If you own an iPhone or an Android phone, chances are you may have seen 8-bit inspired games such as Meganoid or the newly released and popular Gun Slugs in the marketplace. The company behind those retro 80′s platform, run and gun, and role-playing games is Orange Pixel and in this article, the Orange Pixel founder talks about his company, Ouya, and the handheld verses console debate. Orange Pixel, located in the Netherlands, began back in 2004 when founder Pascal Bestebroer purchased a new Sony mobile phone with Java on board and found that it was quite easy to make games for it, which in turn inspired him to begin creating his own 8-bit works of art.
The company name Orange Pixel had a simple yet silly origin behind it as Bestebroer explained,
“I had to come up with a business name, and staring at a blank paint canvas I started drawing a logo which ended up with not much more as an orange pixel on the screen.. true story!”
Orange Pixel’s team is quite small with Bestebroer, Aline Smits who takes care of incoming mail and social media and, on occassion, freelance musician Gavin Harrison. Bestebroer said that 8-bit is mainly the style of game he wants to focus on because he grew up playing them. Building that idea he said in an almost silly way, “…it just took me many years to actually start creating them and then suddenly it was called retro .” He went on to say that the idea for most of the games has come from watching cartoons, playing old games, or sometimes a game idea is started with a single character drawing and building a game around that.
Orange Pixel is working on their newest game, Gun Slugs, for the Ouya Android console, which is shipping out to backers of the project later this month. Bestebroer said they tried to contact Ouya before Gun Slugs was released for Android and iPhone but did not get through. Then a week after the official release, Ouya contacted them and sent them a development console to work on. Bestebroer added that they are also working on their game Meganoid 2 for release on the Ouya as well saying,
“We are redoing Meganoid 2, adding some extra effects and music, and the Dungeon prototype I’m working on is also being set up for two and maybe even four player co-op modes. That’s some cool stuff that the Ouya brings: multi-player!”
When asked about Team Meat, developer of Super Meat Boy, and their announcement on not wanting to work on games for next-gen systems, Bestebroer noted that he has not had the experience yet to know what is involved in developing for the “big boys” but said, “…just the fact that you have to get special developer kits, and then pay to get updates and patches onto the system…that’s an outdated model and will fail. The “big boys” have to get their shit together, just look at how iOS and Android are doing it.”
With the ongoing debate as to whether or not dedicated handheld devices such as a tablet or an iPhone would soon replace the major next-gen console, Bestebroer said that his prediction would be that the console would be “your phone”. He said that the model that Ouya and Gamestick are introducing show that there is a market for such a cheaper console. In conclusion, he added,
“Mobile devices are taking huge leaps in CPU power and features, every year brings such big steps closer to console quality…consoles can’t live up to that with their 5-year life cycles.”
What do you think of Bestebroer’s views, Orange Pixel, and the Ouya? Leave a comment here at Leviathyn.