CrossCode is a gorgeous indie game that is being published by Dangen Entertainment (read our interview with them here). Our interview with Felix and Thomas is a continuation of our coverage from BitSummit. We still have a lot more interviews coming, so please subscribe to us on Twitter. You can see our previous interviews by checking out the BitSummit Category on this site
Bold are questions from:
PushDustIn: I’m here with the guys who developed CrossCode.Can you guys briefly introduce yourself?
Felix: Sure, I’m Felix, also known as “Lachsen” and I’m like the co-founder, creator, director, programmer, designer stuff…they guy of CrossCode.
Thomas: Yeah my name is Thomas Fröse also known as T-Free. I’m the main sprite animator, sprite artist for effects animations, enemies and characters.
PushDustIn: CrossCode looks beautiful. What inspired the art?
Felix: The classics on SNES, maybe Playstation even, like Terranigma, Secret of Mana, Alundra. Yeah, even the old Final Fantasy Games. Yeah, that’s what inspired us for this Japanese style.
PushDustIn: And the game looks like a shoot ‘em up kind of style.
Felix: It’s kind of like look like a twin stick-shooter, yeah. But it’s a mixture of an action-RPG and an action adventure actually. But it combines the swingshot-mechanics combined with bouncing balls and we use that to solve puzzles and also for combat.
PushDustIn: How long have you been working on this game?
Felix: For quite a long time. It began like end of 2011 or 2012, so like over five years already. But we’re getting pretty close to finish the game and it’s a pretty long game so that’s why there was a lot of content-files to create.
PushDustIn: So how long will it take for a player to finish the game?
Felix: I mean people in the current early access version already spent 40 to 50 hours…if they do everything. If they just play the main-content (and there are a lot options for content), I think it could get up to 15 hours already. And I would estimate that will be at least 20 hours for the main-story content
PushDustIn: For an indie game, that’s quite a long time.
Felix: Yeah, I think so. That’s probably not the best idea for the first Indie title (laughs). But this is just how the whole thing went.
PushDustIn: How was that like taking all that work? Was it quite a challenge?
Felix: Well, we just dived into it and we just sticked with it. So we had a plan and we didn’t want to cut too much. A lot of people gets sick-working on the same game for a long time. For me, it kind of still works, I’m still interested in the game and motivated to see the ending. A lot of stuff is already done, so the only thing that’s really missing now is to conclude the story.
Thomas: Oh yeah, and it’s like we all also motivate each other pretty well I think. I’m always like “I have these new graphics done, Felix. Why not implement it?” and so, I motivate them to implement the new stuff *laughs*
Felix: …a few month later *laughs*
PushDustIn: How many people are on your team?
Thomas: There are two main people, who are working full-time. And we have a lot of people as contract workers like me. I’m a freelancer and it’s my main-project I’m working on. And yeah, like 12 people around.
Felix: 12 to 14 people, I’m never always sure. There are two people, who are working on and helping us for a short time they aren’t much around anymore. There are some people have been known helping out here and there and some people are helping out more more regularly. It’s a bit hard to say. But it’s up to 14 people.
PushDustIn: And you’re also one of the first titles from DANGEN Entertainment.
Felix: Yeah, that’s true. Dangen was just established and we were one of the first titles and we were very happy about that. I mean, they seem to do a great job so far!
PushDustIn: Did you find them or did they find you?
Felix: I think they found us. They contacted us and we wrote back and that’s how the whole thing was established I think.
PushDustIn: What do you think initial drew do them to this project?
Felix: I think it’s probably they just like Pixel Art apparently. I mean, just look at all the games, it’s like 3 out of 4 are Pixel Art and the fourth game used to be pixel art. So I guess they are pretty much into that kind of stuff and this retro-feeling. A lot of people like this still today. And it seems like there’s a lot of games in Dangen, that have been developed for 5+ years.
A lot of ambitious games and this I guess the kind of games they want to support.
Thomas: I can only agree to that.
PushDustIn: One thing, I started with Dangen yesterday and they said that they really focused trying to connect older content creator with new ones. Have you had a chance to connect with any content creator, that might have inspired this game?
Felix: Ooh, definitely! (thinks for a second) Oh, in case, not actually that much. I think there’s just like not the right people around. I think there’s the Dark Souls creator and I actually saw Igurashi, the creator of Castlevania, playing Brave Earth yesterday.
You can definitely see they try to get them connected to the great idols of the industry. I would really like to talk to some creators like the one from Seiken Densetsu (Secret of Mana series), or what not.But I don’t have too many high expectations. I still create with a lot of other developers, and it was really really worth to be here.
PushDustIn: And you’re making a physical release as well?
Felix Physical release, you mean this year?
PushDustIn: Are you planning on releasing a boxed copy?
Felix: We’re thinking about it, but we’re not sure yet. We were focusing on a digital release. A boxed release, it’s difficult to make a profit out of that these days, we still might do it if we can break out even. And just so people can get it and have something nice to put on their shelves.
PushDustIn: And the target platform is PS4?
Felix: No, it’s actually PC, Mac and Linux. We would love to port it on consoles, but it’s kind of complicated because our game is based on HTLM5 so it’s a strange case in that sense. We would love to port it on consoles and I think it’s possible. It’s just not straightforward. You need to port from browser to console and you need the right people to do for that. Or we need to learn and do it by ourselves but we have to commit a lot of time.
PushDustIn: Do you have any ideas for the next project?
Felix: Yes, we have plenty ideas. First of all, we’ll keep working on CrossCode for some time, because there are a lot of promises we made in our crowdfunding-campaign back in 2015. We have to first implement those things before we can continue to the next project. So there will be some free updates, maybe some DLCs and afterwards, we will probably work on more games like this tho it depends on how successful CrossCode is. Maybe we will go bankrupt in between, I don’t know. But if everything goes well, we will probably work on more games of a similar style.
PushDustIn: And I guess this is our last question: What does being indie mean to you?
Felix: Being Indie, to us means really means independent. We’re just a team of gamers, who love games with pation in all of their activities. I love to create art and I just found a bunch of people, who love to do other stuff and we just combined and make a game. That’s so awesome and we’re also free, we just do what we love. That’s what I think being indie is for me.
Thomas: For me, it’s mostly more about just creating the game that you like to create. It’s not about creating a game, that are popular or sell well or filling a certain market niche. No, you create games that you would like to play yourself and you always dreamed about. Telling the story you want to tell, not stories that are designed to be popular. It’s not about making huge profit, it’s about creating something original you would like to create. Creating something great.
PushDustIn: Something, that feels more to the niche-crowd?
Thomas It doesn’t have to. It’s all about creating something you would like to play. If it’s for a niche-crowd, so be it. If it turns out to be for the mainstream, so be it.
It’s all about creating something you would like to play. That is important and that’s the only way you can make sure it’s gonna be something very good.
PushDustIn: Where can people follow you?
Thomas You can go to cross-code.com. You can find trailers, demo and the playable version in the internet browser and a lot of other stuff. There’s a link to the steam-page. We also have like a forum. We have Twitter, Facebook but you can find all that at cross-code.com pretty much.
PushDustIn: Thank you very much for the interview!
Mains: Yoshi (64), Game and Watch (Melee), Wario (Brawl), Wario/Pac-Man (Smash for 3DS/Wii U)