We talk to Mark Gregory, from indie developers 3rd Element Studios, about their upcoming game Descension, life at 3rd Element and Ouya.
GC: Hi Mark. Your role at 3rd Element Studios is Team Consultant, which I presume deals with everybody’s issues within the studio. What is the atmosphere like at the studio?
MG: The atmosphere from within the studio at the moment is one of real excitement at what were creating and size and scale of the task at hand but were determined to do the best possible job we can.
GC: Besides Team Consultant, what other roles do you take on at the studio?
MG: I also do marketing for the game that involves all social media aspects obviously and updating the website and keeping the developer blogs up to date. I also get to play test a lot which is really cool picking up on bugs and glitches and suggesting improvements which are then put to the team and we then discuss them.
GC: What is it like to work for the founder of 3rd Element Studios, Rob Petersen?
MG: Rob, is awesome in my opinion he has given all of us access to this amazing world he has created which is so deep and rich in story. As a boss he is fair he understands that we can’t be around every minute of every day as we all have full time jobs or are students but saying that it doesn’t hinder our progress at all. If anything we have a few students who are now working full time hours on the project with Rob during summer break so during the course of the next few months we’re hoping for real progress.
GC: Descension is an action-adventure-puzzler that is story driven with multiple ways to complete missions. Can you expand on that?
MG: The idea behind this was not to make a linear game where the player is lead down a single path and that’s the only way to complete the mission. We like to leave things open for exploration and let people’s imaginations run wild…..we hope.
GC: How would you describe the story to Descension?
MG: Wow, erm….deep, rich and meaningful. Mahule is a very determined guy and immensely powerful also so mix those two together then that spells trouble really. And Traeven well he is just a very very rich, selfish and privileged young man who enjoys the finer things in life (thanks to his Dad) and has never really been caught up in any sort of confrontation before so with the events that take place he has a choice.
GC: One of the studio’s goals is to “re-invent the idea of what it means to play a game”. How you achieved that with Descension?
MG: Replayability, which stems from our focus on story and the ability to choose your path with meaningful differences in the ending. But also our focus is on characterization, and the deeper meanings in life.
GC: You play as a character called Traevan who is the youngest and spoiled son of a rich and powerful Shaidaran Priest. Will we see an evolution of the character as we progress through the story?
MG: I believe we will yes but that’s totally up to you as the player.
GC: Part of the studio’s motto is to “embrace the change”. With Ouya causing a bit of a stir in the gaming world, will 3rd Element be embracing Ouya in any way?
MG: Yes, definitely if the team at Ouya can deliver on its goal of bringing console gaming for indie developers to the living room then they have our support fully.
GC: How do you think Ouya could change the indie scene?
MG: By offering indie developers the chance to develop games for a console at reasonable over heads.
GC: Thank you Mark for your time.
MG: Thanks for having me.
Check out our Descension preview here.
For more info about 3rd Element Studios and to download the Descension demo, click here,