1. Do you actually know somebody like Tiffany? I certainly hope not...
2. How did you come up with a company name like "Epileptic Fish"? Is there a story behind it or did you just choose it for sheer randomness and because it sounded funny?
Dave: I'm afraid the story behind the name isn't all that interesting. I knew a guy in high school who tried to start a band, and when they were deciding on what to call it the name "Epileptic Fish" was tossed around. The name was rejected, but for some reason the name stuck with me. I've always wanted an opportunity to use it, so when the opportunity presented itself I nabbed it.
3. How did you go about making "Two of a Kind"? Did you come up with the idea for the story first and then look for people to help with the graphics etc. or had you teamed up with the others before you began working on the story?
Dave: I had a germ of the idea bouncing around in my head for about a year before I did anything with it. I knew that I wanted to write a game with two characters, and that they'd be twins with special powers. I love oil-and-water dialog, so I also knew that they would have to be polar opposites of each other. But as is often the case, I couldn't find the motivation to push forward beyond the initial cool idea. But then the ATC came along. The ATC ("AGS Team Competition") is a contest held twice a year on the AGS forums. The idea behind the contest is to get people of different skill sets to work on a game and finish within a designated amount of time. One person would do the writing, another the coding, another the art, etc. I tossed my hat in the ring as a "writer/coder", and I was eventually teamed up with Lisa ("Dart"), Allister ("BerserkerTails"), Thomas ("Yoke") and David ("Scotch"). They asked me to write the story, and that was the final push that enabled me to drag the idea out of mothballs and into the game you see today.
4. How did you meet the other team members of Epileptic Fish?
Allister: Once again, it was mostly through the competition that we met each other, though I was familiar with Dave's work on Bestowers of Eternity before becoming part of the team. So it was neat to work with someone who I knew was amazing.
5. I really liked the graphics and was surprised to hear that they were in fact done by four different people, so you obviously did an excellent job there. How did you go about coordinating things among the graphics team? Was somebody in charge of designing one character and somebody else of another character or was it more about assigning whatever task needed to be done to the next person available?
Allister: Well, very early on in development, we lost one of our team members who was working primarily on sprites. We ended up having to complete redo all the character work on the game, and so the task was kinda divided into sections. I took over Tim and Tiffany, and did all their animations as well as the score for the game. Lisa, who was already cranking out backgrounds at the speed of sound handled almost all the other human NPCs, and Thomas, our programmer, worked with the animals, of which there are quite a few.
6. Was it hard to find the right kind of music to accompany each scene? Was the music specially composed for the game or was it rather a matter of assigning the right score to each scene?
Allister: Yeah, I composed all the music specifically for the game, with the exception of the main theme "Itchy Eyes", which was something I had written previously. Most of the tracks were done with only a background for the scene, so I tried my hardest to make the music fit each scene.
Originally, I was going to make two versions of each song, one for when the player is controlling Tim, and one for when the player is controlling Tiff, but that idea ended up being junked as it would take away from the ability to make the score fit the scene.
7. Making games seems to be your hobby rather than your job, and I suppose it takes several months to make a game like "Two of a Kind", which means you probably dedicated quite a lot of your free time to it. Was there a point at which you felt you had run into a dead end and would have liked to abandon the project or was it pretty much a smooth process throughout?
Dave: Things hit a bit of a snag at the beginning when David dropped out because of real-world obligations. This forced us to shift gears somewhat. As I said earlier, our various duties began to blur a bit. I am still amazed at how lucky I was with the team I had. We all worked so smoothly that everything went like clockwork, even after the loss of David. Everyone really pulled together. I have many fond memories of the night before the deadline. We were all on IRC, trying like mad to finish the game on time. We worked well into the night, and we were virtually holding each other's hand the whole time. I would be writing up a scene and then I'd get some animation from Allister, or a background from Lisa, or a piece of complicated code from Thomas and I'd merge it into final product. There were so many laughs and jokes that night, and it became less about winning the competition and more about just FINISHING. And we did. It was an incredible feeling. It really gave me a tiny taste of what it might be like to work for a real company someday.
8. What was the first bit about the story you came up with? The two main characters, Tim and Tiffany? Or was it that "special powers" thing?
9. It's been a while since you made the game. If you could improve one aspect of it, what would you choose? Or would you prefer doing a proper sequel while you were at it?
Allister: If I could improve one aspect? Well, I'd make the score longer. Each song is only about a minute and a half to two minutes long before looping, since we were on such a tight schedule. I'd love to make the tracks longer, so the music doesn't get on people's nerves, haha.
10. Which of the games you've made or contributed to is your personal favourite and why? Or are you always most interested in the project you're currently working on?
11. As far as I can tell you've become a bit of an AGS celebrity, winning lots of awards and all that. Do you think that for your future projects you are going to stick to AGS-based adventures or could you imagine doing something completely different (like, say, a simulation or a platform game) for a challenge?
12. "Two of a Kind" very much depends on the humour and the funny dialogues (another thing I liked about the game, by the way). Could you imagine making a game with a dead serious theme or do you feel that funny dialogues are an integral part of your style?
13. One more question: What is so creepy about that red cup? That it isn't blue?
Dave: Hahaha. Bit of an subtle AGS inside joke there. If you can't figure it out, I ain't telling you. ; )