Waveform developer Ryan Vandendyck Answers your Questions
Not too long ago, we ran a contest in the forums about Eden Industries' recently-released indie game Waveform (which, incidentally, we reviewed here). We gathered questions from OMGeeks and sent them over to Eden Industries founder Ryan Vandendyck after agreeing that the best question-answer combo will net the asker a free copy of Waveform. Here's the good news: we've almost finalized our winner! Here's the even better news: we're going to publish the questions and Ryan's replies here in this post.
Wow, there's nothing bad in there at all!
Here are the questions asked, and Ryan's very insightful responses:
ZackleR: What inspired him to create a mix of pong, angry birds and music or etc in one go?
Ryan: Actually the original idea had nothing to do with pong, music, or Angry Birds (which was still years away from being released). I wanted to make a game based on one single gameplay mechanic that was based on a mathematical principle and have a simple, but pleasing, aesthetic. So the original idea was just to make a game where you control the wave. Resemblances to Pong and Angry Birds came organically as I began to discover what kinds of gameplay would work well with the control scheme. And although the music is a strong component to the game, that’s really all thanks to the composer Scott McFadyen. He did an amazing job, and without him there probably wouldn’t have been much music in the game at all.
Lefans: I think it's great, and will be glad on every device. I want to ask, do you manage to expand gaming platforms? When did you got an idea to make retro-style game?
I love retro games, and I think that in a lot of ways they resonate strongly with what the core of games are all about. Back on the NES, for example, everyone I knew played games. But most stopped after the NES. Re-capturing the retro spirit was a strong desire for me, and in fact is one of the main goals of Eden Industries for all of our games.
WindBallad: did you delibrately take up a course on engineering just to create this game or making it just so to make the engineering students regret not studying hard enough?
I did my university degree in mathematics, which was certainly one of the reasons I was able to make Waveform. And if anyone wants to study harder in math or engineering, I’m sure Waveform will provide a quick crash course in trigonometry.
psycrow117: Have you ever think of making the game produce/enhance its own music by not sucking at the game like in bit.trip?
Actually the game already does this. As you do better, another layer of music is added in to enhance the intensity of the music and the game in general.
Fongomong: What was your favorite game as a kid? (assuming you played games as a kid) Did you draw inspiration from other games?
I played tons of games as a kid! That’s pretty much all I did in fact. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past remains as one of my favourite games from that time, although several other games (Ogre Battle, Earthbound, Final Fantasy 6) are also right on the top of my list. For Waveform, the two games that inspired me were Auditorium (for PC) and Art Style: Orbient (for WiiWare). Both had a simple mechanic inspired by math and a simple but compelling aesthetic. Obviously the gameplay of Waveform is very different than those, but I can certainly say that making a game like Waveform was inspired by them.
jedi304: I have read that you are a developer for console games, and Waveform is your first for the PC. I'd like to ask, is it hard learning to develop one platform to another? What are your likes and dislikes about it?
It is hard, yes, but there are advantages and disadvantages to both. PC hardware is the easiest and fastest to develop on, but the vast differences in hardware lead to a lot of problems in terms of compatibility. It’s just impossible to make sure it runs correctly on every machine. Working on consoles is harder, but in the end you can guarantee that it’ll work for all customers of that console because the hardware is standardized.
And there we go! Many thanks to Ryan Vandendyck for entertaining our questions and providing all these interesting answers. I always find it fascinating to hear directly from a game developer. It's like finding the burning bush for one particular game world that provides that conduit between us, who populate it, and the developers, who created it. Not being blasphemous here guys, but I think it's really cool.
And the winner? The winner shall be announced very soon. We promise.