It seems like the kind of game that's going to need a lot of different levels to keep it varied and engaging.
James: Making the game at this point now, it's kinda like, spot a location, and you populate it, and then you put the actors in and we play it. We're playing it constantly as we are developing it. We'll try something new, and we'll play it. Obviously that's been taking some time since we're geographically separated. Now we're all in the same room.
We've done ten maps so far for the pre-alpha, just responding to the community and thinking about, seeing what other mechanics we can try. We've done enough of that now to sit down and start planning out the story mode in more detail. But the story mode will be no more complex than something like Final Fight. But what we're trying to do, is string these arena levels together in such a way. Build a little story on it.
Are you going to be emphasising the comedy aspect in the story?
James: Yeah, I don't think, we couldn't make it serious really. Some of the humour does come from the drama and the lighting and having these ridiculous characters in those situations. So we'll definitely continue with that. But yeah, I don't think we're ever going to make a game that isn't silly. It's too much fun, because we're brothers, we're always trying to be humourous. So it's always going to end up that way.
You've currently got local multiplayer and you're going to be implementing online multiplayer. How are you approaching that?
James: It's the one area we'll take advice on I think. Everything else we've got solutions for in house. Or we've done away with the need for it to a certain degree. And we are working with. All sounds in the game have been made solely by an old friend of ours who is currently based in America. He's put videos of himself making that sound up. But other than that we just want to make the levels, make the content, make more characters and put them into interesting and unusual situations.
Like the Ferris wheel.
James: Like the Ferris wheel. That one we haven't prototyped with the climbing mechanic. But the climbing mechanic changes everything. It can get very balletic with proper action-hero sequences going. It's even more satisfying because they're not easy to achieve. Having said that, if you are falling and you just hold grab, you can do some spectacular things without being a skilled gamer.
What Engine are you building it with?
James: It's Unity. We're currently using, the older version of PhysX, they've just announced they're updated that to 3.3. That should give us a lot more overhead to do other things with the levels. At the moment they're very sparsely populated with miscellaneous objects that you could use as ad-hoc weapons in the scene. Just things that would be appropriate for that area. So things like pot-plants, or if you were in an office space it could be a water cooler or cathode-ray tube. The game is set in the 80s. It's not really that obvious at the moment because this is the dev art on screen. There's been a lot of support for keeping it that way, so we're going to do an art-pass next month, just look at what else we can do to add a little bit more detail, but we don't want to deviate that much.
It does have quite a nice, clean aesthetic going on.
James: It also makes it easy to identify your character. Although customisation would do that also, I guess. Especially when people would become very familiar with the character they'd normally play as.
Perhaps some kind of classic mode might do it?
James: We'll definitely support these characters. They'll be in the full game, we've had too many requests for that. But the reason we want to support customisations is for, as we said earlier about having your gang. Also, the story mode will be richer if your gang went up against actual gangs. And they're all clichéd gangs, in the style of films like The Warriors or Escape from New York. All these kind of cool gangs, it's really appealing to us as it's kinda silly but serious at the same time, and that's kinda what we feel we're trying to make with our gangs. It's kinda a ridiculous attempts at making some kind of B movie film that takes itself very seriously but with the wrong resources to actually make the movie.
Thank you for your time.
A free alpha version of Gang Beasts can be downloaded from IndieDB.