Could you give us an explanation of what your finished game will be like?
Dave: I’d love to! Boot Hill Heroes is a Wild West retro RPG. It will have a similar feel to a spaghetti western film but with up to four-player RPG action.
Ben: We like that all we have to say is “Wild West RPG” and people instantly get the idea!
Dave: The story is about a farm boy, a gunslinging desperado, an Indian princess, and a calamity Jane who must track down and bring to justice six notorious outlaws in order to stop a war between the people of Bronco County and the Chepakwik Indians.
Ben: It also has a really fun power point battle system where you can attack as well as dodge and block attacks – which is a little more realistic than constantly getting hit with bullets and somehow surviving.
Dave: Also, it has a really cool hat job system where you can find and wear hats to learn new abilities to customize your characters.
What exactly do you need the Kickstarter money for?
Ben: The Kickstarter is for music and sound effects. We want to be clear with backers that the game will be finished regardless of whether we are funded or not. However, we are out of money and cannot afford to hire a composer and/or sound technician at this time.
Dave: I’d have to stop working on the game and return to my boring regular job to get enough money, and that will delay development by a year or two. And we don’t wanna do that!
How long have you been working on this project?
Ben: Almost a year now. Dave has been able to work on it full time so we have made so much progress in a short amount of time. It’s very exciting.
Dave: We started knowing very little about game development and very limited skill-sets. But we’ve learned so much in the last year it’s almost scary.
Ben: Our only regret is that we keep kicking ourselves thinking we should have done this a long time ago!
What stage are you at now in the development process?
Dave: All the hurdles that would have tripped of development have been surpassed. The game works. It wasn’t easy, but we fumbled our way through coding to get to a working demo. Now we just have to create all the artwork, add the music and sound effects, and balance the gameplay.
How many people are in your team? Or is it just you two?
Ben: Just us two!
Dave: We’re just two guys who love games. And, like many gamers, we have a dream game we want to create. We’re about a humble as indie developers can get.
Ben: We eventually got to a point in our lives where we wanted to start actively pursuing a dream we had.
Does the team work well? Who does what jobs?
Dave: I’m doing the art and programming while Ben is more of a producer and helps with the design. His primary job is to keep me sane and healthy, which is no easy task.
Ben: Together we have just the right dynamic. I’m experienced with business, marketing, and production so I can temper Dave’s creativity.
Dave: Without Ben, the game would be in development hell forever. But with him complementing my skills, we actually have a working game and I can’t even believe it!
Is there any advice you would give to a young game developer who wants to start a project of a similar size to “Boot Hill Heroes”?
Dave: Yes, don’t make something as complex as Boot Hill Heroes for your first game like we are. We tried so hard to keep our ambition in check, but it tends to escape from us and we keep wanting to add more features and cool things.
Ben: Start with something small. Don’t try to make your perfect dream game first. Maybe try a scaled down version of it as a different title so you acquire the experience and tools to expand on it with your second game.
Dave: Also, don’t wait until you go to game school or whatever. The barrier to entry is very low right now, and anyone can start making games – whether you’re 30 years old like we are or still in high school.
What is your favourite Indie game?
Dave: I’m a big fan of horror games, and there’s a fantastic surreal horror indie game called “The Path.” Although it’s not really a “game” in the traditional sense as it is more of an interactive experience. I’d tell you more about “The Path” but the less you know going into it, the better the experience is.
The game will be available soon (probably October 2012) for Xbox Live Indie and Windows. The game reached it’s Kickstarter goal recently but it can always use more!
Boot Hill Heroes Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/155773634/boot-hill-heroes-wild-west-retro-rpg-with-1-4-play
Boot Hill Heroes Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0ILqPHw4FM
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joseph, or Lawsome, as the internet folk call him – Spends a lot of time making games, most of which fall apart or don’t work and are never published, but the few that survive can be found on his account at Yoyogames http://sandbox.yoyogames.com/users/Lawsome1997. He mainly enjoys writing about game theory but you’ll see him do a few reviews. He avoids games that look generic and would rather play something original than something fun. He has strong opinions on games and can hold his own in an argument, if you tell him that COD MW3 is the best game ever he may bite your head off.