Prisma & The Masquerade Menace

1. If anything, what inspired Prisma? Games, films, etc.?

Several things inspired Prisma. Above all was the roster of titles from our Golden Age of gaming. The team consists of a small creative group who grew up with NES controllers in our hands, and who peeked to their Golden Age late into the PS1 era of gaming, going full force throughout the lifespan of the GameCube, PS2, and Xbox. So our team, and as a result, Prisma is directly inspired by games such as; Ikaruga, Touhou, and Super Mario World when it comes to gameplay. And our art is primarily inspired by older premiere titles like The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker and Jak & Daxter, but we often recognise other gaming landmarks such as; Sly Cooper, Spyro, Ape Escape, WoW, DK Tropical Freeze and other colourful vibrant games as indirect reference.

2. As Prisma started out as a student project, was it a pet project that grew into what it is today, or was it always intended to become what it is?

Prisma started as a school assignment (SCAD) before the core team (3 of us at the time) knew how to even make games. It was our first real attempt at creating anything digital. After the project came and went a year and a half had passed, and one of the original 3 had moved on to another school. Then with our senior project on the horizon, I (Hank Silman) was approached by Kyle Bolton. Coming off of some inspired advice he had interpreted from a class he just got out of, Kyle proceeded to pitch me on returning to Prisma for our senior project, since we both still saw potential in the idea (at that point it was primarily gameplay and featured very little in regards to art). As our design and art values were established it was necessary for our team to grow. Now with 8 members on board, we worked hard and put out a real actual proof of concept 25 levels short. It was horrible. Our scope and ideas were too big and a prototype was all we could muster in the allotted time.

So at the end of the project that was it. Several members left and went on to graduate, as it was for the grade. However, 3 of us still had another year of school ahead of us (myself, Alex [QA/Design/Co-Founder], and Angelica [artist]). Our very passionate professor, Tony Tseng, saw something special in Prisma, at a time where we all thought it was over and done. He proceeded to tell us about the E3 College Game Competition, which SCAD had won the previous year. He convinced us to enter the following year with a new and improved student project- this time with our titular character Fractal. Thanks to Tony we were able to work full time at school, jobs, and squeeze in work on Prisma at the same time remotely across the globe. When it came time for the competition we flew out to E3 and won!

That was the moment we sat down with the current team and decided that Prisma was no longer going to be a student project. With Tony’s continued help, planning to connect us with a publisher, we were going to make Prisma into a real polished game. Then tragedy struck. On the day that we were supposed to meet with an investor to take the next required step along our journey, the man who was our muse and the glue of the team had passed away beside us….

Shaken, but not deterred, we decided that we were going to do everything (make contacts, develop a business plan, find funding and seek out a publisher) on our own. This is when, for many reasons, we began bootstrapping and formed Shiny Bolt LLC. We put our game faces on and got serious. So now we are focused on being assertive and moving forward to achieving the dream ourselves. And this time we want to take away the safety blanket and jump into the game passionately, for Tony, and for everyone else who believed in us along the way.

3. Is it going to be a more linear game like Mario and the 2D Sonic games or will it be more open-ended like a Metroidvania game?

Prisma is a linear game, but in the way that Mario 64 is a linear game. The player can gain access to multiple levels simultaneously that they can attack in any order (in sets of 5 or so).

4. Are you planning to make more games as follows ups to Prisma or do you plan to move onto a new project?

This depends on demand. We have ideas for sequels and spin-offs, but we will let the market speak. Shiny Bolt is not a one trick pony - we have many game ideas that we’d love to explore and develop, but our current focus is on making Prisma the best that it can be. Hopefully, with continued fan support, we can reach above and beyond our current Kickstarter goal, which would allow us to release Prisma on consoles where it can be enjoyed by an even larger audience.