A Mount Vernon man has created a video game available on PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and PC platforms.
The game is called Pillar and the creator is Michael Hicks, 22, of Mount Vernon.
Hicks, who has been creating video games since he was in middle school, recently signed a deal with Sony Entertainment to become a developer because of his work on Pillar.
Pillar was released on gaming platforms Tuesday.
Hicks said he started working on the game in August 2012, but began working on the game full-time after he graduated from Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida, in July 2013.
He said the game is a collection of mini-games where each game represents a different type of personalities found in people.
“There are introverts that lose energy around other characters if they are there too long and there are extroverts that expand energy when interacting with others and so on,” Hicks said. “The idea, as being a fan of psychology, was to try and take a lot of these personality ticks that we commonly find in people and try to express them to the gameplay mechanics.”
The game is available in the PlayStation Store on PlayStation 4, Xbox Live on Xbox 360 and in the Humble Store for PC. The game is only available digitally and is $8.
Although Hicks is a licensed developer with Sony, he said he has complete creative freedom to make his own choices about what goes into his game.
He said Sony is there to help with their marketing team and to be able to put the game on their network, but the company is not making demands.
“That is the best feeling to me. I want control over what goes into my game,” Hicks said. “To me, I feel like I have a dream gig. It is really exciting to have the best of both worlds.”
Hicks said he did have help on the game with a partner of his, Goncalo Antunes, the artist on the game.
Antunes said the relationship between him and Hicks grew from a previous game the duo worked on called Sententia.
“After that, he got in with me for Pillar. He like the way I worked and wanted to try and make a new game, just the two of us,” he said.
Antunes said he has been drawing for games for about seven years, but he was surprised when he found out Pillar was picked up by Sony.
“At first, it didn’t start out being a game that would be released by Sony,” he said. "But the moment Michael told me that we could get the game on PS4, a next gen-console, I was shocked thinking that this game would have an even bigger impact and level of accessibility.”
He said it is a big honor to have worked on the game, because not just anybody can make a video game and release in the PlayStation store.
“It is hard to sink in,” Antunes said. “A lot of people will play the game and they’ll have their opinion of it and will take out a meaning of their own from the game.”
Now that the game is released, Hicks said it will be featured as one of 15 independent games showcased at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco in March.
Hicks said he is content working in a smaller setting and making games on his own. He said working with major gaming companies are more concerned with turning a profit.
“I am more into taking creative risk and trying new things,” he said. “That is why I prefer to be on my own.”
“Right now, I am enjoying doing this on my own with my friend going the art.”
For more information about Pillar, visit the game’s official website at pillar-game.com.