Independent development in Australia has been going from strength to strength over the past few years and the PAXAUS Indie Showcase serves to highlight some of the fantastic work being put out by local developers. Player2.net.au caught up with each of the developers awarded a spot in this year’s Indie Showcase and give a sneak peek at what PAXAUS attendees can look forward to.
PAXAUS 2015 Indie Showcase – Hollow Knight
PC, Mac, Linux & Wii U
Team Cherry Games
Player2 writer Paul James took the time to speak to Team Cherry Designer William Pellen about their upcoming game Hollow Knight.
Paul James: Thanks William for having a chat with us. There may be people unfamiliar with your work, so can you tell our readers a little bit about Hollow Knight. What is it and how did the game come about?
William Pellen: Sure thing! Hollow Knight is a game about bugs – what do they get up to? Do they build vast subterranean kingdoms? Do they cast spells and conduct weird arcane experiments? Do they kiss? The game addresses these questions and more (not heaps more though).
Hollow Knight came to fame via a Kickstarter campaign back in December 2014. How long had it been in development for prior to the campaign and how is it shaping up now given that the game was successfully funded?
We’d been working on it for about four or so months prior to the Kickstarter, basically constructing a small prototype. And since then, it has been shaping up nicely, we think. Very shapely.
Are there any games or themes that have served as inspiration for the game? Has the story or gameplay taken any cues from anywhere in particular?
We looked to a lot of older NES/SNES games for inspiration when we designed the core mechanics and gameplay/feel. Stuff like Zelda 2 and Faxanadu. Lots of other games are in the mix too of course, stuff like Megaman X and Dark Souls. Lots of stolen ideas.
How large is the team working on Team Cherry? What sort of previous experience do members of the team bring to Hollow Knight?
Three of us work full time as the core team, and we’ve got some other people who help out from time to time on stuff like scene dressing or enemy AI. We’re also working with Chris Larkin, our extremely talented composer and sound designer.
Being a Kickstarter backed project, how do the backers or other fans influence the development of the project, if at all?
The backers are constantly in our thoughts and dreams. This is often a positive thing.
Team Cherry is based in Adelaide, does being based out of that particular city impact the development in any profound ways? Whether this is from a development, publicity or even day-to-day living perspective.
It is very close to where we all live, which is tremendously convenient.
Can one assume that with Hollow Knight being at PAXAUS this year that the game will be playable there too?
You’d better believe it! The beta which recently went out to select backers and press will be available to play at PAX.
Hollow Knight was initially targeting release in June 2015, but now you’re off to PAXAUS with the game. Where is development currently at, and does this mean that a release is imminent?
A release is coming, that’s for sure! More details will come, eventually.
The Kickstarter success sees Hollow Knight coming to PC/Mac/Linux and Wii U. Does this remain the case or have there been some additions since then?
Those’re the only concrete platforms for now, but we’re planning to look at others too.
For anyone looking for a bit more information, how might they be able to keep tabs on Hollow Knight going forward?
Born and bred on the Super Nintendo era, Paul relishes any opportunity to sink his teeth into an RPG, action or platformer. Despite being an owner of all major platforms, Paul does have a particular love of the Playstation family of consoles – take only a few minutes to skim through his Twitter and you’ll see him ranting about the next big thing on PS4. We swear he’s sane.