Overgrowth is one of those indie games which has been on my radar for quite some time, it is certainly shaping up to be quite something. I wanted to catch up with how things were going with the game, the result was this short interview with Wolfire’s own John Graham.
The Reticule – You’ve been working on Overgrowth for quite a while now, how close do you feel you are to getting the game ready for release?
John Graham – We still don’t have an official release date because we really want to make sure we get Overgrowth done right. However, most of the internal engine tech is in place so the recent alphas have seen the addition of a lot of fun gameplay features like active ragdolls that try to protect themselves as they fall through the air, intricate combat moves like judo throws that require multiple character animations and assignable patrol paths for the AI.
TR – You have now done more than 120 of your weekly alphas, is the community still providing useful feedback, or are they getting burned out?
JG – Since the beginning of our development process, people have been having fun using the map editors to make their own levels but I made an agreement with David, that I wouldn’t shave my beard until he implemented the core foundation of Overgrowth’s gameplay. There was a time when the beard was long and braidable but since we’ve entered the post beard era and shifted focus from tech to gameplay, interest in Overgrowth has gotten even higher.
TR – Access to the alpha’s are limited to people who pre-order Overgrowth, is this proving to be a strong incentive for people to pre-order and are you still seeing regular new pre-orders?
JG – Yes. Preorders have increased as we’ve had more and more gameplay features to show off.
TR – How important do you think it is for other indie developers to offer this access when pre-ordering, does it help to keep a steady revenue coming before the full release?
JG – I would recommend this type of open development style to anyone who is serious about making a game. I think it’s pretty dangerous to think that you can work on a project for 2 or 3 years in a cave and then one day walk out and say “Hello world. Here I am. Don’t you love me?”. Opening up your development process allows you to reach out to people early and helps you confirm that you’re actually making something people want to play. It’s definitely motivating to get so much early support and it kind of feels like letting the fans be our publisher.
You can find out more about Wolfire and Overgrowth here.