Aether - Developer/Artist Interview

Edmund McMillen & Tyler Glaiel were kind enough to answer a few questions about their newest game Aether.

Q.) What emotions does Aether conjure up when you play it? (Seeing the game is about your childhood)

Edmund: The goal of the game was to put the player into the mind of a lonely young boy who has a hard time relating to others. While designing the game i tried to put myself back in the mind frame of me at 7-8 years old, lonely, nervous and self destructive with great fears of abandonment and alienation from others. Playing and designing the game conjures up those feelings.

Tyler: It was interesting as I was developing the game because it was pretty much about Edmund’s childhood, not mine, and I did not know all the facets of the story as I was working on the gameplay. So, I basically worked out the mechanics of the planets to convey specific emotions, not necessarily knowing which ones would be used for what part of the story. It’s tough to decide if the mood molded to the gameplay or the gameplay molded to the mood, but I think that because the line is fuzzy there, the game manages to build up mood much more than something that is 100% planned from the beginning.

Q.) What inspires your creativity? Is there any one source you tend to draw upon more than others?

Edmund: Creative and driven people inspire me. Working with Tyler was awesome because i could totally ride off his inspiration and get a ton of stuff done in a very short amount of time. People being creative and taking risks with their work always is inspiring to me, honesty in art is also very inspiring.

Tyler: Part of my inspiration comes from looking at what other games do wrong, and thinking to myself, “I could do better than that…” Maybe that’s an egotistical way to think, but it’s an interesting challenge to try and fix someone else’s errors. I also recently played Braid, and before Edmund even pitched this idea to me, I was thinking of how to make a game that has a deep story and a gameplay that fits the story (like Braid). A few weeks later I was working on this. I also took cues from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (and various other songs) for the music.

Q.) What is your favorite game that you created?

Edmund: Aether is currently my favorite game ive created, with Gish a close 2nd.

Tyler: As of now, Aether.=2 None of my other stuff really comes close (even though I do like what I did on Paths, there were some serious difficulty problems. Like technically impossible levels. My bad.).

Q.) Can we expect to see Aether on WiiWare? Seeing the game is set up perfect for the WiiMote.

Edmund: Thats the goal for next year!

Tyler: We hope so. Should be fun to juggle school (college omg) and this.
We look forward to more great games from you two and we hope to be playing Aether next year on our Wii.

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