Today on Industry Interviews, The Switch Effect is joined by Ryan Juckett, Founder of Hypersect and Creator of INVERSUS Deluxe that was released on the Nintendo Switch eShop on September 28, 2017. For those that have yet to experience this insanely fast and addicting negative-space shooter, INVERSUS Deluxe is simple in concept, but difficult in execution:
Each player is restricted to opposite colors. Flip tiles to your color by shooting. Trap the enemy to win.
Whether you enjoy this in single- or multiplayer, you will be sure to lose countless hours upon hours trying to secure that victory!
Ryan, can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about yourself?
Hi, I’m Ryan Juckett and I supposedly make video games. I made INVERSUS as a one-person team and am currently still the whole team at Hypersect, the game studio I founded near Seattle, WA.
What was the first video game console and game you remember playing?
The first game I remember playing was the original Super Mario Bros. on NES on a small CRT screen in the corner of my childhood bedroom. I thought I had won the first time I knocked Bowser into the lava, but it turned out the Princess had moved on.
Growing up, what is your fondest video game memory?
Either staying up all night playing Ocarina of Time or performing all kinds of black magic balancing tricks to get a shoddy used PS1 to play the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater demo disc.
Did you always know you wanted to work in the video game industry?
Initially I wanted to just play video games for a living, but that wasn’t really an option back then like it is now. I think I would have turned to creating regardless, however.
You’ve been in the video game industry as early as 2004 when you were a programmer at Neversoft Entertainment. What has your journey been like since the start of your career?
This might be long! Neversoft recruited me straight from college at DigiPen which brought me to Los Angeles. I was a huge fan of the Tony Hawk series they made, but the first game I worked on there was GUN. I followed that up with working on Tony Hawk’s Project 8, but left to join Pandemic while we were finishing up Proving Grounds and starting the transition to Guitar Hero. At Pandemic, I worked briefly on The Saboteur, but left soon after to follow an exciting opportunity working on the never released Project Offset by Offset Software a little south of L.A.
When Offset ran out of funding, I started doing freelance work starting with Firefall because they were using the Offset Engine which I was very familiar with. Freelancing eventually led me back up to Hollywood where I accepted an offer at one of the companies I contracted for, Bionic Software. At Bionic, we made Spyborgs and then transitioned to our sister studio High Impact Games where I worked on an amazing cart racing game prototype that never came out, a Phineas and Ferb game, and a terrible cart racing game that did come out. Looking to get back to bigger teams and projects, I went back up to WA to join Bungie and make Destiny, followed by its expansions and I left to found Hypersect in the middle of development on Destiny 2. That’s all the big picture items, anyway.
What game were you most excited to be a part of?
As far as making a game as part of a team goes, I’m still very proud of GUN. It has its flaws, but there are still numerous examples from it that games can learn from today.
Can you provide some background as to how Hypersect was formed?
I wanted to make something that was mine. Something a bit more artsy and small and pure. In order to do that, I needed a company. Making the company was far less fun than making the game.
Since INVERSUS was first released, it’s garnered a lot of recognition from fans and critics. How has that reception been for you?
It’s truly flattering and an immense pleasure every time a fan reaches out. It’s not trying to lure you in with a cute character or a moody world so when people like it, it’s likely because they truly like the core of it – the systems at play.
Let’s “switch” gears. We at The Switch Effect are obviously huge fans of Nintendo’s newest console. What are your thoughts on the Nintendo Switch?
I always get the new Nintendo console and I was excited for the Switch, but I did not expect how powerful the portability of it would be. The first time I got to play a build of INVERSUS from my bedroom, it really clicked.
INVERSUS Deluxe officially arrived on the Switch back in September 2017. For those unfamiliar, can you describe the game and why gamers should check it out?
There’s two ways to answer that question. I could list off a bunch of neat features it has and how much content there is, but I’m going to instead say why I personally love it as someone that appreciates game design as an art. INVERSUS is a demonstration of the beauty in complex systems naturally emerging from a carefully crafted, hyper minimal set of rules.
There is a black and white grid. I move on black tiles. You move on white tiles. We each have five bullets and can shoot either north, south, east or west. You want to shoot me and I want to shoot you, but our shots also flip the tile colors changing where each of us can and cannot move. There’s a bit more to it, but that gets you 95% of the way there. It’s simple enough for your grandmother’s grandmother to understand, but it creates such a dynamic simulation that mastering it is near impossible.
At this time, are you able to tease your next project?
Besides your own games, haha, what others are you most looking forward to playing?
I’m currently deciding if I should buy Dragonball FighterZ this weekend.
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Try to play games that challenge how you think. Play games that challenge how well you think. Play games that enrich your life and understanding of the world. Mix things up. Time is finite so don’t spend too much of it on something dull just to keep seeing an on-screen number go higher than you’ve seen it go before.
Thank you again for taking the time to speak with The Switch Effect. Make sure to download INVERSUS Deluxe from the eShop today!
Use the links below to follow Hypersect and INVERSUS!