Welcome to Show and Tell, a Kotaku regular where we talk to indie developers and students about the project they're working on and what they're about to release. Today we have Liam O'Sullivan from Walk Thru Walls Studio to talk about Metal Dead.
Can you introduce yourself and tell me a little bit about your studio?
Walk Thru Walls Studios is comprised of two people — Robert Wriedt, and myself, Liam O'Sullivan. We're based in Brisbane and we're about as indie as it gets! We essentially operate out of each others basements and on a very low amount of funds.
Robert is a multitasker, and he handles art, code, and design. He previously worked at Krome Studios before they went supernova and collapsed in 2010, and was credited on several of their titles as a cinematic artist. As for myself, I write and design. I've been a gamer since I was very young, and have always wanted to tell stories. Being able to tell interactive stories is a bonus!
Robert and I have been friends since pre-school, and after Krome shut down I suggested that we work together on a game since we had the skill set and there was no point in letting it go to waste.
What game are you working on at the moment?
We've just completed and released our first project, Metal Dead. It's a comedy/horror point and click adventure game exclusively for the PC, and follows the genre conventions set by companies like Sierra and LucasArts back in the late 80s and early 90s. The plot involves a couple of hapless metal heads trapped in a skyscraper during the zombie apocalypse.
Both of us here at Walk Thru Walls are massive fans of gory zombie movies, heavy metal, and old-school adventure games. To us, mixing all those elements into one beast seemed like a given! I'd like to think that if George A. Romero was in a metal band, drank a lot of beer and worked at LucasArts in their heyday, Metal Dead would be the game he'd have made!
You play as Malcolm, and as the game opens, he and his best friend Ronnie are driving down the city streets in search of a safe haven in the middle of a zombie invasion. After discovering Ronnie's true intent of following the undead infection to its source, Malcolm grabs the wheel in an attempt to turn them around. They crash and end up outside the MediGeniTech building, where a suspicious corporation regularly undertakes a variety of nefarious experiments. Ronnie dies a violent death in the car wreck, and quickly becomes one of the living dead.
Devastated by the loss of his friend, Malcolm makes his way into the building and is soon recruited by a stereotypical mad scientist to retrieve a specimen. Malcolm returns to Ronnie's corpse and unceremoniously removes his zombified head, upon which the doctor then performs an experimental surgical procedure. This enables Ronnie to communicate through a speaker installed in his disembodied cranium. Malcolm stuffs Ronnie into his backpack and the two begin their quest to find out the cause of the undead apocalypse before hopefully escaping the research facility and making their way to safety!
Where and when can we play?
What’s next for your studio —– any big plans?
Aside from furiously trying to promote Metal Dead, we have a million ideas we'd like to work on, but after much deliberation we're in the planning stages of another, more ambitious point and click title. We also have a couple of other concepts in the works as well.
Any words of advice for those who want to get into the games industry?
My first instinct is to say, "run, run as quickly as you can in the other direction!" But that would violate the first and most important rule of succeeding in just about any industry — persistence. If it's your dream to make games, then you need to do everything you can to make that a reality, no matter what anyone says. Be ready for disappointment, be ready to be ignored, be ready to get very little return for your investment of time, but don't let any of that discourage you and just keep on going.
Obviously, networking is one of the best things you can do. It sucks having to use a cliché but it really is who you know, not what you know. Find other like minded people and feed off their passion and creativity. Be sure to challenge each other to do better and get the project done. Most of all, work with someone you trust and get along with, because you're going to be spending a lot of time together!
Are you an indie developer with a cool project to show off? Send us an email with the subject line "SHOW AND TELL" and let us know what you're working on!