I am Dead is a new game from Hollow Ponds, a small indie studio operating out of London. Recently, Shacknews had the pleasure of speaking with Ricky Haggett and Richard Hogg about what went into designing I am Dead and how the team managed to tackle the unique, 3D slicing mechanic of the game. Please take a look at the interview below!
I am Dead developer interview
Speaking with Ricky Haggett and Richard Hogg of Hollow Ponds revealed quite a lot about how the small team managed to pivot from making 2D games to creating a rather unique 3D experience.
In I am Dead, the player takes control of a ghost that explores a little town at the base of a not-so-dormant volcano. In a bid to save their home from the impending eruption, the player must work together with their ghost dog to help the residents avoid the catastrophe. All of this is done by peering inside shops, objects, as well as people’s memories using a kind of “supernatural X-ray” as the game’s Steam description puts it.
Before I am Dead, the developers had never made a 3D game. Given that this was their first venture into a dimension beyond 2D, the act of slicing into 3D objects certainly makes the development process a bit tricky. “What’s a way that you can make the first 3D game you make, really, really hard? You have to render all the insides of the objects as well as the outsides. Good work guys. Good place to start.” Haggett says with a wry laugh.
Typically, a 3D game only has the outside layer of a model rendered. This is most notable whenever a camera slips in behind a wall or inside a character model and you see through the opposite side of the texture wrap or skin. In I am Dead, one of the main mechanics requires the camera to move through these sorts of objects. It’s not just the outside skin that needs to be created, but everything from the outside all the way to the core.
There’s more goodness to be found in the interview with Haggett and Hogg, including looking at tourists for inspiration and the design of an intelligent fish-people that inhabit the island. I am Dead is available on Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam. Be sure to check out the Shacknews and GamerHubTV YouTube channels for even more developer interviews, exclusive behind-the-scenes, and more!