Interviewing Eitan Glinert, Fire Hose Games’ Fire Chief, isn’t really about asking questions so much as it is staying out of the way of his train of thought. He’s just cool like that. In part one of our interview at PAX he talks to me about their upcoming tower defense title Go Home Dinosaurs!, how the game began as Slam Bolt Scrappers mobile, and 40 to 50 to 60-person multiplayer features.
Cat: It’s a Fire Hose game!
Eitan: Yeah, and because we’re us, every game has to have fitting-together Tetris-style puzzle pieces. It’s tower defense, or BBQ defense, with Dinosaurs. As the game goes you get bigger and differently shaped pieces, and figuring out how you’re going to put them together gets really crazy.
Cat: Can all the different weapon types hit every enemy type?
EG: Currently, yes. Down the road, I’m not sure. We have, for instance, two other weapons that aren’t here and they do hit all the enemies types. For instance, pTerry, our Pterodactyl, they have names but we haven’t been showing them off -
Cat: - you really do want us to empathise with the cute, pink dinosaurs?
EG: Well the animals have names, too! Apparently we’ve gotten lots of requests for Rodney the Rodent, which is weird. We have two other weapons, but right now we’re not showing them off just because it’s too much and we wanted to keep the demo shorter. One of them, Ghostbusters inspired, shoots out this crazy beam that basically slows down the dinos and does damage.
Cat: Gotta have a slow tower.
EG: We even have something in there about how you can’t cross the streams and if they get too close to one another they just stop and make this snarky comment, “You can’t cross the streams!” We’ll see if that stays in or not! Also, It seems to be doing really well with kids.
EG: Dinosaurs, and super accessible gameplay. We had kids here yesterday that were playing for twenty-five minutes, I said, “I’m sorry!”, I had to ask the parents if they could move on because they were going to stay here all day. It was awesome and I felt really bad about it!
Also, we have this dialog text that comes up, it’s basically fun stuff for people watching the game. It might not even make it into the game, to be honest, but it’s fun stuff for people watching at PAX. One of the lines is basically the main character flirting with you, and it’s, “You’re really good at this game...and you look good, too! (wink)”, and so we had this five year old kid come and play and sit with his mom. The first thing, immediately it pops up, and the mom is like, “Oh...” and I’m thinking, “Haha! I’m just not going to say anything and hope she doesn’t notice.”
[Eitan breaks to fire up the demo for another kid!]
EG: So you remember how SlamBoltScrappers was super complicated for people to pick up and learn? This is basically us trying to fix that. This game actually started off, when we were beginning it, we called it “Slam Bolt Scrappers mobile”, that was the thing we started talking about, and then we ended up changing around stuff. We’ve actually managed already to iterate on it twice, and so it’s already very far from it, but this is basically us fixing stuff that we wanted to change about SBS.
Cat: You guys and your iterations, are there going to be, like, ten or so more?
EG: Yeah, OK, you really wanna know? This is a different game than was here yesterday because we’re getting nightly builds because everyone back in Boston is still working on this.
Cat: So if I come back tomorrow there won’t even be dinosaurs?
EG: What I can tell you is the gameplay is more or less set at this point. This is what the game is going to be like. What’s changing around a lot right now is the metagame and stuff like that. So, for instance, there’s going to be lots beyond what you see right now. You have the leveling up with the cards, that stuff is just placeholder, you’ll be collecting and trading with other players, friends, and we also have a huge multiplayer thing we’re going to be adding in and that’s also in the works.
EG: OK, don’t hold me to this, but we’re trying to see if we can make a version of this that works for 40 or 50 or 60, like a small-scale MMO type thing where the idea is that people can drop-in/drop-out. It’s not persistent, it’s not that you have your, you know, your guild or anything like that, but it’s supposed to be something you can go and you can play for a little while and hop out and other people hop in and it’s supposed to be a giant battle. We’re playing around with it, we’ll see if we can actually pull this off.
That bombshell concludes Part One, check back tomorrow for Part Two! Thanks, Eitan and the rest of the team at Fire Hose Games!
For more reading, our Preview of the game: http://n4g.com/user/blogpos...