Depois de ter testado um dos indies mais originais do ano, tivemos o prazer de poder entrevistar Mike Keogh, um dos fundadores da Breakfall onde falamos de jogos, mechas, narvais, pizza e desenhos animados, quem sabe até do sentido da vida…
– I believe your first big hit was STARWHAL. A neon filled multiplayer game with Narwhals fighting in space, how did that come about?
STARWHAL was a game jam game, part of Global Game Jam, in which teams make a game in 48 hours. We knew early on that we wanted to try something silly with floppy physics, and then in the middle of the night it became a game about narwhals… in space… We never expected STARWHAL to be as popular as it has become! We were just doing something to make ourselves laugh and had the free version up on our website, and it took off.
– After STARWHAL, you decided to do a single player arcade game, giving us the extremely fun Pizza Titan Ultra, was it hard moving from one genre to the other as they are different in, well… everything?
Ha! Yeah, they are pretty different games. Our first game, Marvin’s Mittens, is a Steam “hidden gem” that is a 2D platformer. So we started as a team making a single player experience. But even then, it’s not that much like Pizza Titan Ultra. We just pursue whatever interests us. It’s definitely tricky to shift gears and think differently about design. Maybe we’ll settle into a favourite genre or two, but for now we’re still always trying to experiment with new ideas.
– Pizza Titan Ultra has a very 80s and 90s Saturday Morning Cartoon feel to it. It even has some pseudo-cameos from characters of that era. Was this something that was planned from the start, or did it just happen naturally when you were developing the game?
The game started with a very different premise – it was about satellite repair on a modular space station. We wanted it to feel more like STARWHAL in terms of wacky fun, and just add tons of personality. We looked at what we did there, which was a sort of love letter to the 80s, and said, “what if we went really hard into a 90s theme?” And was we started listing our favourite games and shows and movies from that era there were some that came up more than others, and we thought a lot about these switched over to mecha pizza delivery and worked on Pizza Titan Ultra.
– On the subject of Saturday Morning Cartoons, what were/are your favorites?
There are a lot of good cartoons out there… from when a bunch of the team were growing up there are definitely a lot of TMNT and Transformers fans. He-Man gets a special mention for being so ridiculous, while I would say Batman: The Animated Series holds up as still being a really great show.
– I’m a Transformers guy myself, so a giant Mecha with a Pizzeria on his chest sounds perfect, I even painted mine like Wheeljack, although a Soundwave color scheme could be more appropriate, now that I think about it…
In any case, where did this brilliant if slightly insane idea for the Titan came from?
So I’m personally the biggest Transformers fan on the team, and in terms of games I loved Devastation, as well as War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron. Different people on the team wanted different things when we were trying to decide where to go with this project. I was definitely pushing for robots and lasers and jetpacks and that sort of awesome action experience. Other people wanted something more grounded in reality, something people would recognize from their everyday lives. We eventually decided that we should just try both: make a mecha game AND a pizza delivery game. This lead to our design mantra of “weighty, but agile”, and the feel that people keep saying is so good in our game. We worked hard to combine these two totally different ideas, and think we have something awesome to show for it!
– Are there plans for updates or DLC’s for Pizza Titan Ultra? More missions and challenges? Maybe a Cheezeborg Rival Mecha for a city smashing battle? A new competitor that sells burgers, oriental or mexican food and all of them have Mechas?
Right now we’re working more on ports than additional content. I love everything you just said, though! We did talk about a mixture of enemies and allies that would be other restaurants, but it was an awesome idea that didn’t make the cut. There are many of those, so I’d certainly love to keep working with this cast of characters and world we’ve created to bring more Pizza Titan Ultra content to our fans some day.
– Can we smell what Breakfall is cooking? Anything in the oven you can reveal?
Well, in Breakfall fashion we started making a crazy arena death match game, and it somehow became a game about fruit people who are collecting lemons to make lemonade. So that’s a prototype we have that we’re figuring out. At the same time we did a little internal game jam and made a whole other thing with a very different tone. Lo fi, retro, dungeons, with lots of mysteries and puzzles and literal riddles. Neither are really ready for delivery, and some may get incinerated in the oven of game design, to extend the metaphor. But those are the current undercooked ideas!
– Lastly, the real splitting question: Pineapple on pizza.
Yes or no?
Yes. Though I picked up a slice of Hawaiian for Jan the other day and he asked for garlic sauce and I have to say that is completely wrong, in my eyes. At least a few of us are very comfortable with pineapple on pizza, but I’m starting to think some of the team at Breakfall are a little TOO comfortable combining that with other ingredients. Honestly, I don’t know what to think anymore.
Thank you very much for your time, we are looking forward to seeing more from you in the future.