November 6, 2012 by khrisgolder
Khris Golder: Exor Studios has brought the world quite a few games, your most recent being Zombie Driver: HD. It feels like a while since you guys have been cranking out titles.
Pawel Lekki: We started the company in August 2007, so it’s been more than five years now.
KG: You co-founded Exor Studios, and you’ve also worked at Gamelion. It’s quite a challenge developing games as it is these days. What made you take the risky plunge into the independent gaming world?
PL: We actually founded Exor even before working at Gamelion, but back than it was an informal modding group. We were working on a Half-Life 2 mod called D.I.P.R.I.P. before… Gamelion. We worked there for 2 years on multiple mobile games like FIFA 07… Puzzle Bobble. The reason why we left was that we wanted to get back to working on dedicated gaming platforms. Mobile game development wasn’t giving us enough satisfaction, so we parted with Gamelion as friends and decided to chase our own passions.
KG: Something most of us can appreciate, Pawel! Looking at Exor Studios’ titles, your group evolved over the years from family fun games like Swap It! to zombie crunching good times like Zombie Driver: HD. Is Exor where you want it to be, or do you think you’ll go back to making puzzle games?
PL: We are definitely more interested in making games with lots of blood and explosions! (Pawel smiles)
KG: I think a lot of us are just as interested in playing those games, too.
PL: Swap It! (and) Fishing Time are examples of games that our studio was hired to make. At the moment, we don’t have to rely on any outside contract work. But if we do, we can even make casual games. Zombie Driver has allowed us to keep our independence and creative freedom, so our next project is going to be something completely new.
KG: Let’s talk a moment about your brother, Wojciech. Is it reassuring to have a competent project manager you can trust?
PL: …We’ve been working on games together for almost 20 years, if you count pen and paper RPGs and amateur level design. We usually have different opinions about a lot of stuff, but we are always able to agree on the best solution. We often switch management tasks so…there’s always a backup.
KG: Plus, I’m sure it helps to egg each other on, while constantly reminding them you know where their embarrassing baby pictures are at. Speaking of embarrassments, I heard you’re not impressed with the Wii-U?
PL: Not really. I checked out a few Wii-U games at Gamescom and I didn’t feel particularly excited about the experience.
KG: I don’t know… I’m looking forward to Zombie U myself. What zombie games inspired Zombie Driver: HD?
PL: Left 4 Dead, Dead Nation, Dead Rising, Resident Evil 2 & 4. We drove inspiration from multiple sources, and it’s hard to pick one most important. With Zombie Driver HD, we moved closer to the idea of heavily mutated zombies that are common for the Resident Evil series.
KG: It’s hard to argue with RE! Do you think DIPRIP will have an HD revamp and get moved over to XBLA too?
PL: We aren’t planning that at the moment.
KG: What does Exor Studios have in mind for your next project?
PL: At this point, we can only say that it’s going to involve a lot of gore and explosions.
KG: Keep going…
PL: It probably won’t be a game about cars (or) zombies. We are in very early concept stages so even the game’s genre isn’t final yet.
KG: Well, you know what today is, so I have to ask. Which would you rather play: Halo 4 or Black Ops II?
PL: Black Ops II.
KG: Poor Master Chief. One last question, and this one is for your fans. How great does it feel to have gamers from all over the world playing your games?
PL: It’s great and scary at the same moment. It’s hard to forget about all the things that we could have done better, and I am always personally worried that people will bash us for them. It also gives a lot of satisfaction o know that we have actually finished something, and that it can be enjoyed by people across the globe.
KG: I can assure you Pawel, you have gamer friends everywhere, and we look forward to your next game (especially if it includes all these explosions and gore you’re talkin’ ‘bout). Thanks for stopping by GamerCheese, Pawel!
PL: Thanks for the interview!