You’ve taken writing about video games to the next level in a children’s book series. what real-life challenges did you come across in this new adventure?
Hex: I think planning is very difficult and keeping track of the greater story-arc! Also just finding the time. We both play and review games for a living, full-time, so I’m grateful we’re in this together to share the writing!
Bajo: The biggest challenge for me was knowing where to start! I learned that you really just need to get the words down, and then rewrite and adjust as you go!
In Pixel Raiders the main characters, Rip and Mei, find themselves trapped in a game. If you were trapped in a video game what kind of character would you want to be?
Hex: I always like to play rogues or hunters in RPGs (role playing games)—a character with good survival skills. Someone who can live off the land and be resourceful. You can’t rely on good items dropping all the time, so you want to be good at surviving on as little as possible. Bajo: I’d be Batman, obviously.
What special ability would you most want the game version of you to have? Hex: [Powers] To be able to heal or tame any beast! Bajo: The dream is to fly. Sydney traffic is so stressful! Plus I’d like to see more of the world, so that would make flying cheaper. Although I’d have to invest in some good goggles to keep bugs out of my eyes. I often wonder why superheroes don’t wear goggles more.
What’s the first video game you ever played? Hex: It was an awful game called Skyrunner. I played it on our first family PC which ran entirely on DOS. That’s basically what computers had before Windows existed. Bajo: Miss Pac Man! It was a little handheld and I loved it so much. The colours and sounds still rattle around in my head to this day, when I think of it.
What is your favourite game genre? Hex: It’s a tie between action adventure and fantasy RPGs. I love action adventure because they’ve become so beautiful and cinematic—all the action scenes are so thrilling! But I also love fantasy RPGs because of the freedom to play your own way and explore without restriction. Bajo: Open world games, especially if they let you build and battle with friends! I love collecting gear, and role playing in online worlds!
What videogame skills have you been able to take over into your real life? Hex: I’m actually pretty good at archery! I always choose to wield a bow in-game if there’s the option. And in real life I have my own bow and set of arrows, too! I really love the traditional recurve style. Bajo: I’ve become very good at inventory management! I pack bags and utilise space really well now. Especially when I’m packing stuff inside my scooter!
How do you keep a healthy gaming/life balance? Hex: This is SUPER important to me, because I really struggle without that balance. I try to be active, I travel a lot and I am a big fan of hiking. I think getting out in nature and away from screens is a great way to help calm you down if you’re feeling overwhelmed. And the best part is—if you’re stuck on a puzzle or a boss fight—usually some time away is exactly what allows you to get past it! Bajo: It’s hard! I try to make sure I always have at least one day a week without any screens at all. And I try not to play for more than four hours at a time without going for a walk or getting a bit of sun and fresh air. Or a solid nap with cats.
What’s next for Rip and Mei? Hex: We are having SUCH fun writing book four—which will follow Rip and Mei’s adventure in… Bajo: SPAAAAAAAAAAAAACEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
Taken from the 1 July 2017 Kidzone edition