Exclusive Interview with PixelNAUTS – LOST ORBIT

I was very fortunate to be able to speak with some of  the PixelNAUTS team members, and was able to have them answer a few questions.


Moises Garza: Can you please tell me your name(s), and what you do at PixelNAUTS?
Alex Golebiowski
Co-Founder, Designer, Artist, Whatever needs doing

Chris Iacobucci
Co-Founder, Writer, Artist, Whatever needs doing


Moises Garza: How did PixelNAUTS come into existence?

Alex Golebiowski: Chris Iacobucci and I started the company in 2010 shortly after leaving Silicon Knights. We had quit our jobs and begun working on our portfolios, when we realized we could use this opportunity to make games of our own. We put together the work we had, incorporated, and moved into our offices in January of 2011.


Moises Garza: How did you get into the industry, and what made you join such industry?

Alex Golebiowski: I met Chris in College; we were both taking Digital Media Arts and had pretty clear ambitions of wanting to make games. After a few dead end jobs in Television, we got our start at Silicon Knights.

I knew I wanted to be in games since I was a kid, playing Nintendo for far too many hours. I wanted to make something that inspired someone as much as those games inspired me. Chris always felt that way too. He loves the idea of building things that he can watch someone interact with and enjoy.


Moises Garza: What inspires you, and your team as a whole, to create video games?

Alex Golebiowski: We are inspired by our passion to entertain; to give someone an experience they can take away with them and tell others about.

We love games and have been making them for a while now. We are really excited to take a shot at making something all our own. Something we can put our own spin on, and be proud of.

We look forward to seeing people play our games. It’s great to watch others find something we’ve hidden in the game, discover a new way to accomplish a goal, or beat our high scores.


Moises Garza: What was the inspiration behind LOST ORBIT?

Alex Golebiowski: LOST ORBIT started as a simple intro slate for our company. We wanted an astronaut to jump off our logo, orbit around some planets and fly away. That made us think it would be a great experience to follow that character through the galaxy.

What really inspired the core game was our love for fast games with a great sense of flow. We wanted to create something that feels fluid and intense all at the same time. Like Flower meets F-Zero, 🙂


Moises Garza: What is the objective of LOST ORBIT?

Alex Golebiowski: You play as an astronaut named Harrison; a maintenance worker who gets stranded in deep space after his ship is destroyed. Realizing he’s pretty much screwed, he decides to take his chances and try to make it home using his jet pack and the planetary forces at his disposal.

His objective is to survive against ridiculous odds, make it home, and find out what the hell happened to his ship.


Moises Garza: How Did LOST ORBIT get its name (great name by the way)?

Alex Golebiowski: Thanks 🙂

We were trying to brain storm a name that fit the mood and gameplay of your journey. LOST ORBIT just stood out from the rest of the list. It fit perfectly.


Moises Garza: What was LOST ORBIT’s choice of engine? What are your thoughts on the engine?

Alex Golebiowski: We are using Unity to develop LOST ORBIT. It was a pretty easy choice for us. We wanted something versatile, affordable, and high end. Unity has all the features we would have wanted in a game engine. You can quickly prototype, easily implement new mechanics, and still make your work look great.

We have had a very positive experience working with Unity and are really excited for Unity 5.


Moises Garza: How long has LOST ORBIT been in development?

Alex Golebiowski: LOST ORBIT has been in an on/off development for about a year now. We created a slice of the game for last year’s GDC, and half our team stayed on the game after that. They developed the mechanics and the general framework of the game. Our art team was working with Compulsion Games on Contrast. Once Contrast shipped, we all jumped on board and put everything into LOST ORBIT.


Moises Garza: Are there any plans for future DLC or perhaps a Sequel?

Alex Golebiowski: We love the world we have created so far and have brainstormed lots of ideas for additional content. Whether or not that ever happens, will largely depend on how much interest there is in the game. If people love it and we can afford to push out more content, we would love to.


Moises Garza:I enjoy PC gaming, but what about our console brethren, any chance LOST ORBIT may come to them?

Alex Golebiowski: Right now we are really focused on the PC build. We want to make sure it’s as solid as possible.

We would really like to put LO out for consoles as well. After all it is built to work with an analog controller, and looks great on the big screen. At the moment though, those platforms are up in the air. It’s not something we can commit to yet.

Alex Later added in an email “there was a bit of an error with our press release. It said PC and mobile, but we’re just focusing on Steam right now. Mobile might come in the future but not at launch.”


Moises Garza: Can you give a brief overview of the process your team uses to create your video games?

Alex Golebiowski: On a high level we spend a lot of our early time trying to make things fun. We generally prototype mechanics first, and abandon anything that doesn’t feel great. When the game is fun and were happy with the gameplay, we then move onto how it looks, sounds, the story, etc.

We’re a very small team, and we like to keep production loose. We have task lists and goals but no one really has a title or role. It’s a very flat system; each of us has specialties, but we encourage people to branch out, learn, and fill gaps when they find them. We all try to be versatile, efficient, and flexible.

Simply put, team members work on whatever tasks they believe are important to the game. It’s not a system that would work for a lot of studios, but we’re all experienced and dedicated developers. We believe in each other and so far it has been working really well.


Moises Garza: Do you have any advice for anyone trying to break into the game industry, or create their own game?

Alex Golebiowski: For someone trying to get into the industry I say, find the one thing you love about making games and get really awesome at it. Focus your work on that one thing and be ready to show everyone just how valuable you can be. Asides from your work, be sociable and easy going. Half an interview relies on how well you will mesh with a team.

For those starting their own company, try to find the right people. It’s all about your team. The idea doesn’t matter if you don’t have the team to make it. Find people you trust and believe in, build a solid team and the games will come.


Moises Garza: How is the future looking at PixelNAUTS?

Alex Golebiowski: The future of PixelNAUTS looks pretty bright! We are currently finishing up LOST ORBIT and are eager to put it out into the world. We have had this game in our minds for quite some time now and it’s both exciting and terrifying to be nearly finished with it.

Once LOST ORBIT is done we have plans for a new game that we’re very excited for. It’s very different from LOST ORBIT and we can’t wait to get started on it. Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates.
LOST ORBIT will be released on PC, Summer 2014.

Thanks Again for Alex from PixelNauts for allowing GameLuster for this Interview.

You can check out their home page at PixelNAUTS.ca and also their dedicated game page at LostOrbitGame.com


Alex later informed me about LOST ORBIT Steam GreenLight Status, here is what he said on the following matter
Steam is a fantastic online store with a huge user base, there are a ton of eager developers who would love a chance to release their games on it. It would be almost impossible for Steam to sort through all the submissions and hand pick the right games, so they started the Greenlight program. Developers create a submission page for their game and it gets released to the wild. Steam users can browse and find games that interest them, when they visit the game page they are presented with a question, “Would you buy this game if it were available on Steam” Users can vote, read a detailed description of the game, check out media and leave comments. User votes ensure that higher quality games stand out and this allows Steam to choose from a shortened list of games. 
LOST ORBIT started its Greenlight campaign in February of 2014 and has enjoyed a steady interest from the community. Its been a really great experience so far, and the platform is awesome for posting new media and interacting with fans.  If you have any interest please go here to help this game make it on steam.

And Dont Forget to check out their trailer for LOST ORBIT


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