Indie developers are the starving artists of the video-game world, often brilliant and innovative, but also misunderstood, underfunded and more prone to writing free-form poetry on their LiveJournals. We at Joystiq believe no one deserves to starve, and many indie developers are entitled to a fridge full of tasty, fulfilling media coverage, right here. This week, in a three-part series we're featuring the creators of the Serious Sam indie series. Today, it's Brad Johnson of Be-Rad about his recent iOS and Android release, Serious Sam: Kamikaze Attack.
Why be independent rather than try to work for someone else?

Been there, done that. Bosses aren't for me, unless it's a boss battle. Being independent puts me in control of the whole development process so I can set my own schedules and create what I want to create. Sometimes I have flashbacks of working overtime for my old employers and I want to scream "FREEEDOOOOOOOOM!!!" like William Wallace did at the end of Braveheart, but then I snap out of it and realize where I'm at and am thankful I'm doing my own thing.

Why did you want to make games?

Throughout my whole life games have had such a profound impact on the way I think, the decisions I've made, and the friends I've found. I've always wanted to make games so that I could make a positive impact on peoples' lives. And it gives me an excuse to make the games I want to play myself.

How did Be-Rad Entertainment get started?

While working as a scripter/programmer on console games for five years I would often dream about making my own games. It finally got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore so I quit and started Be-Rad Entertainment. Be-Rad's been around for over 6 months and we're about to finish our second game.

What's your game called, and what's it about?

My latest game is called Serious Sam: Kamikaze Attack.

It's an auto-runner where you're playing as the Headless Kamikaze from the Serious Sam games. You'll have plenty of missiles and bombs fly at you, and your eventual goal is to blow up Sam himself. Since you're playing as the Headless Kamikaze you even get to blow yourself up all the time.

Do you feel like you're making the game you always wanted to play?

Yes. We're taking auto-runner games to the next level by adding a bunch of different objectives and boss battles. Most auto-runners just have one level that you keep playing over and over which I find pretty boring after a few tries. We've added a much deeper experience with Kamikaze Attack! so players will be able to keep themselves busy for much longer than your average mobile game.

How long did it take you to create?

Just about 2 months. My previous game was similar so I could reuse some of the code. This helped save a lot of development time and let me focus on adding rad features while making the game really polished. Even the menu screen is a bit more interactive, and explosive (you'll see).

What are you proudest of about Kamikaze Attack?

What are you proudest of about Kamikaze Attack?

That it has nothing to do with that song "Friday" by Rebecca Black.
That it has nothing to do with that song "Friday" by Rebecca Black.

But seriously, we're excited about adding boss battles to the auto-runner genre. And if we can say two things, the fact that we get to make a fun game in the Serious Sam universe is pretty friggin' sweet.

What one thing would you tell someone to convince them to get Kamikaze Attack?

Dying is really fun in Serious Sam: Kamikaze Attack We're not going to lie, you're a kamikaze so you'll explode and die a lot in this game. But we're taking away the frustration that comes with dying because it's pretty damn fun to explode.

What's next?

Plenty of cool stuff. There's a possibility we'll get to work with a movie license. There's other talk of using some Kinect-like technology for a mobile game. But it's all hush-hush right now.


Make sure you don't tell your friends about that last bit -- just get Serious Sam: Kamikaze Attack on iOS or Android and keep your big mouth shut. We mean it. That's why we published it; hiding things in the most obvious places and all that.

If you'd like to have your own shot at converting our readers into fans, email justin aat joystiq dawt com, subject line "The Joystiq Indie Pitch." Still haven't had enough? Check out the Pitch archives.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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