Announcements: We thank Grant for taking the time to answer your questions. He's taking off now, but the team at Prismatic will stick around a bit longer to answer any questions about Hex Heroes or anything else you'd like to ask!

My short bio: Grant Kirkhope is a BAFTA nominated composer who has created the soundtrack to video games that have sold in excess of 25 million copies. From “GoldenEye” to “Banjo-Kazooie” and “Perfect Dark” to “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning”, Grant has shown his versatility in being able to craft music in a huge variety of styles.

Grant has a degree in music from the Royal Northern College of Music in the UK where he majored in classical trumpet. He has also toured extensively in Europe with a variety of bands and has been part of the opening act for Van Halen, Bon Jovi. ZZ top and Bryan Adams on stadium tours of this territory.

Grant has now settled in LA where he has recently been nominated for an International Film Music Critics Association Award for “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” and has been voted into the Classic FM Hall Of Fame for his score for "Viva Pinata".


Prismatic Games is an independent developer currently working on the Wii U title Hex Heroes. It was co-founded by the artist of the hit indie game The Bridge. The music is being composed by the legendary Grant Kirkhope, who is noted for his work on many Nintendo 64 games and more recently Kingdoms of Amalur.

Ask us anything!

Usernames being used for AMA:

*Grant_Kirkhope

*Prismatic_Games

Our Proof:

@GrantKirkhope

@PrismaticGames

@wrackune - Mario

@kinkofer - Chris

fb.com/PrismaticGames

HexHeros.com

Comments: 975 • Responses: 21  • Date: 

Ausdon345 karma

Hey Grant, how do you feel about all the recent attention after appearing on the Game Grumps? Has it been tiring, or have you enjoyed it? Did it inspire you to produce more stuff for your fans?

@Primatic: Do you still plan to work on the game if the fundings are not met? If so, what would be the next step in completing the project?

Prismatic_Games98 karma

If funds aren't met, we're considering turning to indiefund for a bit of help. That'd allow us to work on the game to get a playable going for a possible KS relaunch with a much smaller goal. That's IF indiefund accepts our request.

There is of course finding a publisher. Although, publishers lately don't have the best track record for believing in the experimental. We'll be updating our backers with our next steps should we not succeed.

We ultimately want to keep our KS community - they're the best, and we couldn't imagine developing the game without them being there every step of the way.

Ausdon12 karma

Well, best of luck! I would really love to see this game come through.

Prismatic_Games22 karma

Thanks! Any amount pledged helps :)

EmbersToAshes57 karma

Grant - What would you say the differences are between writing a soundtrack for a developer such as Rare, and an indie development team such as Prismatic Games? Are there more or less limitations?

Prismatic - To start, I place this game right up there above Mario Kart hype-wise. However, I imagine you're slightly underwhelmed by the struggles you've faced in trying to meet your goal. In your heart of hearts, do you believe you'll fund in time? What do you believe has been your biggest issue in fundraising, and what would you change if (god-forbid) you were to fail and have to retry?

Prismatic_Games55 karma

We are biting our nails and crossing our fingers that we meet our goal. I (Mario) have been working tirelessly this past month to generate more exposure, as I feel that has been our biggest folly. I will admit I'm a tad bitter that we haven't been featured on Kotaku yet (that could be what I call our biggest issue).

If we retry - we'd not do so until we have a playable. That was the biggest issue. IGN and several Youtube celebrities were interested in the game, but needed playable builds to really do any advertising. We don't have the means to self fund the game to completion, but we've been considering turning to indiefund to help us get a sort of alpha going. After that, we could return to Kickstarter with a smaller goal and a more polished looking preview than the one we've got now.

EmbersToAshes19 karma

The media's coverage could definitely have been better, though the support from GoNintendo and those of the same ilk has been great to see. I'm genuinely gobsmacked that the slew of platformers on Kickstarter can fund within days, while an RTS, a first for the Wii U, could struggle this much. I can't help but agree with the article you guys posted concerning Kickstarter and the popularity of nostalgic games.

sigh

I've got everything crossed you guys will fund, and I'll probably bump my donation up for the fourth time if you're cutting it close. Don't give up guys - considering Nintendo aren't particularly using the Gamepad right now, we pretty much need you guys.

;)

Prismatic_Games15 karma

Aw thanks! And thanks for checking out that blog post - it was admittedly a bit cathartic to write. It was pretty much Chris and I getting a lot off our chest :P

DoomerX52 karma

Game Grumps characters are being involved in the game, whose idea was it to add them in and how on-board was the team with the initial idea?

Prismatic_Games76 karma

That was actually at the suggestion of superfan Vitas Varnas. He sent over their contact info, we reached out, and the Grumps were impressed with the project enough to want to be a part of it!

Dassed40 karma

@Grant, what's your opinion of the Wii U? Do you own one personally? I'd love it if Nintendo somehow got the rights back to Banjo and Threeie was made. Obviously it'd be great if you were on board as well if this happened. Also, are you going to be composing music for any other games soon?

@Prismatic Games, is this purely a local game or will it have online play as well? Loving the general art style of this game, and having Grant on board to do the music would be such a great thing. Also, what tips would you give to a person who is hoping to work in the gaming industry in the future?

As a Wii U owner who keeps up with news about the Wii U, your game is always mentioned and looks great, so I sincerely hope it gets funded.

Prismatic_Games25 karma

For the Wii U there will be single-player online mode with our initial goal. We have a stretch goal to add multiplayer online for both PC and Wii U.

If you want to get into game development, the old adage is just make games. Of course that's easier said than done. There are a ton of routes to go, the hardest, imo, is designer because it's so competitive. But you can make tabletop games (board games, card games, role-playing games, etc.)

If you're a programmer download Unity (for free) and follow some tutorials. If you haven't started programming yet you can learn a lot with GameMaker (also free).

If you're an artist there are a lot of directions to go. The fastest way in is probably through 3D animation, but that's not something you can pick up quickly. Photoshop skills are a must. For free tools, Gimp for 2D art and Blender for 3D art.

Good luck!

Dassed4 karma

Thanks. I'm doing a college course in England where i'm doing 3D modeling most of the time. I love the style of your models, I prefer creating characters with a distinct style similar to this, and looking at some of the pictures on your Kickstarter have gave me some inspiration.

Prismatic_Games17 karma

Great to hear! Keep in touch with us, we'd love to see your style evolve: [email protected]

R0DAN21 karma

what is the most lewd idea for a song you have had?

grant_kirkhope50 karma

we toyed with the idea of having a character called Rear Admiral Brown Eye who always attacked from behind in Project Dream ... childish I know but it made us laugh at the time!

Prismatic_Games18 karma

Chris: That is truly the funniest thing I've heard all day.

TheLobsterLady19 karma

Hey guys! I backed at the $500 level and I'm really hoping you pull through, but if you don't will there be some way for us to say, sign up for an email notification for the next time you do a Kickstarter? This is one of the best looking/most creative games for the Wii U and I just really want to help make it happen, whenever that ends up being.

Prismatic_Games12 karma

Thanks for your support! By staying a backer, even if the project doesn't meet its goal, we can still reach you with updates. But we also have our twitter @PrismaticGames, Facebook FB.com/PrismaticGames, and our website Prismatic-Games.com

TanookiSuit316 karma

@Prismatic, What would be the chance of putting Jon in the game? I understand he's no longer a Grump but, I just wanted to get this question off my chest. Also, I want to say, I'll still buy it if he isn't, I just wanted to know. :D

Prismatic_Games40 karma

We've reached out to him twice to no response, so it's not for lack of trying :\

Thanks for your support!

Joeber179 karma

@PrismaticGames, I'm studying game design and development at the Rochester Institute of Technology. I'm currently finishing up my second year there and am searching for my first internship! I guess what I'm trying to say is are there any internship opportunities at Prismatic? Feel free to drop by my portfolio site here: www.josephcoppola.com

Prismatic_Games4 karma

Chris: Good luck in school. I interned with a guy from RIT when I was an undergrad and he did great work, so they must have a good program. We don't have an internship, but maybe after Hex Heroes when we start our next project. Keep in touch!

jiehnav8 karma

Grant - I'm a great fan of yours and your work. Like a lot of people, I grew up with your music and Rare's games, which are ones of my favourites of all time. (Funnily enough, I just beat Banjo-Kazooie for the first time this morning! Took me 16 years. I'm great at them video games!) My question is, was the technology back in the N64 days harder to work with than today and how? Also, what are the challenges to do computer-generated music versus music for orchestras, like you did for Kingdoms of Amalur?

Prismatic - I love the idea of asymmetric gameplay. But, will the game be playable in single player? How will that work? Also, I'm curious, what game engine do you use for the game?

Thank you for the AMA! :)

Prismatic_Games6 karma

The single player mode will allow you to switch between the RTS view and 2 of the characters on the ground. We'll probably take a few cues from Pikmin 2 and 3, they really did the character switching well.

We're using the Unity engine because there is a lot of Nintendo support with the Wii U. I (Chris) have used it before, and some of our other programmers are pros with it. Although this will all be our first Wii U game!

R3Dimac4 karma

Hex is looking great. What will happen if the Kickstarter didn't reach the set goal? Will you guys just stop development? Will you relaunch a new Kickstarter? Or will you just continue the project even if the goal was not reached?

Prismatic_Games8 karma

We've answered this previously, but the short of it is we're not giving up!

R3Dimac1 karma

Awesome! You have my money, so hopefully it finishes soon.

Last questions. My friends are planning on registering as Nintendo's licensed developers, so I have a few questions regarding the process. Have you registered through Nintendo's development program? If so, how do you feel about-- rather, is it easy or hard to get into? If not, what other ways have you made to be a licensed Nintendo developer? Lastly, do you have any tips regarding applying as a Wii U developer?

Prismatic_Games2 karma

It's hard to answer really whether it was easy or hard. Mario had made connections with Nintendo people through his work on The Bridge, and during that time gained Nintendo licensing.

As far as applying - it's pretty much as straightforward as signing up in their development program. We wish you the best of luck! Keep in touch as your efforts develop - i[email protected]

Gameiki2 karma

Hey, I want to give some advice... You are trying to hit your goal on kickstarter and that is probably the reason for the ama.... so why don't you add the link to the description.... there is no pride in failure.... you are very close to missing your kickstarter goal.............. lose the pride, add the link.... Link

Edit: Also your game looks like shit and you are in desperate need of someone to head up your marketing department. I'm sorry to be so forward but you need a healthy dose of reality on this project. You are basically getting backers from your name on previous projects. I'm a total asshole but everything I just said is true and I wish you the best.

Good luck - someone in the industry.

Prismatic_Games5 karma

Part of the rules of the AMA is not to make it about just the crowdfunding campaign. But there are a lot of questions toward Grant, so maybe we can interject Hex Heroes more without explicitly mentioning the campaign.

BlixQuoy1 karma

For Grant: What music releases from this year (if any) have you been listening to the most?

For Prismatic: What's been the most enjoyable thing so far regarding development of Hex Heroes?

Prismatic_Games2 karma

Chris: I've really enjoyed the class voting. Mario and I took a long time even before the Kickstarter to think of all kinds of classes. There are endless possibilities of attacks and abilities. We drew on games that we enjoyed from RPGs to Team Fortress 2. I was excited to see what the backers wanted most and we were pleasantly surprised when a backer suggestion (Angel) was selected as one of the 8 playable classes.