After playing through the new Steam Demo of Gunbrella, I got to have a few questions answered by one of the minds behind the game’s unique concept and trademark weapon, Cullen Dwyer. So scroll on to learn a few more details about this up-and-coming indie title. Enjoy!
BUT WHY THO: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us today about Gunbrella. For readers who may be hearing about this game for the first time, can you give us a quick rundown of what Gunbrella is?
Cullen: Hello, and thank you! Gunbrella is a noir-punk side-scrolling action-adventure video game that follows a gruff woodsman investigating the death of his wife and the disappearance of his child in a foreign land. The Gunbrella, a weapon that was left at the scene of the crime, is used as a defensive, offensive, and maneuverability tool.
BUT WHY THO: Now, with that out of the way, I suppose we have to ask the obvious question, where did the idea for the Gunbrella actually come from?
Cullen: What came first, the chicken or the egg? I actually don’t really remember if the idea for the weapon came from the word or vice versa. We were brainstorming ideas a couple of years ago and when the word Gunbrella was said, we all knew what it meant.
BUT WHY THO: Did you always intend for the game to be a 2D platform/action game, or were there ever other potential gameplay styles you toyed with?
Cullen: The game was always intended to be a 2D platform/action game, but the aesthetics weren’t set in stone in the beginning. We knew we wanted to make a fluid, context-sensitive platformer, but originally, I think the idea was a little cuter, like a mascot platformer, before we decided on the more punk and gritty direction.
BUT WHY THO: By the end of the demo the story takes a fairly wild turn into some unexpected territory, are you planning on surprising players throughout the game with these sorts of plot twists?
Cullen: The game is riddled with plot twists. The demo cuts off right after the boss, but even directly after that moment in the final game, it heats up. It does cool down again, and then heats up, and so on. I hope people will be surprised by where the story goes.
BUT WHY THO: While playing the demo, I got the impression that Gunbrella could be a sizable game with side quests and such. Are you planning a lot of side content for players to engage with if they want, or will it be mostly just a golden path experience?
Cullen: I’d say the focus of the game is definitely the golden path, but there will be a good deal of optional and choice-based content throughout it.
BUT WHY THO: How has the early reception been for the game? Have you been getting positive buzz back from others who have checked out Gunbrella‘s demo?
Cullen: I’ve been very happy with the response! This is the first time we’ve put out a demo for one of our games, besides showing them off at PAX and whatnot, and it seems like people really enjoy it! It’s hard when you work on something for so long to be able to tell if people will vibe with it or not, so it’s a giant esteem boost to see people talking about it or watch them streaming it.
BUT WHY THO: Are there any teases or tidbits you’d like to share? Anything to help players get more excited about Gunbrella?
Cullen: There’s a giant rat. I think every game deserves for there to be a giant rat in it.
BUT WHY THO: Lastly, any quick words of wisdom for any aspiring game devs reading this?
Cullen: The best thing you can do to start making games is to start making games! There are loads of tutorials online that can help you jump into it at this point. Don’t let anybody tell you that your tools “aren’t for real devs” or anything, Gunbrella was made in GameMaker. Make games and finish them. Find other people IRL who want to make games with Facebook groups or Meetups. Do game jams. Study the types of games that are successful at doing what you want to do. Try to recreate elements from them perfectly so that you can gain the language and expertise to be able to decide with certainty what you would do better.