Continuing Gamasutra’s ‘Road to the IGF’ feature, which profiles and interviews Independent Games Festival 2007
entrants, today’s interview is with Lukáš Macura of Cinemax, developers of platformer Gumboy Crazy Adventures
Cinemax have been producing games in the Czech Republic for almost 15 years, under the leadership of Macura, who has produced practically every title the company has released. A team of seven, including Gumboy
’s designer and programmer, Miroslav Adamus, worked on the title for two years.
The team describe the game as being “pure entertainment”, and note that it features “unrivalled gameplay” over “40 levels in 6 unique worlds full of original pitfalls”.
“A search for the optimum solution of the individual levels awaits you,” they continue, adding that the player will be “collecting special objects and fulfilling tasks along the way.”
We spoke to Macura about the game, its entry into the IGF, and where they’re planning on taking it in the future.
What is your background in the games industry?
I started as many people do - as a game player on the Atari 800XL a lot of years ago, in 1987. After a few months I started developing on this platform in Turbo Basic and assembler.
When was Cinemax formed, and what previous titles have you released?
Cinemax was formed as a company in 1998. From its very beginning, Cinemax has been in the Czech market as an important developer and producer of PC games. Even before 1998, the co-founders of the company were applying themselves to the development of PC games, either in other studios or within independent projects.
The beginnings of our development activities date back to the era of 8-bit computers, therefore we can draw on 15 years of experience in the field of interactive entertainment and software development. Being connected to the birth of a global boom of PC games, we are able to build on a firm basis, which gives us an important insight. In the past, we contributed (as a development team or independent developers) to several game projects.
To name the most popular ones: Hlava Kasandry - The Head of Cassandra
(1992, LetDisk), Gravon
(1994, Suma), Gooka
(1997, JRC), Nodus Domini
(1997, Cybernetic Cinema), Husita - The Hussite
(1998, Phoenix Arts), Operation Flashpoint
(2001, Bohemia Interactive Studio).
What inspired Gumboy Crazy Adventures, and why did you decide to make it?
. The programmer/game designer of Gumboy
[Miroslav Adamus] presented us his ideas and a tech demo of the engine and we decided that the game could be really unique and fun in this concept.
What were your expectations from your game, and do you feel the end product lives up to those expectations?
We had big expectations, as usual! Being serious, this is first game we have made specifically for digital distribution, so now we are discovering how this segment of the game industry really works. Also we are working on Gumboy2
. We've got a lot from feedback from players.
What do you think the most interesting thing about your game is?
The unique graphics and physics engine.
Is Gumboy the kind of game you'd like to see on other platforms in the future?
We’d like see Gumboy on PSP and Nintendo DS, but…
How long did development take?
2 years .
What was the development process like?
Months of testing features. At this moment we have a lot of features we didn’t use yet; I think that there are so many new things we can bring to gameplay so you can expect Gumboy2, Gumboy3
and Gumboy Multiplayer
What do you think of the state of independent development, and how do you think independent games fit into the industry?
Independent development is very important because it brings to new ideas to the games industry. Most people who work as independent developers are very keen in their development of games and it’s really important for the industry. Big companies with big budgets cannot bet on “non-tested” ideas.
Have you checked out any of the other IGF games?
We looked briefly at some of them. But we haven’t a lot time for this because we are developing from morning to evening!
Which ones are you particularly impressed with, and why?
Personally I was impressed with Armadillo Run
, because I enjoyed Incredible Machine
maybe 10 years ago.
Which recent indie games do you admire, and which recent mainstream titles do you admire, and why?
One word – “unique”.
Do you have any messages for your fellow contestants or fans of the IGF?
Think about our motto: We are developing games we want to play.