After six years as a professional game developer, Digital Art & Design graduate Joe Laurino is getting set to launch indie game collective Attack Mountain – a collaboration with his brother Jeff Laurino and their longtime friend. Using their combined industry experience, they’ve made the bold decision to focus on reconnecting modern audiences with the types of games they grew up playing during the classic 16-bit console era.
“We want to bring that warm fuzzy feeling back to gamers,” Joe said, on behalf of the group. “You know, like when you were sitting on the carpet in your living room two feet away from the TV with a NES or SNES controller in your hands.”
The team is already producing their first title, the side-scrolling action RPG Legend of the Time Star. Their classic design aesthetic is reflected in the charming graphics and audio, which are being created with the help of artist Dudu Torres, animators at Echo Bridge Pictures, and celebrated game composer Jacob ‘virt’ Kaufman (Contra 4, TMNT).
“Legend of the Time Star is a story I wrote when I was 15, actually,” Joe says. “I always hoped to one day go back to it. This felt like the perfect time. Everyone on board is amped about it.”
An ambitious project, Attack Mountain has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the game. Joe has been a longtime supporter of the popular donation site, and explained how influential it has become to the success of indie developers.
“We’re seeing a renaissance in gaming thanks to Kickstarter,” he says. “There’s talent out there with a ton of amazing ideas, and now they’ve got a voice – a chance to speak and make those ideas a reality. For us, people aren’t only going to be investing in Time Star, but in a movement, a shift in the landscape of the game industry.”
What’s obvious about the partners of Attack Mountain is their shared passion for the core principles of game design, something that’s only increased with the realization of this creative outlet for their own potential classics.
“To be honest I’ve wanted to do something like this since I was in the fourth grade,” Joe says. “The other partners aren’t any different. I feel like we’re poised to really shake things up. We’re excited to see where things go from here.”
You can keep track of Legend of the Time Star‘s development through Attack Mountain’s Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook page.