Transistor - Interview @ Popzara
Popzara interviewed Supergiant Games Greg Kasavin. They talk mostly about his recently released game, and a few other questions about the developer.
Transistor clearly shares a heritage with Supergiant’s first game, Bastion. When the team was working on Transistor, did you make a conscious effort to differentiate the game from Bastion? What aspects of Bastion did you explicitly decide to carry over or drop?
GK: Our main goal with Transistor was to create a new game with its own distinct identity, as strong as that of our first game. Any similarities between Transistor and Bastion are mostly due to it being the same team that created both games, and a conscious decision on our part to continue exploring the action RPG genre. Other than that, we held over nothing from Bastion for the sake of doing so.
When we did come around to making similar decisions — things like the camera angle or the use of voiceover as a major component of the narrative — it was because we felt that those decisions were best for Transistor.
Upon Transistor’s PC launch there were a number of technical issues that hampered people’s ability to play the game. As an indie studio with perhaps less of a staff and budget for QA, how does Supergiant feel about this kind of problem and how do you approach it when it comes up?
GK: First off, if you personally ran into problems with the game at launch then I’m very sorry about that. I hope from your perspective that you felt like we addressed those problems swiftly.
For the small percentage of players who ran into compatibility issues or other problems around the time of the game’s launch, we responded often in a matter of minutes and worked closely with each individual to make sure they could get the game running. While there is no excuse for a rough launch in this day and age, if and when the reality of technical issues arises during a game’s launch, I think it is the developer’s responsibility to work swiftly to resolve those problems.
We invested heavily in the quality assurance of Transistor — much more so than we did or could on Bastion — both because we think it’s worth it and because we expected we might have a lot of folks trying to play the game on day one.
Fundamentally I think our approach was the right one: To test the game as thoroughly as possible on as many different systems as possible for as long as possible prior to launch, then to all be standing by for the launch to swiftly address any issues we did not or for whatever reason could not have anticipated.