As many of you will know, the Sinden lightgun is an exciting new development that promises to give us real line of sight aiming on lightgun games again. I for one am a backer of the Kickstarter and am very excited to get a hole of one.
In a recent update, Andy Sinden, the creator of the Sinden ligh tgun project announced that he had sponsored a new light gun game that was being developed and would be available for backers and others whom purchased the light gun.
I am really excited to have an interview with Richard Stamp – the developer of this new game code named ‘Project Sinden’ – to talk about the game and his motivations for developing it.
If you have any questions that you would like passed on to Richard or comments on the game, please post them in the comments.
So here is is – Introducing Richard Stamp…
So first off, I’m Richard Stamp and I’m a 2nd year Games Development student at Falmouth University. I’m developing this game under the Gingerbear Games umbrella, which is my personal studio, though this is the first “release”.
Do you have a name for the game yet or is it still to be decided?
No name yet – the working title as far as my project files is Project Sinden
Could you give me a bit of background on you and what brought you to games development?
That’s a bit of a long road! I’ve done a bit of everything – I’ve got ten years of being a Butcher under my belt, and more recently I spent 4 years running the “8-Bit Gaming Bar”, before closing the doors a few years ago. I decided that was the time to take a bit of a change of direction and started studying games at Falmouth University – Specifically “Games Development : Design” at Falmouth Games Academy.
I’ve always been a Gamer, I guess. Even as a child I had pretty poor health so was more video games than sports and outdoors – my first computer was a BBC Micro Model A, and my parents used to rent a Master System from the local video store as a weekend treat occasionally.
What made you decide to develop a light gun game?
Lightgun games are the best! I’ve always loved them, ever since I started gaming. It brought that arcade experience home. I had Time Crisis on the PS1 and it was a glorious thing. Later, running the bar, I had my own House of the Dead 3 and Point Blank 2 machines. I always appreciated the challenge and the skill involved in really getting stuck into them. So when I heard about the Sinden Lightgun being developed I had to make something that would work for it. It started as a proof-of-concept thing, literally just a target shooting range, and just snowballed from there.
Have you played many lightgun games before, what are some of your favourites and what do you like most about them?
So many. Point Blank 1 & 2 are pure entertainment, can’t get enough of them. House of the Dead 3 – the one with the pump-action shotguns – was great but the Sloth boss was a broken money-sink. Awesome game besides that. I also really liked the GHOST games, with the assault rifle and the military flavour. Just camp enough for that proper Arcade cheese. Perfect.
Could you give me a bit of information on the game that you are developing? What sort of game will it be and is it inspired by any games in particular? Is there anything unusual about it?
Project Sinden is a House of the Dead inspired rails shooter. I’ve worked closely with Andy (Andrew Sinden, creator of the Sinden Lightgun) to make sure it fits some of his needs for a product. It’s not super violent, super gory, things like that. Wide audience appeal and all that.
It takes place in a strangely dormant spacecraft you fly into to salvage, only to discover that the crew have been turned into some kind of cybernetic zombie! Like any good Arcade Hero, you pull out your gun and go find out what’s really going on!
As for unusual things, I’m pretty happy with the location-based hit system. All the basic enemies are quite tanky and require a fair few bullets to go down, but you can stagger them by taking out the legs or a good headshot. It’s something a little different from the one-and-done enemy hordes in a lot of games.
When did you start building it?
I think I started seriously working on the project at the beginning of the year, but there were prototypes as early as mid-Novemeber 2019.
How long do you think it’s going to take to finish?
No idea. COVID-19 has put a lot of things on hold as I’ve been pulling full-time work at the Butchers (it’s supposed to be a saturday job) to try and keep the local village fed. It’s nice to be needed, but it’s hard work!
What have you learnt in the process, has anything surprised you and have you had to change anything major during the process?
Oh man, that’s an essay question if ever I heard one. I’ve scrapped the project two, maybe three times so far? I’m constantly learning and developing new ways of handling different aspects of the game, and sometime those lessons prove that everything you’ve done before is a broken mess. I originally started with a pre-built On Rails Shooter asset, but I’ve since scrapped that and written my own code from scratch. That’s a nice feeling, but took longer than I really wanted it to. It should, fingers crossed, be everything I need right now =D
How did you get involved with Andy and the sinden lightgun project? Has that had much of an impact on the project. Do you think you will be releasing at a similar time to his Kickstarter delivers?
Well, I emailed Andy a while back about getting on the waiting list due to missing the Kickstarter. He was polite but obviously busy, so when he told me I had two pre-ordered i was very pleased and immediately started playing with the prototype shooting range I mentioned earlier. At the time I was streaming pretty regularly on Twitch (which I should be back to, soon), and I tagged him in a tweet about working on the shooter. Next thing I new he was in the stream and we started talking!
We swapped a few emails about the technical specifications to make my input system a bit more robust, and then I was hit with some unexpected bills. I put out a tweet saying I was available for freelance work and next thing I know there’s an email from Andy – He’d spotted an old FPS prototype of mine on my youtube channel while looking for shooting range updates and asked if I could make a game with those models, in that style.
He commissioned the project, gave me a budget for assets I might need and let me off the leash – so he’s had a pretty big impact on the project!
I can’t say anything about release dates at this point because everything is so chaotic, but there will be something released alongside the launch of the Lightgun, even if it’s just the shooting gallery mode I’ve put in while I do the rail shooter sections – one of the stipulations of the project is that Andy gets to distribute it with the lightgun, and that’s pretty exciting for my portfolio!
I’m reachable on Twitter @richardstampdev
my Youtube is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7E7eaB2oOFMbuTp7DjRgUQ (Catchy URL, I know)
I’m on Twitch as richardstampdev for my development work
I’m also in the process of setting up a Discord for the project at https://discord.gg/4SnbcMy