Dan Pearce
Dan Pearce

For the first of our Spotlight On Indie Developers series, we prodded Dan Pearce to see what would happen.

Could we start out with you telling us a little bit about who you are, where you work and your job title?

I’m Dan Pearce, an indie developer who attends university on occasion. I was the first winner of the BAFTA Young Game Designers award in 2010. I’m currently working on a few projects, the one nearest to completion being a side-scrolling action game called 10 Second Ninja.

What led you to games development? Has it always been your plan to make games?

Early on, games seemed like this magical thing to me. I’d like to say that this was because of something really complex and deep but, in truth, I wasn’t allowed a proper console for years (my mum thought I’d get obsessed with games or something), so I think the medium was embedded early in my mind as something special and off limits. Once I got a console, it was a traditional story of lying to friends, saying I worked for games companies, eventually deciding that might actually be a cool career, etc.

What has been your favourite game you have worked on?
I don’t have a very strong backlog of games that I’ve worked on. Before committing to being indie, I was hampered by projects falling through, or turning out… unexpectedly. I’d like to say 10 Second Ninja but, as it’s not done yet, I can’t really. In terms of a learning experience, I worked with some of the ex-Crackdown guys on a proof of concept demo which turned out pretty bad. There was very little communication from both sides, so what was supposed to be satire ended up being a juvenile mess which began with a rape joke. That said, I’m really proud of my current projects.

If you could choose one game you wish you had worked on what would it be?

Tough one. First instinct is to say something like Metal Gear Solid 2, but, when I think about it, I have to say Flower. In part because Jenova Chen is the world’s best genius, but also because it’s a master class in simplistic, iterative design. Everything in that game compliments everything else. Perfectly paced, doesn’t outstay its welcome, controls like a dream.

What is your fondest memory of working in games development?

Winning BAFTA’s Young Game Designers award was pretty great, considering how many doors it opened for me – that said, there was also that time when Phil Fish walked past me at Game City and inadvertently brushed his hand against my backside.

Mario or Sonic?

Mario. No question. I didn’t grow up during the “proper” console wars, so Sonic’s appeal has always been lost on me. Mario has been consistently great since his inception, and that moustache puts Tom Selleck to shame.

Coke or Pepsi?

Pepsi. Pepsi Max, to be specific. Easily mankind’s greatest achievement so far.

Sushi or Pizza?

Pizza. Pizza and a bottle of Pepsi Max, to be specific.

Favourite biscuit?

Chocolate Digestive is a classic, but I am a fan of a good Oreo.

How can readers can find out more about you and your games?

Easiest thing to do is follow me on Twitter. I’m perpetually on there in some form, so when there’s any news, it’ll be there first.

And lastly could you please nominate someone for our next Spotlight On Indie Developers?

Andrew Roper, because he’s lovely. Yet to meet someone who knows him and doesn’t smile when his name comes up.