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09 September, 2014

Heavy Metal Thunder Interview with Cubus Games

Heavy Metal Thunder is the love child of Spanish game developer Cubus Games and American gamebook author Kyle B. Stiff. We're huge fans of gamebooks here at Grab It, having featured insights from one of the masters in an exclusive article for Episode 5 of Grab It and a top 10, so the sci-fi thrills of Heavy Metal Thunder immediately caught our attention. I spoke with Quim Garetta, co-founder of Cubus Games, about this exciting new project.

This is your second gamebook; how have you grown from The Sinister Fairground to Heavy Metal Thunder?
In terms of the story, it's a sci-fi journey, so completely different from the spooky adventures in The Sinister Fairground. In terms of our engine, it's offers a big improvement in the reading experience for users. We have learnt a lot and now have a much more user-friendly reading flow while keeping the essence of the interactive storytelling and the easy-to-use gameplay mechanics. We are really proud of both adventures, but we know that the stunning artwork, design and the vibrant atmosphere of Heavy Metal Thunder is a little more attractive to those who aren't familiar with the gamebook genre yet.

From what I have played, the story is at times a claustrophobic survival-horror, yet at others a humorous action romp. How did you decide what made was adapted into the game?
In this case, the adaptation process was very easy. We wanted to keep the story as it was conceived, so almost nothing was added or removed during the development (just the dice thrown into the mix). We kept the editing to a minimum, just making it so it fit with our challenges system and combat features. With The Sinister Fairground we developed such a complete inventory management system, with weapons and the use of boosters during combat, so the nightmares our programmers had with those sorts of things didn't occur with Heavy Metal Thunder.

How did the partnership between Cubus Games and Kyle B. Stiff originate?
First, we caught wind of this Heavy Metal Thunder saga on Kindle ebooks. We found its American style so powerful and yet accessible for a sci-fi gamebook. We got in touch with Kyle and decided to make a gamebook app, enriched with great artwork and music. Despite the distance between Kentucky, USA, and our studio in Barcelona, our connection in this project was perfect and full of energy from both sides. We are really proud of the relationship we have with Kyle.

I missed out on gamebooks during their eighties heyday and it's great to experience them on modern devices: what inspired you to adapt gamebooks for touch devices?
We were fans of choose-your-own-adventure books in the 80's, and then became RPG fans as gamers in the 90's. Now, we love different types of interactive storytelling and narrative games, so these two pastimes join together neatly.

Were there any other features you tried with Heavy Metal Thunder that didn't work out?
What more happened during the development is that we had some great ideas came to our minds that we've saved for upcoming stuff. Sometimes you need to slow down and stop developing, otherwise the product never gets finished.

So what are there other projects in the pipeline at Cubus Games?
We want to focus on Heavy Metal Thunder right now, trying to spread the word and showing the great interactive stories that Cubus Games can create. However, keep an eye on the development of our next adventure gamebook - it's from a well-known British gamebook writer. 


Brodie Fogg

   - Grab It Episode 5
   - Heavy Metal Thunder
   - The Sinister Fairground



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