Interview with game developer MADE

Just two developers are working with MADE, Erhan and Manny and they are bringing out Slice Zombies for Xbox One. They have hand crafted everything themselves for the past 12 months so it’s needlessly to say that Slice Zombies means a lot for them. You will read later on that they cannot ship the game in Germany, their home country so that’s actually pretty sad.

Dae Jim: You hear it more and more, games made by just one person. In Slice Zombies case it’s just you and Erhan, also an impressive fact. I would even say it’s more difficult because you have to agree with whatever the other person wants. Wasn’t it difficult working together or was it always sunshine, rainbows and flowers?

Manny: Thanks! And you are absolutely right, working as a team means lots of compromise. But very often this results in better ideas and the bad ideas are rejected early on. I’d say it’s a mix between sunshine and a thunderstorm 🙂 I think it’s always better if you are a team and not just a single, isolated person.

Dae Jim: You guys don’t have a USK certification so it won’t be available in Germany (although German Xbox users can buy it on other marketplace regions) was that a big let down or did you guys know from the beginning that it wouldn’t be possible?

Erhan: Yeah, to us that’s a total let down. We won’t be able to show the game to our friends and families in the comfort of our living room. We actuallty tried to get a USK certification and Manny did speak to the nice people at the USK but it’s just too expensive for us right now. They told us that there is a reduced fee for indie devs available, but it requires that the game does not include any violence at all.

Dae Jim: Hacking zombies limbs off counts as violence I guess. Anyway, not so much Kinect games for Xbox One at the moment, although fierce competition is right around the corner with Fruit Ninja Kinect 2. Besides zombies what’s different with Slice Zombies?

Manny: That’s true and to be honest, we had our fingers crossed that there won’t be a Fruit Ninja for the Xbox One. We have been working on the game for a long time, months before we even had the devkits. As soon as I came back from the ID@Xbox London event in December 2013 we basically started working on the game. We spent a lot of time figuring out how we can deliver something different from Fruit Ninja and I think we nailed that. We’ve got an awesome progression in the game, when you start it it’s really easy. Once you’ve reached the highest level the pacing of the game is insanely fast, and there are many different zombies like the time traveller that just appears and disappears. And we still have many more cool ideas, but we had to finish the game at some point.

Dae Jim: Can’t work forever on one game of course. Why do you hate zombies so much? Don’t you guys fear that they will try to take revenge on you? You never know that a Walking Dead scenario will happen!

Manny: I don’t hate zombies, it’s just that there are soo many and what else can we do with them. I doubt that our zombies can do any real harm, I mean look at them 🙂

Erhan: Well, I do hate zombies! But not ours zombies, they’re cute.

Dae Jim: We hear lots of great things about ID @ Xbox, we know you started working on it after the Xbox event in London, I know that you can’t say much about the service but would you recommend it to other indie-developers?

Manny: Yeah, we wanted to get into ID@Xbox right from the get go. It’s an awesome program and Microsoft is moving mountains to help indies get started. They’re nice people that will answer your questions and provide developers with free tools like Unity 3D or Visual Studio. But the actual release process is a very difficult beast compared to releasing a game on a smartphone. But after all I would totally recommend every serious indie developer to go for it!

Dae Jim: To my surprise, some game developers actually don’t really game that much. Granted, they are working hard on projects but still. So how are things with you? You have a favorite Xbox One game that you cannot stop playing? Or a game that you really loved to work with?

Manny: I am a gamer and to me it’s the best way to let go of stress, like Frank Underwood in House of Cards 🙂 I buy nearly every game for my Xbox One, the digital market makes it too easy to pull the trigger on a game. One of my favorite games would be Titan Fall, I still play that game even though it’s quite old. It’s an incredibly well balanced game, and that moment when your titan drops from the sky is just incredible…  I love the game so much I went and bought the insanely high priced collectors edition, even though I already owned the game.

Erhan: Same goes for me. After all these years I still love to play games, whether it’s on my laptop or on my Xbox! My favorite game right now is GTA 5 the world is incredibly rich and story is awesome. But I am also looking forward to the new Tomb Raider.

Dae Jim: Thanks for your time guys. Any last words why Xbox gamers should pick up Slice Zombies?

Manny: Thanks for having us! Well, if you think that a slicing game couldn’t have any depth you should really play Slice Zombies for Kinect, you’ll be surprised in how much it has to offer!

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What do YOU think about the game?