Exclusive Interview: William Chyr Talks Manifold Garden

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WGTC: You’ve won awards in the past for a very innovative print advertisement. Have your skills in other areas such as graphic design and balloon twisting been able to translate into game development in any way?

WC: I worked in advertising for about 7 months, and my experience there definitely gave me a good sense for design and aesthetics. That has come in really handy, both in refining the art direction of the game, as well as the promotional material I’ve put out, like the wallpapers.

The skills that have transferred from my work with installation art is a little harder to pin down. It’s more the ideas and ways of thinking about space that have carried over to Manifold Garden.

WGTC: What inspired you to create Manifold Garden and to get into game development?

WC: I was just looking for another medium to create art with. I had been using balloons to create installations for about 4 years, and had gotten typecast as “The Balloon Guy” in art circles. Getting typecast like that is a bit of double-edge sword in art. It’s good to have that recognition, but it also limits the type of work that you can do.

I wanted to branch out from the work I had been doing. looked at glassblowing and metalworking initially, but neither really felt right. A friend told me about independent games and showed me a few works from Tale of Tales and Thatgamecompany, and that got me interested in game development.

Manifold Garden was originally intended as a small three months project to learn the basics of Unity. And now here I am, three years later…

WGTC: You keep a frequently updated developer blog on your website, and it has been very interesting to look at how your original idea in 2013 has blossomed into Manifold Garden. Do you feel like everything is finally falling into place with the title?

WC: I don’t feel like things are falling into place yet, as there’s still a lot of work to be done. However, I often will go through the devlog on days when I’m struggling or feeling unproductive, and it’s always really affirming for me to see how far the game has come. Often in the devlog, I’ll be talking about a design or tech problem that seemed impossible at the time of the post, and then several months later, there’s a post where I talk about the solution I found for it.

WGTC: Manifold Garden is set to release on PlayStation 4 and PC in 2016. Is a simultaneous release planned?

WC: It’s too early for me to say for sure, but that’s what I have in mind right now.

WGTC: Give us your best pitch on why Manifold Garden will be a game to keep an eye on in 2016.

WC: Beautiful architecture, crazy physics, and impossible geometry. What’s not to be excited about?

That concludes our interview, but we’d like to give a big thank you to William Chyr for taking the time to do this interview. William can be found on Twitter at @WilliamChyr, and more information on Manifold Garden can be found on William’s website.

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