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Jesse Attard of Tactic Studios

Tactic Studios developer and CEO, Jesse Attard (BioShock, BioShock 2, Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (2006)), calls in for a podcast chat about the studio’s new Portal-style puzzle adventure game, Claire de Lune. We discuss his transition from major AAA teams to heading up an indie studio, parenting at publish time, best pandemic home office purchases, and more.

A “Fantastic” Transition to Indie Development

It’s difficult to imagine a triple-A veteran more optimistic than Jesse Attard. Since 2005, he’s contributed to major projects at Ubisoft, Capcom, and Digital Extremes, putting him in the right places at the right times to work on everything from old flip phone games up to the BioShock series and even a late port of Street Fighter II. You’d be right to anticipate a story about burnout and the evisceration of hope in a notoriously brutal industry, yet Attard simply describes the move to indie development as a nice change of pace.

“Oh, it’s fantastic. It’s great. I love doing it,” Attard says about the move from the major-budget studios. “I love having my own engine. I loved working on [Digital Extremes’] engine as well…because you have a lot of flexibility in terms of what you can do and add to it.”

Tactic’s upcoming title, Claire de Lune, uses the studio’s own proprietary engine that the team started building back when the major game engine terms weren’t nearly as inviting as they are now. The graphics and gameplay seen in the game’s trailers look right at home alongside just about any modern title.

Attard has stories about why game engine freedom is important to him.

BioShock was on [Unreal Engine],” he says. “And so we worked on BioShock, and you’re terrified about touching any of the Epic code because if Epic decides to change that code, now you’ve got to merge them and it’s just a big nightmare. Having your own engine, you have 100% flexibility. You can make it do exactly what you want. It’s much easier to work with, from our standpoint. So that’s been great.”

Beyond leveraging his technical experience, Attard is enjoying the additional creative influence he has as part of a small team. He wrote and took care of the full sound design for Claire de Lune.

Tactic Studios is targeting a June 14th release date for Claire de Lune.

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By Todd Mitchell

Todd Mitchell is a US Midwest-based independent game developer and freelance writer. He's the author of Inside Video Game Creation, the founder of CodeWritePlay, and host of the GameDev Breakdown podcast. Follow him on Twitter @Mechatodzilla.

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