This week’s Flash Game Friday winner is Sky Defender: Joe’s Story by NSBrotherhood & Lionwood Studios!
You are “Joe”, a gunner on an airship in a post-apocalyptic world where civilizations now live in the sky. You have been asked by the sleezy Fargo to keep the enemy invasions at bay.
Each level comes with new challenges, as well as an opportunity for the player to earn gold and purchase upgrades. Armor and weapons are included in the upgrades, as is maintenance and other sensible items a sky captain needs.
The gameplay, design, and artwork for Sky Defender: Joe’s Story are all masterfully done in this epic defender-platformer game from NSBrotherhood and Lionwood Studios- congratulations guys!
Get to know NSBrotherhood & Lionwood Studios
Tell me about yourself- how many people are on your team? Where are you based?
The project was developed by two independent studios. Lionwood Studios (further named LS) provided art, design, plot and music, and NSBrotherhood (NSB) provided the code. As it always happens in such cases, both studios contributed to gameplay, design, effects etc.
LS : 3 developers, studio is based in St.Petersburg (Russia)
NSB : 2 developers based in Tyumen (it’s in Siberia (Russia)- you know, where bears walking around the streets with samovars in their paws).
How long have you been making games? What did you do before?
LS: Lionwood Studios staff all come from the big game industry with 12 years of total experience. Unfortunately, we have to admit we hadn’t created anything in this industry to be proud of before we founded Lionwood Studios. We realized it was time to change. It was time for children to leave the parents. We had accumulated enough experience in the big industry and decided to start our own business. And Lionwood Studios is the result of that.
NSB: We started about 4 years ago with dress up and girls’ games. But we got tired of them even though they generated a good amount of revenue. We started developing more complicated games, like MMOs, and now we mostly create action and defense games.
What was your inspiration for “Sky Defender: Joe’s Story”?
LS: Endless blue sky. Greediness of the modern people. This topic took shape in the generalized character of Fargo, a crook and flashman who is the King’s adviser. In the end of the game he has to make a choice. And of course everything we do is inspired by the Fallout series. All our projects have post-apocalyptic themes.
NSB: Well, I wanted to create something to get your attention and contact me at last. And it f-ing happened! Colin, when will you send me a T-shirt? :D I want a T-shirt from Mochimedia!
Any major challenges or hurdles during development?
LS: We are a bit cramped by Flash technology. We’d like to have more objects on screen, more exciting effects. Plus we made some mistakes in game design that made our players very angry. I know you all just hate the sheep! We promise to improve. Honestly.
NSB: Well, it was the first time for me to work with a different artist, this was our first mutual project that was developed in different cities and it kept getting delayed. This was a big challenge. And those rotten sheep! They annoyed us as much as they annoyed you!
What types of games do you like to create the most? What types of games do you like to play the most?
LS: We dream of RPG and quests. But in fact, we’d like to try various genres. To experiment without looking back at risks and budgets. To create games for the sake of games and the players. Not for money. The latter is the approach of the big industry that we left. We’d like to outperform our parents. At least, in something.
NSB: We love to create action-defense games in different mechanic of gameplay. We also like to experiment.
How long is your game creation cycle? What is your process?
LS & NSB: 6 months. Although, it took more time for this game to reach the players due to reasons beyond our control. It took over a year. This was our longest project. As for the process- it’s very simple: we wake up and work hard all day long. There is a Russian saying, “You cannot catch a fish without making an effort”. When making games, it’s not just a fish but the whole fish shoal.
Are there any game developers that you admire or consider “rock stars”?
LS: A day won’t be enough to name all the game developers that are worth mentioning. Here are the ones that I remembered first – Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky, Jason D. Anderson, André Rocques, Louis-Marie Rocques, Michel Pernot, Jakub Dvorski, Eric Chahi, Benoît Sokal, Harvey Smith. There are much more of them, but I realize that no one will be too excited to read the list of thousands of names.
NSB: Everyone knows these cool guys. Obviously, I’d say Shigeru Miyamoto, Gabe Newell, Tim Schafer, John Carmack and Markus “Notch” Persson. If we speak of Flash developers, these are: Johnny-K, Anton Karlov, Juicy Beast Studios, Adultswim, Berzerk Studio, Adam Atomic, Nitrome.
What is it about making a new game that you enjoy most?
LS: To start. To create. To imagine the new world and build it brick by brick. Get to the first prototype and rejoice at first success. To crash on the bed exhausted at the end of the working day. To absorb tons of coffee. Our job is what we enjoy the most. The only drawback is that there are only 24 hours in a day, and you need to sleep for 6-8 hours of it.
NSB: We are keen on creating and inventing, that’s why we enjoy the first stages of game creation the most. To think up an idea, to implement it, and to see if it works out.
Do you have any hot projects you’re working on right now?
LS: Yes, of course. Several projects are in development now.
NSB: Yes, we do!
Congratulations again NSBrotherhood and Lionwood Studios! T-shirts are coming to those who were promised them! :)