Hi Reddit, we’re Supergiant Games, the seven-person team that created Bastion, which came out on XBLA and PC this summer. The game got a great response here and Reddit helped get us through a lot of late nights working on the project, so we’ve been meaning to do one of these and answer any questions about who we are, how we set up our little studio, the choices we made with Bastion, or whatever else. The game’s on sale on Steam for the next couple of days, so this seemed like as good a time as any.

Our studio was founded in September 2009 in a house in San Jose, CA and Bastion was our first game. During development, our team grew to its full size of seven people. We're all here:

SG_Amir: cofounder / studio director / designer

SG_Andrew: chief technology officer / systems engineer

SG_Darren: audio director / composer

SG_Gavin: cofounder / gameplay & tools engineer

SG_Greg: creative director / writer / designer

SG_Jen: art director / artist

SG_Logan: voice actor


UPDATE: Thanks everyone for the great questions and for your support! See you in the next one.

Comments: 1778 • Responses: 69  • Date: 

spirius629 karma

No question. Would just like to say fantastic job on all accounts, particularly the soundtrack.

SG_Greg301 karma

Much obliged. The response to the soundtrack has been incredible.

Xyphorium370 karma

Logan, how is your voice so amazing?

SG_Logan1080 karma

Years of alcohol and tobacco abuse. Stay in school.

flying-sheep45 karma

i read somewhere that it isn’t your real voice. i hope it isn’t uncomfortable to make it, else you’d have to turn down 99% of your fans’ requests :D

SG_Logan113 karma

I'm getting better at it. I've never had fans before! It's hard for me to do the voice without a mic and in a giant lound room like the floor of a PAX or Comic Con.

Lilikah5 karma

I love your voice, not the voice only but the way that you acting it .

in fact i must to confess that i have never played bastion, but my husband do, and he turn on the sound just to me follow the story and enjoy the narration and the music.

SG_Logan7 karma

That's very kind, thank you!

joetown17251 karma

What's next for Supergiant Games? Bastion made me a huge fan and I'm really excited to see what you guys do next.

P.S. 10 idols wasn't too hard, I found it a very nicely designed challenge.

SG_Greg249 karma

Too early to say what's next though we're sticking together and intend to press on, which is just what we wanted. We didn't announce Bastion until more than a year into its development so it'll probably be a while before we talk about anything new.

Kurp325 karma

Whatever it is, make sure it includes Logan.

SG_Logan775 karma

I approve this comment.

Diggidy18 karma

That's interesting. Any particular reason you prefer your projects to fly under the radar?

(I have Bastion on Steam and love it btw!)

SG_Greg23 karma

It's not that we want our games to fly under the radar, it's that we want them to make a strong first impression. Games are meant to be played not watched. If we're not confident enough in our game to hand over the controls to a stranger and let him or her play, then we shouldn't be showing it at all.

fivedollarlunch195 karma

Logan, is there any truth to the rumors that you like to dress up in Panda suits and do dramatic readings of Corey Hart lyrics?

SG_Logan390 karma

I will find you.

Ascalon144 karma

Bastion was really approachable and I was able to play it in small chunks where I had free time. It seems like more studios are recognizing the fact that as gamers get older, their time to play games often decreases. Did the team make a conscious effort to create a game where people can just jump in and play for smaller periods of time?

SG_Gavin168 karma

Having the game be playable in short chunks wasn't necessarily an explicit goal but more generally we spend a ton of time trying to get the pacing of everything just right. For everything from tutorial to difficulty to introduction of weapons and game systems, having them be doled out piece-by-piece is something we put a ton of thought into.

And of course having the gameplay start immediately and almost never be interrupted by long cut-scenes or walls of text was important too, hence the narration technique.

maxcantor97 karma

Nerd questions:

  • Were SG_Andrew and SG_Gavin the only developers?
  • From a code perspective, if you could write a letter to yourselves before development began, what would you mention?
  • At what point during development did you first have a "playable game"? In other words, did you start with a super-minimal engine with a little blob being moved around by the controller after a couple of weeks/months and then build on that; or did you spend a long time crafting the engine, assets, plot, and other aspects separately before "tying them together"?

On a separate (non-question) note: Thank you so much. Bastion is one of my favorite games ever and I find it utterly inspiring. I hype the game and the soundtrack to everyone I know as frequently and fervently as possible. The soundtrack in particular is simply magical, and I have probably clocked more time listening to it than on my three playthroughs of the game itself.

SG_Andrew119 karma

Yes, Gavin and I were the programmers.

My letter would say, beware the garbage collector.

forrestthewoods36 karma


SG_Andrew97 karma

First one that comes to mind, not really a hack I guess, I had to implement garbage free versions of atof and atoi in C# since the library versions (Parse/TryParse) were not so eco-friendly. Had to dust off my old copy of K&R for that one!

ansible4715 karma

I'd be fascinated to hear you expound upon this, if you're willing.

What language did you write the game in originally? Where your problems focused on working around the compiler's internal garbage collection, or the garbage collectors you had to implement for yourself?


SG_Andrew51 karma

The game has always been in C#. When I say "beware the garbage collector", I meant don't take it for granted. Even though C# has automatic memory management, it doesn't mean that you're off the hook. This is especially important when working on a console like the 360 where memory is a scarce resource and the garbage collector is not as advanced as what you might find on the desktop.

SG_Gavin102 karma

We had a playable game in 3 days? 2 days? We don't do any paper design and nothing is proven until we can see it in game through rapid-prototyping.

Solomaxwell619 karma

We don't do any paper design

Gasp! I can't imagine writing code for even a simple project without a very concrete plan of what I'm going to do ahead of time. Did you ever run into big problems from things not being planned out well enough?

SG_Gavin87 karma

It really depends on what kind of project you're doing. Are you designing the software for the space shuttle or a medical device? You damn well better have a complete design and requirements document. But for something creative like game design? Prototype away! (And be prepared to throw out tons and tons of work.)

Hi_Kate8 karma

What?!? 3 days? Did you use any engine/framework?

ansible4731 karma

Be weary when an engineer says something is "usable" or "playable"; it's probably far from what you expect.

The basics of the game can be represented pretty easily in 2d. Getting a little figure to run around on-screen is pretty basic if you've done it before. 'Specially if they're familiar with other engines.

Hell, anyone could do it with a tutorial and some copy-pasta.

(not to diminish the great accomplishments of the SG crew; just trying to make coding more accessible I guess?)

SG_Gavin61 karma

If you watch the video development diary we did over at Giant Bomb you can see exactly what 'playable' meant to us after about 1-2 weeks: http://www.giantbomb.com/news/a-look-back-at-building-the-bastion/3499/

TotalBiscuit92 karma

Hey Greg \o_

SG_Greg57 karma

Heya, thanks for stopping by!

SMTRodent86 karma

How much fun was the game to make? Also, who chose the colour palette?

SG_Gavin196 karma

Tons of fun! Jen is master of all things color but I often enter random default RGB values until she catches something ugly.

SG_Jen236 karma

At which point much yelling and face-palming ensues!

missingsf72 karma

Looking back, what aspects of the game do you feel could have been done better?

The game was clearly a labor of love, and I had a blast playing it. Thank you.

SG_Gavin98 karma

We're all highly critical of our own work. We've watched people play hundreds of times but whenever we see someone struggling on a particular section or Proving Ground we wish it could have tweaked a bit to provide them a less frustrating experience.

SG_Greg90 karma

I'm very happy with how it turned out overall so there really isn't much I would change. A couple of the Proving Grounds proved more frustrating to some players than we intended (e.g. Hammer and Pistols), so in hindsight we probably could have made those a bit more forgiving. But then, other players enjoyed the challenge.

maxcantor26 karma

The Proving Grounds were really fascinating to me, from a game design perspective. There was definitely a "puzzle" aspect to them, and each one was definitely easier to the extent that you "got it".

It's a trade-off, though... it's so gratifying when you do figure it out, but conversely, it's teeth-grindingly frustrating when you don't!

I feel like a good balance might have been progressively revealing more hints via narration.

For example, my friend had a lot of trouble with the shield trial because he never got the loading screen tip that you can use the right joystick to guard in a specific direction without being locked on to something.

Also, on the machete trial, we eventually realized that it works well to hang out where the squirts are spawning right at the beginning of the level, and to stay there until the spawning stops. However, it's very easy to just see a mess of enemies and never see the pattern.

Final note: Some trials were cake-walks with an upgraded weapon and nigh-impossible without it. It would have been nice to have some additional reward (bonus world fragments, an achievement, etc.) for doing some/all of them with un-upgraded tools.

SG_Gavin24 karma

That's pretty much a spot-on description of our thought process while making them. Those are tricky questions that we struggled to find the right balance between and for some people it turned out great, for others it was a bit much.

Ryaken56 karma

Were you really surprised how much of a fanbase Bastion has generated? I mean, people have already gotten tattoos of the City Crest.

SG_Greg86 karma

We were cautiously optimistic that people would like it though there was really no telling how it would go over for sure -- so yeah, we're surprised and happy. We did want to make something that could leave a strong impression so it's great to see it's done that for a good number of people.

IceRay4255 karma

Like everyone else here, I'd be upset with myself if I didn't congratulate you guys on an absolutely stellar effort. Knowing seven people can outdo studios of hundreds with AAA budgets really says something fascinating about what makes a good game.

Now to bombard you with questions:

Everybody: What gave you the idea to drive the entire game with narration? It seems so small, and so simple, but in practice, it adds so much to the game.

Greg: How fleshed out would you say some of the concepts behind the story are? To cite another great example, Mass Effect's Codex had me reading for hours, and the universe of Caelondia seems so intoxicating, but since you only experience it post-Calamity, it's always just beyond your reach. Do you have backstories and ideas in your head or on your desk that detail individual people and day to day life prior to the Calamity?

Darren: This sounds a little cliche, but your soundtrack is so superb I have to ask: What musical influences found their way into the Bastion soundtrack?


The game’s on sale on Steam for the next couple of days

You sly dogs. :)

SG_Greg56 karma

The narration technique came out of prototyping and satisfied our desire to make a game that never interrupted the play experience but could still have a deep narrative.

I wrote nearly as much "behind the scenes" backstory content as content for the game, knowing most of it would never be used for the game. That way for the in-game writing I could drop little references to things to make the world feel more fleshed out. I didn't want to leave huge chunks of backstory in the game itself -- I didn't want players to have to stop and read for paragraphs. I also wanted to leave aspects open to interpretation.

SG_Darren28 karma

There are a ton of different elements I pulled from, so there aren't many super direct influences, but I was thinking a lot about stuff like Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Led Zeppelin (the more acoustic stuff), some old Southern spirituals, early blues, etc.

Kavem4n51 karma

What has been each of your favourite games so far this year and what are you anticipating most?

SG_Greg140 karma

Obsessed with Dark Souls right now, but prior to that it was The Witcher 2. For the first half of the year it was between W2 and Portal 2 for me. I loved Tactics Ogre for PSP as well. Most anticipated = Skyrim.

loonytoad88 karma

Tactics Ogre

I hereby demand you make a tactical RPG as your next game, there really aren't enough of them these days, especially on the PC.

SG_Jen57 karma

I concur!

SG_Gavin59 karma

Favorite: Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes Anticipating: Skyward Sword

SG_Jen53 karma

Portal 2 was fantastic... Really enjoying Arkham City at the moment and can't wait for Skyrim!!!11

SG_Amir52 karma

DotA 2 beta has been my favorite thing this year. I am dying for Skyrim. These guys got me Skyrim: Collector's Edition pre-order for my birthday :)

KaleidoEscape41 karma

How did you come up with so many awesome lines of narration/dialogue?

SG_Greg65 karma

It took a while...! It helped having a story outline to work from and a deep backstory that I'd written out. That way we could build a level from scratch and I could align it with some aspect of the backstory or some aspect of the fiction. Every sequence of the game was meant to add some dimension to the world of the game and the narrator's persona.

SG_Amir44 karma

As Greg says, it was a lot of time and effort to create all the lines in the game. There were several levels where nearly every line was redone after the first version was implemented (like the Anklegator level). Just like with the game design, Greg tried to experiment a lot with the writing.

MattyFTM38 karma

This is probably a weird question so early on, when there haven't been many questions about the game itself, but other people are sure to ask all those in due time. I have a question about the Building the Bastion video series you did with Giant Bomb.

I get the feeling from things Jeff & the others have said that at the start it was very much a vague idea that they were going to cover the development of your game, with no concrete plans as to how they were going to do that. So, What were your expectations of it when you started planning it, and how did the final video series differ from those expectations? Is there anything you think you could have shown better in the videos? Would you do anything differently about the series if you could go back and do it again? Were you ever worried about showing too much and spoiling the game?

SG_Greg39 karma

I'm really happy with how the Giant Bomb series turned out, and it's true that we didn't know exactly what to expect from it. Our approach going in, though, was that we wanted to show aspects of our development process in-depth and reveal the story of how the game got made.

I used to work in the gaming press and was often frustrated that the real stories of how games get made almost never get told. In our case we didn't think we had anything to hide because we were doing something specific and working hard. We'd be willing to show almost any aspect of the process but did take care not to spoil the story through it.

epiclairs35 karma

Jen, who/what/where did you get your amazingly beautiful art style from? Any good reference artists or book recommendations? or any plans to release something like that of your own works? Would be VERY interested :)

SG_Jen46 karma

Well thanks so much! I'm flattered you think that way about my work :). As far as style is concerned, I think it's pretty impossible to pinpoint one or two particular things, but in general I do know I was foundationally influenced by the beautiful scenery around the area I grew up in (Seattle, WA). Other sources of inspiration that come to mind are Classical painters, Anime, other video game art, and of course tons of artists in the art community... Though you might have the squint and cross your eyes to see a hint of influence, I'll go ahead and name some of my favorite game artists: Akihiko Yoshida (Tactics Ogre, Vagrant Story), Yoji Shinkawa (MGS), Ayame Kojima (Castlevania), Vance Kovaks and Justin Sweet (both worked on IWD and other games in that vein), Kinu and Edayan (Capcom)... the list goes on D:. But really, so many influences - it's hardly fair to name a few (but I did it anyway!).

The art book which I recommend to everyone without hesitation who's interested is Monster Hunter Illustrations (http://www.amazon.com/Monster-Hunter-Illustrations-Art-Book/dp/B003NMTG3Y). Incredible designs help feed the imagination and push creativity to the LIMIT! Other great ones are the FFIX artbook, Tactics Ogre and Darksiders artbook!

As far as releasing my own artbook... I really do hope to make one, someday! As with all things in life, I'd rather go BIG or go home, so it miiiight be awhile until you see something from me haha!

Satoshi_Tajiri34 karma

I have to ask, any plans on a sequel or any DLC?

SG_Greg102 karma

No plans for a sequel, we wanted Bastion to feel like a complete and stand-alone experience. As for DLC, while we wouldn't use it to continue the story, we haven't ruled out the possibility of doing something here. We'll see!

[deleted]44 karma

we wanted Bastion to feel like a complete and stand-alone experience

This is something we don't see a lot of lately, what with preorder DLC and nonsense like that getting bigger and bigger. How refreshing.

SG_Greg17 karma

Thanks. Honestly this same thought crossed our minds, and besides which it felt arrogant to imagine the game as some kind of giant franchise opportunity when we were an up-and-coming studio who'd be lucky to survive its first project.

JaffaCape31 karma


SG_Greg54 karma

The narration technique came out of a prototype. Initially we struggled with the idea of wanting to have a game with a deep narrative experience but that never interrupted play for the sake of the narrative. Using narration we felt like we could satisfy both these things. It happened to line up well with the story we had in mind, too. There was always going to be this mysterious old man in this Bastion location you found and we realized we could tell the story through his point of view.

poppashobes31 karma

Great idea! Thanks for sharing :D

What was one of the biggest challenges you faced and how did you overcome it?

SG_Greg74 karma

We were an unheard-of little studio trying to make a splash with our first game. We managed to get it into the PAX 10, which turned into a great opportunity to get the word out. We pushed as hard as we could to get the game to a great place for that show, so that we could hand over the controls and let the game speak for itself. That got us a lot of attention and good feedback.

IdiothequeAnthem27 karma

To Darren: I have nothing to ask you but I just have to say: thank you for making a game soundtrack that is actually great music. I honestly have grown out of listening to game soundtracks on their own, but yours is one of the very few that remains on my playlists. I sincerely hope that you get a ton more work from this, you deserve it. I could really keep gushing, but here's the question that's really stuck in my head: Did you take your inspiration from the world of soundtracks or the world of non-soundtrack music? Where did you get those musical ideas? Also, do you have any other projects coming up to keep my ears out for?

To Logan: http://www.dorkly.com/video/26393/dorkly-bits-bastion-narrator-invades-other-games Thoughts?

To the rest of you: I have no specific question, but you made my favorite game this year so far. It was the rare gem I wasn't expecting, but ended up blowing me away.

SG_Logan32 karma

I liked that! Nice idea. However, I was sort of surprised at how many people seem to think that was me.

SG_Darren17 karma

Glad you like it! Most of my influences weren't soundtracks necessarily. I mean, I played Diablo II a million times and was well aware of that game's music while working on Bastion, but I tried to pull from a lot of different places, most of which were non-soundtrack sources.

britg24 karma

How many lines of code?

SG_Andrew61 karma

The core game engine (excluding tools and editor) is made up of 426 files, 6791 comments, and 99,236 lines of code.

TurboDisturbo7 karma

What language was the game written in?

AND_11 karma

It's XNA, right? So C#?

SG_Andrew21 karma

Yup, you're right. It uses XNA and is written in C#.

babyofthefamily24 karma


SG_Amir31 karma

  • Working independently is a lot faster and more personal than working on a big AAA team.

  • Microsoft was not our publisher, but as a platform they were very good to us and selected us for Summer of Arcade. We got through certification on the second try.

  • Often when people write to us, they don't say what platform they completed the game on so it's hard for us to tell which is which.

  • We implemented narration around four months in -- it was not there from the start.

  • The hardest complications came around the part where we do everything ourselves: balancing going to conventions with working on the game, paying our bills, etc.

  • There was very little design at the start, just the seed of an idea that grew slowly over a full year of prototyping before we showed the game at PAX 2010. It changed a lot week-to-week.

PillowfortSG24 karma

Amir, post Diablo 3 are you planning a follow up to Bind Those Keys?

SG_Amir61 karma

If there is a song that will save the life of your hardcore Diablo 3 character, I will sing it.

RafiTBA22 karma

How did SG_Darren and SG_Logan manage to be the most attractive AND talented people in Brooklyn? ;D (Hey guys)

But on a serious note,

SG_Amir: How did you get the space to develop the game? What would you recommend an up and coming indie developer do to find space to develop in? My biggest fear with going indie is paying rent, how can you make your dream game and pay the bills?

SG_Jen: how did you manage to make such a GORGEOUS game with just ONE artist! That's incredible! Did you contract an outside team for smaller assets, or did you make all the artwork by yourself?

SG_Logan38 karma

Haha, thanks! Though our combined height is like 4'8."

SG_Amir32 karma

If you can lower your rent to zero, that's the best you can do (which is what we did). My dad donated his house to the cause of Supergiant Games and we lived and worked there for two years.

SG_Darren13 karma

It takes a lot of grooming and drinking.

alleni21 karma

What films were you inspired by when you made the game? It was so unique, but there were clearly lots of story concepts inspired by some of the greats.

SG_Greg60 karma

There weren't necessarily a lot of specific film inspirations on my part as a writer but I grew up watching fantasy films like The Dark Crystal, The Neverending Story, Conan: The Barbarian, Krull, and so on, and I think the sensibilities of these types of films were subconscious influences of mine. Also without spoiling anything, one of the final scenes of the game was partly inspired by the climactic sequence from Children of Men.

maxcantor43 karma

That scene blew my entire mind. Throughout the game, you guys did a fantastic job of driving the plot and building character without removing the player from the core gameplay. That particular scene was one of the best examples: I think there's a certain expectation from the player's perspective that the game will not give you a binary choice in which one option leads to certain demise, and playing with that was so powerful. The first time I played it I was hanging out with a friend, and my commentary went like this: "Oh, man--look at all of them. I can't even... oh man, I have to heal! Dude, this is... I have to heal again! I'm gonna run out of health potions. What is this? Why would the game designers do this? There's no way I can make it. I'm about to lose all of the progress I--

"Wait... oh, wow.

"Oh my God."

Virsath6 karma

This is incredibly accurate. I damn near cried at how beautifully composed that scene was. Games can and should learn from Bastion.

SG_Greg9 karma

That's awesome, thanks. We were tweaking that sequence right up to the very end trying to make sure it felt just right, so it was a big relief to see that people got what we were going for with it. We threw in little details like the one guy who starts firing after the others have stopped, only to get cut down by a superior officer. I was happy to see people notice that. We even recorded special Ura voiceover for that sequence though it's mostly muted under the song.

kristian44419 karma

Loved the game, but I feel like I missed something as I'm not entirely sure what the Calamity actually did (I was doing a Let's Play so perhaps I talked over it). Was it the reason that everything was floating around in the sky, or was it deliberately vague?

Kudos for giving us some properly difficult decisions at the end as well. It's great when a game is so involving.

SG_Greg28 karma

We purposely don't explain every last detail about the Calamity, but there are clues to suggest that it was some sort of blast that went off underground, blasting apart the surface of the world and leaving the remains hanging in thin air.

maxcantor18 karma

What kind of things were you guys doing before Supergiant Games? Were all/most of you already in the game/software industry?

SG_Greg36 karma

Several of us worked for Electronic Arts in LA. I worked at GameSpot as an editor for more than 10 years before becoming at producer at EA for the Command & Conquer series (C&C3 and Red Alert 3). I then worked at 2K Games for a year before reuniting with the guys at Supergiant.

SG_Andrew22 karma

Before Supergiant, I worked for 4 years at Infinity Ward on Modern Warfare 1 and 2. During that time, I was house mates with both Amir and later Greg in Los Angeles.

aafarr217 karma

I am very impressed with the soundtrack, I have to say it's one of the best I've heard in a game recently. The modern flavor and the electronic beats work very well for this futuristic-type game. Darren what was your thought process in coming up with the music for this game? Also, I am a composer about to go into grad school and I was wondering how you got into the field?

Great game, everyone!

SG_Darren16 karma

I wanted to make something really eclectic so that it would feel "other-worldly," and not evoke any one particular place or time period. The idea behind that was to allow the player to come up with their own impressions of the place and to help with immersion and such.

masonvd17 karma

First of all, any plans for PS3 or is most likely gonna be the standard 1 year after XBLA?

Secondly, people really loved the narrator in Bastion and it made the game really unique. Was that something you had planned from the beginning or did it come later on? How does it make you feel that many players won't hear so much of the awesome dialogue you guys recorded?

Also thanks for taking pictures with me at PAX Greg!

SG_Greg33 karma

While we're not bound to any platform, we have no plans for other versions of the game for now, though nothing is ruled out either. We'll have to see how things go. We do get a lot of questions about PSN, Mac, Linux, and so on, but our response is always the same.

Regarding the narrator, it wasn't there from the start, and came up during prototyping as a solution to our goal of having a story that didn't interrupt the play experience. I'm stoked that most players will never hear all the stuff we recorded because we wanted the game to feel like there was a huge amount of narrated content in it that varied quite a bit based on the player's actions.

TargArcade17 karma

Thanks for doing this!

I've been wondering why you chose to go with 3d models for The Kid and various monsters, as opposed to going for the handpainted sprites? Was it a time saving thing, so that you could animate a bit quicker as opposed to drawing every position and pose?

Loved the game! Played through it 3 times now, and my ladyfriend is about to go through it herself for the first time. :D

SG_Greg36 karma

It was a practical choice for the most part. For example, our main character has many thousands of frames of animation since he moves in 32 directions and has more than a dozen weapons (counting the Bullhead Shield and others). Jen still hand-painted the textures for everything and supervised the modeling, so we aimed to make the modeled stuff fit nicely with everything else.

Technically the game is entirely 2D, since any 3D models we used, we turned into 2D sprites.

SG_Gavin20 karma

Generally yes. Jen is our only artist and the game uses tens of thousands of frames of animation so the 3D renders helped take care of the bulk of the work there. Jen did touch up frames by hand that weren't working though.

boite15 karma

Darren, how many instruments can you list from the soundtrack? :-)

SG_Darren28 karma

Let's see...guitar, bass, ukulele, banjo, oud, sitar, cello, violin, celtic harp, synth, dobro, gamelan...to name a few!

menthol_penguin15 karma

The levels building themselves around you was amazing, how did you come up with it/what was your inpsiration and will you use this mechanic for other games?

Who was the voice of the Narrator?

SG_Logan41 karma


menthol_penguin19 karma

How much work went into doing the voice? Was it just recording your voice or was there lots of tweaking afterwards?

Can we get a recording of you saying "I didn't ask for this."?

SG_Logan35 karma

The post-production work Darren does on it is just standard VO editing stuff--he edits everything "around" the sound of my voice (background noise etc). There's compression involved but he basically just raises or lowers the volume of it. Most of my work early on was simply finding the sound for Rucks. It's considerably deeper than my normal speaking voice (an octave at least) and is ultimately a crazy Frankenstein of Sam Elliott, Ian McShane (Deadwood), and Bill the Butcher (Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York).

rabbidpanda10 karma

Rucks definitely made the game for me.

Is it at all weird to record everything that's tangential, rather than part of the narrative? For example, was it the same process to record a longer, connected narrative for the dreams as it was to record small quips like "With a Fire Bellows and Galleon Mortar..."?

SG_Logan23 karma

The process is the same, but your head is just in a different space. Those little one-liners or quips (many of which are my fav. lines in the game) could be really hard to nail sometimes--every word had to be perfect. Longer lines like those in the reflections were more forgiving somehow.

SG_Gavin25 karma

That idea came from a problem-solving exercise, trying to figure out a way to guide the player through the level without needing a mini-map that is always distracting you. We were also interested in how we could make a game from the isometric perspective and still be able to have visible backgrounds. Too early to say what we'll do next! Logan Cunningham is the narrator.

[deleted]13 karma


SG_Greg24 karma

We like co-op games a lot and considered / prototyped it for Bastion but ultimately cut it because it didn't fit with the aesthetic of the game (a solitary journey, an experience between the player and the narrator).

MyopicProphet13 karma

Being as,the sound, the score and the narration was such a huge part of what made Bastion so great, will you apply this type of storytelling/gameplay into future non-Bastion ip's?

SG_Greg26 karma

Yes, we probably will. Bastion reflects many of our sensibilities as a studio with regard to gameplay and storytelling, so I think we would continue to try and make games that feel great while having a strong narrative that's directly connected to the play experience.

pksage12 karma

Bastion was fantastic. Before my actual questions, I wanted to highlight how much I enjoyed:

  • the game design, particularly the clever way of making the player use each of the weapons as they were acquired to get a feel for each
  • the level design
  • the soundtrack
  • the difficulty curve (for the most part!)
  • the art direction and overall style in general

It is an exceptionally well-put-together piece of media, and you guys should be proud.

Anyway, two questions: Did you have any other plans for forked plots / multiple endings related to the major endgame choices that didn't pan out during development? -and- If you could go back and re-balance/redesign one element of the gameplay from the ground up (a weapon, a boss fight, a liquor, whatever) what would it be?

SG_Gavin13 karma

At least when it comes to the choices, no there weren't a whole bunch more planned. The game was intended to tell a single story with the reflective decision(s) at the end.

Some of the Proving Grounds ended up very challenging for some players. And personally, I would have liked to see the game be a smidge harder with all 10 Idols on.

bonobonob9 karma

just wanted to buy it on steam, but there is no mac-version of it... why?

Other posibility for me would be: is there a xbla-sale anytime soon?

SG_Greg6 karma

No plans for other sales at this time. We don't have a Mac version for the same reason we don't have, say, a Neo Geo version: We haven't done the work. We haven't ruled out making other versions of the game in the future but haven't announced any plans either.

gxslim9 karma

Was it intimidating to work alongside Darren's mutton chops?

SG_Logan18 karma

You have no idea.

SG_Greg14 karma

Darren and Logan worked remotely in New York so day-to-day the rest of us tended to forget about the relative inferiority of our chops.

Wonjag8 karma

Bastion was a great title, and received lots of praise almost everywhere, but do you worry that Bastion's success will overshadow future titles, and are there any fears that anything you produce in the future will be compared back to Bastion?

And also, will you be trying with future projects to match Bastion in terms of storytelling and artistic style or would you be hoping to take a different direction with development?

SG_Amir13 karma

For Bastion to overshadow our future titles, our next game would have to be less good than Bastion, in which case we deserve it. We worry about a lot of things, but quality is one of the things we can control being independent and it's on us to make the next one good.

Ryaken7 karma

Was there a part of the game that you really wanted to stay in, but had to cut last minute due to time constraints? If so, what was it?

SG_Greg14 karma

No, I'm happy to say there was nothing like this.

The New Game Plus mode was something we almost cut at a certain point because of a concern that it would exponentially complicate our testing, but we really really wanted it both from a gameplay and narrative standpoint so we made it work.

[deleted]5 karma


SG_Greg18 karma

Well let's just say we're not on Reddit all day. Though today I guess we are.