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Developer Interview: Explodemon!

Posted by on September 9th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Tags: , ,

I’m extremely excited about Explodemon, so when we were given the chance to interview the developer about their upcoming title, we jumped at the chance to pick their collective brains. Here’s the interview in its entirety.

Q: So what exactly is Explodemon?

Explodemon is a Guardian of the planet Nibia, albeit one kept locked in stasis because of his instability. When the Vortex wipe out all of the other Guardians and mount an invasion of Nibia, Explodemon is the only one left that can stop them – even if the Nibians don’t initially want his destructive brand of ‘help’ at first!

Q: Will the levels be puzzle heavy or will you factor more on a speed-run type aspect?

Can we say both? In truth, it’s a balancing act, but we don’t really think of the two things as being diametrically opposed. There are certainly a lot of puzzles dotted throughout Explodemon’s journey, but we’ve put a large amount of emphasis on speed running as part of the game experience rather than an afterthought.

It’s kind of natural to think that these puzzles might get in the way of this, but the first time you’re playing you won’t be speedrunning, so your emphasis is on working out how to solve the puzzles. When you later replay that level with speedrunning in mind, you’re already aware of the solution, so it becomes more about how you solve these puzzles in the most time-efficient manner.

When you combine that with the really nuanced way in which you can control Explodemon, there’s countless opportunities for shaving seconds off your playthroughs. We’re really looking forward to seeing people get competitive on the leaderboards!

Q: The first screens of the game showed an intentionally bad translation. Have you stuck with this, and if so, what’s your current favourite line in the game?

Absolutely, although it’s only Explodemon that talks in this style – it’s just one of the ways in which people see him as defective. His struggle to articulate what he thinks is one of the cornerstones to his comedy, and has enabled the team to come up with some pretty awesome lines. I’m not going to spoil it here, though – you’ll have to wait and see!

Q: I remember in an old prototype video, there were coins to collect as currency which was used to upgrade weapons. Is this still in the current build of the game?

Yeah, there are a huge number of credits that you can collect from exploring the environment and defeating enemies. There aren’t any weapons in the game, but these coins are used to improve Explodemon’s abilities. Which leads nicely on to…

Q: Is there a leveling system (for the character) in the game, if so how does it work?

Players can spend the credits they earn in levels to permanently enhance Explodemon’s core attributes, such his armour, how powerful his explosions are, how long he can boost for, etc.

In addition, there’s a kind of ‘temporary levelling’ system that gives you temporary performance boosts depending on how well you’re doing. When you kill enemies you receive Explosion Charge, which fills up a big three-part gauge to the left of the screen. Complete a part and you ‘level up’, which makes you stronger and faster. Take damage, though, and the gauge will go down – and if you go back below the threshold you’ll Level Down, losing that bonus in the process. Keeping Explodemon at the maximum level is a real challenge, and much harder than it may sound!

Q: Stylistically, the last time we saw the game, it was very stylistically similar to the mega man games. Has this changed at all, and what fancy graphics are you able to pull off on the ps3?

The art style has changed a fair bit since that original prototype video, I think it’s fair to say, but with a game like this it’d be pretty hard for Mega Man to not be a stylistic influence. But we’ve gone for a lot more colour, and the character designs have a quite different cartoonish aesthetic, so I think it’s fair to say that we’ve developed our own unique visual style. I don’t think there’s much on PSN that looks similar stylistically to what Explodemon will offer when it launches.

Q: How much “brittleness fluid” have enemies been reduced to during the course of the game? 😉

So much it’s almost vulgar. Also, it’s surprisingly difficult to get scorch marks off the walls 🙁

Q: Do you have any sort of plans for either multiplayer or leaderboards?

So, as I mentioned earlier, there’s a deliberate effort to promote speedruns through the levels, so we’ve got global leaderboards for each level which we think will really push the competitive buttons of a lot of gamers.

With regards to multiplayer, no, the game’s been designed from day one to be a stupidly fun single-player experience and that’s what we’ve focused our efforts on. For a small team like us it just makes more sense to focus on the thing we really want to do well rather than split our attention elsewhere. Who knows, though – maybe in the future!

Many thanks to Curve Studios for agreeing to do this interview. Look for Explodemon! in Q4 of this year, along with our review of it.