Aaero Dev On Xbox One X; Understands People Have “Criticisms” But Is “Tired Of Every Announcement Having A Swath Of Negative Backlash”

interview madfellows

ThisGenGaming reached out to Mad Fellows (@MadFellowsGames), developers of Aaero (check the review here ), Paul Norris of Mad Fellows was happy to answer our questions which include questions about Aaero, their future, Xbox One X, Switch, 4K/60FPS and so much more! It’s a great interview which is worth reading.

What are your thoughts on the Xbox One X, are you excited that such a powerful console will be available?

Yep. Totally excited for the Xbox One X. I understand that people have criticisms but, to be completely honest, I’m tired of every announcement having a swath of negative backlash. The guys I play online with (and watch E3 keynotes with) decided long ago that we’d just get excited for stuff that looked cool and if we didn’t like something we’d just let it go. The console wars are hell, man. We’re never going back there! The games they showed off, like Metro, looked like a considerable jump in quality. I just need to save up enough to get one on launch day!*

* Will everyone reading please go buy Aaero already? We need to get this man an Xbox One X stat!

With the Xbox One X on the way, are there plans to have Aaero upgraded to Native 4K/HDR with 60FPS?

Yep, that’s on our to-do list. I’m super excited for the Xbox One X.

Do you have a preference for Xbox One X vs Playstation 4 pro? (as a player and as a developer)

As a player, my friends are on Xbox so that’s my choice for multiplatform games. I also like my achievements as kind of a record of my gaming career. I also have a PS4 because the exclusives are awesome. I can totally see why people are hopping back over to the PS4 from the X360 but I couldn’t have a Halo released that I wasn’t playing on day 1. From a development point of view this is the most equally matched generation I have developed for.

Which platform did Aaero do best on? XboxOne/PS4/PC?

Xbox One in terms of the number of sales. Xbox have been very good to us throughout the development of Aaero. They’ve given us opportunities to show the game on their stands at events and arranged press days to show off Aaero alongside other ID@Xbox games. Steam has a very competitive community fighting for the top of the leaderboards which is great to see.

Did you expect you’d be getting so many good reviews?*

We didn’t have a clue, to be honest. We have been making games long enough to know not to assume anything and to prepare for the worst. We knew that people seemed to love it when we took it to EGX and Insomnia. When you’re so close to the game, It’s impossible to be objective about it. It’s easy to make excuses for it and to let things slip by because you are used to them being that way. We’re terrible for taking bad comments to heart. Shrugging things off isn’t our strong suit so we didn’t dare hope for good reviews.

Did you have any news from Sony about the 53% pricecut they had running for several days?*

I think that’s actually still running now. All communication with Sony is done through our publishers. All we know for sure is that we didn’t agree to it, our publishers say they didn’t agree to it either but there’s been some sort of confusion somewhere along the line. Like I said on Twitter, we’re just trying to make the most of it rather than trying to steer people away from it.**

* Sony had marked the game down by 53% for a few days on their Playstation Store

** Instead of hiding the info, @MadFellowsGames informed their Twitter followers of the discount. (good on them!)

What are your thoughts on developing for the Switch?

Having worked on a Wii-U launch title when we were at FreeStyleGames, we were initially hesitant to commit to developing for the Switch. I think a lot of devs were waiting to see if it took off first. It looks like a great machine and, although I haven’t got one myself yet, people I know that have them are very happy with the purchase. I think it’s a winner.

There’s apparently a bit of a shortage on indie and digital download games on there so the ones they do have are selling well. I guess this is why there’s suddenly a shortage of dev kits as we all play catch up to get involved.

What are your thoughts on those who think it’s too weak to compete with Xbox and Playstation?

I don’t think this is the same issue for Nintendo as it is for the Xbox/PS4 battle. Expectations are different for a Nintendo console. After the insanely successful original Wii and things like Wii-fit (seriously, the numbers are crazy) they dropped out of that race and into their own category. It’s mainly the blockbuster, multi-platform titles where the performance becomes a big problem. I think, by now, anyone that is buying a console for Battlefield or Call of Duty knows that it’s got to be either Microsoft or Sony.

Nintendo’s appeal comes largely from the exclusives like Zelda and Mario. These are always developed specifically to make the most of the hardware and are always quality products. As demonstrated with the Wii-U, taking a less trodden path can be risky but there aren’t many, if any other companies that can tackle that challenge as well as Nintendo. I’m thankful that there’s a battle between PS4 and Xbox to keep those companies delivering better experiences and striving to outdo each-other and I’m also thankful that Nintendo are doing their own thing so there’s opportunities for developers and gamers to think outside of the box and try new ideas. Nintendo’s price point is also great for making gaming accessible to a wider audience that aren’t ready to drop the money for a 4k TV and Xbox One X or PlayStation Pro.

Are there any plans to bring Aaero over to the Nintendo Switch at some point?

Yeah, that’s something we’d love to do. I think Nintendo are swamped with requests for dev kits at the moment but hopefully we’ll get on that soon.

Are there any plans to bring it to mobile platforms ?

To be honest, we found mobile to be a very challenging market. It’s all about micro-transactions, user retention, micro loops and whales!?* It’s more like a psychological exercise in regularly squeezing 69p out of players than providing a compelling experience. I wouldn’t say we’d definitely never do mobile again but we’re not rushing back to it anytime soon.**

*Whales are a term used in mobile games with micro-transactions to talk about the few players that spend a lot of money on one game.

**MadFellows previously made Sine-Wave, a similar Rhythm based on-rail shooter, and they no longer make a penny from the game. All of it goes straight to the publishers.

Are you keeping 4K/HD/ 60FPS in mind for future games?

Yeah for sure. It’s something people will expect from new releases. I recently bought a 4k TV and it’s certainly something I’ll be looking for in upcoming games.

Where do you stand on resolution vs framerate?

It depends on the game. If I’m playing something with exploration then I want great graphics and compelling worlds and I’d rather they draw twice as much at 30fps than half as much at 60fps. For something that’s about moving fast and responsive gameplay it has to be 60fps. Honestly, I think people get too hung up on that sort of thing, though. It becomes ammo for the console war and fanboys way before it’s actually a problem for anyone playing the game. Though there’s nothing worse than playing a PC port on console and it juddering to a virtual halt. There’s no excuse for that sort of thing.

Would your next game also be music based? *

I’m not sure. It’s where our experience is but we’ve talked about doing something more narrative. I love things like The Stanley Parable and What Remains of Edith Finch. Those things that leave a mark emotionally. I think we have one of those sorts of games in us somewhere. Perhaps we can combine the two genres. hmmm 😉

*The devs from MadFellows previously worked on Guitar Hero & DJ Hero and personally brought out Sine-Wave (mobile/windows 10) and Aaero (Xbox One/PS4/Steam)

Speaking of music, what’s your personal favourite track in Aaero?

That’s a tough one. I love playing [Ill Still] by SUBhuman. It’s the same pattern all the way through but the drums change around it and it gets really hypnotic and therapeutic.

Which other songs were considered? Are you planning on releasing DLC for it at some point?

We actually got almost every single track we wanted. We decided to strictly only use tracks that worked the best for the gameplay and were spectacularly lucky that we found a full line-up of music that:

  • Worked great for the game
  • Sounded awesome
  • The artists were willing to let us license

I’m still a bit stunned that we got the track list that we did. DLC is something we’d love to do. We always planned to do it if the game took off enough, we just have to get it to take off enough now!*

* You can help! Aaero is available on the following platforms:

Robby Bisschop on sabyoutubeRobby Bisschop on sabtwitterRobby Bisschop on sabinstagramRobby Bisschop on sabfacebook
Robby Bisschop
Belgian, male, born in 1987
I love videogames (mostly RPGs), anime, movies and Magic The Gathering.
About the author

Robby Bisschop

Belgian, male, born in 1987 I love videogames (mostly RPGs), anime, movies and Magic The Gathering.
  • Hans Wurst

    I’m tired of TGG digging up just another unknown indie developer for another click bait article!

    • LordCancer Kain

      but they’re against the c-wars bro…

      • J.j. Barrington

        So they say, while they happily hand out ammunition to the involved parties and gleefully profit.

        • phoxache

          What are you talking about?

          • J.j. Barrington

            I wonder…

          • phoxache

            So you get to accuse me of “Happily handing out ammunition” and “gleefully profiting” from console wars based on what? Your tin-foil conspiracy helmet?

          • Hans Wurst

            We all know TGG is like Gamingbolt one oft he worst quality click bait sites, fuelling the war from both sides! The adds on your site are cancerous. You’re just in it for the clicks.

          • phoxache

            I’m not the journalist, I’m the ‘another unknown developer’ they ‘dug up’ (despite having been a developer for some of the biggest games and best known studios for the past 18 years). I have not ‘handed out ammunition’ or ‘gleefully profited’ from anything.

          • LordCancer Kain

            hey you! how U doing? ha!

          • phoxache

            I’m good, dude! You? 🙂

          • Joe The Hitman

            Looking forward to your game. Hans Wurst seems to have turtled up the coward. I hate fanboys like him.

          • LordCancer Kain

            well im just a homebody, born in july, in stuff lol

          • Joe The Hitman

            Talking all that crap and now that the dev actually responds to you, you run away with your tail under your legs. LOL you fanboys crack me up. Stay in school kid and stop fanboying.

          • J.j. Barrington

            Based on the clickbait titles and content that’s been coming out of this site for quite some time.

            What? You thought that Charlie Oakley being gone would placate people?

          • phoxache

            Again, I’m not a journalist. I’m the developer. It was my (very genuine) statement that I’m against the console wars.

          • LordCancer Kain

            haven’t you heard? the first rule of disqus is… you don’t talk about console wars. and the second rule of disqus is, you don’t talk about console wars…lol

            good luck unknown developer guy!

          • phoxache

            It’s sage advice and you are indeed correct, of course.

            Good luck to you too, unknown random internet comments guy.

          • LordCancer Kain

            thanks bro, thanks. lol

          • J.j. Barrington

            But we- as in the folks you seem to be responding to here- were talking about this site. It’s all well and good if you’re not into the console war. More power to you, in fact. But YOU weren’t the subject, unless you are thisgengaming.

          • phoxache

            Fair enough. I thought that as it was an article expressing my views it was aimed at me. I mean, the site doesn’t really say anything other than ask questions. I don’t know the history round here, to be honest.

          • Fweds

            They are well known Sony fanboy’s.

    • phoxache

      Bit harsh.

      • Hans Wurst

        Not really.

        • phoxache

          I think I’ve paid my dues enough to not be classed as ‘just another unknown indie developer’ that they ‘dug up’. Look me up. I may not be one of the ‘celebrity’ developers but I’ve done my time in both AAA and indie dev.

    • Danny MacGurk

      Stfu scumbag

      • Hans Wurst

        You’re welcome!

    • Schroeder

      Unless you’re some established veteran in the game development industry, I’m willing to bet that “indie developer” knows a lot more about design and power of consoles than you do.

  • L 7 CHAPEL

    In a sense, they’re all clickbait articles, just some are well done enough to where you don’t notice.

    the thing that I find interesting( being an Xbox one owner),is all of the people that want to jump up and down about it, and claim it won’t do this and it won’t do that, when you have developer after developer, large and small, that are all claiming it will do (particularly in time with it) what they’re claiming: 4K/60fps, and allows them a huge amount of flexibility to do all sorts of things, with HDR with sound, I think the amount of games that are actually going to receive patches and updates is what’s going to really astound and or piss people off, it’s going to get easier and easier to do upgrade to frames, upgrade to Graphics, upgrades in ways people aren’t even aware of, but they will be, that’s the whole purpose of it.

    what it’s going to be able to do for games that are already out there, that developers would like to iterate on, like, for example: Rainbow Six Siege, isn’t it worth it if a developer can do a graphical and frame-rate update to a game, there by being able to add a third season of content to the game, rather than having to create another boxed product from the ground up? people just don’t think about that…
    And that’s only one possibility.

  • Great read, and it reminded me that I need to purchase Aaero still. Doing that now, and I can’t wait to see it enhanced on the X.

    • Robby Bisschop

      AWESOME game! one I’ll come back to for months, if not years to come

      • phoxache

        Thank you! It means a lot to us to hear that. 🙂

    • Revolver Ocelot

      GTA was on OG Xbox six months after PS2, dipsh**t.

  • Revolver Ocelot

    Xbox shill shilling for Xbox. What a surprise.

    • stillwaitingforgreatness

      Aw poor fatty still up voting yourself I see.

    • Fweds

      You still at it !

      And still using Fake Upvotes.

  • DevilDogA99

    Probably getting hate because we care more about games & we don’t want to pay the high price for graphics. If people want graphics, they’ll buy a PC.

    • SorrowW0lf

      Why can’t console players have great graphics too? You bought a $400 console, that you game on. So why is having to pay an extra $100, to play console games, at the highest graphics, console games can run, such a big deal, to so many people?

      Huge difference in the cost of the xb1x, and a top of the line gaming PC. Just like the price difference between a fishing boat and a Yacht. You can use both to fish from. But a 25 foot fishing boat is still better than a 1 man fishing dinghy. It cost more, but has it’s advantages.

  • Edonus

    It has taken a long time but people are starting to wake up and see that we have a very Bias Gaming Media (BGM) in place and they have been targeting the Xbox One.

    I know its confusing because you have all of these Sony shills running around muddying up the waters and confusing people that don’t really dive in to the politics of gaming. Not to mention when you start pointing out sweeping corruption even when it is so clearly in your face people don’t want to believe it, not that they cant believe it but its so clearly there you think its a mistake because you never see corruption that blatant.

  • hvd hvd

    i cant wait for this thing to launch and watch the ponies and bias media squirm.

    its going to be great…lmao

  • Edward Turvey

    “The games they showed off, like Metro, looked like a considerable jump in quality”
    Did no one tell this guy the game was running on a PC?

  • Schroeder

    It’s a good mentality. I know I’ve been prey to the negativity game in many ways but not for the Xbox One X. I’m excited for this console. I was sorely disappointed with the Xbox One and the PS4 didn’t do any better in my book. Both really underwhelmed. Perhaps it would have been better to stick with the PS3 and 360 for another year and push better hardware in 2014 instead of 2013. Not sure what happened there. I really expected high-end 1080p gaming machines and then the successors would be true 4K gaming machines – logical steps that show noticeable improvements because of the power availability on a budget.

    The Xbox One X is very powerful for $499. I’ve seen some PC elitists try and say they can build a PC that does true 4K gaming for less than $499. Not that this is as relatable outside of it being compared to an Xbox One X, but getting good pixel quality with good effects levels @ 4K with 60 FPS possible for $499 – that’s a huge benefit. It will cost a PC builder somewhere around $800-$1000 to build a PC that can do entry/mid-tier 4K gaming.

    I will be buying one, I just hope it’s day 1 and not end of year or early 2018. I want to see some of these games like Assassin’s Creed Origins in their true glory (that games looks AMAZING in 4K).

  • I don’t get the hate for the Xbox X either. I mean, you don’t HAVE to buy it?

    I am surprised that a game like Aaero sells best on Xbox. X1 owners aren’t known for their love for indie games afaik.