This week will see the launch of Tiny Galaxy on the Wii U eShop. Pure Nintendo spoke with Taylor Hajash from Arcane Pixel about the game, as well as the game’s music composer, Matt Desind.
Pure Nintendo: First I’d like to thank both of you guys very much for taking time to chat with Pure Nintendo. Please introduce yourselves to our awesome readers.
Taylor: Thanks, I’m Taylor… Tay… Tay Tay depending on who is talking to me, ha-ha.
Matt: Thank you for having me, it’s a pleasure to be able to talk with you. I’m 26 years young, I have three wonderful girls and a beautiful wife. The last year has been a pretty crazy ride working with Taylor on Tiny Galaxy. It really was a dream come true to work on a game like this for the Wii U.
PN: How did you get into game design Taylor? How did you start composing music Matt?
Taylor: I was going to go into the police academy. Long story short I was pulled over by a deputy that worked with a family member of mine… well they didn’t get along very well so he took it as an opportunity for some payback. I was pretty distraught after I got home, and felt like I wasted all these years, time and money. I turned on Netflix and saw Indie Game: The Movie. I watched and loved it, but didn’t think I could afford going to school for it. The next day my school just added a degree for game design and I immediately switched degrees so I could learn how to use all the tools and such. I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.
Matt: It’s a pretty funny story really. I was on Twitter one day when I saw that Taylor was working on a game. I just asked him right there on Twitter if he needed music for the game, and at first he was not really into the idea. ha-ha. I asked if I could send him some sample work and after that he said I could work with him. I found out that all it takes sometimes is just to ask a question. I know it threw Taylor for a loop when I asked, but it was a lucky thing I did, here I am now.
PN: For any who aren’t familiar with the title, could you please give a brief overview of Tiny Galaxy?
Taylor: Tiny Galaxy is a platformer. It plays like a 2D Super Mario Galaxy meets super meat boy. You collect 3 stars in each level and avoid all the horrible death traps. I wanted to make something for my first game that was more simple… but this ended up taking 363 days to finish ha-ha.
Taylor: Luckily for me, I was and well I am still finishing college so I had the extra student loan money to fall back on. A lot of people just didn’t think it was something that needed to be on Kickstarter because it wasn’t a huge million dollar game. But out of pocket for me, I spent about $10,000 to start the business and make the game, so the campaign would have helped a lot, but I’m glad it turned out how it did. I did have some people from infinity ward backing it and offering advice which was amazing! As you know we are working on trying to reboot Primal Rage, and if it happens I’d like to possibly do a Kickstarter as well as self fund the game as much as we can.
Taylor: I think it all came together bringing Matt and Sara in the mix. I had art for the first 3 worlds finished when Sara came and she completely redid it all. I think it looks great now compared to what I was trying. Matt’s soundtrack just completes the game. I’ve seen some people streaming or doing lets plays, and they’re sitting there subconsciously humming along to the music. It’s awesome. I think I’m most proud personally of teaching myself Calculus to get the gravity working. Math isn’t my strong point, but when applying it to my games, it clicks, so I’m proud of myself for learning that part.
PN: When working with a game like Tiny Galaxy, what’s the thought process when composing? Do levels need to be played over and over to get a feel, or is it more a intuitive process?
Taylor: I’ll let Matt handle this one ha-ha.
Matt: After I had an overall idea of how the game played and how it worked I just went to the drawing board and made many, and I mean many, rough drafts of songs. I’d start work for a song, and after hours of experiments I’d start over until I felt a song could work in the game. I’d then play some of the game and play music in the background to see if it fits – I still have a few unused songs that I just felt didn’t fit. It’s a balancing act, and can be tough making a song for levels players may play over and over that’s not boring or repetitive.
The soundtrack is for sale though the Google Play Store Under Tiny Galaxy or OnlyMatt
Taylor: Yeah I have been, it’s almost all positive. I know there were a few areas I messed up on. Tiny Galaxy is my first game, and in some areas I think it shows a little, but I’m always paranoid so I keep asking those playing “how far are you, how long have you spent in the game, what do you think”, etc…
PN: We’d enjoy hearing opinions from both of you on the current state of the Wii U …
Taylor: Love it. Cough cough NDA cough cough. I can’t say much, but honestly I do think it’s a great system and has fun at its core. I’m excited to see the NX also.
Matt: The Wii U is great if gamers already own one, but I do think that system has seen most of its day. It’s a surprise to me because this is some of the most fun I have had with any system before. I just wish more people would try it. This is so much potential that will sadly never be seen. I just hope things like Miiverse, Amiibo, and the strong amount of indies will move on to whatever the next Nintendo thing is. There’s been some amazing things done this generation, and I hope people can be open to see what’s next from Nintendo.
PN: When you guys aren’t making games or writing music, what do you do for fun? After working on games so much do you need a break, or do you still enjoy playing for fun?
Taylor: I play games, watch DBZ play guitar and read comics… but I like making games so I’m usually still making games… when I’m not making games ha-ha.
Matt: Nintendo and games are much more than just a hobby for me, they are a passion. I love to play anything I have time for, and research random information about upcoming games or just general information. Right now my hands are full with a few things going on in life such as a Stage Play that I happen to be the lead in, so that has taken up a good amount of time. Plus having a house of three daughters keeps things pretty busy.
Matt: I don’t want to speak for Taylor but there’s some big things that we’re working on. I’ll let Taylor speak more on that if he’d like. I can say our next game should be out before the end of the year and I’ve been working very hard on the soundtrack for that as of now.
Taylor: Hopefully Primal Rage: The New Blood. We have Super CuttleFeesh – you play as both of them, switching back and forth to solve puzzles, defeat enemies and get them together at the end of each level. They control a lot like the ship in Asteroids. I’m also working on a 3d first person RPG in a voxel type world. It’s pretty fun using unity and working on something like that.
PN: Lastly, let’s hear both of you give a sales pitch for Tiny Galaxy. Why should gamers look for it on the eShop this Thursday?
Matt: Video game are to be fun and challenging, and I feel Tiny Galaxy has plenty of both. The stages offer a lot of imagination and keep a simple idea and expand on it in such a way that only someone who loves games would think of. I’d also say that the soundtrack is pretty awesome as well, but I might be a little biased about that :0. There’s a lot of game and for the price tag, and this is a game that will keep people busy for a good amount of time. There’s a lot to see, and part of the fun is just seeing what’s around the corner.
Taylor: I went in wanting to make a platformer that was super hard. I grew up on the Mega Man games, Sonic’s and Mario’s from the 8-bit and 16-bit era and they we hard as all heck, ha-ha. So this is like my love letter to my childhood and the challenge I grew up with. If you’re looking for something a little different that will kick your butt… in a fair way… check it out. It’s fun!
A few people were concerned that it might make them dizzy with the rotating screen… but the people who have played it said it’s much different from watching a video because while playing you focus more on Orion, the character, rather than a moving back ground. I’ve noticed several nights of “work” where I got caught up in just playing it for hours. If you check it out, thank you so much!
PN: On behalf of Pure Nintendo and our great fans, I want to again express appreciation for chatting with us.
Matt: Thank you for having me, this has been a great time. The ride I’ve had working on Tiny Galaxy has been amazing and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.
Taylor: Thanks for having us!