It’s been just over a week since Deep End Game’s premiere indie game Perception came out on Steam, PS4, and X-Box One after the project was launched on Kickstarter in May 2015. After a successful first week, Amanda Gardner–writer, producer, and co-founder of Deep End Games–spoke with us about Perception, its release, and the ideas behind it.
EG: Let’s start at the beginning: When did the idea for Perception first happen?
Amanda: Bill’s grad school professor said one night in class “By the time you get to your cars, you’ll have a brilliant idea”. When he got home from school that night, he was talking about echolocation and blindness and all of a sudden, the story started to come together.
Kickstarter offered us the opportunity to raise funding and a fan base at the same time. Backers have been amazing, and we’ve loved all the feedback we’ve received from them. It was a collaborative process!
One of the most standout features of Perception is that it features a blind protagonist–were there any challenges in creating such a protagonist?
It was really important to us that she’s not a trope or stereotype. We did an exhaustive amount of research as well, because tackling a subject like this you need to know what you’re talking about. Lastly, we wanted to make it clear that blindness isn’t a super power; echolocation, while not common, is something many people can do.
Tell us about echolocation: How did you research it and translate it into Perception? Were there any blind people or echolocation-users that assisted in the process?
Yes! Bill did his grad school thesis on blindness and adaptive technologies, and we talked to many blind people and blind gamers. We went out to dinner with Daniel Kish, the famous echolocator and head of World Access to the Blind. He’s amazing!
What’s been the biggest challenge in the creation of Perception?
Probably the fact that we have four kids, two of whom are babies, and we made it in our basement. 😀 Taking work from home to a whole new level here at The Deep End!
How’s week 1 been?
Exciting! Hearing so much great feedback and getting to watch people play something we’ve been so passionate about for so long is just amazing. Seeing people moved by Cassie’s journey – proving to herself that she’s capable of anything – has been especially wonderful.
Any advice to any potential indie devs out there thinking about Kickstarting a game?
Research/plan so much that you think you can’t possibly do any more, then give yourselves another month. ;D
Do you have any favorite stories about the fan response to Perception so far?
Someone today said “Not only is it haunting, but it’s also tragic and beautiful” or something to that effect. Made me very happy.
Any consistent praise/criticism that the game gets that you’d like to address?
Are there any patches, ports, or DLC in Perception’s future?
Right now we’re too in the trenches with launch to make any plans just yet, haha!
Is a physical release in Perception’s future?
Now that Perception is done, what’s in Deep End’s future?
Any more games? See above! 😉 Gotta recover. ;P