Pig-Min, the first & only Indie Game Webzine for Korean, did an e-mail Interview with the Lead Designer Jenova Chen of [Cloud] & [flOW].

Korean version of this interview.

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1. Would you introduce us about the [Cloud] team?

Cloud is made by a team of 8 students, here are the info about us on our website.
http://intihuatani.usc.edu/cloud/cloudteam.htm
And if you are interested, there is also a gamasutra article you can refer to
http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20060202/cloud_01.shtml


2. It's very unique to 'fly & gather the cloud'. How come to get such an imagination?

Cloud concept was created for our school's "The Game Innovation Grant" which was intended to support the production of experimental games by giving a student team the space, time, and resources to complete a game that falls outside of the mainstream. When I was seeking a unique game subject one day, I glanced at the sky. The clouds were so beautiful that day, then the idea came. And the story and mood about the game has been through many iteration. Eventually I combined my memory and some very personal experience into the flying and cloud theme to create the world of Cloud. Instead of focusing on addiction, stimulation, direct competition or violence, Cloud experiments with creating a richer emotional experience for the player. It focuses on resonating with the emotions associated with looking at the blue sky and the white clouds, such as relaxation, creativity, goodness, nature, and zen.


3. As I see, Thatgamecompany has [Cloud] team & even [flOW] team.

I'm the lead designer on both [Cloud] and [flOW]. Kellee Santiago was the producer on Cloud. And she is my classmate in the graduate school. We enjoyed working together on Cloud and other school project. And we both have talent the other doesn't born with, so we decide to work together for our future.


4. I saw NDS version at Cloud Project Blog (
http://interactive.usc.edu/projects/cloud/). Seems to be cool. Is this real deal, or just your plan & wish?

This is a fake concept :) We have been thought about it would be cool to be a DS game. But we end up doing flOw for ps3 first.


5. Does thatgamecompany do some other project, commercial or non-commerical one, except for [flOW] PS3 version? If there are some, could you please let us know briefly?

We are sorry, they are confidential currenlty.


6. You might get tons of feedback, due to success of [Cloud]. Could you please let us know some impressive ones?

We have players wrote our emails telling us they literally cried when they play our games. It also generated a lot of online debate about whether games are art. There are people from the medical industry asking us to use Cloud as a medical treatment for relief.

In three months after Cloud Prototype was released online, without any official PR.

Cloud had:

- 500,000+ downloads (40mb)
- 5,000,000+ hit on the official website
- 25 countries
- 23 academic papers & conferences
- 37 printed articles including
  * LA Times
  * PC Gamer
  * EDGE
- 15 TV channel including
  * CBS
  * G4
  * SpikeTV
- 300+ websites & blogs including
  * Wired
  * Gamasutra

Awards
- Game Informer Magazine, Issue 156 Top Ten Games You've Never Heard Of
On March 22nd 2006,
- Cloud and flOw were presented at the 5th Experimental  Gameplay Workshop during the March 2006 Game Developers Conference.
-
Cloud is a winner of the Independent Games Festival 2006 Student Showcase competition.
- On Jan 25th 2006, Cloud won Slamdance Film Festival Guerrilla Game-maker Competition.
Best Student Philosophy Award.
- In November of 2005, Cloud won the "Internet Download Game of the Month" designation from the United Kingdom|UK magazine Edge (games magazine)|Edge in their issue number 156.
- Cloud was featured on First 50 on the TV show, Attack of the Show on the G4 (TV channel)|G4 network.


7. If you do some Commercial project in the future, can you send Pig-Min some Promo copy for Review?

Most of our future project will be commercial game under contract. So we might not be able to show anyone without permission. But me personally might have side project that I can share with you.


8. Can you pick 5 Impressive Indie Games, and brief reason why? Of course, not including [Cloud] & [flOW]. :)

Oasis - winner of the Best Game Design on IGF 2005. It is really a addicting game, people describe it as Civilization in 5 minutes.

N - It's a great online platforming game, the online community features like level editing and replay sharing is really neat.

Darwinia - Winner of this year's IGF. Being different, being true to themselves made this game extrodinary.

Nubacular Drop - The portal related gameplay is mind washing. They also made it to the incoming Half-life 2 expansion.

Facade - Revolutionary procedural narrative technology, it just opened my eyes.


9. Do you have any plan for [Cloud] sequel, or related to that?

We have plan to make Cloud a full game in the future. But we don't know when exactly...


10. Have you ever played, or even heard about Korean Game & Gaming scene?

I am from China. I've played most of the Korean MMO games. Lineage, Ragnarok online and so on. But I haven't played any non-online game except Genesis III.


11. Please leave some message for Korean Pig-Min Readers. :)

We have seen many great games from Korean, we wish the Korean gamers and game makers can embrace innovative games and support their makers. While our hardware is improving everyday, the gaming experience needs to evolve too.

Korean version of this interview.
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