McKee recently sat down with Greg ‘Da Spokesman’ Stargell, mastermind behind the on-going series Da Spokesman And The Awesomeness League to talk about his game-slash-comic. Read below for some interesting tidbits about the development process and bear witness to the beginnings of Friendly Fireside Interviews.
Friendly Fireside Chats: Hey Greg! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! This is our first text interview for the site and I’m pretty excited to have you here, talking about your game. I see that it just got an IndieDB page on the first of the year, so…congratulations!
Greg ‘Da Spokesman’ Stargell: Yeah thanks. I was surprised when I got the email about it. It was a great accomplishment. Awesome and thanks it is an honor to be the first one.
FFC: Well, it’s an honor to be on this side of the metaphorical table, too. And I don’t doubt you feel accomplished, that’s no small feat. Before we get going to some more specific questions, let’s hear the pitch. What’s the idea behind your game, Da Spokesman And The Awesomeness League?
Da Spokesman: At first, I developed Da Spokesman to be like a character to combat the other superheroes for bragging rights. Then it changed when I had a conversation about the essence of trust and building a team and I used ‘Final Fantasy 8′ as a tool to help get the point across.
It was at the point I noticed I could help reach my generation and younger generations through video games.
I changed the purpose of Da Spokesman to be a person that people can relate to and gain ideas on how to overcome different obstacles in life. I decided to add other superheroes so that it would be easier to cover different things from different prospective.
So even though they are superheroes with powers they are still ordinary people inside that do extraordinary things.
FFC: The point, then, is that while Superman might be super strong, even if he wasn’t, he’d get the job done?
Da Spokesman: You can say that. The battles that Da Spokesman and The Awesomeness League have with the villains are there for entertainment but it is the internal battles they have that show the strength that we all need to get over different struggles.
FFC: I’m seeing that this is all very much based in comic book lore. Big fan of comics?
Da Spokesman: Yes I am, I am more biased towards Marvel because my favorite superheroes were Spider-Man and Iron Man. We had made a comic book issue before the completion of the first game.
FFC: You must have really enjoyed the recent years in cinema, then. What do you mean by that last comment?
Da Spokesman: We had made what we called the zeroth edition of Da Spokesman and The Awesomeness League. It has nothing to do with the storyline of the series but it was mainly like an introduction to the characters that would start the series.
FFC: Oh, that’s neat! I didn’t know about that. So, was the original idea, then, to be a comic book? And then FF8 changed your mind? Or FF8 is what changed the protagonist from ‘show off and best other superheroes’ to what it is today?
Da Spokesman: Final Fantasy 8 changed my vision of the character in the concept phase/story writing. That was before I found someone who could illustrate. While in the middle of the production of the comic, I had found someone who could code as well. So the video game was developed shortly after the comic was completed. So you can say, the experience with FF8 had sparked the change in the protagonist. Thank you Square Enix!
FFC: Was the goal always to have a video game after the comic? What made you choose to do both, as opposed to just one?
Da Spokesman: Yes, I thought it was easier to do the comic and less expensive to do a comic book than a video game. With things like GameMaker and Unity, it does not require you to break the piggy bank or be a rocket scientist to develop a game. Plus, when you have a team it makes it easier to do both.
FFC: It seems that there are a few people on your team, then? At least one more who codes and another artist. Anyone else? Any shout outs to give?
Be sure to check out the Friendly Fireside Chat site because they have great information and even different take on the video game industry.