‘Gunman Clive’ Developer Reveals Some Of The Secrets Behind His Game

Sometimes the best accidents end up being what makes your game so distinguished, or at least that’s what happened to Bertil Hörberg, the man behind Gunman Clive. The most recognizable thing about the game is its unique art style, which Hörberg happened upon while experimenting with shaders. Also, the final release of the game on smartphones and the 3DS is leaps and bounds away from the original version that was crafted as a homebrew project for the Wii. Read on the find out how it evolved, as well as whether or not fans of the game will likely see another adventure staring Clive.

Multiplayer: What drew you to set the game in the Wild West?

Bertil Hörberg: It’s a setting that isn’t done very often in games, especially not in platformers so I thought it would be fun to try. But actually the game didn’t start out with the Wild West theme. It started with robots and colourful graphics, but eventually I felt the game lacked identity. I did some experimentation with the artstyle, and about at the same time I had tried putting a Stetson on the main character just for fun. Somehow, a cowboy rendered in this style just felt right, so I went for a full western theme. Of course I kept some of the robots as well.

Multiplayer: How did it evolve from a homebrew Wii game?

Hörberg: I first started developing the game years ago. I was tired of my job and left to take some time off and did some hobby coding. For some reason that I can’t really explain I ended up coding a 3D engine for Wii homebrew, and alongside it the game that would eventually become Gunman Clive. I toyed with the idea a bit back then to start up a company and try to get a developer license and eventually release it for Wiiware. But I took a job at another game studio instead and put the project on hold for several years. In the end I’m glad I waited. I don’t think I would have been ready back then and the game as it were then would not have turned out nearly as good.

Multiplayer: Where did the art style come from?

Hörberg: It’s mostly the result of experimentation and a bit of luck. I didn’t have any clear target, or solid references in mind. I had done some test with similar sketch-like shaders before, and tried applying them to this game. But I forgot to change the textures to work with the new shaders before running it, and the result was a bit different from what I planned. Somehow I really liked the way it had turned out, and that gave me the seed for the game’s art style.

Multiplayer: The game’s trailer is pretty unconventional when compared to most game trailers, why did you decide to be so honest in it?

Hörberg: I was trying really hard to come up with proper, impressive sounding tag lines and bullet points for the trailer, but it sounded forced and I just felt a bit silly about it. So I took it in the other direction instead.

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