Abduction Action Interview

Recently, we did a review on our site for Abduction Action and have had a chance to catch up with the developer, Kris Steele, to discuss the game itself.

XBLIG: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a programmer by day and game developer by night. Abduction Action! is my second release for Xbox Live Indie Games for my game company Fun Infused Games. In 2009 we released the smash hit Nasty (get it here: http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/games/media/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d802585502c2/) which to date has made back nearly half its development costs, thus making it a slightly better investment than most mutual funds during that year. I really enjoy game development and you can expect a lot more games from me in years to come (cue thunderous applause / chorus of boos / malaise indifference).

XBLIG: What made you decide to create video games?
I’ve always wanted to since I was little. I grew up playing Commodore 64 games then NES and so on. I spent countless hours drawing out video games with pencil and paper during my youth. Actually making them real seems like a logical extension of that.

XBLIG: Tell us a little bit about Abduction Action!
Abduction Action! is a 2D game that casts you as a UFO pilot just learning the ropes of flying your own UFO. You’re given numerous tasks to complete in each level that usually revolve around using your tractor beam in some nefarious fashion, either picking up Earthlings and objects or dropping them.

XBLIG: Tell us a little bit about the story line.
The storyline of Abduction Action! is one of the highlights of the game for many gamers as it is sprinkled with a good dosage of humor. You play the role of an alien who has always aspired to do something great but your laziness and general ineptitude has prevented this. Then one day Alien Commander, the second highest ranking Alien of them all, marries your sister and your new family connections allow you to finally achieve your dream of being a UFO pilot. The rest of the game plays out with you performing certain tasks while Alien Commander berates your intelligence.

XBLIG: Why Aliens?
Because someone already made a game with zombies in it.

XBLIG: Are there any hints or tips you can give us for gameplay?
It’s a lot easier to progress left to right or vice versa through the levels. Move across the level killing and abducting as you go. It’s much more difficult if you fly into the middle of things and end up being shot at from both sides.

Also the Mascot boss can be made dizzy in more ways than just dropping flashbombs on him. So don’t think you’re stuck at that point if you run out.

XBLIG: What inspired your decision to create Abduction Action!?
I started with a basic idea that it would be cool to have a game where you could fly around and abduct people and animals. After working on that for a while, I thought making an entire game out of just doing that may get a bit repetitive so I added in more varied tasks and a storyline to link them all together.

XBLIG: Did you have any help with the creation of the game?
I coded the game myself (with the occasional assistance of the XNA.com forums when I got really stuck) and did the majority of the artwork. A couple friends contributed some background artwork and the cow design. Artist extraordinaire Paul Boutros did the box art and Alien Commander image (and did an excellent job with them I may add). The title music was done by Liam Tarpey and the in-game songs are freely available songs by Kevin MacLeod (at least one of them is in another popular Xbox Live Indie Game too). Most of the in-game sound effects were from SoundSnap.com (though I created a few) and all the character voices are me.

XBLIG: How long did it take to create Abduction Action!.
About eight months worth of part-time work. I had hoped to finish in 3-4 month but ended up taking much longer in order to really flesh out and polish the gameplay. Taking the extra time in development really paid off and this is a much better title now than if I had released on schedule in December.

XBLIG: What plans do you have for development for other games?
I am working on two projects right now. The first is called “Hypership Out of Control” which is a vertical scrolling shooter that focuses on speed and dodging ability. I’m hoping to release this game in about a month for Xbox Live Indie Games. The other game is a 2D platformer that is much earlier in development. This project is so secret that even I don’t know about it… and I’m the one making it!

XBLIG: Anything else you would care to mention?
If you come to a fork in the road, take it.