Indie Dev Interview: Joe Richardson
This week’s indie dev interview is with Joe Richardson, the man behind The Procession To Cavalry. He took time out from the release of the game to tell us more about his games making journey and his latest title.
Joe’s inspired games take a great deal of influence from some sources that may seem a little unusual at first glance but gathered into his games create something unique and wonderful. Enjoy our Indie Dev Interview with Joe Richardson and stay tuned for more indie game developer interviews.
Please introduce yourself, your game and your studio?
I’m Joe Richardson, a solo indie dev from Scotland, currently living and working in London. I’ve been making game for around 6 years now, and have completed 3 commercial titles, The Preposterous Awesomeness of Everything, Four Last Things and The Procession to Calvary. I started off working from a small desk in the corner of my bedroom, but I am now lucky enough to be able to make my games from a medium sized desk in the corner of the spare room!
Can you tell us about your game, what makes it awesome?
The Procession to calvary is a point and click adventure game made from Renaissance art. All the games artwork is made by cutting up and collaging elements from hundreds of different Renaissance paintings. This give the game a unique style and sets the perfect backdrop of its anarchic, Money Python inspired humour. Also, you can murder most of the NPCs.
What has the journey been like making this game?
Long. Slow. Tough. When I started this project I planned for it to be around the same size as my last game, Four Last Things. I did a Kickstarter project. That went well. But then things got a bit bumpy.
When I make these games I do all the artwork before I have any idea what the story will be – There’s no point writing a part where a bear gets trapped in a waterwheel if I can’t find a painting of a bear or a waterwheel – so I build all the artwork and hope to pick the story out from the scenes as I go. In Four Last Things, this worked out fine. But with The Procession to Calvary I got to a point where I was already programming puzzles before I knew what the game was about.
Well, this was stressful, and I find programming stressful anyway, so to calm myself down I would do the task I feel most comfortable with ñ making background art. But the more background art I made the more programming I gave myself and the more programming I gave myself the more stressed I got and the more stressed I got the more background art I made and there was never an end in sight because I still didn’t know what the fucking story was!
Eventually it all clicked into place during a drunken conversation with Nathan Hamley (of Guard Duty fame), but there was a point where I though I might be making this game forever.
How can you use all these amazing paintings and not get into trouble, is there not IP infringement?
The paintings are all in the public domain because it is more than 100 years since the death of the artists. Photographs depicting ‘faithful reproductions’ of public domain works are also considered to be in the public domain in most countries.
What got you into making games and making indie games in particular?
Before I made games I was a general artsy fartsy layabout. I bounced from one artistic discipline to the next, teaching myself how to draw or write or animate or make music without ever really having a plan. When I eventually ended up at art school I realised I had inadvertently taught myself most of the skills necessary to make games. So I made games. I think I first played The Sea Will Claim Everything around that time too, that probably played some part in it.
What have you learnt from making game?
I’ve learnt a lot of technical stuff. When I started I was pretty new to Photoshop and I had no idea about programming. I’ve also learnt a lot about Renaissance art. But I don’t think I’ve really acquired any transferable wisdom.
If you had advice for indie games makers, what would it be?
Form meaningful connections with other humans? Get a proper job? I don’t know, I don’t think I am qualified to give anyone advice…
How can people support you and your game?
Buy my games on Steam, leave a friendly review and keep an eye out (or follow me on twitter) for my next project!
Where can people buy/play the game? And learn more about the studio?
Thanks for reading our Indie Dev Interview: Joe Richardson, for more interesting articles on the indie games industry, check out the links below.