We caught up with Travis Bulford at rAge 2012 and asked him a few questions regarding the launch of their HD reimagining of Toxic Bunny.
Jonathan: Tell us a bit of the reformation of Celestial Games. What prompted it?
Travis: In 2010, Nick and I were talking about it for some time. There really wasn’t much cultural change so we as coffee drinking lunatics saw an opportunity to reintroduce Celestial Games. With the Indie developer market growing as it was we just knew. It was time.
Jonathan: Who are the guys behind Celestial Games? Tell us a bit more about yourselves.
Travis: Nick and myself were the only returning team members from the original Celestial Games. New members are Paul, Chanel, Jaundre, Bryan and Cobus, in no particular order. Paul, Jaundre and Travis are behind Development and Chanel and Nick do all the copywriting. Paul and Cobus are the art team. Nick and Travis are the game’s creative leads.
Jonathan: How did Toxic Bunny originally come into existence as a character and a game? What was your motivation behind the idea?
Travis: Nick and Brian (Johnson) dreamed up Toxic Bunny while fencing in High School. When we started on Celestial, Travis was already working on something else. But we quickly realised that we could only work on one game. So we picked Toxic Bunny.
Jonathan: What inspired you (and your team) to get into video game developing?
Travis: I think I play a game, more than I write a game. I always liked the dynamics behind a game. Nick loves ideas and he wants his crazy games exposed in many forms of media including games, movies, etc. The new team are gamers at heart and they have the right skills, and desires and as a result the team got together based on their mutual love for gaming.
Jonathan: We note that Toxic is a caffeine addict. Are any of the team at Celestial Games caffeine addicts and what brands of coffee are your favourites?
Travis: Nick and myself are most definitely coffee addicts. Black bovine lactate. No specific brand. Definitely perculated, not instant. And readily available. Ever since I started working with the new time, I’ve had a huge influence on the rest of the team and they have all become coffee addicts as well.
Jonathan: With the reformation of Celestial Games and the reimaging of Toxic Bunny as an HD title, can we expect any more Toxic Bunny games down the line.
Travis: We certainly hope so. We don’t have anything planned other than the immediate ports. We have loose plans in place for Toxic Bunny for the future.
Jonathan: While we’re on the topic of the future, are there any other titles in the pipeline for Celestial Games?
Travis: Yes. The only thing I am willing to divulge at this stage is a name. Macrocosm.
Jonathan: Do you have any hints, tips or any other useful information you would like to share with gamers out there who will be picking up Toxic Bunny HD?
Travis: If you want to finish the game, learn to use the potion combination. Save all your lives for level 4. Level 4 gets a bit barbaric. Collect and kill anything you come across. Drink lots of coffee in and out of the game.
Jonathan: With South Africa not overtly involved in Video Game Development in the world spectrum, do you have any advice for any would-be video game developers on our fair shores.
Travis: A lot of people are talking about creating video games. Just do it. Get out there and do it. There’s gonna be a lot of local people to help you. In Jim Morrison’s words “Build it and it will come”. There’s a lot of nay-sayers, ignore them and just do it. I would also like to take this opportunity to tell you all about a forum where prospective game developers in South Africa can get together and discuss their passion. Check out www.makegamessa.com
Darryl: Is Toxic based on any one person?
Travis: Toxic is based on the idea that someone or something that you don’t expect, will fight back, and persevere. He basically never gives up no matter what. Toxic is a little bunny, and you don’t expect a little bunny to fight back.
Jonathan: Lastly, if gamers would like to get in touch with Celestial Games, how can they do that?
Travis: You can drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We prefer to be contacted via e-mail as it is easier to get back to everyone that way. We certainly see ourselves as being accessible, so if you have any questions, please drop us an e-mail.
The game will be selling at a recommended retail price of R149 and is being distributed by Apex Interactive.
Travis had these final words to say about Toxic Bunny HD – “I hope people enjoy Toxic Bunny HD as much as we enjoyed making it.”