I recently had the pleasure of talking to the lads from Grande Games, the German studio behind the barmy Commander Cherry’s Puzzled Journey for PS4 and Xbox One. It was a long, long interview, but very informative and extremely funny. If you missed the first part of the interview, we highly recommend you clickity click here and be prepared for a chuckle.
During this part of the interview we discuss the highs and lows of using Unity, the PS4 camera and Xbox One’s Kinect. It’s a good little read, so sit yourself back, grab a cup of tea (or beer if you’re German) and enjoy.
The last part of the interview was left with Georg and Andre talking about how hard the guys have worked to get the game up, running and out into the wild. You can read our review here.
Andre: We use Unity, so it’s much easier to work. Actually, the very first prototype was done with C++, which you can find on the internet, and it was made directly on the PlayStation 4. Then we switched to Unity without knowing that we can use our old code. It was quite a guerilla tactic, but yeah, it paid off.
TGC: Is it good to use Unity? I’ve heard good things about the engine and that it’s the way forward for mobile game development as well as console and that it’s especially useful for smaller development teams like yourselves.
George: Of course, yes it is. It’s easy to use and everything has been thought through.
TGC: So an idiot like me could make a game using Unity?
Andre: Ha, yes! That’s the benefit of the engine. Anybody can do it because it really is simple.
TGC: Well, challenge on! I’ll probably get my name on the screen then call it a day. I’d be pleased with that.
Andre: Yeah, why not? Ha!
George: That’s the great thing about Unity. It’s really easy to start with but it also offers enough complexity to do everything you want to do with it.
Andre: Yeah, it’s like and F scale in that you can just keep going deeper and deeper and deeper. That’s very cool.
George: For example: you can write your own native backend for performance –
Andre: Yes, you can optimise that much, but when you don’t make games that are that demanding on resources, then you are good with Unity. So yeah, it’s great.
TGC: Cool stuff. Was it easier to use on one platform than another, or is it pretty uniform to get things running on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4?
Andre: Sure, they do both have special requirements for each platform, but the core game is the same so –
George: It’s not like you just make a game and then click on the button to make it an Xbox One game, then click on another button to make it a PS4 game.
TGC: That’d be far too easy…
Andre: Yeah… The main difference was the cameras. The Xbox Kinect camera and the PlayStation camera are obviously different technology and they’re different. George had to write a different algorithm for the PlayStation camera. Are we actually allowed to talk about this?
George: Ha! I don’t know!
TGC: Whoa, if you can’t talk about it then just don’t! I don’t want you guys getting in trouble!
Andre: Well, we can say that they are different, so much different on a technical level, so much so that we had to make a whole new algorithm for the PS4 camera to run the game. Do you see the red dots on our heads now?
TGC: Duck! Duck! Duck!
Thankfully, the Microsoft and Sony assassins decided against taking the lives of George and Andre.
TGC: So the game is out soon. I’m guessing you’re quite excited, especially as you’ll be getting a lot more beer money coming in from sales of the game. [The game is actually out now!]
George takes a sip of his beer and smiles knowingly.
George: Hopefully, yes.
Andre: It’s difficult. We don’t know because camera games get a lot of hate. I think many more people would like camera games if they were more accurate.
TGC: True that. I used to play the PlayStation Move and Sports Champions a lot as well as the Kinect Sports and Fruit Ninja and always thought that they could have been better. When people hear that a new game is coming out and that it uses the camera, a lot of people are like “so what?” What do you reckon can be done to sway the gaming public to being more receptive to camera games? Do you have any future plans to go further with camera games?
Andre: We are quite satisfied with making camera games now and we have a new idea for a new concept, but for now we’re making prototypes without the camera. The camera was such a core concept in what we did and we learned how to make a game with the camera as the focus. But now we’re learning to make games without a camera and we’re teaching ourselves everything as we go along. We’ve read lots of books on game design and that sort of stuff and it’s been a challenge but it was a pleasant challenge and we really put everything into Commander Cherry. We’ve been developing the game for around two years now, and I’m not sure of any camera game that has had as much development time, but we’ve really put it all into it to make it as interesting and fun as possible.
Georg takes another sip of beer
Andre: It’s a camera game, but you don’t really think of it as a camera game when you are playing it. That’s exactly the sort of game we wanted to make.
George: You don’t have to learn a different range of motions, you just move like you see yourself-
Andre: Yes, you see yourself in the game and that’s what makes it a bit more fun. We had a lot of playtesting especially with people who aren’t really into video games so that we could see what the strengths and weakness’ of the game were so we could go back and redesign what needed to be changed. We really learned a lot from it and people who tried it were very happy with the game. It’s something different, it’s fresh, it’s fun and it’s quite a new experience. We are both gamers since we were young –
George: I should say that even after all this time that we have spent developing the game, we still play it and we still like it and still play it everyday.
Andre: Yeah, it’s still so much fun.
TGC: Did you show it to family and friends and get them to test it out?
George: Yes, of course.
TGC: Did any of them ask about using their willy’s in the game?
The Deutsch-duo break into another round of laughter.
Andre: We are close to our family members, but not that close. But who knows what they would do if they were alone with the game…
Have you tried out Commander Cherry’s Puzzled Journey on PS4 and Xbox One? What did you think of it? Let us know down below and remember to check back in soon for the next part of this lengthy interview. Seriously, it’s like over an hour’s worth of talking that needs to be transcribed.