There is a very interesting interview with Chair Entertainment's co-founder Donald Mustard over at Polygon that is very much worth your time. Chair Entertainment has been around for a decade, but it was their excellent platforming adventure Shadow Complex which really put them on the map when it arrived in the summer of 2009. With Shadow Complex's critical and commercial success, Chair was already well underway with a sequel by January 2010.

It was at this time that Mustard was sitting around watching football and got the urge to play Mass Effect 2, which had just released that month. It would have involved going upstairs, firing up his Xbox 360, and possibly committing more time than he had planned to, though. To his own surprise, Mustard instead opted for unlocking his iPhone and diving into Subatomic Studios' classic tower defense game Fieldrunners [$2.99 / $3.99 (HD)]. Mustard shocked himself by choosing a mobile game over a console game, but it made him realize that there was a place for that "in-between" style of gaming, and that stuck with him.

Mustard contemplated how his company could shift and adapt to the coming mobile gaming storm, but with Shadow Complex 2 in progress the studio just didn't have the bandwidth to take on a new project. Then in mid-2010 Apple presented Mustard with a unique opportunity he just couldn't pass up. The iPhone 4 was on the horizon and it included powerful hardware capable of impressive 3D visuals. Chair's parent company Epic Games was already in the process of porting their award-winning Unreal Engine to the iPhone. Apple told Mustard that if his studio could make an iPhone-exclusive game in Unreal Engine that they'd feature it during the keynote announcing the iPhone 4. Chair put Shadow Complex 2 on indefinite hold and their new mobile game, codenamed Project Sword, was unveiled to the public during the Apple keynote in September of 2010.

To those who weren't involved in mobile gaming during this time, this was a huge freaking deal. Unreal Engine was one of the most popular game engines in the console and PC world, and its entrance into the mobile device world brought a ton of promise. Of course the Project Sword you see in the video above eventually splintered into two different releases, the gorgeous tech demo Epic Citadel [Free] and the on-rails sword-fighting adventure Infinity Blade [$5.99]. The rest, as they say, is history as Infinity Blade became a massive success on mobile and spawned two sequels, most recently Infinity Blade III [$6.99] in September of 2013.

The interview also touches on subjects like SpyJinx, which is a collaborative project with J.J. Abrams' production company Bad Robot Interactive and Chair Entertainment that was formally announced this past November. They also discuss the recently released for PC and coming soon for consoles Shadow Complex Remastered. Unfortunately they don't triumphantly announce a Shadow Complex iOS port, which would have made me extremely happy, but it's a great interview nonetheless so head on over to Polygon to check it out in full.

[Polygon]

  • Smelly Sock

    Sounds like a cool game. Shadow Complex was awesome. Looking forward to more details.

  • MarsMachine

    Infinity Blade for AppleTV using Siri(s) Remote anyone???! Pretty please!

    • http://skrimaging.wordpress.com SKR Imaging

      Now that would have been Keynote worthy!! would have essentially sold more ATV 4 boxes if that were the case..

  • http://skrimaging.wordpress.com SKR Imaging

    I remember Infinity Blade Dungeons keynote demo for ipad 3... that game would have been great!! pitty they cancelled that too.. seeing a pattern here.

    • Stormourner of the Nature

      ikr I just wish they didn't cancel it 🙁

  • DvDarkman

    Shadow complex was awesome, infinity blade was only awesome in terms of graphics. The game itself was boring. The entire trilogy was. Especially when compared to the book written for the series. The book had so much lore, the games didn't even touch it.

    • ChilLama

      Beautifully written by Brandon Sanderson - the infinity blade books were the first of his works that I read of his and I'm hooked now, his writing style is just so awesome. I hope there is some kind of continuation of the IB universe in the future.

  • GreatWizard

    Btw, seems like shadow complex remastered is free now, probably as a promotion for the Epic games launcher app.

  • Neo Cassirer

    Please Chair! Make a Epic Citadel game and stop with the boring rail infinity games.
    We want a real game where we can go where ever we want.

    EPIC CITADEL - WORLD BEHIND THE GATES