Claim a Key for Super Space Club and Read Our Interview with the Developers

Claim a Key for Super Space Club and Read Our Interview with the Developers


If you want a groovy adventure in space, I’ve got good news for you. Right now you can embrace your inner ‘space-faring getaway driver’ by grabbing a key for Super Space Club, the movement-based top-down shooter we are giving out as part of IGN Plus.

Already an IGN Plus member? Get your key for the game here, while supplies last.

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IGN Plus Monthly Game: Super Space Club

Super Space Club is a stylish arcade shooter based largely on controlling your momentum. With several different ship types (each with their own wrinkle on speed, momentum, and durability), weapon types that also impact your momentum (from basic projectiles to shotgun spreads and even firework explosions), and characters (each with their own unique super ability), there is a lot of room to cater the experience to your liking.

Getting into a flow state and skimming past some asteroids, firing up your engine to cut behind them, then nailing your pursuers as they round the corner never gets old, and the stylish music and aesthetic make it hard to get mad when your run ends unceremoniously. With mission-based structure and progression that largely carries over to your next life, it’s a simple and straightforward game I enjoy (even if scorechasing isn’t my thing).

Super Space Club Developer Interview – Graham Reid (Solo Developer)

Graham Reid (AKA: GrahamOfLegend) is the main developer responsible for Super Space Club. Inspired by games like Geometry Wars, Luftrausers, and even drawing inspiration from other things like Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse and Guardians Of The Galaxy, SSC has a lot going for it.

With music by Fat Bard, a vibrant color pallette, and a simple and effective gameplay loop, this is one to check out. I hope you enjoy the game, and this excerpt from our interview. Cheers!

The following are just a few questions from the hour-long interview, and have been edited for clarity.

Graham: My name is Graham Reid. Digitally known as ‘grahamoflegend,’ and I’m a Jamaican solo indie game developer, meaning my role in the game was ‘everything,’ more or less. I didn’t do the sound design. That was done by Fat Bard. They did all the sound and music and then they got vocalists to contribute. And then localization… illustration… and all the other small things that people don’t talk about enough, I feel. Those things I outsource, but it’s mostly me. All the developments, the ideation, the arts.

I could have done the illustration for the characters, because I did go to art school. My background is in motion design and graphic design, and I can illustrate. But sometimes you just have to just actually get the thing done in good time. You have to get help… well, you don’t have to, but it’s better to.

Brian: When I was in high school, I went over to my friend’s house; the Sinclairs. I went down to their basement, and they had a little arcade cabinet in the corner with Asteroids on it. And I certainly felt a bit of that when playing Super Space Club… I can see the Asteroids inspiration but obviously there’s a lot of other things in here as well. So I’m curious what inspired you to make this game.

Graham: You would think I played a lot of Asteroids, but I actually haven’t. I’m sure I’ve played it in the arcade before, but not that much. It’s more so that I know the visual reference of Asteroids. But I love games like Geometry Wars. One of the main influences for the gameplay itself was a game called Luftrausers by Vlambeer.

Brian: Oh yeah, that game rips. I played tons of that on Vita.

Graham: So the steering came from Asteroids because in Asteroids, you point in a direction, and you aim and shoot in that direction. It’s not twin-stick. I really liked that floaty physics kind of feel because it feels very intentional. Once you get good at actually controlling your ship, then you’re unstoppable, you know? But then in terms of the weapons and the loadouts and the configuration, and how customizable Luftrausers was was, that really inspired me in that regard. And of course, all the roguelikes that have come out since 2019. Which is when I started this game, initially. Those all inspired me. And then just the vibe.

I’ve told this story so much, but the vibe is… initially, it started out as a black and white game. An homage to Asteroids, almost, but modern. But then I watched Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. The first one. And you know, it’s very colorful… very visual. And I was like, ‘yes, this game needs color.’ And I was so inspired… and the music, too. Like that one song, Sunflower (by Post Malone and Swae Lee)… all that inspired me. And then on top of that, there’s Guardians of the Galaxy, where they’re all in space, hectic… shooting and doing all sorts of things. But then the music is just chill 80s music. And it’s a contradiction, but it’s good. They’re all zen’d out in their element, doing what they need to do. But the action is very hectic. So the game isn’t easy, but it encourages you to get in a flow state. You can chill out and play the game. So I think those are my main inspirations for it across the across the board.

Brian: I’m enjoying unlocking characters, weapons, ships, and the like. My favorite combination so far is Roscoe with the Seeker weapon and the Pyramid ship. Can you tell me your favorite combination, or do you not want to say?

Graham: No, of course I can. My favorite combination is the… I can’t remember which ship I like the most now… I mean, honestly, I like the default ship, the standard. It’s the standard, you know (laughs). But secondly, there’s one that you get later in the game that doesn’t have anything stopping it from drifting endlessly, and there’s also one that there is no drift at all. When you stop it just parks. And that’s my favorite ship. Because that one, it controls more like a car in space, so you can when bullets are coming at you, just turn and… it feels like you’re playing a different game, almost. Something about it just really feels nice to me. So that’s my favorite ship.

And then my favorite character is the antelope, Sasha, who does a ‘blink.’ It’s a basic blink, but it just feels really cool when the laser is coming at you, and you hear [your ability charging up] and right before it shoots, you blink out of the way, and it misses you. That’s always fun.

My favorite weapon is called The Firework which is, as it sounds, like shoot one big projectile and then it bursts into a spray of five or six. It’s the most powerful, but it’s also the slowest, so you have to really aim it, you’ve got to be really precise with it. But yeah, that’s my thing. That’s my winning… That’s not the combo I have the highest score with, but it’s my favorite to play as, just fun. I won’t say what the highest score on is (laughs). You’ll have to figure that out on your own.

Brian: So here’s my educational corner question. What’s one thing –

Graham (answering before the question is finished): All of it.

Brian: (laughing) He has the questions, dear reader. He has the questions in front of him, so he knows exactly what I’m about to ask. ‘What’s one thing about game development that you wish people understood?’

Graham: (whispers) All of it.

How hard it is to make a game from start to finish. How hard it is to make a commercial game. Because prototyping isn’t hard. You can make a prototype in like a day. I think I made this one in a day. It was just like; thrust, shoot. Enemies following basic, rudimentary AI. Not even anything advanced. They just follow you.

Brian: Game jam stuff.

Graham: Game jam stuff. And even game jams aren’t easy either, but it’s like… an experienced person or even an amateur who’s watched enough tutorials can do that in a day, you know? But actually making a commercial project, something complete. It’s really hard. Whether you’re one person or there are like 100 people… or a bigger team, like Rockstar or something. Really hard. Really hard. So I wish people understood that. I wish there was some something to compare to just general life to say, ‘Hey, this is how hard it feels to make a game.’ And how many things have to go right, how many systems have to work together. You can’t even compare it to books or movies, because there’s just one way right? Like you watch a movie, or read a book. There’s no bug testing. There’s no bugs! With a book, the bug is ‘the prints are jammed, and so there’s no words on the page.’ (laughs) Or in a film if the power goes out during the movie, that’s the bug.

Brian: Or if in one scene, some of the people in a fantasy setting have a Starbucks cup or something (laughs).

Graham: Or like if I forgot to put the VFX in Wolverine (laughs). That kind of stuff. Those are the ‘bugs.’ Yeah, but game development is just really not easy to do. Then some developers make it look really easy because their games are just always… like Supergiant Games. Their games always hit. And they just make it look really easy. So there are games that might have some pitfalls, or might not be the most polished or whatever… People think, like you were saying earlier, ‘lazy game devs’ or ‘they don’t care about the game.’ But I don’t think any artist wants to make bad art. Yeah, I don’t think anybody who, even is just trying to make money, I don’t think anybody wants to put something bad out, because then you’re not going to buy the next thing, you know, and then they won’t make any more money after that.

So whether it’s art, whether it’s business, anything, people don’t intentionally try to put out bad-quality things. And when they do put to a good quality, it took them a lot of effort to actually get there. A lot of hard work. Sadly, sometimes a lot of crunch, depending on the place. It used to be 100% of studios crunched and now it’s like we’re getting to a place where it’s not… People are being more empathetic and treating people as humans. You can actually, if you’re behind, just push a deadline. People are planning with that in mind now, as opposed to back in the day, where you had to hit deadlines, or else. Yeah, so I wish people could just know everything. But yeah, there’s no one thing. It’s just hard to make games. And then on top of that, make a good game. Even bad games are hard to make. Not just making a good game.

Brian: That’s one of the things that I was gonna say based on what you were talking about with Supergiant earlier. Or like Forza Horizon or Forza Motorsport. Every time those games come out, they get like 9s or 10s. And it’s become a thing where like, people just kind of assume that, ‘yeah, it’s gonna be good.’ But then it doesn’t become notable. There’s a line from Batman Begins that I think about a lot, which is ‘people need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy.’ And it feels like unless there’s a ‘pattern interrupt’ people will come to assume that something is going to be. So the perceived outlier is the developer who made a roguelike that isn’t as good as Hades, instead of the outlier being ‘they made another game as good as Hades.’ People think about the deficiencies in other developers instead of thinking about how absolutely astronomical the likelihood was that Supergiant makes this many incredible games back to back.

Graham: Exactly. I remember last year, it was a big, big Twitter discourse in our corner of the internet. But it was a big talk about both Zelda and Baldur’s Gate. People were saying ‘Oh, Zelda has relatively no bugs.’ And I mean, I haven’t come across any bugs either. How? How do you make a game that big, with that many systems and there’s no hiccups? Doesn’t make any sense. It’s black magic. And then people were like, ‘oh, yeah, every game has to have this now.’ And then with Baldur’s Gate, people are like, ‘Oh, this is the new standard. Games shouldn’t ever fall below this bar.’ I’m like, ‘no.’ They’ve been doing this for years. It’s been in early access forever. They’ve tested and tested and they’ve thankfully had the funding or whatever, however they’ve come about surviving this long. And they put in the work. Not every developer can make something like Baldur’s Gate. Maybe they can’t even doing it again. I feel bad for them now. Like, what’s next?

Brian: To anybody reading this who’s about to jump in for the first time, what would you say to them?

Graham: Enjoy and run away. (laughs) Ease up on the trigger. Just enjoy being in space and flying around. Yes, your goal is to shoot everything. But you don’t always have to be doing that. It’s supposed to be a very zen-like experience. Very flow-state heavy. And if you don’t like the music, then delete – I’m joking, don’t delete the game (laughs).

But listen, there was one streamer I was watching and he said he hated the music. And I was appalled. I was taken aback. (laughs) Like, ‘what do you mean?’ Specifically, he said he hates the vocals and I’m like, ‘what?! What do you mean?’ I’ve never heard anyone say that. And he was like, ‘yeah, no… hate all of it. Music, vocals, all of it. Hate it.’ I’m like, ‘well, turn the music off then. Play your own thing.’ (laughs) I was so offended.

Brian: Not only that, but you’re offended on behalf of your friends, as well.

Graham: That’s what I’m saying! He could have said, ‘Oh, the game sucks… doesn’t feel good.’ I’m like, ‘Alright, cool. Critiques for me. Gotcha.’ But the music? Are you kidding me? Have you heard the soundtrack? You’re not listening. (laughs)

Brian: (laughs) Oh, well, that’s only one person, they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Graham: They liked the game though, so that was good. (laughs)

Brian: (laughs) So affirmation for you! So what that tells me is, they know about games, but they don’t know about music. (laughs)

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Brian Barnett writes reviews, guides, features, & more for IGN & GameSpot. You can get your fix of his antics on YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Bluesky, & Backloggd, & check out his fantastic video game talk show, The Platformers, on Backloggd & Apple Podcasts.

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