Oscar Brittain Interview – Solo Developer Shares How Sci-Fi Racing RPG ‘Desert Child’ Was Created and Future Content Plans

As I’ve mentioned in the Desert Child launch news article, I’ve been looking forward to playing Desert Child for quite awhile. To me, Desert Child looks and sounds like it’ll have such an outcast, punk, and chill vibe to it that I honestly haven’t found in many other games. I previously described Desert Child as a hoverbike sci-fi racing RPG, but that’s just explaining it lightly — especially after having the chance to interview the game’s eclectic Australian solo creator, Oscar Brittain.  

Desert Child is all set and ready to roll out on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC next Tuesday, December 11, and on Xbox One on December 12. Be sure to check out Noisy Pixel’s review of Desert Child that’ll be posted on the game’s launch day. For now, read the Q&A interview below to take a drive into the mind of Desert Child‘s developer, learn more about the game, and future plans for it. 

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Brad Crespo: In my chat with Akupara Games at TwitchCon, I learned a bit about just how totally rad, wacky, and unique Desert Child is. Can you describe, in any way you’d like, what exactly is Desert Child?

Oscar Brittain: It’s the bike chase from Return of the Jedi, but you eat more ramen. It’s a hoverbike RPG set on Mars where you can throw races, deliver pizza, and eat raw fish in a quest to enter the hoverbike Grand Prix.

BC: Just from playing a demo of the game at GDC last year and watching the awesome E3 2018 trailer for it, I clearly noticed that Desert Child is inspired by many things — like one of my favorite animes, Cowboy Bebop. How did you create the world of Desert Child?

OB: It’s mostly just based on things I can see out of my window, haha. No, seriously though, I just did martian versions of buildings and landmarks from where I live. All the backstory and everything sort of just grew out of necessity to justify the game’s mechanics.

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BC: I’ve heard that the characters, along with several other elements in Desert Child, were created based off of your own life experiences. Like, you’ll think of something awesome — or something comes up — and you decide to add it to the game. What was your process for creating each element — like the fast-paced racing gameplay or the side missions — in Desert Child?

OB: Yeah, I own a really old Australian muscle car, which is awesome until it breaks down and you realize it’s just a black hole where your money goes. I really wanted to systemize the daily grind of getting a paycheck, then spending half of it on your vehicle, and the other half on food.
Also, I’m always worried someone’s going to steal my car’s original factory hubcaps, so I put a mechanic in the game where you can steal parts from other bikes you find around the city.

BC: What crazy stuff (references, easter eggs, etc.) can players expect to find in the game?

OB: People who played my last game, World’s Fastest Pizza, might find a certain musical reference in Desert Child, haha.

BC: Due to Australia’s censorship rules, some games have been modified to meet Australia’s classification requirements or have been banned completely. As an Australian game designer, what are your thoughts on Australia’s censorship rules, and did you take them into consideration when creating Desert Child? I remember reading that you made “crapload of joke games about Australia”, so I’d love to know what you think about the state of the gaming industry in Australia.

OB: To date, Japan, the EU, and New Zealand are the only places that have asked for changes to the game. Unless you’re actively participating in a violent rape, I don’t think Australia has any problem with games. I guess the only country who’s own Prime Minister personally headed up the court case to get the infamous book Spycatcher published might be less strict than Americans think.

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BC: Since Desert Child is the second game you’ve developed, what was your development journey like compared to when you developed your first game, World’s Fastest Pizza? How was developing Desert Child different for you?

OB: It was more stressful and embarrassing thanks to other people having to work with my messy code, and deal with my insane ideas, but it was largely the same. I set a date to have everything finished, then missed it by a year, haha. 

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BC: What post-launch support do you have planned for Desert Child? Will there be DLC, an OST sold separately, etc.?

OB: The soundtrack will be available at launch, and any DLC or updates will be free. I can’t really say if or what I will do for post-launch content, but I’ve got a few ideas that might be cool.

BC: Last but not least, if Shōtarō Kaneda from Akira and Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop raced in Desert Child, who would win?

OC: Spike flies a jet, so he would have to win against a motorbike, haha!

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Brad Crespo

Editor-in-Chief - On a quest to play as many new games as possible while trying to finish an endless backlog.