Today on Industry Interviews, The Switch Effect welcomes a very special guest: Kurt Hollowell, Founder and Lead Programmer of Dog Eat Dog Games. With your current project Vivo, planning to be released on the Nintendo Switch in 2018, we wanted to learn more about this musical space shooter. We had the chance to play the beta currently available on your website, www.https://dogeatdog-games.itch.io/vivo, and could not stop. The gameplay and music is so addicting!


Vivo looks amazing!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hey everyone! I’m a 27 year old game developer from Albuquerque New Mexico. Aside from playing and making games, I like to snowboard, teach martial arts, and grab a beer or two with friends. I have 7 brothers and sisters, I speak Danish, and I love spicy food!

Can you tell us about how you got into gaming and collecting?
I really got into video games as a kid when I realized it was an even playing field to compete against my older brothers. I love how games bring people together and give us a chance to explore new worlds.

What was the first console and game that you owned?
The earliest games I remember playing are Contra and Super Mario World for Super Nintendo and Sonic for SEGA. The first console I personally owned was the original Game Boy. I’d stay up all night trying to “catch them all” in Pokémon Red and Blue.

Do you have any fond childhood memories based around gaming?
I especially remember playing games on road trips with my family. I loved the long days on the road because I got to play video games all day.

Let’s jump forward a bit. How did Dog Eat Dog Games come to be?
During orientation at my local university, UNM, I saw they had a few game development courses. I knew right then and there what I was going to do for the rest of my life and I haven’t looked back. I started to learn how to program and dove head first into the world of game development. After graduating I started Dog Eat Dog and have loved every second of it.

Can you share with us the background on Vivo and what led to this visually and musically hypnotizing (in a good way) game?
Vivo started at a game jam. I wanted to play around with the idea of a space shooter wrapped around sphere. You can actually see a really old trailer for the game here:

A few years later I still had Vivo on my mind, and wanted to see what I could really make out of it. I love music and music based games. I think music helps draw us deeper into an experience. It helps get players into that hypnotic state where they feel unstoppable. We’re trying to craft that experience with Vivo, a bullet dodging space ship blasting trance.

As you’re aware, technology continues to advance the gaming industry. Have you been a fan of these changes?
I love new tech. In fact I plan to release the Beta for Vivo on Microsoft HoloLens. Check out what gameplay looks like in AR:

I think new tech like AR and VR will only push humanity further. The possibilities are endless.

Where do you think technology will bring us in the future?
I believe we’re on the cusp of a digital revolution. I think Augmented Reality is going to merge the digital world with the physical one. A computer will no longer be a thing on your desk, but rather a digital overlay on top of every aspect of the world around you.

We at The Switch Effect are obviously big fans of Nintendo’s new console. What are your impressions of the Switch?
I love the Switch J. I just finished Super Mario Odyssey! I’m also really happy to see Nintendo supporting Indie developers on the new console. It’s awesome as a developer and as a gamer.

Which new games are you looking forward to the most (besides yours of course, haha)?
To be honest I’ve been focused on Super Mario Odyssey. Now that it’s out I’ll have to start looking for the next game.

What is the best way for our readers/followers to keep up with you, your company, and your future projects?
We’re really active across all social media platforms. Whatever platform you use most, just like our page or follow us to stay up to date. Feel free to touch base with us personally! I’d love to see what other game devs are up to, or what players like or don’t like about Vivo.

Last question now that I’ve run you through the gauntlet. Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Vivo is just the codename for this project and is likely to have another name when it’s released. Dog Eat Dog also makes game development tools on the Unity Asset Store. It’s been an awesome way for us to connect with other developers and make a bigger impact in the game industry. If you’re a developer, check out some of the tools we’ve made (p.s. all of these tools are used in the making of Vivo.)

Audio Visualizer: https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/tools/audio/audio-visualizer-47866
Mesh Tracer: https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/vfx/particles/mesh-tracer-43689
Procedural Spaceships: https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/3d/vehicles/space/procedural-spaceships-67824
VectorFields: https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/vfx/particles/vectoraygen-official-vector-field-plugin-97239

Thank you again for taking the time to speak with The Switch Effect and for our readers to learn more about your company and especially Vivo.

To follow Dog Eat Dog Games, make sure to use the links below: