Aug 242011

Since I expect we’ll get a lot of new visitors after our big announcement at PAX later this week, I thought some introductions to bring the newcomers up to speed might be in order. Hopefully some of this information will be new to our longtime fans as well.

Zeboyd Games was created in 2010. The first game that we released was Breath of Death VII: The Beginning. Our second game was Cthulhu Saves the World. You can get both games on PC via Steam here, via Gamersgate here, or on the XBox 360 here and here. We have received a number of positive reviews from sites like Eurogamer, Joystiq, and RPGamer.

Our third game will be announced at PAX later this week. We’re all very excited. 🙂

Zeboyd Games is primarily a 2-man operation. There’s me, Robert Boyd – I do the design, writing, and programming – and there’s Bill Stiernberg – he does the graphics, animation, and level designs. In addition to helping to make our games, Bill has also gained a certain amount of Internet fame for having one of the oldest DNF preorders. We’ve also worked with various talented individuals such as Gordon McNeil (did the music for Cthulhu Saves the World) and Alex Mauer (doing the music for the secret game that will be announced at PAX).

As for me personally, here are some random factoids:

I’m 30 years old, married, and have 4 daughters.

My top 10 favorite games of all time in no particular order are probably:  Resident Evil 4, Siren 2, Pac-Man: Championship Edition DX, <Insert newest Civilization game here>, Titan Quest, League of Legends, Chrono Trigger, Persona 4, Lunar: Eternal Blue, and Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne.

My oldest daughter’s favorite game is Final Fantasy IV.

My younger daughters’s favorite game is Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure.

My wife’s favorite game is Plants vs. Zombies.

My favorite authors are Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov, and Brandon Sanderson.

My favorite mangaka is Junji Ito.

I lived in Taiwan for several years and speak Mandarin Chinese as a second language.

My favorite color is purple but only if it’s dark. Like Evil Purple.

Now as for how I got into game development…

I’ve been a fan of RPGs ever since I first heard about the original Dragon Warrior and have long wanted to make them. When Microsoft announced their XBLIG service that would allow anyone to make games I was very excited. I started out by making a couple of text adventures – Epiphany in Spaaace! and Molly the Were-Zompire. Then I played Guadia Quest (one of the games in Retro Game Challenge) and thought, “I could totally pull this off!” Thus Breath of Death VII: The Beginning was born.

My basic design philosophy is that the RPG genre is a great field with limitless possibilities that can be unlocked through a combination of learning from the past and trying out new things. Many developers and publishers seem to feel that the RPG genre is broken and the only way to make good RPGs these days is by combining them with other genres. Now don’t get me wrong – there have been a number of great hybrid RPGs like Mass Effect, Bioshock, and Borderlands that I’ve enjoyed playing – but I think there’s still a place for innovation and quality in the RPG genre without needing to change the genre into something it’s not. I think we’re seeing a lot of this promise in the indie game scene with quality, innovative games like Desktop Dungeons, Recettear, Dungeons of Dredmor, and hopefully our games (both present and future) as well.

And here’s Bill introduction!

I’m 27, and I’m about to be married (Yay! 🙂 ).  I have an engineering degree with a minor in business, and I’m a licensed attorney. My legal background (focused on IP) is incredibly useful for our team and company.  My passion has always been the videogame industry.

My favorite games in no particular order include Super Mario Bros., Chrono Trigger, Quake 3, Super Metroid, StarFox, Ocarina of Time, Metal Gear Solid 3, Castlevania SOTN, Street Fighter IV. I enjoy almost every genre.

As far as game development, I’ve always been interested and involved with it my whole life.  I used to code my own games in QBasic, and later worked on mods and maps for popular FPS games.  I vastly prefer making game assets to coding, but having some experience in that area has been invaluable.  When I started working with Robert, it seemed the ideal situation for both of us.  We both have a passion for making games, and we appreciate the classics as well as newer well-known and lesser-known games.  I love working within the RPG genre, as bringing life to our team’s ideas and producing these worlds and characters is extremely rewarding.

 Posted by at 1:23 pm

  10 Responses to “Introducing Zeboyd Games”

  1. Yes, Uzumaki was a great series, I devoured it when a friend hooked me up with the whole thing.

    I just wanted to say that you mentioned Issac Asimov and Douglas Adams. Have you ever read anything by Terry Pratchett? Specifically his Discworld books. If you like Adams, you’d probably like Pratchett cause he’s like the Douglas Adams of fantasy writing. Adams and Pratchett are probably my two favourite authors ever, and I miss Adams very much..

  2. This is by far the most shocking news I have heard all year.

    Someone, who is not me, played Guadia Quest?

    I found it remarkable in how they bungled some of the basics:

    * All NPCs in town are initialized to face the same direction.

    * Item fatigue from upgrades being given out every five minutes.

    * The final boss can do his AoE attack twice in one turn. The DQ bosses could never ever do this.

    I know they were in a hurry, but still!

  3. You mentioned that pure rpgs are becoming less common than hybrid rpgs. I’m wondering what you consider the defining chracteristics of an rpg. I would think it would be a game with emphasis on story and the development or your character’s personality and abilities.

  4. Just wanted to drop a line saying this was very interesting. Nice to know a little bit more about the guys behind these awesome games!

  5. Aw crap. I’m 32 and I feel like I’m never going to get married. I will die alone. Thanks for making me feel old and worthless. Anyway, thanks for keeping me entertained while I cry. Hopefully, the next game doesn’t stray from the formula too much since I like it.

  6. Hey, I think I know your next project, and I just want to say that I’m SO INCREDIBLY EXCITED! It’s a PERFECT idea, and I wish that it could have happened from the start! I immediately have a new most anticipated game, without any hyperbole about that.

  7. Uzumaki (especially the last volume) is my favorite work of Junji Ito. I don’t have a lot of his books since most of them aren’t in English, but I do have Chinese copies of Hellstar Remina and Lovesick Dead, both of which I really liked.

    And yes, I’d like to make a horror game sometime. Don’t know when though.

  8. You guys have made amazing games. Breath of Death and Cthulhu Saves the World have brought me more enjoyment and genuine fun while gaming than any PS3 title I’ve acquired this year. They’re worth far, far more than what is being charged for them and the love that went into them really shows. I’m more excited for your announcement this week than anything the other developers could offer. I really can’t wait to see what’s coming next and I’ll be crossing my fingers it to turn up on PC.

  9. “My oldest daughter’s favorite game is Final Fantasy IV.”

    Your daughter sir, has a great taste in RPG’s Must run in the family ^_-


    “My favorite mangaka is Junji Ito.”

    What’s your favorite by Ito? Spiral (Uzumaki) was just perfect, “The Enigma of Amigara Fault” is a classic as well, True Horror

    With that in mind, If you ever decide down the line to make a Resident Evil like horror game akin to the first 3, please do, loving Ito means knowing real horror, and that game would probably rival amnesia, lol

  10. Hey there, Robert! I just wanted to say: I loved Breath of Death VII! I’ll start playing Cthulhu Saves the World soon, and I’m very excited for the reveal of your next project at PAX! Also, collaborating with Alex Mauer, great idea! He’s gotta be one of my favorite chiptune artists, been listening to him for awhile now. I guess that means you’re next game will keep the old-school style, which is great.

    Good luck to you and Bill Stiernberg on your future endeavors!

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