Recompile Interview: Phigames Dev Talks Modular Enemies, Hacking, and Next-Gen Consoles
RecompileThis game combines adventure and systemic hacking to create a new experience. It also features modular enemies with explosives that are similar to the ones of the MatrixYou can find more. This game is complex and has many inspirations. Zelda games to explore for the gated progress, and that’s not including Plato’s solids or their impact on enemy types. Game Rant speaks to Phi Dinh, Phigames, about the development process. Recompile.
Recompile is a hacking adventure. Dinh explains that hacking is often a side-task, relegated only to short-term events and mini-games. The game was developed on Unity with the new HDRP, and it comes for both next-gen consoles and PC, fully taking advantage of haptic feedback and other features from the DualSense controller. This interview was edited to be concise and clear.
Q: Looks beautiful. How much time did you spend on the details?
A: The project was started in 2014. I had already prototyping it six years before. A game that allows you to experience the virtual world inside a computer was something I wanted to do for a long time. Since childhood, I was fascinated by Tron, The Matrix, and books. I tried out many ideas and prototyped many things. I had always wanted to create a Metroidvania-style video game. However, I was unsure what type of game I would make.
The first prototype I made was a turn-based strategy video game that I created inside a computer. It had all the same mechanics and gated progression, but it didn’t work out well due to my inept at puzzle design and strategy. Recompile was born out of our love for action games. This is how it all began. We probably made the prototype for the version that you see today in 2018 and then posted it on Twitter. It was viral with over 12,000 views. People loved it and it went viral. Next, I used the prototype as a pitch to publishers.
Q: How about the music? Is it something that was always there or was it added after the game was over?
Q: It’s all very interesting. My core team at Phigames is me. I’m a programmer and designer. James Marshall is responsible for visual effects and animation. Richard Evans is the audio director, responsible for sound effects as well as the soundtracks. It was he who did the music in the beginning. He prefers Dark Souls music to epic, orchestral adventure. The soundtrack was going to be a simple one for a while. But halfway through the project, Paul Wolinski (from the band 65 Days of Static) contacted me to tell me that he was using my open-source UI framework to create visuals for 65 Days of Static music videos.
The trailer features the 1980s style command line terminal computer. This is my custom UI system that I open-sourced. 65 Days of Static then discovered it and wanted to use it in their music videos. They emailed me asking permission. After I replied that it was okay, I went to the music video and was blown away by it. My UI framework was so powerful that I had no idea what it could do. They agreed to be part of the Recompile user interface design project.
Richard had problems with time a year later. He didn’t have the time to produce all the music. So I asked 65 Days of Static “Paul, could you possibly provide the guest track?” They agreed to do it, which was amazing and blew my mind. It’s amazing that they are now involved in the soundtrack, the audio design, and the user interface. It’s not often that you hire a band that is known for their work with No Man’s Sky to create the user interface for a video game. Then, they do the music.