RPS: Firstly, can you tell us a bit about your studio. I understand this is your first game? Have team members worked on other games previously?
Currie: After working several years in the UK, Vinnie Reddy, our CEO, came back to India to setup a new, independent game company, BlueGiant Interactive. At the time, I was a struggling independent game developer working from my bedroom in America. Vinnie convinced me to come to India to help setup the studio. Vinnie comes from a family of rice farmers. We joked that instead of being BlueGiant Interactive that we should be called Rice Powered Games.
It was a difficult process to grow BlueGiant to its current size of twenty. India is a young country, demographically speaking, and game development is new here. It’s hard to find people here with game dev experience. We did reverse outsourcing. Vinnie recruited three game devs from the West, each having a lot of prior game dev experience. Having a lack of experience hurt us in the beginning, but we’ve come a long way since we started.
RPS: What about the tech? Is this your own engine?
Currie: If a company attempts to make a modern RTS game from scratch, you are looking at at least four years to complete the game. We shaved two years off that time by starting with an existing game as a basis. We started production with my previous indie game Trash and completely overhauled it.
For our rendering engine we went with the open source engine Ogre. Torchlight proved a game can be successful using Ogre. One great thing about Ogre besides being free is that it makes it easier to port to Mac.
RPS: Tell us a bit about the game concept – why post-apocalypse, and why a strategy?
Currie: We went with strategy because of the background of the team – these are the games we like to play. We were big fans of Company of Heroes. We liked what they did in terms of adding detail to RTS genre. We wanted to extend this philosophy be adding more detail such as having limited ammo and fuel. We wanted to let players control unit stances and allow switching of a unit’s active weapon.
APOX, like CoH, has strategic sites. However we wanted our games to have a more climatic winning condition. At our strategic sites, you harvest precious resources that must be carried to a construction site. Using a few of these harvested items, you can build a super weapon. Then, using your super weapon, you annihilate your opponent. That’s a much more climatic ending, in our opinion. This part of the game feels a bit like Capture-the-Flag type games. It’s really fun to intercept a unit carrying a harvested resource item, kill him, and take the resource back to your own base.
Yes, APOX is post-apocalyptic. Like the Mad Max movie, there are no monsters or mutants. We hope this aspect will appeal to adults. We like the level of technology of this genre. We avoided ultra-high tech things like lasers and mechs.