I recently spoke to a group of University of Toronto students who will be participating in LevelUP TO next week. Jeffrey Deng and his team have created Neon Ascension, an endless climber multiplayer game, where players survive by rearranging blocks to help themselves, or affect their opponents. Here's what the group (Team One) had to say about their game:
TGD: Tell me a little bit about yourselves. How long have you been gamers? How long have you been developing games?
Team One: We are a team made of seven people. Matt Crans and Sam Rasmussen from OCAD are the artists of the team. Grace Zhu, Catherine Wang, Philip Bilodeau, Daniel Son, and Jeffrey Deng from UofT are the developers of the team.
For most of us we were gamers at a young age since we were a generation that had a lot of exposure to computers. Games allowed us to connect and make new friends who shared the same interests and even allowed us to connect with people who were across the world. All of us at some point found ourselves looking for a new games to play and this led to our creativity. Some of us have been making games since high school, and have attended multiple game jams up to this point. We’ve also have team members that have never made a game before, and this would be their first.
TGD: It is wonderful how games allow people to connect from all over the world. It's one of the beautiful things about video gaming. Tell me about your game for LevelUP.
Team One: Neon Ascension is a competitive endless climber where two players compete for survival on a wall of infinite height. The game is fast-paced, action-packed, and features retro-futuristic design in dazzling neon colors. Players stay alive by rearranging adjacent blocks on the wall, giving them plenty of opportunity to save themselves or sabotage their opponents.
TGD: Where did you get your inspiration for this game?
Team One: We were really inspired by a 2011 game called Catherine where a single player manipulated blocks on a wall to climb it, and we decided to take that and make it into a competitive, multiplayer experience.
TGD: What are you most excited to show off about this game at LevelUP?
Team One: We are most excited to show the crowd at LevelUP the results of our hard work throughout the past 4 months. We feel that from a visual and technical aspect we have created a standout game that we are proud to showcase at LevelUp, and that is exciting to play and watch.
A big thank you to Team One for taking time for this interview and providing videos of gameplay. Don't forget, LevelUP TO will be taking place on April 5, 2017 at the Design Exchange on 234 Bay St.