Welcome to our first Interview with the Dev series! Today, we’re talking to the creator of Slain: Back from Hell. Enjoy!
ID@Xbox: Hi! Thank you for taking the time to do an interview with us. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Andrew Gilmour and I am the creator, designer, and artist of Slain: Back from Hell. Prior to Slain, I worked in the games industry creating games for about 28 years in all capacities from Animator to Art Director.
ID@Xbox: What is the inspiration behind Slain/Slain: BFH?
My inspiration behind Slain was that I wanted to make a game that reminded me of the old games of the arcade days, like Ghost ‘n Goblins. I wanted to keep the game pixel art but use all the modern techniques that where not available in those days, taking advantage of lighting and the huge amount of memory we can use in current generation games, while still keeping it very rooted gameplay and aesthetic-wise to the games of the 80’s and 90’s. The game was designed as something for me to play, quick to pick up and right into the action. I play plenty of games with crafting, grinding, and leveling so I wanted to make something that was just a straight-on skill-based challenge.
ID@Xbox: What kind of game is this? What should players expect?
Well, you can expect to get slain, a lot. The game is a side-scrolling, hack ‘n slash, platformer set in a fantasy Gothic environment. The player has a a number of weapons and moves at his disposal to deal with the traps and monsters that populate the areas. I designed the game in the vain of the old arcade games, hungry for you to coin to continue. Even though the “Insert Coin” has been removed, I like to think it maintains that somewhat cruel toughness based on skill, and trial and error. I was always in awe of the guys that could put a single coin in the arcade machine and complete the entire game, when I was spending a lot of money to get nowhere.
ID@Xbox: The art is fantastic. Could you tell us more about art design?
Thank you, at heart, I am an animator, so I wanted everything to have life to it, from plants to drops of rain, creating an immersive environment. My art is inspired by music, mostly metal, and how I imagine the lyrics and music manifesting itself. Also, the fantasy arts of artist like Frank Frazetta, HR Giger, and Zdzislaw Beksinski; movies like The Thing, Conan and Jason and the Argonauts; anime like Berserk and Fists of the North Star; and games like Diablo 2 and Quake 1 with that dark, pixelated style have influenced my art.
Growing up, I painted a lot of leather and denim jackets with Iron Maiden, AC/DC, and Saxon album covers and was also heavily into Warhammer Fantasy and 40k. I waited for my White Dwarf mag every month, and painted hundreds of Citadel Miniatures, which all led to where I am now.
ID@Xbox: The music matches so well with the story and gameplay. Tell us about the score and who helped compose.
The Music was created By Curt victor Bryant, an ex-member of the metal band Celtic Frost. Metal has been used in games before, but it is normally the rocking shredding type, for Slain I wanted more of a doom metal feeling to match the slog of the game.
ID@Xbox: Who is Bathoryn?
Bathoryn is a sword that has existed for eons and has had many owners, Slain is the story about its many wielders and their adventures.
ID@Xbox: Any secrets or easter eggs you’d like to tell us about?
There are many metal references throughout the game, but with Slain, what you see is what you get.
Thank you again Andrew, for taking the time to tell us about Slain!
Creator, Designer, & Artist of Slain
If you have questions, comments, or just want to tell Andrew how much you love Slain, be sure to hit him up on Twitter at: @MrAwolf
If you’ve got Slain, or are planning on getting it, check out the Tips & Tricks guide on the Xbox Wire.
Buy Slain: Back from Hell today!