Enlightening Details Emerge from Grant Kirkhope, Hex Heroes AMA

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

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Hex Heroes - Grant Kirkhope, Hex Heroes AMA | oprainfall

Some of you may not have known this, but there was an Ask Me Anything on Reddit last night involving Banjo-Kazooie composer Grant Kirkhope along with Prismatic Games, developers of the currently crowdfunding game Hex Heroes. While this was officially an AMA for Kirkhope, this was also a chance to promote Hex Heroes, which he will be composing music for. Here are a few of the tidbits that were given during the AMA.

First, from Kirkhope, on why he started composing:

I never wanted to, it was the furthest thought from my mind. It was all down to Robin Beanland, he suggested that I’d spent long enough on and off unemployment (11 years!) and perhaps I should have a go at composing like he was, as he was already at Rare

On the differences between working on video game music in the 1990s and now:

Honestly nothing has changed for me apart from the quality of the samples. I write exactly the same way, I just mess around til I hear something I like!

On his work on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning:

I loved doing the score to Kingdoms of Amalur, it really gave me a chance to just let loose! I got to see some of the areas before I started but most of the time I’d just get a description. It’s been weird since I wrote that music. All the gamers know me from all the games I did but the movie guys know me as a total new comer because of the cinematic feel of Amalur …. I keep getting called a new discovery .. heh!

And on the difference between working with larger developers and indie developers:

Honestly there’s no difference. I’ve always written music the same way, whether it ends up going to live orchestra or to electronic arrangements or sample libraries doesn’t really matter. I always think that the most important bit is the melody and harmony, you can dress it up any way you like after that.

Prismatic Games was also asked a few questions, like what it’s like working on a game for the Wii U:

Developing for Wii U is fairly straightforward as we’re doing so in Unity. As long as the game you’re making doesn’t require a super powered rig, all you have to do is run it once on a devkit and if it’s working, you’re good to go.

On getting the Game Grumps to cameo in the game:

That was actually at the suggestion of superfan Vitas Varnas. He sent over their contact info, we reached out, and the Grumps were impressed with the project enough to want to be a part of it!

On the indie scene and whether they’re worried about poor sales:

It’s kind of funny, with Kickstarter, you just worry about getting funded, poor game sales really aren’t a concern right now – we just want to be able to MAKE the game first.

Without sounding too whiny, we’re actually a little disappointed the campaign wasn’t more well received. Indies are usually the ones innovating, and so it’s kind of disheartening to see retro revivals soaking up attention and projects that strive to be new and experimental fall by the wayside.

And on what their plans are if they don’t reach their funding goal:

If funds aren’t met, we’re considering turning to indiefund for a bit of help. That’d allow us to work on the game to get a playable going for a possible KS relaunch with a much smaller goal. That’s IF indiefund accepts our request.

There is of course finding a publisher. Although, publishers lately don’t have the best track record for believing in the experimental. We’ll be updating our backers with our next steps should we not succeed.

We ultimately want to keep our KS community – they’re the best, and we couldn’t imagine developing the game without them being there every step of the way.

As of this writing, Hex Heroes is currently sitting around $56,600 (USD), with about three-and-a-half days left to raise $80,000. In addition, they’ve made a few additions to the campaign and project. First, they have added two lovely art pieces to their rewards. These are acrylic on canvas paintings inspired by video gaming by Prismatic co-founder Mario Castañeda. There is only one of each, and they will go for $450 each.

Mario Castañeda's “Strangers” - Grant Kirkhope, Hex Heroes AMA | oprainfall
Mario Castañeda's “Gamecubism” - Grant Kirkhope, Hex Heroes AMA | oprainfall

Next, there is a new cameo character who will appear in the game: Alicia from Heart Forth, Alicia. Heart Forth, Alicia is another crowdfunded game we’re keeping an eye on and hoping to tell you more about in the coming days. This addition brings the number of cameos in Hex Heroes to 13.

Hex Heroes: Alicia from Heart Forth, Alicia - Grant Kirkhope, Hex Heroes AMA | oprainfall

The Kickstarter campaign for Hex Heroes will remain open until Thursday, April 24th, at 11:01 AM EDT. If you wish to help the game, go to their Kickstarter page.

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About Jeff Neuenschwander

Jeff has been a supporter of the website and campaign since the beginning. Joining in for E3 2012, he worked his way up the ranks quickly, making it to the Editing Manager post at the beginning of 2013. Jeff has a wide variety of tastes when it comes to gaming and pretty much likes anything that is quirky, although his favorite genres are Action, Platforming, and RPG. Outside of gaming, Jeff is a musician, being trained as a trombonist for Jazz and Classical music, and holds a degree in Sound Recording.