4cr Interview – Fuzzy Wuzzy Games – Armillo
4cr: Hi! Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Could you please get things started by introducing yourselves to our readers?
Yanni: I make most of the weird noises you will hear when playing Armillo (aka Sound Designer). I started playing guitar at 7 and recording audio at 14. Video games kicked in at 10 and I bought a Vectrex with paper route money at 13. The paper route paid barely anything so it took a looooong time to amass enough money for the Vectrex. By the time I was 19, I had recorded and mixed band demos on amateur equipment, built a small studio, and recorded at other local studios as a session guitarist. After 10 years of professional studio work as a recording/mixing engineer, I moved over to games and worked at Electronic Arts as a Sound Designer. Besides working on Armillo I also teach Interactive Audio at some of the local Game Design Schools in Vancouver, run Hybrid SOUNDWORKS (a local Indie-focused Sound Design Recording Studio) and volunteer at/organize Full Indie. I’ve been working in audio professionally for over 20 years now and look forward to pushing the boundaries of audio and emotional engagement in video games.
James: On Armillo, I’m the programmer, lead game designer, and level designer. I’ve been programming for quite a long time – over 25 years now. Mostly doing hobby work, but spent a good chunk of that working at EA. Armillo is really a fun project for me as it’ll be the first commercial game where I’m heading the game design. That said, the whole team also contributes a lot to the design as well, which makes it very interesting as the team itself consists of a diverse set of gamers.
4cr: So you guys have wrapped up work on Armillo and it will be coming out on July 3rd. What do we need to know about this game?
Yanni: At it’s core it’s a 3D platformer with a mashup/remix design. It’s like an obstacle course. It also constrains 3D to usually only 2 dimensions so it makes 3D spatialization somewhat easier top navigate through
James: It’s been on development sInce 2011! It started as a simple 2D game that we wanted to release on mobile. It was a simple accelerometer controlled rotational puzzle game. From there, the scope and complexity of the game kept growing until it became a fully functional 3D puzzle platformer. Inspiration for this game comes from games such as Mario Galaxy, Marble Madness, Monkey Ball, and Sonic.
4cr: What made you decide to release the game on Nintendo’s Wii U? Which of the console’s features will you be using for Armillo?
James: It started with Emily Rogers approaching us and recommending us to bring our game to the Wii U. After that, we were in constant support and communication from Nintendo – working with them has been really great! We’ll be using Off-TV Play, and some minor second screen support.
4cr: How many people are currently working on Armillo? Has the team’s size changed during the development cycle or has it been relatively constant?
Yanni: 2.5 seems to be about accurate. We’ve had friends jump in here and there part time to help us out.
4cr: It’s interesting to see how a lot of effort has gone into creating the music and sound effects for the game in order to provide a better experience, something that is not properly done for several of today’s releases. Why did you decide to approach your design with audio as a key element, and how long did it take you to arrive at the sound you wanted for the game as a whole?
Yanni: Music and good sound design can add tremendous gameplay momentum and feedback for any game. We both love music and audio and wanted Armillo to stand out in any way we could. Creating the soundscape took a long time with a lot of tools and custom coding/mixing in the backend that flawlessly executes the real time self-mising of many sounds and music. We wouldn’t have it any other way !
4cr: With the game done, this one should be easy to answer. As an estimate, how long will it take someone to complete Armillo?
James: Around 4-6 hours depending on how much of the game you want to unlock.
Yanni: It would take be about 7-8 hours as I’m not quite as speedy as James is, plus I like to drag out games that I enjoy.
4cr: When a game is completed, some developers get some rest, and some developers immediately start to work on a new project. Is Fuzzy Wuzzy Games already hard at work on a new game?
James: Right now, I’m getting some rest, but we’ll be busy working on an update for Armillo.
Yanni: We have a ton of marketing stuff to do for the next while so we’ll be busy creating content and working with our wonderful marketing team to get this content out to you guys.We hope you’ll enjoy some of the behind the scenes / dev diaries!
4cr: Once again, thank you for doing this interview. Would you like to add anything else?
Armillo: Can i have some gummy bears please? they’re my favorite (but please don’t give me those Haribo Sugar Free Gummi Bears)!