Interview: Pixel Nick Talks Eagle Island

Posted on by Ryan

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When I first saw Eagle Island, it instantly caught my attention. With so many characters with companions that join them, we’ve never seen one involving an owl. It also helps when you have a very peaceful trailer that gets interrupted by a giant Eagle.

It was at that moment I knew I just had to learn more about the game, so we spoke with Nick Gregory, AKA PixelNicks, to learn a little more about Eagle Island.

Gaming Conviction: What are some of your inspirations for Eagle Island?
Nick Gregory: I was inspired from the classics from my childhood – Mario, Metroid, Yoshi’s Island. The beautiful simplicity of their mechanics. Mix that with the enhancements from modern games, such as procedural generation, and you get a game which truly satisfies the player!

GC: We’ve seen many Indie devs using games engines like Unity and RPG Maker. You are developing Eagle Island with the MonoGame. What led to that decision?
NG: In the brief gap between university and full time work, I started learning XNA. This was the framework used to develop Xbox 360 games. Monogame is a modernised version of that, which can create games for PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, PS4 and Switch. It makes sense for me to develop in a framework I’m already comfortable with instead of learning something new.
GC: You have just launched your Kickstarter campaign today. Can you tell us a little about it?
NG: I’ve spent 2 years developing Eagle Island and using my own savings to pay for artists and character designers. The pot has run dry and Eagle Island is now at a point in development where I’m happy to show the world. With reward tiers starting at just £7, backers can secure a copy of the game and help fund my artist, character designer, composer and other expenses.
GC: Who is the main character we will be playing as? Are there more?
NG: The player controls a boy, Quill. He’s exploring Eagle Island with his two brother owls, when one of them is suddenly snatched out of the sky by the monstrous Eagle, Armaura. Quill and his remaining owl, Koji must explore, grow stronger and defeat Armaura. The player never directly controls Koji the owl, but you can call him to Quill and then launch him as a weapon.
GC: What kind of bosses will we experience while playing the game?
NG: The bosses are in a very early concept stage right now. They will be large monsters with attack patterns to dodge and require specific strategies to attack.
GC: What kinds of emotions do you hope players experience while playing Eagle Island?
NG: The visuals have a light and fun atmosphere, but the game can get quite intense. When you’re down to 1HP, its proper edge-of-your-seat stuff. The main way to find health pick ups is to score combos, and this forces the player into risky situations. When in the hub world, there is a strong 3 act plot carrying the player through highs and lows and eventually releasing them with a bitter-sweet finale.
GC: If Eagle Island does well on PC, could we possibly see it come to mobile or consoles?
NG: Certainly on consoles! Personally, I think Eagle Island would be perfect for the Switch. It won’t be on mobile though, the gameplay does not lend itself to touch screens.
GC: Where can our readers keep up with Eagle Island?
NG: I regularly post on Twitter: http://twitter.com/pixelnicks
If you pledge on Kickstarter, you will gain access to the dev log for behind the scenes goodness!