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Interview with Oscar Brittain, the Mind Behind Desert Child




We chat with developer Oscar Brittain and find out what inspires his up and coming indie racing RPG Desert Child.

One of the indie titles I'm particularly looking forward to this year is Desert Child. It's best described as a racing RPG. The game features a young man in the near future whom is pretty much broke. All he has is his sweet hover bike and a dream to win it big at races. The game is down to Earth and rather punk like in it's aesthetics

Desert Child is scheduled to release on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC this Fall.

To get a better feel of what under the game's hood, we sat with its Australian developer, Oscar Brittain. We got to probe his mind a bit and see what helped developed the title's quirks and unique set of style. We also wanted take the opportunity to get more prospective in the world of indie game development.


GameSkinny(GS): So what inspired the idea of Desert Child?


Oscar Brittain (BS): I guess Cowboy Bebop was a big initial inspiration, but the game changed so much since I started back in 2015. The bounty hunting thing is just a part of a larger game now. I kinda had shelved that idea, then I drew the main character on his bike and was like "YES" and just stuck him into the design for the Cowboy Bebop game.

Editor's Note: Cowboy Bebop was a very popular that aired on Cartoon Network in 2001. It was very well received and served as an introduction to anime for many. It's mainly credited for it's blend of various music, dynamic characters, and redefining of what's cool.

GS: Desert Child seems to be very punk inspired. Is that the main theme at hand?

BS:I like to say I subscribe to "loose game design theory", also known as "winging it". I do try to keep the spontaneity of the early days going throughout the whole project. It's easy to do when you're a one-person team and you don't need to convince anyone that you should make some drastic change a month before a deadline.

GS: Are there any specific non game inspirations for Desert Child? Films? Books? TV shows?

BS: Cowboy Bebop was the big one. Redline and Akira were pretty influential for the race sequences.  Other than that, my favourite kind of story is one with a reluctant protagonist, or just some really low-stakes conflict that really just serves as a reason to have cool shit happen. I like Junky, The Rum Diary, Hitchhiker's Guide, Clerks, just that kinda thing.

Editor's note: Oscar mentions a number of movies/shows starring characters whom just find themselves on the fringes of society. The narratives of a nobody being more than they may originally perceive themselves to the world. It's a theme that's often found with stories about being a punk. 

GS: What inspired you to be a game developer?

BS: I wasn't very good at anything else. We'll see if I'm any good at this when the game comes out I guess haha.

GS: How long have you been developing/conceptualizing this game?

BS: Roughly for about 3 years? The title has changed a lot over from it's original concept over time though.

GS: What other hobbies are you into? Do they help you with game development?  

BS: I make music, which is usually a big part of game development. I can do sound design from that as well. I also happen to collect old leather bandoleers but I don't like guns though. It's kinda silly I know. I also tried writing essay book but it kinda devolved into just referencing videogames and 1980s movies. I suppose learning to write kind of has helped me with game development.

GS: What games do you like to play when you have time?

BS: I've been loving my time with Digimon World Re:Digitize lately. I like weird games like that with unique systems and mechanics personally speaking. I've also been playing Getting Over It With Bennet Foddy, and Deity Driving. These are pretty great. 

GS: What has been the best feedback you've received about the game? 

BS: I received a comment on the YouTube trailer for Desert Child. It was an interesting critique on the music in the trailer. The music featured is Australian hip-hop music so it was pretty funny to see a comment about that in particular. 


GS: What aspects of indie game development people should be more aware of?

BS: Dedication of time. Everything will take longer than you think it will.

GS: Can you tell us about what kind of music we can expect from the game? 

BS: If you head to Youtube and search for "Lofi hiphop beats to chill/study to 24/7", whatever comes up first will be pretty close to what you'll find within the title.

Editors note: This genre became popular within the past few years. The genre was actually created/used by artists prominent artists J Dilla and Nujabes. This music is mostly melodic and relaxing by nature. It has gone on to inspire many artists.

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Good little interview, thanks for sharing!  If I could make a suggestion, how about including some links to the game or developer to make it easy if we want to learn more? :)

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