Co-Optimus: Tell us a little about yourselves and what you do.
Matthew Griffin: My name is Matthew Griffin. I am the lead designer and programmer of Wanderlust: Rebirth. I have a Bachelors Degree in Philosophy, a Minor in Mathematics, and I also have an Associates Degree in Programming. Outside of my work on Wanderlust, I'm a full time teacher/tutor.
Jason Gordy: My name is Jason Gordy. I am a designer and Lead Artist of Wanderlust: Rebirth, primarily in charge of Tiles, Sprites, and Map Design. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts and Animation and I am currently a freelance artist and web designer for various projects.
Co-Optimus: How did Team Wanderlust come to be? Why did you decide to become game developers?
Matthew: I was a fairly well-known member of the Game Maker Community back in the early 2000's, and Jason was a big fan of my work there. As the years went by, I struggled to find a competent, hard-working and honest artist to work alongside me on my projects, so as Jason developed a knack for pixel art, we decided to team up.
Jason: As for the second question, we just love making games; that's the bottom line. We love games and we're creative people, so it's just something we're meant to do.
Co-Optimus: Were there any games you developed prior to Wanderlust: Rebirth?
Matthew: The first complete title I created was called "Moon Turret". Later on I made a game called "Puckbang". Both of these games were simple, arcade-style shooter games that played a bit like Missle Command or something like that. During Wanderlust's development, I created a PC version of "Gubs: A Game of Wit and Luck", which is now a published card game by Gamewright. I'm a personal friend of the designer of Gubs and I had offered to make a free version of his card game to help him market his game on PC. Actually, "Moon Turret", "Puck Bang", and "Gubs: Pixel Edition" can all be downloaded for free in the Wanderlust launcher program!
Jason: When I was about thirteen years old, I created a game where you build your own city, and later you could fly an airplane around it and earn points by bombing it. Kind of a silly idea for a game. Other than that, it was always far too difficult to finish a game on my own. I usually just ended up creating art for various projects.
Co-Optimus: How did Wanderlust: Rebirth come about? How long has it been in development?
Jason: Our first "Wanderlust" game was "Wanderlust: The Online Adventure", which was a 6-player co-op rpg with real-time combat and a MMO-lite character skill advancement system. It was very popular at the Game Maker Community but we abandoned the project when we determined that the project did not have a clear direction. We later "sat down" (over the phone) to discuss a re-design of Wanderlust that would require more co-operative and skillful play by the user. This was on August 1st, 2006 (Matt kept track of certain "milestone dates" just in case we ever finished the game).
Co-Optimus: What were some of your influences when it came to game design?