll provide a few glimpses into the powerful, emotion-bearing music composed by Philip Aldous, who recently joined the team. It’s great piano based stuff that can really get to you.
Our trailer is very weak right now- it was just a placeholder but had to be used in lieu of the Green-light fiasco. Be expecting a new one that more accurately conveys the mood we want to project in the coming weeks.