I Spent Six Years Making Pinstripe All Alone, Now I’m Sharing it With You

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Hi there! My name is Thomas Brush, and I’m the developer, artist, game designer, and musician for Pinstripe. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to launch my game about a minister in Hell on Xbox One… to say it’s been a long road getting here is kind of an understatement, but what a journey it’s been.

On the tin, Pinstripe is a game about Ted, an ex-minister whose daughter, Bo, is kidnapped by a shadowy figure, and the lengths Ted goes to both get her back and confront… well, you’ll see. It’s a little bit action, a little bit puzzle, and a lot bit adventure-filled passion project that I threw half a decade of my life into making. It’s inspired by a lot of things, from growing up in the South to the works of the creators who have inspired me, and every inch of it was a learning process I relished, allowing me to explore the topics that interested me the most.

Pinstripe Screenshot

Every level of Hell in Ted’s strange adventure was meticulously designed over the course of five years. Ted’s Tim Burton-esque character design all started in Clemson University’s library and lecture halls. I’d often spend more time brainstorming the hellish world of Pinstripe instead of paying attention during lectures. It’s funny to think the final pieces of artwork in Pinstripe were dreamed up in the middle of my economics class, and even funnier to see just how much the final designs changed from the initial scrawl in the margin of my class notes.

During the illustration process, I had a blast writing a soundtrack that reflected the visuals. Instead of doing the obvious – writing fantasy music like that of Tim Burton’s films – I found inspiration in the works of Debussy and Chopin. The result was an eclectic, piano-centric soundtrack with a silly, bouncy vibe while also remaining haunting and cold. To ensure the music always reflected the chilling atmosphere of Pinstripe’s Hell, I made sure to always write my music with Pinstripe’s snowy scenery playing on my laptop across from my piano.

Pinstripe Screenshot

A couple years ago, being an indie game auteur came with bragging rights, but now, it’s becoming more and more of a necessity for indie devs across the world. With technologies like Unity, Logic Pro, Audacity, and Photoshop now a daily tool for most game developers, learning every aspect of game development is, in my opinion, absolutely crucial to making great games. For me, it ensures Ted’s strange adventure through Hell is unique, beautiful, and cohesive. Cohesiveness was always the goal with Pinstripe, and one of the reasons I decided to build the game from scratch, completely alone.

To me, the concept of fatherhood has always been a frightening one. My three older brothers used to hog the Xbox when we were growing up, but suddenly I was watching in awe as they became fathers while I was still in college. It was a topic I wanted to explore… that fear and responsibility, and how far you can be driven to go. Now, Ted’s deeply personal story of fatherhood is something I can fully appreciate, with the birth of my daughter just one month before Pinstripe’s Xbox One launch. It feels strange to relate to my game five years later more than I did while I was making it.

Pinstripe Screenshot

I’ve spent so many years working on handcrafting every aspect of Pinstripe by myself that letting it out into the wild, and sharing it with so many people, is both scary and wonderful. From the peaks of The Hangly Pass, to the depths of the fiery red lake of Red Wash, I like to think that Pinstripe has more to offer than enemies to shoot and puzzles to solve. I’ve been making games very nearly for all my life, and Pinstripe might be surreal, and maybe a little creepy, but it’s also something very heartfelt. It’s a story about death, family, and forgiveness that I hope resonates with you, even if just a little.