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Friday, August 06, 2010

Interview: The Developers of the Batman: Brave and the Bold Video Game!

The new Batman: Brave and the Bold Video Game is coming out soon, so Legions of Gotham decided to sit down with Adam Tierney and Sean Velasco, the developers of the game, to get the scoop on not only the game itself, but who the heck these guys are and why the fans should stand-up and take notice!  Check out the exclusive Q and A below along with exclusive pics from the game itself!

LOG: Please tell us a little about yourself and what other projects you've worked on recently
    Adam Tierney (director of the Wii game): My name is Adam, and I've been directing at WayForward for about five years now. Titles I've worked on here include Sigma Star Saga, The Flash, and LIT. My favorite game is ICO, and that's not likely to change anytime soon.

    Sean Velasco (director of the DS game): I’m Sean! I’ve been at WayForward for four years. I assistant directed Contra 4 and directed A Boy and His Blob. Additionally, WayForward is the kind of place where everyone contributes to other projects, so I’ve also done cool stuff like level design for Mighty Flip Champs! My favorite game of all time is unquestionably Super Metroid.
LOG: Are you fans of the Brave and the Bold cartoon? How much research did you do on the show when developing the game? Did you watch all of the episodes to date?
    Adam: Our goal with this game was to make it completely authentic to the TV series. We always do a fair amount of research for our superhero games before heading into production, but with this one we really combed through every episode to find what could be brought over. In addition, we worked closely with WB Animation to ensure the scripts and designs matched the TV show, and they kept us in the loop on what would be happening in seasons 2 and 3, so that we had as much material available to us as possible.

    As for the TV series, as a Batman fan I was initially a little shocked by the direction they were taking. It's very different from what's been done over the past few decades. But you only need to watch one episode to be won over by the hilarious writing and smart storytelling. Once we understood exactly what the series was, we couldn't wait to be a part of it.

    Sean: I am a really big fan of Batman: The Animated Series, so initially I was a bit skeptical of a humorous take on Batman. However, after watching a few episodes (especially Mayhem of the Music Meister) I was completely hooked. Batman: The Brave and the Bold is one of my favorite takes on Batman.
LOG: Can we expect to see any bat-villains make an appearance in the game? If so, which ones and why did you select them?
    Adam: Like the TV show, the game has a mix of bat-villains and others from the DC Universe. Our first game episode (of four) features Catman and Catwoman as the primary antagonists, and I love the show's interpretation of them. Catman is one of the funniest characters in the game, and Catwoman's flirtations with the Dark Knight play a major role in the first storyline. The game features additional villains frequently associated with the Dynamic Duo, but not everyone has been revealed yet.
    Sean: Batman: The Brave and the Bold mainstays like Clock King, Catwoman, and Grodd make appearances, but we also pulled some of the more obscure characters into the mix. I love that I can say Clock King is not an obscure character.
LOG: What is your history with Batman? Are you fans of the franchise, and if so to what level? For example do you read the comics, enjoy the movies, collect the toys, watch the toons, etc?
    Sean: I grew up watching the original animated series, and loved the films. After watching Batman and Robin, a buddy and I made a Mr. Freeze costume out of aluminum foil, and a Batman cowl out of an old backpack. We filmed our own movie at about two in the morning.
    Comics wise, I was into Spawn so one of the first Batman books I read was the Batman Spawn crossover. After that I read a lot of Batman comics, but The Dark Knight Returns is my favorite. I also admit that I like the off-the-wall nature of All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder.
    Adam: I've been into comics since I was able to read, and Batman's always been a big part of that. The Dark Knight Returns and Year One absolutely blew me away as a kid, and I remember reading the Batman series' monthly back when Norm Breyfogle was on board as the artist. I've seen all the films and various cartoons (Batman Returns is completely underrated, by the way), and pick up toys whenever they look interesting to me. Two of my favorite Batman comics ever (and absolutely worth tracking down) are Matt Wagner's "Faces" storyline from Legends of the Dark Knight - boy, do I miss that series - and Batman Annual #14, which was the origin of Two-Face, featuring stellar Chris Sprouse art. That story doesn't get the attention it deserves.  
LOG: Have you ever worked in the Batman realm before?
    Adam: My first WayForward project was with Batman! It was a Batman edutainment game on the Leapfrog system, and I helped animate Batman and the game's villains alongside animator extraordinaire Paul Robertson (of the Scott Pilgrim game). We also had Batman in our GBA game of The Flash, but that was just a cameo in Wally West's story.
 LOG: Do you have anything you'd like to say to the Batman fans out there?  Why will they be interested in this game?
      Adam: I really think fans are gonna dig these games. They feature the classic, retro gaming sensibilities you can expect from a WayForward title, mixed with gorgeous animation and art, plus funny storylines that fit right in with the TV show. They're aimed at a younger audience and we put a lot of effort into making the games something that any diehard Batman fan can get into.
      Sean: Adam said it perfectly. Fans of Batman, DC Comics, and video games in general… this is the game for you!
    A huge thanks to Sean and Adam for taking the time to talk with us and let the fans know who they are and what they're about!  They also had the following kind things to say about Legions of Gotham:

      Adam: Legions of Gotham is an absolutely obsessive resource of Batman information, and anything obsessive involving Batman is a good thing.
      Sean: I hadn’t been there until this interview came up, but after poking around, I am happy to be involved with such a comprehensive site!