MK Gamester is leader of MK Games. Heading up 'Big Adventure' Fan Game, and also contributed to the SAGE 2002 Compo we held. Nice guy.
TSS: MK Gamester, thanks for being here today.
MK: It's my pleasure.
TSS: First of all, what is your Fan Game all about, for those out there that don't already know?
MK: My Fan Game, Big Adventure, is the product of many many months of trying to develop something new and fun. But because of my nature, it is also silly. Big the Cat is a 2D side-scroller that tries to break out of the ordinary, left to right, boring gameplay that is abundant in many fan-games today.
It's a break from Sonic-speed, but it's fun. Big is drawn into this adventure when his best buddy, Froggy, doesn't wanna be best buddies with Big anymore. It all starts there...
TSS: When did you first get the idea for the game - and what gave you the idea for the ingenious new 'Lasso Engine' that you implemented in the game?
MK: I was trying to storm up an idea for a not-so-boring fan game, because my Chao RPG is... well, boring, and I didn't feel like renovating my first gaming attempt: Rimshot. I was thinking along the lines of carrying off of the Sonic Adventure series. So I was playing around with the ball movements and events and stuff, hoping I'd accidentally figure something out.
I gave up and took a break by jumping on my trampoline in my back yard. BAM! It just blasted into my head. I immediately began to work out all of the events and programming needed and I hopped onto the computer and checked it out. Success.
TSS: Can you let slip on any information on the plot of Big's Adventure?
MK: Shadow returns, and to his dismay, he meets Big.
TSS: Exactly what kind of feel are you trying to create with your Fan Game?
MK: Good gameplay, humorous story.
TSS: What makes Big's Adventure different from the other Fan Games on show at SAGE?
MK: It's NOT a Sonic game. It's a Big the Cat game. I don't think there's anything much I can add to that.
TSS: You created this game with an inspired 'Like Big'/'Hate Big' Death mode, which can play with a guy's emotions as well as being hysterically funny (depending on which mode you choose). Exactly why was this mode implemented?
MK: Well, I know a lot of people who hate Big the Cat. What a better way to amuse those people then to watch Big suffer a gruesome, hysterical death! And for the few that don't feel like watching him suffer (though it's still funny whether you like him or not), the 'Like Big' Death mode is the 'G-RATED' mode, just in case your parents are watching or something.
I don't think your parents would like to see you download stuff where you watch cats being ripped in half with a clip from Dumb and Dumber being played in the background.
TSS: How long has development taken so far?
MK: About a month, spread out over a year. I'm as lazy as the cat himself is.
TSS: Can you reveal exclusively to The Sonic Stadium roughly when you may expect Big's Adventure to be complete and ready for the public?
MK: I can't really determine that, though I'll tell ya a GOOD portion of it will be done around JUNE. I'm working on the cut-scene engine right now, and once I get into that groove, all I have to worry about is making back-drops.
TSS: Did you Like Big or Hate Big when you started work on this game, and has your opinion of him changed as your Fan Game has progressed in development? Maybe you've developed a soft spot for the big fat cat yourself..?
MK: When I first got Sonic Adventure, I hated his guts. Then... I listened to his theme song and well, I learned more about him. Big the Cat knows what he wants, and that is paradise. He's livin' it up without lifting a finger. Ah, the life for me.
I eventually turned into a Big defender, and during the production of this game, I realized that Big is my favorite Sonic character next to Sonic the Hedgehog himself! I think Big is way cooler than Tails or Knuckles or any of the others, any day! And yes... I do have a soft spot and I'd respect you not to touch it.
TSS: More significantly, you canned two other promising Fan Games in favour of continuing with Big's Adventure. What was the reason for this, and will these two Fan Games be resurrected after BA is complete?
MK: Promising? Haha, that's a good one. Chao Quest is an RPG that used the battle engine from the first Chao Adventure on the VMU. It was too much work for not such a great game. RPG's are HARD. I had about 20 INI's for that thing.
Rimshot was my inspiration to make games. I wanted to be just like the Sonic Team and Rimshot was my Sonic. Rimshot is a completely original character and has NOTHING to do with the Sonic realm. So technically, he's not a fan character.
I will end up renovating the game for a 4th time after Big Adventure, that is if I'm not working on a sequel for a beloved cat. I canned the games NOT for Big, I canned then because well... there was no progress. Big had the best potential.
TSS: Any major hitches you encountered during development? Spill the beans on your biggest dev. problem thus far.
MK: I'd say the HARDEST thing to come-up with is the 'Ceiling Hook' swinging engine. Because of the fact that you need to hook onto the ceiling hook when in mid-air, you can hit the hook from a million different positions. A line movement would have not worked there. So I had to develop a parabola type algebra equation that would swing Big naturally. And then I had to make another engine for when he lets go of the hook and how you control Big's movement after swinging off the hook.
I trial and errored for 3 days until it worked. There's one TGF bug, but I don't feel like cleaning that up. Sometimes you get stuck halfway into the ground after swinging. Just cast upwards and you'll pop out of the ground.
TSS: How well do you think Big's Adventure is progressing?
MK: Not so good right now. Making the opening cutscene is so frikkin' hard because I can't get it to look right. Other than that and my frequent lazyness, it's coming along nice.
TSS: How do you see your chances winning the booth polling, against other games you've seen on SAGE so far?
MK: I have a feeling no one will plan on downloading Big Adventure and seeing how nice it is. They'll most likely download SRB2, Sonic Epoch, Diablohead's Sonic... famed games like those.
TSS: Finally, out of all the Fan Games on show at SAGE, which game in your opinion looks the most promising?
MK: It's hard to decide, there's so many of them. It's also hard to choose because my computer runs anything above a 320x200 resolution at less than one frame per second.
TSS: MK Gamester, thank you for your time.