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Had the pleasure in speaking with the talented folks over at SVC Games. Let’s learn more about the studio and their game, Debris Infinity. You can pick up the game right now for the Nintendo Switch and on Steam.

Can you tell us a little bit about the history of SVC Games, how was it formed. What does SVC stand for?

SVC Games

I started making my first games when I first learned programming all the way back to 1996. I was in high-school and was learning Q-Basic and one of the first things I made was a little game called Star Viper where you could move a space ship made of characters (It was like this: ]*> ) and even shoot. In 1998 I bought DIV Games Studio 2 in a shopping mall and that’s when I started making actual games. I chose the name “SVC Games” because SVC are my initials and where known in arcades nearby (I spent a LOT of time there) and a little nod to SNK, which is one of my all-time favorite companies.

Galatic Rampage
A screenshot of “Galactic Rampage” (1999), can be considered a “prototype” Debris Infinity. This is a scan of a printed screenshot I had to show the game around in the pre-smartphone era.

Then at the University (Software Engineering) I made several games/prototypes but never launched them commercially, ranging from SHUMP’s to Beat’em ups (still using obscure but interesting languages like Gemix)

SVC Games - University Projects
Several projects during the university. That face in the lower left seems familiar…

After that I worked several years at a company with technologies such as Kinect or Hololens creating AR projects and visually rich user experiences, back in 2012 when AR was still in it’s infancy. Here are some projects:

Wired UK 2012 presentation commissioned by TedCas:

Lang Lang spanish tour presentation commissioned by Telefonica:

FC Barcelona promo game commisioned by Movistar:

Satellite antenna controller app:

But always felt kind of constrained (I’m a risk taker) so now I feel kind of “unleashed” and the critics praise of Debris Infinity feels like a reward. Making games have always been enjoyable for me and all those years in arcades taught me how to make impactful, polished and enjoyable experiences.

A video of the “arcade edition” of Debris Infinity, when it was first showed to the public (yes, the lights are programmed to be synchronized with in-game events. It’s an arcade after all):

Can you explain to our audience what the game Debris Infinity is to those that are not familiar with it.

Debris Infinity

Debris Infinity is an arcade twin-stick shooter, with intense gameplay, a time-slowdown mechanic to perform impossible maneuvers and “last-second escapes”, and an advance scoring system that rewards not only your piloting and shooting skills, but also playing in an effective manner. You can play in 3 different game modes (in single player or coop), each with similar controls but distinct flavor and an engaging Versus mode where you fight for the higher score with an exciting come-back mechanic so players in the lead can still lose if they are destroyed and the other player survives long enough.

How many people were involved in making Debris Infinity for the Nintendo Switch? What are there various roles. How many hours were needed to make this game? Who designed the great logo?

Debris Infinity

The game was made by girlfriend (Ale Castanedo) and me. She assisted with graphics and it’s actually the voice in-game. I was in charge of programming, design, etc.

It’s hard to quantify hours because it started as a side-project, so somedays it was just an hour or two, another 8, maybe a couple of days without touching it… Overall, I estimate around 6/7 full-time months.

Who came up with the idea for Debris Infinity to be like an arcade-style shoot’em up?

Debris Infinity

As mentioned, my first glimpse of gaming was arcade gaming. I always felt is a powerful form of entertainment, different from current gaming. Since there were lots of games and little time, each one had to offer an impactful experience. I believe it’s a case of “The flame that burns Twice as bright burns half as long” and since arcade sessions were short, they burned really bright compared to consoles. From the moment you put your quarter in, it was a ride. The first time I played Daytona USA I was sitting blown away a few seconds after the race ended, trying to process what I’ve just experienced. And it’s a feeling that is rarer to find these days.

That’s what I wanted to create with Debris Infinity: A polished arcade experience, that is fast, furious and keeps you going back now or years later.

Were there any challenges or difficulties when making this game for the Nintendo Switch compared to other systems?

Actually, working for Nintendo Switch have been very rewarding. Today, developers are used to super-powered devices with huge resources and sometimes we tend to forget good practices because “the machine can handle it” or “there’s lots of memory”. While the Switch is not as powerful as other systems, it certainly is way more powerful than previous generations, and if you work diligently you can have amazing results. In fact, working for the Switch have made me realize several parts of the game that could be optimized and that “aha!” moments teach you a lot and remind you to never forget the basics. And that in turn teach you to make better products. Proof is that Debris Infinity runs at 60fps both in docked 1080p mode and handheld 720p mode, with thousands of particles, enemies, post processing effects…

What does the future hold for SVC Games? Will there be more games coming to the Nintendo Switch?

Right now, we are prototyping some ideas and I would love to launch more games on Switch. It’s a great platform and its form factor is fantastic for arcade and action games, which are what I like.

Will Debris Infinity ever have a physical release? Maybe with the help of Limited Run games?

Debris Infinity

We considered it but since the game have a low price (USD 4.99$) making a physical release would make the game more expensive and the margin of benefit would be too slim. But if we find a way to make it profitable, I’m all in for having a copy to tell my children “Mommy & Daddy did that”.

Do you have any advice for game developers who are also hoping to create a high-quality game for the Nintendo Switch?

Focus on gameplay first, graphics later. Graphics can always be changed but if your core mechanics don’t work you are in a tough place. Also, focus in your art direction, it’s way more important that actual graphics complexity or technology. Specially for indie developers which don’t have the “muscle” to create expensive assets. Focus on what your team CAN do, and do it with intensity and passion.

Before we end this interview is there anything else you’d like to share?

I’d like to thank all the people who is supporting us and Debris Infinity. In the current gaming landscape is hard to get exposure, so every person who trust the game is a treasure. And since our budget doesn’t allow us to get enough advertising, word of mouth is huge, so thanks to all of you who enjoys the game, you make it all worth the effort.

Debris Infinity for Nintendo Switch trailer (ESRB)
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About Tech Wiz X - Contributor

Steven (TechWizX) has been into video games since Pong. When he's not playing video games or collecting Vintage 80s Toys he's running his YouTube channel.

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