Interview With Irritum Developer Nick Padgett






Anyone that has read my posts over the past several months will know that I am a fan of the superb indie title “Irritum”. It’s a game that’s close to my own heart and one that really inspires the imagination. It deals with the subject of depression very effectively and in a very interesting way. Over the holidays I got a chance to interview the game developer Nick Padgett about Irritum and possible future titles from him.

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rootgamer_say Can you introduce yourself and tell us how you became involved with Irritum?

Nick: My name is Nick Padgett, I am 22 years old and I am the sole developer of Irritum. I am currently attending a local university for a degree in Computer Science. Irritum came into my life in early April. I could not afford summer classes, I did not receive the internship I was aiming for, and my part time job would no longer give me over 24 hours (previously they would offer me 40 hour weeks whenever I wanted, even though I was part time). From my point of view, my summer would be vacant of any production, and I thought this would be a huge waste of time, so I decided to develop my first indie game. I started in the first week of May immediately after finals, and the game launched September 6. The final product is the Irritum you know of now.

rootgamer_say Irritum is a fascinating, if dark, concept. Where did your inspiration come from?

Nick: I have personally dealt with depression in my past, and I occasionally still battle it. I can understand how hard it is for loved ones to deal with and accept someone being depressed. I wanted to make the game so it would provide a visual representation so people can understand what depressed people experience. I also took a lot of inspiration from films like Donnie Darko, in addition to inspiration from music like Tool. I think I borrowed elements from these places to grow the idea that I initially had into Irritum.

rootgamer_say Irritum deals with depression quite effectively. Would you consider doing a game on another disorder such as PTSD?

Nick: I would consider doing another game over another disorder if I feel like I could effectively represent the issues. I myself have battled depression, and I was able to draw from many of those emotions and put them in Irritum. I knew the kind of atmosphere I was going for, and what kind of impact I wanted the player to feel. With another disorder, PTSD for example, I would only make a game about it if I feel like I could do the topic justice. I have never experienced PTSD, so I feel like I would not be able to effectively represent the issues. I would absolutely love to make more games about other disorders, and I would if I get the chance, but only if I feel I could effectively capture the emotions and essence of the problem. PTSD is specifically one disorder I have considered making a game about, but maybe it’s for another time. With my current experiences, I don’t think I have the ability to make an effective game about it.

rootgamer_say In your opinion, what makes your game stand out from the crowd?

Nick: I think the subject matter is the primary criteria. I know some other games deal with suicide also, but I believe mine offers a unique perspective and experience when dealing with depression. Not many games actually explore the reasons why people are depressed in addition to offering gameplay elements that help the player understand the difficulties depression brings. The art style may also help it stand out from the crowd, but I think the primary aspect is the subject matter.

rootgamer_say What inspired you to publish your game on Linux?

Nick: Well the game engine I use, Unity, allows me to publish to Windows, Mac, and Linux with the click of a button. I have limited experience with Linux, so I foolishly published it alongside the other builds. I figured, “why not?”, but now it seems the Linux build needs a more hands-on development. While the game works, it had some problems with dependencies I did not foresee. So while my engine choice made it very easy for me to decide to publish to Linux, I wish I would have spent more time specifically on the Linux build. In the future, I will probably still publish to Linux with future projects, but not alongside Mac and Windows builds. I would rather the Linux build come out a little later but be much more reliable. I guess to me, it was a no-brainer to publish to Linux. It still is, but in the future I need to approach it much more responsibly.

rootgamer_say As a follow up to the previous question, did you find developing Irritum for Linux difficult?

Nick: Well, as I mentioned above, the dependencies issues were somewhat difficult for me to track down. I am not a proficient Linux user, so it was a big change of pace for me; however, compared to other options to put the game on Linux, Unity made it incredibly easy to port my game to Linux. With the Linux support Unity offers, I honestly don’t know why there aren’t more games for Linux.

rootgamer_say With Linux gaming going through a renaissance at the moment, what are your thoughts on Linux as a gaming platform?

Nick: I could write pages on why I think open source software is the future, but I will try to keep this relatively brief. As far as a gaming platform, I think it will rise up and beyond Windows and Mac OS X because of the nature of Linux as open source. I think open source projects are the future of computing as a whole(or they should be), and I think soon(relatively) Linux will take off and surpass both Windows and OS X in users. The games will follow the crowds, and hopefully soon the the crowd will amass around Linux. As soon as Linux users rival the users of both Windows and Mac, I think Linux will be the gaming platform of choice (unless another open source rival matches Linux, but I am almost certain open source will take over ).

rootgamer_say Do you have any finishing words for fans of Irritum?

Nick: For the fans, thank you all for the support. It means a lot to me! None of this would be possible without your help! For possible fans, please let me know how you find the game! You can always write me at nick@IrritumGame.com with any questions or concerns. For prospective indie developers, check out my blog if you want to see a closer look at the development of Irritum. You can write me at nick@IrritumGame.com also with any questions!

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Author: Kereltis View all posts by
Linux advocate, born in Liverpool, grew up in Cork City Ireland and currently living in Corvallis, Oregon. I love all things Linux, my favorite distro being Ubuntu followed closely by Kubuntu and Linux Mint (Cinnamon and KDE). As far as I'm concerned Linux is the future of gaming. Lets make the world as open and transparent as we can!

One Comment on "Interview With Irritum Developer Nick Padgett"

  1. Ultimoore January 7, 2014 at 05:39 -

    Great interview. Its good to see artistic developers like Nick Padgett who want to express emotions that they themselves had to struggle with in a gaming medium. It also makes me happy that Linux was a learning tool for his game development experience. I definitely plan to get this game now.

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