Jake Kazdal and Paul Acevedo

Jake Kazdal (left) and Paul Acevedo

At E3 this year we interviewed Ben Vance and Borut Pfeifer, two members of 17-BIT about their upcoming Xbox Live game Skulls of the Shogun. Yet we still had much to learn about the unique multiplatform strategy title, and so 17-BIT kindly invited us to visit their studio during the week of Casual Connect Seattle. One of the highlights of the visit was our interview with Jake Kazdal, studio founder and Skulls’ creative director/lead artist. Check it out after the break!

As you’ll learn in the interview, Jake is a big fan of both classic 2D games and Japanese culture. Those two influences have imbued Skulls of the Shogun with a brilliant old-school vibe that we don’t see much in modern games. And yet, the team has worked hard to streamline Skulls’ gameplay into something far more intuitive and efficient than contemporary strategy titles.

17-BIT Studio

Besides getting to see and hear much more about Skulls of the Shogun, we also enjoyed gazing around the studio itself. Located within a rather interesting neighborhood (complete with live entertainment next door), the 17-BIT studio occupies a vast concrete warehouse. It’s rather spacious for a relatively small team, but I’m sure everyone enjoys not being crammed into small cubicles. Interestingly, the studio plans to relocate to Japan if all goes well following their first game's release.

17-BIT Studio

Skulls of the Shogun is due out later this year for Windows Phone, Xbox Live Arcade, and Windows 8. We’ve got more to share, including new hands-on footage. Stay tuned!