You don't have to wear a horse mask in this Kinect, PS4 camera game

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You don't have to wear a horse mask in this Kinect, PS4 camera game
Developers André Noller and Georg Graf of Grandé Games aren't interested in the spotlight. They want their game, a body-bending platformer for Kinect and PS4 camera called Commander Cherry's Puzzled Journey, to be the star. To ensure that Noller and Graf don't interfere with the game's message, their demo videos star a man in a horse-head mask and a purple morphsuit, and when they emailed Joystiq answers to an interview, it was in the voice of Commander Cherry himself.

We did eventually speak with the real Noller and Graf, and unfortunately for their invisibility plans, they have an interesting story. Commander Cherry is their first game, but they're already registered developers with both Sony and Microsoft for PS4 and Xbox One. They're financing the game with their own money, working side jobs on Mondays and Tuesdays, and developing Wednesdays to Fridays from 9AM to 9PM, Noller said.

To get in with the big players, Noller and Graf prepared a pitch package that included a video of the team and a short Commander Cherry gameplay trailer.

"We also pulled off some 'guerilla contacting,'" Noller said. "The breakthrough with Sony was a tweet to Shahid Kamal Ahmad. This was necessary because we had trouble uploading an OpenOffice file (yeah, yeah, the poor Indies). The breakthrough with Microsoft was also the work of guerilla contacting. We searched for the email address of the ID@Xbox director on the internet and found it on the last page of an old PowerPoint document."Another factor that may have contributed to their success is Commander Cherry's emphasis on Kinect and the PS4 Eye camera, Noller said.

"So if some fellow human indie developers have a great idea for a Kinect or PS4 Camera game, this may be an advantage," he said. "And would of course result in even cooler camera games. How could this not be a great thing?"

Commander Cherry's Puzzled Journey is a yoga-action platformer, as Noller and Graf describe it. Players survey the on-screen environment and fill in missing platforms with their bodies, projected into the game through the Kinect of PS Eye.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there's a notable difference in quality between the Xbox One Kinect and PS4 camera versions of Commander Cherry, as demonstrated in two new videos. The Kinect version is clearer and appears to track more closely to Horsedude's body (yes, that is his name).

"The differences do not negatively affect the experience and fun you'll have with Commander Cherry's Puzzled Journey," Noller said.

The guys at Grandé have enjoyed their experience with Sony and Microsoft so far, Noller said: "Since we are a bunch of greenhorns we can't compare it to working with other platforms. But we are very happy with the support and we lacked for absolutely nothing in every regard."

And no, players don't have to wear a horse mask when they play Commander Cherry. "Though it'd surely amuse us, the players aren't obliged to wear a horse mask while playing," Noller said. "But I bet they'd be the stars while streaming their playing session on Twitch."
[Image: Grandé Games]
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