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Interview with Q-Games

August 12, 2008Written by Anthony Severino

Q for Quality, we say

PlayStation LifeStyle recently got the chance to talk with Dylan Cuthbert, President of Q-Games, to ask about Q-Games, as well as the fantastic PixelJunk series.

What is your role at Q-Games?

Dylan Cuthbert: My credited role for Eden is “Executive Producer” but I dabbled in absolutely everything as much as I could. I am “president” of Q-Games, which means everyone has to listen to what I say. 😉

Could you tell us the history of Q-Games and how the development team is organized?

DC: Q-Games was formed in 2001 about a week after 911 – such good timing there. We initially developed prototype technology for Sony and then moved onto making games with Nintendo and of course the PixelJunk series for the PS3.

About half the company is devoted to developing games for Nintendo, and then we have a small technology team and one or two PixelJunk teams who work in parallel. There are roughly 30 of us in total.

What does the ‘Q’ stand for?

DC: The Q doesn’t stand for anything – it comes from the scientist in the Bond movies who is called Q and can make the most amazing gadgets.

PixelJunk, that’s an interesting name, and since your games aren’t certainly junk, where did it come from?

DC: It is a pen-name I use on a Japanese technology blog we run called fumufumu-Q –

I was trying to think up a name for the series and that seemed appropriate, the “junk” in the title is kind of a joke because the general impression of people at the time was that 2d games were no good and I wanted to prove that you can still make cool stuff with a load of pixel junk on the screen.

How was the development process for PixelJunk Eden?

DC: Well, we were busy developing Racers and Monsters so initially we just had Baiyon work with one or two of our guys developing the rendering technology, then once Monsters was out of the way we applied our game designing muscle and Eden became what it is today. The development was very smooth although we did run over schedule. (but for good reasons – the game came out well!)

What is it that you are most proud of with PIxelJunk Eden?

DC: The originality of the controls, and the sheer “different-ness” of the game as a whole.

What is Q-Games plans for the future?

DC: I want to keep making invigorating and refreshing games, no matter what the platform.

Will there ever be another “series” alongside PixelJunk?

DC: You never know we go wherever our imagination leads us.

What programming tools and hardware have you used on your PSN titles? (I’ve read in the PJ Monsters credits that you used GameMonkey)

DC: Yes, we use the scripting language GameMonkey for all our PixelJunk games, although we have tuned and played around with it a hell of a lot. Apart from that we just use standard dev. kits.

How difficult is it to implement Trophy support and YouTube uploading support?

DC: The trophies support takes a few weeks because of the testing involved and the Youtube video uploading is a bit fiddly because of guidelines etc., but all in all both features are fairly trivial to add.

Now for our signature “LifeStyle” question…  What is your favorite food?

DC: My favourite food is probably Sukiyaki – which is kind of a very lightly grilled beef in a teriyaki kind of sauce with raw egg and rice It is amazing!

Lastly, tell us anything you want (that is, if you want to)…

Anyone who wants something different to the mainstream – play our games! We endeavor to make them as original and different as possible, while still attempting to make them very very addictive.

Well, your games are different, and certainly very, very addictive, but best of all they are a ton of fun to play.  So please keep up the great work!  We are huge fans of the series and look forward to what “junk” you come up with next.

Thanks Dylan!

Interview conducted by Sev1512 & Fersis…