Interview — Shooting the Breeze with Developer SrBilyon Harris

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I recently had the opportunity to interview SrBilyon Harris, from Wind Chill, in regards to his upcoming title ‘Breeze in the Clouds‘, a game currently seeking funding via Kickstarter.

First of all, for those unfamiliar with the title ‘Breeze in the Clouds’, could you please explain what the game is about?

No problem! So, Breeze in the Clouds is a project I started last year in an attempt to create a game that would invoke nostalgia. I miss the days where I could buy any $20 game and it would be an adventure. Games were suitable for almost any age and there weren’t really “target audiences.” Every game was good back then, no matter the graphics style, music, character design, etc. Everything was just good. I want to bring that “feel” back with this game.

This game is about a corgi named Breeze and his adventure to return to his owner, while trying to save the sky world after a spree of weird storms and weather patterns. In order to stop the storms and return home, Breeze, accompanied by a cloud sprite as his guide, must venture around the world’s skies, help other cloud sprites, and find The Cloud King, the only one who can defeat The Storm King.

The player will play as Breeze and the game will play like a traditional 3D platformer with a combination of action-based combat. It is intended for all ages. The game will feature very stylized graphics, memorable music and hopefully, a memorable tale.

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What was your inspiration for ‘Breeze in the Clouds’?

[private_insider]Well, my imagination is constantly on the go, so it’s really hard to pinpoint where most of my ideas come, but this time, I think it’s clear.

So, while I was daydreaming on the bus on one of awkward days where it is really sunny, yet raining at the same time, the adolescence in me was like “the storm machine must have glitched today.”

I imagined a small little creature that was overworked, attempting to fix a storm machine, when he accidentally created a tornado. Meanwhile on Earth, a stray corgi is walking around on the street, then the wind picks up and the corgi gets tangled and stuck on a balloon, and taken to the weather factory where he makes a deal with the company and becomes a storm engineer or something…

I thought it was a very whimsical idea and liked it. As like most of my ideas, it went through several revisions:

This story evolved into the corgi becoming a weather spirit himself, then a weather guardian that has to get back to the top of this watchtower, blah, blah…. [the list goes on]

Then an idea stuck. What if he got separated by his owner in a way that you would expect him not to return? What if the boy and the dog had a bond so strong, that the dog would do ANYTHING to return?

So I decided to make Breeze a bit “special” compared to many other dogs. He would learn to walk around like a human and do many things with his owner that normal dogs couldn’t do, such as playing video games, pretending to be a superhero, etc.

When did you start developing games? What got you into programming and designing?

I have been coming up with game ideas since I was in middle school. I stumbled upon the RPG Maker software and use it to [attempt] to create my games. Unfortunately, I didn’t complete most of them. There were two games that I managed to complete, one for school and a personal project, but I lost them both to due perilous floppy drive. I got into high school and used RPG Maker XP and Gamer Maker 7. I used them both mainly to create game mechanics for my projects. I learned GML (Game Maker Language) which I picked it up easily after learning Visual Basic, and attempted to complete a game this time around. This went on into college, where I decided to take Game and Simulation Programming (over Game Art). Even though I feel a bit of regret, I made a great decision. Programming turns out to actually quite fun (most of the time). I find my programming strength to be in the area of game mechanics. I’m currently able to program in C++, as well as JavaScript and C# (which I picked up while learning Unity.)

Apart from yourself how many people are actually working on the title?

Well, originally (like most of my projects), I was the only one on board. Then I managed to get my roommate, Daniel involved as an additional programmer. I got a hold of an awesome composer on Youtube named Waltzforluma (I’m her biggest fan), and after a long pause in development, I decided to recruit a team (knowing I couldn’t do it all myself) of talented volunteers. Excluding me, there are 3 programmers, two 2D artists, a level designer, and a musician.  Hopefully, I can get a modeler, animator and a whimsical monster designer onboard, as well as a SFX guy.

Everyone on the team is on working a volunteer basis, but eager to receive the recognition and experience that will set them apart in the indie world.

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How long has ‘Breeze in the Clouds’ been in development for?

This year marks a one year anniversary of the conception of Breeze. I have been working in and out for the past year to get this going, training myself in modeling and animating, as wells as doing research and planning this game some.

Is ‘Breeze in the Clouds’ your first game or have there been previous titles?

This is my first MAJOR game that I want to develop. I have a small black book of 40+ game ideas I would like to do, (about 30 I can explain right from the top of my head in full detail). I see all of my characters as precious and even incorporate them in all my daydreaming, many of them will make cameos in various projects I plan on doing. Some of them will be in Breeze’s tale.

I created and completed a game my freshman in school. It’s a small game, but I’m proud of it. It’s called “Oh Mai: Jim and Leo.” It’s a one or two player side scrolling hack-n-slash game with no more than 10-20 minutes of game play, but it’s the first real game I completed.

Aside from Breeze, I am working on an Android game called “Dino Mail”, which is pretty interesting game project that I managed to program in about two weeks with my roommate. You’ll hear more about that in the future.

Apart from PC do you plan on releasing the game to Mac and Linux users, and further down in the future do you see a console/mobile port as a possible option?

I would love to make this game available to just about everyone. This game will be available for Mac. Unfortunately, the software I’m using, Unity3D, doesn’t deploy to Linux as of yet, but if it releases in the future, it would definitely be a platform to consider. I would love to create a mobile version of Breeze, but with the game play planned, we might have to change a few things for it to work out.

As far as consoles, I’m pretty ambitious.  If budget and licensing conditions allow, I would totally port this project to either the Wii or Wii-U system, or PS3 and Xbox360. We will have to make sure that this game is top quality of course.[/private_insider]

Breeze in the Clouds will be released when it is done. However those who make a $10 minimum backing on Kickstarter will receive access to builds of the game that require testing.

Here is a link to the development blog: http://breezeproject.tumblr.com/.

And of course you have the link to the Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sirvictory/breeze-in-the-clouds/.




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