Kevin peers into the future

‘Horse Talk’ is a series here on the Octodad blog where we run intra-team Young Horses interviews. The first 2 or so questions are the same for each horse, but afterwords we crowd-source the team for things they’d like to ask the interviewee.

Who are you and what is it that you do at Young Horses?

My name is Kevin Geisler and I am a programmer at Young Horses.  Specifically I work with gameplay, tools, graphics, audio, UI. I also created and maintain the level editor.  I’m also the producer / COO, doing task management/scheduling and other internal workflow optimizations to make sure the game actually gets made.  I’ll do tons of QA on the game and often go into levels to deliver the fixes.  Occasionally I’ll do level design / content creation.  Sometimes art too, but it’s generally placeholder.

What are you favorite games and why?

Final Fantasy, Crash Bandicoot, Uncharted, Super Mario Galaxy, Braid, Super Smash Bros, Rock Band.  I’m a fan of platformers and games with great music.  I’m not very competitive as a gamer, so I like to experience games more than I like to achieve stuff in them.

How did you get into game development?

A lot of events over time led to me getting into game development.  I started playing video games when I was 5. I would draw up mario levels on the bus in elementary school and get to know creative software like KidPix and Hyperstudio.  My parents very much supported my endeavours with computers and so I was introduced to a lot of creative software for web design and video editing.  In high school, I took a programming class and learned QBASIC and visual basic, and then decided to go to college to learn to make games. I worked on IGF student showcase-selected games Devil’s Tuning Fork and Octodad and then I took an internship with Activision-owned studio Vicarious Visions and then returned to Chicago to work on Octodad: Dadliest Catch.

If you could have one Mario power up in real life what would it be? Why?

Propeller Hat because I am very lazy and as a side effect would like to avoid traffic.

If you had a leitmotif playing whenever you entered a room, what would it sound like?

Da da daaaaa lee loo la la dun dun daaaa.  It would probably be played by a French Horn or piano.

What aspect or thing does a game need for you to be interested in working on it?

It ought to be better or more interesting than games I have worked on previously in at least a few aspects.  More importantly, the team has to be fit to pull it off, or I lose interest.

What do you look for in a good meal?

An average yelp rating of 4 or higher.  Meat is also a prerequisite.

What skulls do you fund the most duffuclit to master?


What is your favorite Final Fantasy piece?

The Final Fantasy Theme (aka Prologue), specifically from the ending of FF8, has lasted the longest as my favorite.  It’s not an exaggeration to say I’ve listened to it a couple thousand times. Other favorites include Main Theme (FF7), J-E-N-O-V-A (FF7), Not Alone (FF9), Fisherman’s Horizon (FF8), Ending Theme (FF10), Blinded by Light (FF13), and the entirety of FF6’s soundtrack.