Okay, full disclosure here: this whole interview started because I Googled myself. Usually when I search for my name I get fairly normal looking results, well, except for that one guy with my name who was arrested in a case involving penis pills…man, I hope I’m not related to that guy. But I recently found myself putting my name into Google again, and I found something shocking. There is someone named Michael Consoli who is making an Indie video game!
His game is called: “Against The Wall”, and it was a Kickstarter project before the Double Fine explosion occurred. Against the Wall is a first person platformer where you are equipped with an object that triggers bricks to pull out from a never ending wall. The player must use these bricks to vertically scale the wall, while being careful not to fall. There is a playable alpha version located at the official site.
Now, being that I write for a video game site, how could I not interview him? How often can you talk to someone with your name? I managed to find a way to contact him, and conducted a short email interview.
GamersBliss – Are you sure we are not the same person?
Michael P Consoli – I… I’m not sure. Maybe I’ve finally snapped and just started interviewing myself. I think it’s a possibility.
GamersBliss – Okay, real questions now, can you give a description of what you are trying to do with Against the Wall?
Michael P Consoli – I’m trying to make a name for myself in the video game industry, though I could sit back and let you try to make Michael Consoli a household name. In terms of the game itself, it’s a first-person puzzle-platformer set on the side of an infinitely-tall wall. The player climbs through a strange civilization clinging to the side of the wall, using this device that turns the wall’s bricks into platforms. I’m basing gameplay around this one platforming mechanic, simple controls, and a minimalistic art style. At one point I had the idea to add RPG elements, but decided that this would unnecessarily complicate things, and detract from the real experience of the game which is the exploration of this vast and unusual world.
GamersBliss – What games serve as your inspiration?
Michael P Consoli – These games had the biggest influence: Myst, Riven, the Portal games, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and Minecraft. Journey and Fez have also helped shape the game to an extent. I should also mention Skyrim and Dark Souls, though their influence is a bit harder to see. Similarities found in Grandia and Q.U.B.E. were originally coincidental, but I borrowed what I could from these games as well. I generally reference games that have a mysterious world and challenging puzzle-oriented gameplay.
GamersBliss – What’s the process for being an indie game funded through Kickstarter? How do you get the word out?
Michael P Consoli – Kickstarter has changed so much since I did my campaign back in November. After the Double Fine Adventure hit, there’s been an explosion in the number of game-related projects. As a result there is more competition to be featured on Kickstarter and on gaming sites. The press is also less willing to cover these games for various reasons, including the sheer volume of emails they get regarding individual projects. At one point getting the word out meant cold-emailing blogs and game sites for coverage. Now, it’s more a matter of self-promotion and marketing through social media sites. I should be one to talk since I don’t update my accounts that often, but anyone who is comfortable with Facebook or Twitter should make frequent use of these services. A general trailer on YouTube is a must in addition to the required Kickstarter video. Also, a working prototype of the game can convince people that you are able to create and deliver the product.
GamersBliss – How many people are involved in this game?
Michael P Consoli – Just me. I bounce ideas off my friend Phil and I’m supported by my parents, but I’m otherwise alone in developing the game.
GamersBliss and I, Michael R Consoli, would like to thank Michael P Consoli for taking the time to answer some questions for us. This game can’t come out soon enough…