Luc Bernard is a curious oddity in gaming. Aiming to push the boundaries of story and art direction in videogames, he's outspoken, determined, and full of youthful energy accentuated by a healthy dose of contempt for the industry.
Eternity's Child, his first console title, is coming to WiiWare for 500 Wii points. Intrigued, we got in touch to find out how he went from being a 21 year old graphic designer to a developer whose first game is set to appear on the most popular console of the current generation.
The industry has moved past the bedroom coder. Can XNA and WiiWare reverse this trend or are the difficulties in getting a game published exaggerated?
Luc Bernard: I really got lucky due to the fact that I knew Alten8, who became a Wii developer. I refused to do any PC game and trying to get Eternity's Child up on Xbox Live Arcade was too hard. I still think it's nearly impossible for a true indie to get onto a console.
How does the relationship between you and Alten8 work then?
Bernard: Alten8 is the developer of Eternity's Child and I am working closely with them in the creation process. It is my creation, my designs, my story and Alten8 handles the business side, coding and all the other things which go to make the game work, like translations and testing.
How much contact do you have with Nintendo?
Bernard: I don't deal with Nintendo, I deal with Alten8, who basically translates what I say and present things the right way. If I did this myself I guess Nintendo would be scared.
How does Eternity's Child separate itself from a traditional platformer?
Bernard: I'm a big fan of old 16bit games, so it's really a traditional platformer. I'll say that straight away. The main difference is the Wii Remote, which lets you aim with the winged heart to shoot at stuff. It's like a next generation 16bit game with physics.
You've suggested Eternity's Child could go in other directions such as a 3D prequel on DS. Is this just speculation on your part?
Bernard: I haven't started to work on the DS version yet, I might in the future, if the WiiWare version is a success.
You have two other games in development for the DS - Rose Princess and Imagination is the only Escape. What can we expect from these?
Bernard: Imagination is the only Escape is a mix of text and 2D platforming. However, to bring the message of the game out, it needs to be perfect. If it isn't, the press will destroy it completely.
The Rose Princess is now Manufactured Beauty, and it's similar to Grand Theft Auto in terms of gameplay. It's set in a stylised version of Paris.
Like I said, I don't do revolutionary gameplay, I'm trying to adapt good gameplay to the Wii with new unique stories and art directions.