I had the pleasure of speaking with Paul, co-founder and video game developer of Flump Studios. Flump Studios’ games are available on Xbox Live, Steam, as well as on mobile devices. Chances are, you have come across them. When I first took a look through them, they looked like a tribute to some of my all time favorite games. They really looked good. The video below is the official trailer for their latest release, Super Killer Hornet: Resurrection. You’ll see what I mean.
It’s very clear Paul and the rest of his team love the games they make. What impressed me most about Paul was the way he programs games. He only writes games that he’s excited about. He calls it having the ‘spark.’ He’s scrapped over a dozen projects because they didn’t have the spark. Just knowing that about him and his games, I have no doubt that his games are something truly special.
Without further ado, this is my interview with Paul
Michael: Heya. So, who are you? Tell me about yourself.
Paul: Well, I’m called Paul and I write games under the name Flump Studios. I’m 32, live in Leamington Spa, England and have a wife and 9 month old son. I’ve been making games on and off for over 20 years now, I started making games on micro computers back in the late 80’s and it’s something I’ve never really stopped doing.
However it’s only been quite recently that I’ve actually got around to releasing any. My first release was the original Super Killer Hornet back in 2012, people seemed to quite like it so I just carried on.
Michael: What’s it like programming video games? What’s the biggest thrill? Are there any difficulties that you didn’t expect?
The biggest thrill? That’s a tricky one. Hmmm, It’s hard to explain but there’s this point when you’re making a game and you run a test and something clicks, you just feel that it’s right somehow, a point where it’s no longer a program but a game you actually enjoy playing. I suppose the biggest difficulty is getting that spark because it’s not a tangible thing, sometimes that point never comes. I’ve scraped countless projects because I’ve got quite far in development and haven’t felt that spark.
Michael: Do you have a favorite game that you made? If so, why? If not, why not?
Paul: Ahhhh! I dunno it’s too hard to choose!
I suppose at the moment it’s got to be Super Killer Hornet: Resurrection as it’s only just been released and I’m still in the honeymoon period. It’s the biggest project I’ve undertaken and am just really glad I managed to finish it. It’s been interesting seeing the reviews come in, it’s had some amazing feedback, it’s nice to know there are people out there who get what I was trying to do. It is a bit of a weird game really.
I also really like Pester, the game before. I didn’t realize it when I was making it because I was playing it every day but I made that game so god damn hard! I didn’t play it for a few months and when I went back I was like ‘Jesus this game’s impossible’ but I quite like that, hard games are fun!
Michael: How does it feel to know you’re a video game programmer?
Paul: Hard to say because I’ve been one since I was about 8. It’s cool though.
The whole dev community is awesome and it’s a great thing to be a part of.
It’s kind of like one big club.
Michael: Why did you start your own studio?
Paul: Well I actually started it with a friend of mine, Nick, we were both just playing some FIFA and talking about games and just decided to give it a go. Unfortunately he’s not been able to put much time into Flump due to other commitments, but Flump probably wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for him.
To be honest I didn’t even think I’d get around to releasing anything but things just seemed to click into place.
Michael: How do you plan your games? What’s your inspiration when you envision it?
Paul: Ha ha, I don’t really. I kind of get a loose idea for something in my head and just run with it.
First thing I do is add the main player then just build stuff around it, to be honest most of the time it feels like the game makes itself.
I tried once to plan a game properly with Pseudo-code and storyboards but it just wasn’t fun and felt stale. So I just freestyle it, I always think ‘If it’s not fun to make it won’t be fun to play’.
Michael: What sort of video games do you enjoy playing?
Paul: Hmmm, good one. I like to dabble in as many genres as possible to be but since the birth of my son I’ve defiantly been drawn to twitch style games. With less time on my hands anything with good pick up and play is perfect.
At the moment I’m obsessed with TxK on the VITA, Llamasoft has just nailed it this time. I’ve always been a Jeff Minter fan but there’s something about TxK that just feels so right. It’s as close to perfect as anything I’ve ever played.
Also CAVE shmups have always been a staple part of my gaming diet and have always been a big influence on my work. I think the original Donpachi is probably still my favourite game, hmmm…or maybe Doom, or maybe super hexagon, TxK? …Hmm, no I’ll go with Donpachi…I think.
Michael: What are the future plans for Flump Studios?
Paul: Keep making games I guess. In fact I’ve just started the groundwork for my next project, nothing I can really talk about yet but I’m really excited about this one, it’s really different to anything I’ve done before. Other than that I’m looking into a VITA conversion of Pester and SKH-Resurrection.
I don’t generally look too far forward to be honest.
If you are interested in purchasing one of the many games Flump created, please click here to go to the company profile page. And thank you again to Paul for agreeing to do the interview.
You can find Flump Studio games on Ouya, Steam and Xbox Live. Click on the title to be taken to the page.