Ten Questions With… Ben Tester (Wales Interactive)
One of the most promising titles that we checked out recently on Steam Early access is Soul Axiom from Wales Interactive. The developers already impressed us with their earlier title, Master Reboot, but with Soul Axiom they look set to raise the bar even further. To find out a little bit more about this intriguing title we got in touch with Ben Tester.
Can you give our readers a quick introduction of yourself and the studio?
Hello! My name is Ben Tester and although I’m often mistaken as the QA Tester, I’m in fact the Marketing and PR guy here at Wales Interactive. We are a BAFTA Cymru award winning Indie games developer based in Pencoed, Wales. You may have heard of us from some of our titles such as Infinity Runner, Master Reboot, Gravity Badgers and more recently, Soul Axiom, which has just been officially classified as one of the first British games by the BFI (British Film Institute). That happy chap on the left is me, then our Technical Director, Rich Pring and Managing Director, Dai ‘The Hulk’ Banner receiving the Best Indie Game Developer 2014 award at the Appsters Awards ceremony.
Why the choice to explore themes similar to Master Reboot instead of something brand-new?
We felt we had so much more to explore with the concept behind Master Reboot, so we re-visited the idea for some unfinished business! Despite Master Reboot gaining fans worldwide, it was a bit rough around the edges and by no means perfect. So we wanted to show we can make a really polished title which addresses all the issues with the first game as we have learnt a lot since then. The game is not a direct sequel either, it’s a spiritual successor that is set in the same universe that was built on better foundations and includes new characters, new game mechanics and a new thrilling storyline.
What are the inspirations behind the unique visual style of Soul Axiom?
Soul Axiom, like our other titles, has taken influence from various games, tv shows and films. I would say Bioshock has been quite a big influence as well as Dear Esther and Myst. We don’t try to copy these titles but you can see that these games have influenced our design. We have tried to push the atmospherics in Soul Axiom, so you’ll find some areas that we have purposely made dark, which is then highlighted by striking simplistic shapes, strong colours and shader effects. This coupled with some delicate or quirky soundtracks, creates a slightly creepy feeling to the game, similar to that in Master Reboot. We feel this combination works well for us and creates originality in our games.