To celebrate the launch of Newt One on Valentine’s Day, Michael sat down (digital sit down, okay it was just email) to ask them some questions and to find a little more about the two men behind the game! Review will be up 14/02/2018.
Michael: What inspired the original idea behind Newt One?
Ari: Dev and I met at Graduate school years ago and in 2015 I shared a post about wanting to make a game, I read his post, called him to ask him if he wanted to team up and 3 years later Newt One is done!
At the time the market for shooter games was oversaturated so choosing a musical platformer that didn’t require shooting anybody, was a good option for us. Within the first 4 months of production we narrowed down the art style, gameplay mechanics, and basic story for the whole game which is about a “New tone” named Newt “the chosen One” who needs to wake up their land from the Great Slumber by bringing music and color back to their world.
Michael: What was the most difficult part of having such a small team?
Dev: Time. With only one more person to whom we can delegate the “todo” list fills up pretty quickly. Luckily, I trust Ari with my life so things work out well usually.
Ari: I agree with Dev, with only two people you can only move production forward so far, and at times I would be working for weeks on 3D models before he could start adding them to the code of the game, and in other cases I would need to wait for Dev to create the game editor, before I would start creating levels. Luckily our progress on the game was consistent so that kept moving production forward even if it was one step at a time.
Michael: What are your future plans for DevNAri?
Dev: We’re Just getting started! I’ve already started work on designs for the next game, but 2018 is all about supporting Newt one and getting it out there on more platforms.
Michael: Your inspiration was for a happier and healthier game where violence wasn’t the key point, will this always be the case?
Dev: Interestingly, the Newt one started as a kinda Mario 64 style game where you’d jump on enemies. Once we realized that what we wanted to have the focus of the game be happiness, we had a direction and end goal. Ari does all the story writing and I know this direction informed both the gameplay and story.
Ari: I like the idea of making non-violent games. The process to achieve this is quite hard though, almost everything you do in games these days, even in family friendly games, requires you to kill or defend yourself from something that’s hurting you. However achieving a 100% non-violent game, is a very rewarding experience, especially when you see people’s smiles while they play your game that relaxes them and makes them happy.
Michael: Do you have day jobs? Or is DevNAri it all?
Ari: I work as a full-time 3D Modeler for a development company called Axonom here in the Twin Cities. I think Dev’s work place and mine are only a 20min drive from each other.
Dev: During the day I’m a Director of Instruction for the Full Stack Development program at Prime Digital Academy here in Minneapolis MN, USA.
Some personal questions:
Favourite video game?
Ari: I love the Disgaea series
Dev: Tough one, but if I had to choose just one it’d be Arkanoid.
Ari: Mole! It’s a sauce that can be used on enchiladas made from 3 or 5 different types of chiles with almonds and chocolate.
Dev: Presque Isle Peninsula in my hometown of Erie Pennsylvania, USA.
Ari: I was born in a town 40min away from the Golf of Mexico so anywhere that has a Beach, I’m happy.