It’s not often we have a husband and wife interview here on Arcade Attack! I’m pleased to say that Adrian caught up with Anna and Nic Makin to quiz them on their new retro-inspired beat-em-up Raging Justice – which, as you can see from the screenshots, looks a bit special. The launch date for Xbox One will be announced soon and you will be able to purchase the game through the online store.
Nic is also a Rare and Codemasters supremo which made this even more of a delight. First up in the black chair – Anna.
Anna – Makin Games
Question 1 – How did MakinGames first start?
I ended up falling into the games industry last year. I had been following the progress of Nic’s hobby project Raging Justice and noticed it was close to being finished. When I asked how it was going to be launched he had no idea. That’s when I thought I would spend a few hours each week getting the business plan together, and creating a company to launch Raging Justice. It’s been a steep learning curve but I’ve enjoyed it so much working on the business soon took over every waking moment! The name was a no-brainer. With a surname like Makin it just had to be done!
Question 2 – You are just completing Raging Justice – a 2D side scrolling beat-em up – How did the initial idea for game come about?
We have all been friends for years. We used to have a cheesy video night when everyone would pile round to our house to watch Segal and Van Damme films. It was one of those nights when we got chatting about the old-school beat-em-ups and how nothing like them had been released recently. We all had our favourites but we agreed on one thing – it was time they were back! The guys decided they would have a go themselves and Raging Justice was born.
Question 3 – What can we expect to see in Raging Justice?
Everything you loved in the old-school brawlers but bigger, faster and better! (we like the sound of this! – Ed)
Question 4 – In Raging Justice you have the option to play as either a good cop or a bad cop – what exactly does this entail?
You can either play the game as you would traditionally, by KO-ing the criminals; or you can take up the challenge of arresting them. The choice you make affects how the game plays and unlocks a different ending.
Question 5 – Raging Justice boasts that you can defeat enemies with anything you can get your hands on. What is the most random/fun item you can use at your disposal?
The most fun has to be a tractor. We are developing this game from a village in the middle of nowhere so a tractor had to be in there! The most random has to be to kick a rat at them – it’s not the most animal-friendly weapon but we couldn’t help but use it :0)
Question 6 – What platforms will Raging Justice be available on?
We are hoping it will eventually be available on everything after launching on Xbox One.
Question 7 – What are your views on the video game industry of today?
I was nervous about entering the industry because I had no previous experience and I’d heard of the negativity surrounding GamerGate but I’ve found the Indie developer community so welcoming and supportive.
It’s fantastic that the industry has matured to the point where both large AAA studios and one-person Indie developers can make games for the mass market. Yes there is still inequality in the industry but it is making more effort to redress the balance than previous industries I have worked in.
Question 8 – Which video game character would you most like to share a few pints with?
You mention pints and I immediately think of Conker (Conker’s Bad Fur Day). He tends to have a few too many though and ends up in sticky situations, so I’d probably plump for Sam and Max. I know that’s more than one character but you can’t separate them!
And next up – Nic.
Nic – Rare / Raging Justice
Question 1 – How did you get into the video game industry?
From an early age I knew making videogames was what I wanted to do, so I worked hard at school and went to Uni to learn how to program. After that it was a case of sending my CV to as many companies as possible. I interviewed at Rare (a dream come true) and got the job – I couldn’t believe it. Especially as I spent a fair amount of the interview critiquing Jet Force Gemini (they asked to discuss how I’d improve a recent game… )
Question 2 – Were you in favour of Rare being purchased by Microsoft? What was the mood like in the office when the takeover was announced?
Yes, the games industry had changed whereby it was increasingly difficult for Rare to continue as a business in the manner it was. Games needed more people, more polish, more features, all this requires more structured processes. One could argue that Rare changed for the worse, but I think it just changed.
Question 3 – You were also heavily involved in Perfect Dark Zero – a game that would top 1 million sales worldwide. How did it feel to be involved in such a commercially successful title?
I’m 100% proud of the work I did on PDZ. It was the first time I was thoroughly enjoying the game I was working on. One of the best things about this is that even now, ten years on, people still remember the game, people can still remember x, y, or z about it.
Question 4 – Perfect Dark Zero evolved from one of Rare’s earliest titles: GoldenEye 007. Were you a big fan of the N64 classic?
Huge fan, it defined a lot of my console gaming at Uni. Although I started Uni as a PlayStation fan, I returned to N64 and games like GoldenEye defined the after-pub gaming for me.
Question 5 – Why was Banjo Kazoomie (an ambitious go-kart racer) never released?
There were a few attempts at making a Banjo themed racer. I was lucky enough to be the Lead Programmer the second time it came up as a concept.
We only spent a handful of months coming up with ideas and fleshing out a demo, the whole team was behind the concept and the result was pretty impressive. We had morphing vehicles, deformable terrain that changed as you drove along, and all working well with fun multiplayer.
Why was it shelved? First up, there wasn’t a spot in the portfolio for it, Joyride was on the horizon, developed by an experienced racing-game team, and MS were starting to get behind their Natal (Kinect) technology and wanted games for that.
A shame, I do think our concept had a very strong start, but we never had chance to put it to the execs, it’s just the way of things with big-business.
Question 6 – Congratulations on starting MakinGames – what made you want to start your own game development company?
Raging Justice started as a hobby project a few years back. We just wanted to make a homage to the games we loved as teenagers in the arcades. About a year ago, we realised that we’d created something special, something that could be a full game. So we started MakinGames. I guess it comes full circle, as starting my own company was always the plan from the start, it just took longer to realise than I expected.
Question 7 – If you can say one thing to help persuade our readers that Raging Justice is a game worth checking out – what would you say?
It’s a game made with fun in mind. We want it to be immediate, it’s inspired by the games of the golden-age of arcade games, there is no tutorial, there is no need for an explanation, you pick up a controller and you play.
We’re making a modern day arcade game, a beat ’em up that looks fantastic on a 42 inch HD display.
Question 8 – What is your favourite video game of all time?
Streetfighter 2 Championship Edition… though it could be usurped by SFIII:Third Strike as I’ve started getting into that 🙂
Question 9 – What are your views on the video game industry of today?
The industry is just phenomenal; I’ve worked with AAA games, with large companies, with small companies, and now for myself as an indie. Right now I feel like I’m part of an extended family of indies, at shows we’re all in it together, friendly, helpful.
The industry is now diverse, it will continue to diversify more, but right now, there are more games, more choice, more options, than ever before. It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet with some of the most delectable offerings ever.
Question 10 – You work closely with your wife Anna at MakinGames – does work and home life sometimes overlap and is it hard to juggle?
Yep, trying to keep separation is difficult, we’re lucky to have a room we can dedicate to being an office, to give a physical separation. But sometimes, especially when there’s a deadline, it’s tough to let go, we’ll end up talking ‘shop’ at all times :-S Even our kids help with getting things done.
Question 11 – Which video game character would you most like to share a few pints with?
Tough one, I’d think Mike Haggar would know some of the nice establishments in Metro City, plus who’d mess with the mayor?
Thank you both for your time. To all our twitter and facebook followers, we will let you know as soon as Raging Justice is available for purchase.