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Adventures of Pip Interview w/ Marc Gomez

On August Tic Toc Games celebrated six years since our Adventure of Pip Kickstarter began. Pip’s journey has been an amazing one, and we’re excited to see him venturing onto Nintendo Switch on September 10th!

In honor of Pip’s Kickstarter Anniversary and the upcoming Nintendo Switch Launch, we sat down with Adventures of Pip’s Game Director, Marc Gomez, and asked him all sorts of fun questions about creating Pip. Enjoy! 

Why did you want to make Adventures of Pip?

Gomez: I have always had a love for pixel art since starting my game career in GameBoy Advance. I wanted to design a game around the evolution of pixel art, and that’s how the game idea originated.

What were your first elevator pitches for Pip?

Gomez: Initially, Pip was being designed as a “metroidvania” style title. We moved away from this as we found that using evolution as a lock and key mechanism wasn’t too different from gameplay in any other metroidvania style game.

How did you come up with the name, Adventures of Pip?

Gomez: Looking for different ways to describe a single unit block, Pip made a good name for a little square. Other possible names were P-Unit, Pix El, and SquareBoy NoPants. 

Can you tell us a little about the design process when it came to creating the evolution/devolve system in Pip?

Gomez: The main message behind the title was that we wanted to teach that no matter your size or limitations, you have a gift and purpose. So when deciding what each evolution does, we wanted to make sure that there were special properties that each evolution took advantage of over the other evolutions. Sometimes these were necessary to exploit in a level; other times, they are optional.

What were your biggest challenges working on the Adventures of Pip?

Gomez: Trying to figure out the best way to approach evolution and de-evolution through the traversal was something we kept revisiting. Should it be something on the fly? Should it be attached to an enemy? Should it be something you collect? We went through many explorations on that.

What made the team decide to use Kickstarter to fund the game?

Gomez: At the time, Kickstarter was a really popular new way to fund projects. We came a bit late to the party but were able to get a lot of support from donors as well as other developers.

What were the pros and cons of crowdfunding?

Gomez: So much development time is spent on taking care of the crowdfunding page and keeping it up to date with everything that is going on. Making art and marketing the page is quite taxing and can make it hard to focus on development.

The great part about crowdfunding is that it brings exposure to your title as well as brings you closer with other devs.

Can you tell us a fun memory or story from while you were working on Pip?

Gomez: PAX was super fun to be a part of. Setting up booths and talking to people that came by was tiring but worth it. I remember before one convention just buying hundreds of gift boxes from a box warehouse online—perfectly square red 4″ boxes. We ended up putting together all the boxes and decorating our booth with them. It was like Tribbles everywhere.

What do you hope people come away with after they’ve played Adventures of Pip?

Gomez: I hope people can look at themselves in the mirror and say, “I may be square, but dang it, at least I can fit in small places.”

How did you come to be a game designer?

Gomez: Coming from an art background, I started working at Wayforward, doing everything from background art to animation. Learning the process was the key to knowing how to design based on the different restrictions that you had during that time.

After art directing a few titles, I started game designing at Wayforward on several licensed titles before making my way to TicToc, where I was able to design on some original IPs.

What are some of your favorite games that inspire you?

Gomez: Most recently, I am in awe of Gris and its art direction and how well it blends in with their game design and narrative. I’m a big fan of storytelling in titles that aren’t traditionally heavily story-based. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is also really beautiful with a story that I really love, and traversal that is super immersive.

Any games you are excited about in the future?

Gomez: I usually like seeing stuff with innovation and ways to push boundaries, so I don’t get too excited for sequels and regularly rely on word of mouth for any titles that people recommend if I can ask a bit about what those games have to offer.

What are you currently working on?

Gomez: I’m working on a new original title for TicToc called B.ARK, which has an exclusive launch on the Nintendo Switch! It’s looking really good with lots of beautiful traditional animation. I hope everyone tries it out!

Adventures of Pip Favorites

  • Scene
    • The entrance to the ancient temple. Entering the mouth of the cave was a really fun in-game moment.
  • Song
    • End Credits. It’s a super epic medley of all the songs.
  • Character 
    • Berto. The humor in the writing behind such a jerky character.

Thank you, Marc, for your time! Are you excited about Pip? You can pre-purchase Adventures of Pip today on the eShop and have it ready to go when it launches September 10th on the Nintendo Switch! Interested in Marc Gomez’s most recent project? Check out the 4-Player Co-Op Space Shooter, B.ARK!