With the release of Speed Switch #1 from Blue Shift Games, we are delighted to be joined by the creator, producer and; writer Sen.
Hi Sen, it’s so wonderful to have you here with us. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me 🙂
Sure, my name is Senar Koraltan. I’m a video games producer from north London and I’ve been working in the video games industry for over 14 years. I’m currently working at the LEGO group as a senior producer and I’ve recently self published my own comic book called Speed Switch which is based off a game concept that I created a long time ago!
How would you describe Speed Switch?
Speed Switch is a tournament where factions settle their differences through combat racing, it’s a spectacle that the citizens of Sunset City enjoy watching and provides entertainment for high society and the corporations that fund them. The races are deadly and not everyone survives but the champions are celebrated like gods.
Can you tell us about the origins of Speed Switch?
I think it all started when I was a teenager skating with friends in my local park. There’s a sense of freedom you get when you’re whizzing around on a set of wheels trying out new tricks. I’ve been into gaming since I was 6 and my love for skate culture kept growing when I was playing games like: ESPN Extreme Games,Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series, SSX and many more.
Movies also played a big role in the inspiration of Speed Switch. I would watch so many cult classic movies like The Running Man, Rollerball, and The Warriors which got me thinking about the settings for the kind of worlds I wanted to create.
Lastly, music has a strong connection with Speed Switch because of the eclectic nature of skate music culture and the many ways music can tell a story or create character relevance, this is crucial to how I develop characters.
What can you tell us about Blue Shift Games?
Blue Shift Games (BSG) is a company I set up in early 2021, coming straight outta of lockdown, I thought it’s now or never. If I’m going to make games I have to take it seriously and lay foundations for the future.
I love exploring ideas for games, it’s the ultimate job as a creator and fuels my passion. I needed to find a way to bottle that into a project that others would want to play, so I started Blue Shift Games with the notion to explore new worlds and design new gameplay mechanics. Back in 2020 we created our first prototype of Speed Switch during lockdown.
Who are Ivalo and Zee?
Well I cannot say too much about their backstories because it is quite an integral part of the main story arc, but what I can say is; Ivalo and Zee are famous in the racing scene, their children Nex and Ezri are thrown into disarray at their parents demise during the tournament.
How important is word of mouth for any indie project?
VERY, being present at cons, events and shows are so integral to spreading the word about your project, representing your product in a respectable way and telling people the story behind the journey. The more people you can connect with the easier it will be to reach new audiences.
The comic book indie scene is a tight knit community of lovely people who just want to express their love for the medium and I can definitely relate to that because of my passion for both comics and video games.
How did Ramzee and Shanefaced join the team?
Shanefaced is a good friend of mine from uni days, we met at a house party in north London playing Mario Kart. When I had “Project Extreme” (working title for Speed Switch) in a comprehensible state I approached Shane about creating a comic book and told him about the concept and he was hyped so he jumped on board.I set up a small creative group that would hang out over zoom, talk ideas, share thoughts on each other’s projects and mentally support each other. I think our Whatsapp group kept me sane through lockdown so big thank you! (you know who you are)
During the writing phase I had to find a writer because it needed to be good! We already had a skeleton of the plot for issue one but we needed someone to get in there and thrash out the characters and refine the areas that were missing some love. Shane recommended Ramzee to me so I reached out to him and had a great discussion about the project and he showed genuine passion for it and the rest was history.
Speed Switch has a very distinctive style from the art to the colours; was that something that you had in mind for Speed Switch right from the start?
That was all Shane, his colour palette is out of this world! and his art style is very distinctive which I love. During the creative process I was there as a guide in certain moments to ensure it fit the vision I envisioned. The best analogy I can think of is taking a pair of shades and putting it on Shane’s head, and seeing the world of Speed Switch through his eyes with me as his tour guide waving one of those silly flags.
Has it been a challenge working on Speed Switch?
100% games are tough! Working on a game and a comic book is even tougher believe it or not. But I’m glad we did the comic book first because it made the vision feel real and tangible.
Blue Shift Games is publishing Speed Switch; how important is self-publishing to you?
With the comic book I kind of felt like I didn’t have a choice but to self publish because I only had one issue in development. I think going through the experience of self publishing is something I’m very proud of, I think it shows entrepreneurial growth and a desire to put yourself out there amongst the big dogs. The game is a little different. I’m still working that out.
How can our readers get a copy of Speed Switch #1?
Speed Switch is currently available only in the UK from our website: https://www.speed-switch.com/comic-book
US, European availability and Ebook versions coming soon!
Any message for the ComicBuzz readers?
A lot of love went into this project and we hope when you get the opportunity to read it, you also enjoy it. Issue 1 is only the start and I’m so excited to share more in the future. Sign up to our mailing list if you’re interested in hearing updates on: distribution updates, crowd funding and more at: https://www.speed-switch.com/sign-up
Thank you and stay blessed.
A big thank you to Sen for sitting and chatting with us. We would like to wish him and the rest of the team; the best of luck with Speed Switch.