A little while before the release of Beat the Game, we caught up with Yesim Demirci Ozkurt and Cemre Ozkurt of Worm Animation to ask them a few question on their now award-winning passion project, well done on that by the way you two!
Looking at your biographies on the Worm Animation website, it’s blatant that you’ve both accumulated quite a resume, what made you want to splinter off and start your own studio?
Cemre: I’ve worked for Film and Game studios for the last 15 years, like Blur studios, Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard and Telltale Games etc. I was a character artist, during those years Yesim and I got very interested in music making. We were already huge music lovers. We collect both vinyl records and digital music. We love mixing them for hours. We also play some instruments. Our place looks like a music studio now with all the music stuff we kept adding throughout the years. Obviously we try our hands on electronic music making using drum machines and synthesizers.
Yesim: That’s how we came up with Beat the Game’s idea. It’s a mix of what we love and what we know: Music, art and gaming. It is also a very good example of our vision. We like making things, building and creating. Instead of only consuming, we created a game that requires the audience to build and experiment while playing.
Cemre: Destroying things is an empty feeling, building things like music is positive.
We want our players to think deep and feel good while playing. We believe people from all ages and origins will appreciate the art style and unique game mentality.
2) Out of all of the work that you’ve created throughout the years, do either of you have a particular favourite piece or even a favourite company that you’ve worked for?
Cemre: I would say that the “Skylanders” project for Activision Blizzard was fun. I enjoyed making character art, toy design and making prototypes using the in house 3d printers. I’ve enjoyed all of the projects I’ve worked in.
Yesim: Being an editor at French Magazine “L’Officiel” was a great experience for me. I learned so much about art and music there. I’ve written some of my best articles and interviewed many artists and musicians. But of course the most exciting project is Beat the Game. It’s like our baby.
3) Your art style is very uncommon, and a little strange by contemporary standards (which I love, by the way), do you worry that the art direction may deter some people from playing your game?
Cemre: Yes it will deter some people but we don’t worry about that. It’s not a bad thing. This way, the game will create a community that we’d like to create. We don’t really need everyone to like our style.
We would be okay with a small but refined community who appreciate uncontemporary art in video games. We are not making a bread and butter game; this is more like a local raw honey on top of a smelly blue cheese game. It’s not for everyone and there is nothing wrong with you if you don’t like it or love it.
4) Continuing with the art direction, do you have any strong influences that come to mind when you think of this game?
Cemre: Our inspiration is coming from the artists we like the most. Such as; Salvador Dali, Tim Burton & Jim Hanson. Also some games like Journey, Monkey Island and Neverhood have been a big inspiration on our game style choice.
5) Do you have any plans beyond Beat the Game? What’s next for Worm Animation?
Yesim: After Beat the Game’s release on Steam, PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One and PS4, we will make a free to play mobile game and one more console game or hopefully the next episodes of Beat the Game.
Beat the Game is expected to hit consoles and PCs everywhere in the next few months, and we eagerly await it with bated breath.