Space Renegades: The Series Interview (PC)

Strategy Informer: Firstly, could you introduce yourself to our readers?

Kevin Epps: I'm Kevin Epps and I'm the Owner and Lead Programmer for United Minds Games.

Strategy Informer: When did you first enter the causal gaming industry?

Kevin Epps: In late 03, when I did a game called "ClassAct" that was like the Mario Bros. (not Super) and Donkey Kong.

Strategy Informer: Could you tell us about the two games which are currently in production at your website?

Kevin Epps: The first game, Space Renegades: The Series, is a top down space shooter that's a supped up version of Space Invaders and Galaga. We wanted this game to be a smaller type game that also put you in the mind of being in an arcade with the graphic style, sound effects, and most importantly, music. It contains both Space Renegades 1 + 2 with a storyline that continues from 1 to 2. Our second game, Path of Steel, is a side scrolling samurai game. The only two games that come to mind in comparison would by "Ganryuu" from Neo-Geo with the game play of Secret of Mana, with a lot more features, moves, non-playing character AI, and magic. This will be a very big game for us. The graphics and mood will still hold true to arcade style, as all of our games.

Strategy Informer: What sort of systems will people need to run your titles?

Kevin Epps: As of right now, PC and Mac. But by this time next year, we will have ported games over to Linux, cell phones, GBA, DS, Gamecube, and Xbox, depending on the demand.

Strategy Informer: What has been the hardest part of production so far?

Kevin Epps: I would say that the hardest part for us would be brainstorming, lol! We all have ideas that we bring to the table, which is good. But, of course, everyone thinks that their idea is the "right" one. Once we get the gameplan down on paper, we're fine from there.

Strategy Informer: What kind of support do you plan to give once you're games are released?

Kevin Epps: Excellent support. We have a forum that will be used for support and at the beginning of year, we'll also have an online chat setup for people that need help right away. If problems arise, I'll make sure that I post the problem and result in the forums for other with similar problems.

Strategy Informer: Can you give us an assessment of the health and long-term viability?

Kevin Epps: We plan on being here for a LONG time. What we really want to accomplish is to start a rising trend of 2D production for the major consoles out there, especially with the untapped resources of these next generation systems. If games looked so awesome on SNES, Genesis, Saturn, etc., there's no telling what we can do with what these systems offer now.

Strategy Informer: Do you have a release date for you're first title?

Kevin Epps: Our first title, Space Renegades: The Series will be available on Sept. 5.

Strategy Informer: How much will you're games cost?

Kevin Epps: We know that it's going to take a lot to get to our goal and 2D games aren't the norm. That's why we charge no more than $10 for our games. Space Renegades: The Series will be $8. We also have a monthly newsletter and anyone that signs up for that gets $2 off of their orders from then on out until they cancel their subscription.

Strategy Informer: What games in the industry do you most enjoy?

Kevin Epps: I love SHMUP's(fav is Thunder Force 4), 2D Fighters(fav is Street Fighter II - Alpha 2), RPG's(fav is Chrono Trigger), and platforms(fav is Streets of Rage 2).

Strategy Informer: What's in store for the future of United Minds Games? Do you ever think you'll move on from the casual market and start producing fully published titles?

Kevin Epps: We will continue to think up great games and also have support from our community and have their ideas brought to life as well. We will hold contests and such with prizes for the best idea, maybe a percentage of profit from the published game. Yes! We will definitely start producing fully published titles by this time next year. That's one of our main goals.

Strategy Informer: We've come to our last question, is there anything you'd like to say to the fans of your projects before we wrap this up?

Kevin Epps: We are doing this for all of you that have the same wishes that I do, and that is to be able to play more games like the ones you used to. We are new, but we are going to continue to grow to get to that point. We just ask for all of your support as we support you. We want to be more of a community more so than a game development company, because customers and the community are what helps us grow. so, we don't take you for granted.