Let's begin with an introduction of yourself. (is this really necessary?!)
My name's Derek Yu. *waves* I'm the editor-in-chief at TIGSource, one of the developers behind Aquaria, and I'm obsessed with a certain part of my body that I can't talk about in front of the children.
Aquaria is set for a release next Friday (7th of December, 2007). I'm assuming that it's finished and ready for the world - how does it feel to have finally completed this massive project?
It feels pretty darn good, although I have to admit, I'm so tired I'm not sure I'm fully appreciating it. Alec and I are really happy with the game, though.
You knew this was coming. Why $30? Why?!!!
Yeah, I saw people discussing it! $20 seems to be the midpoint for indie games, and we just felt that with all the content that we put into the game, $30 was pretty reasonable. It includes a full level editor, as well.
Is the full version really 200 MB? How much hard disk space is Aquaria going to take up after installation? Can we play the game using some ancient graphics card we dusted out from the basement/attic?
Yeah, the full version will be around 200 megs. Most of that is graphics! I don't know if an ancient graphics card is going to cut it... Maybe if it's ancient and cursed with the power of demons.
How many people do you think have played the game so far (before it's actual release)? When Aquaria released, what do you feel the response to the game would be? Receptive? Harsh? Split between love and hate? Accusations of 'Cave-Story' rip-off?
Hahaha. I think a good number of people have played it, if you include GDC... 50, maybe? Not sure. Everyone who's played it has really enjoyed it, so I'm hoping most people will... or at least see the value in it, even if it's not necessarily "for them."
Since there's roughly fifty people who have seen the game, can you share what some of their responses are?
I really enjoyed watching people play at GDC. The best was when we stood away from our booth. I think people felt more comfortable then to just let themselves go, and we'd have people just swimming around for long periods of time, getting lost in it. That was a pretty early build, too.
Russ Carroll has a more recent build of the game (I hope he thinks it's okay if I mention him), and I heard he said it was "freakin' great!"
How long is the demo? Can we expect at least close to 25% of the actual game? Or will the demo contain content that would be different from the full version?
The demo has the first part of the game, and no, it's probably more like 10%... but it's still quite a bit of game to get through. Demo saves will be compatible with the full version - nothing's changed. I've played through that part a lot - I think it'll give people a good impression of the game.
How long is the full game then?
It depends a lot on how much time you spend exploring, but... I'd say an average of 20 hours to play through the full game. That's a pretty rough estimate, though.
Any chances of seeing Aquaria on BFG or Reflexive?
No, you probably will not see Aquaria on a casual portal. ;)
Why the name Aquaria? I don't remember you stating the reason for picking it in any of the past interviews before.. though I might had recalled this wrongly.
Aquaria started as a prototype of Alec's, and it was already called Aquaria at the time! I don't know where it came from, exactly, although I imagine it just sounded right to him. Let me go ask him, actually. Hold on...
I was supposed to interview him actually. He said something like next week.
So you're saying that the name Aquaria wasn't picked by you then. What would you have named it otherwise?
Ah, I'm not sure... I really like the name, so I probably wouldn't have changed it.
Are you ever going to make freeware games again? I mean, Aquaria is going to sell like hot cakes, so it wouldn't be much of a surprise if you decide to sell all of your future games. And how about Raigan's idea of DoomRL on the DS with your tileset?
I'd love to do some freeware again. And yeah, Kornel (the DoomRL creator) and I have been working on and off for awhile on various projects, including DoomRL. Some day you're going to see a graphical version of that beast, I promise.
What is the next project from Bit Blot? Hopefully you'll let your real fans hear the juicy details first, and not some big game site with journalists who are unfamiliar with Cave Story..
Oh shit... well, I already mentioned this to Kotaku, but...
Haha that's a slap to indie games..
Haha yeah, I'm just kidding. We're going to remake Hard Time, the MDickie game.
Not really... I can't give a straight answer for this one. We have a few interesting ideas cooking, but we're not sure which one is going to be next!