We asked Tyler Hunter a few questions and really appreciated his thoughtful answers.
What was it like working for Blizzard Entertainment?
It was a great experience. I was there for 7 years, and would still be
there had I not got the itch to go out make my own game. Being an artist
while I was at Blizzard involved working from one art project to the next,
polishing each piece so it met the high quality standards of Blizzard.
You worked on huge PC titles such as Starcraft II and WoW. Could you
explain the experience?
Blizzard’s games are huge multi-million dollar experiences, and they’re
packed with content and assets. So as artists we were making everything
that goes into those games. For me, I was largely involved in the
pre-rendered cinematics, though I did do some in-game work for the WoW
expansions. The level of detail required for the assets those cinematics is
quite high, so a good bit of time was spent simply hammering out the high
quality art assets.
Along the way, Blizzard has a culture of making sure each inch of their
production is completed to the highest quality, so there’s a lot of
refinement and reworking of each concept and asset. I think that ingrained
desire for making each inch as perfect as possible is helping me to design
the best game I can while building Rack N Ruin.
What made you decide on opening your own game development studio?
I wanted to strike out on my own and create something new and fresh. To
have the creative freedom to make a game. I also wanted to get in touch
with my love of game design. I’ve always enjoyed building levels for games
from way back when I was kid building D&D modules, or making Doom 2 levels.
So after 9 years as a professional games industry artist I decided to start
my own indie game company and make something that I’ve always wanted to
What inspired Rack N Ruin?
The game itself is inspired by all the great top down action adventure
games; the original Zelda, A Link to the Past, Crystalis, The Binding of
Isaac, Ys, Alundra, and the list goes on. The visual style draws heavily
from those games, though obviously a bit of Blizzard’s art style has found
its way into my own. I’m also a huge fan of the art work being done at
Vanillaware. It’s not often you have companies who are dedicated to making
HD fully hand painted games, and do it as well as they do.
What does Lifespark Entertainment have in store for the future?
Well first we’d like to get Rack N Ruin out on as many platforms as
possible. Then we will consider future projects. I have a huge love of
RPGs so probably something more along those lines if Rack N Ruin is
successful enough to afford such an ambitious venture.
What’s your stance on DRM?
As an indie developer it’s not something I even think about. I want as many
people to play Rack N Ruin as humanly possible. I’m an artist, I want the
world see and experience my work. Why would I place boundaries to stop that
What are your thoughts on the PS4, Wii U, and Xbox One?
They’re cool, but I wish there was even more independent developer support.
I hope Microsoft announces something similar to XBLIG or XNA before the
launch of Xbox One. I really feel that those inclusions in the 360 was part
of the creation of the entire indie scene to begin with. A developer
program like that for the PS4 or Wii U would be a huge step forward, and it
seems like Sony and Nintendo have realised this.
Due to your past work on PC titles, how do you think gaming PCs will
compete with the 8th generation of consoles and consoles for the
Certain genres will always have a strong homebase on PC. MOBAs, RTS, point
and click adventure games, hardcore RPGs, and so forth are genres that
thrive on the PC and will continue to do so. Since PCs will always have a
large user base dedicated to its core genres, it will always be a solid
marketplace for any title to be launched within. Also considering that both
the Xbox One and the PS4 are x86 architectures, there is no such thing as a
PC port anymore, they will simply be port-ready when made.
Would Lifespark Entertainment ever develop for next-gen consoles?
We’re currently looking into options for Rack N Ruin on current and next
gen consoles. I’d like to get Rack N Ruin, and any other games we develop,
on as many platforms as possible.