When was the studio formed?
Tanc approached Lawrence with a game idea in October 2018 and we quickly started work on making a pitch demo after that. When our demo attracted the eye of a hungry wolf in May we formed Cinder Cone to do the rest.
How did you choose the name?
We spent a bunch of time throwing words at each other until we found some we both liked the sound of. Cinder Cone is a type of volcano and we liked a name that had overtones of nature.
How many people work at Cinder Cone?
Four - but we are growing!
Which games have you worked on independently?
Tanc - more than 20, not to mention prototypes. The Art Academy series had the most positive value, teaching millions of ppl to draw. Battalion Wars gets the most love, with a thriving mod community 13 years later. BiOSys is the least-known and most interesting - a survival adventure simulation made in collaboration with the real Biosphere experiment. Smoke and Sacrifice is the one I'm most proud of, as my first Indie and a game with heart. But Skeleton Crew is shaping up to be the most fun!
Louis: Battalion Wars, The House of the Dead: Overkill, The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest and of course Dancing with the Stars: We Dance!
Justin: My first game was D&D Tactics, the last was Smoke and Sacrifice, and in between came the whole Art Academy series, punctuated by detours into games such as Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest and Top Gun: Hard Lock.
Lawrence: I started out as the main programmer on a multiplayer action game called Plain Sight, then I met a bunch of great people working at Headstrong on Rabbids Rumble. Between then and now I've been doing a lot of indie contract work on a wide variety of games including Proteus, Stealth Inc and Firewatch.
How many games have you made as team?
We've all worked together on several games in the past but this is our first project as a team.
If you had a motto, what would it be?
LEAN INTO THE FUN
If you had a mascot, what would it be?
What was your inspiration for the name?
I'm obsessed with skulls for some reason so when the chance to give it a suitably goth name that also referenced a key aspect of the game (the 'Crew' of playable characters) we jumped at it.
What was your inspiration for the game?
We want to make something that is just fun, first and foremost. Thematically, there's a lot of gothic/ diabolic fantasy going into the mix - Diablo, Ghosts n Goblins, D&D, Demon's Crest, Castlevania, Darksiders... but with comedy animals.
How many players?
Up to 4
Where is it set?
The fallen human kingdom of Karpathia - Karpathia is a pariah of a country: a land so strangely marked, so torn by war and beset by malign forces of diverse origin, that some long-ago monarch decreed its severance from the mainland like a gangrenous limb. This policy, perhaps ironically, has made Karpathia into a kind of nature reserve, containing the last surviving colonies of a number of endangered species such as vampires, wyverns, and humans.
Describe it by each of you submitting one word:
Tanc: KICK Lou: SKULLS Lawrence SMASH Justin: GOTHBALL
The team are playing Skeleton Crew, who's playing which character?
Lawrence - She's not in yet but I'm looking forward to Contessa the werewolf duchess, fancy howling and elegant clawing.
Tanc - I'm Cowl, the Necromancer, but after he's been turned into a chicken by Grodel.
Lou: Elgar, because I'm old and slow, and you never know when you need to drill through walls
Justin: I studied science, used to be fascinated with the occult, and always play the wizard archetype in games, so Hooch the Alchemist being an unholy amalgam of the all three is right up my street.
If the studio were a radio station, what genre would you play?
Tanc - Apocalyptic black metal choir music but only the chiptune remixes.
Who's the most 'famous' member of the team, and why?
Louis 'Hosta' Ho for making the 'Carny' level of House of the Dead: Overkill