The beta phase of Fusion Fall is fast approaching. Sooner than we realize the game will be launched and we will all be saving the world from Planet Fusion! Ten Ton Hamster wanted to catch up with its Content Designer Matt Schwartz and find out more about this awesome new game coming our way. We heard a rumor that there was some pretty funny stuff worked into the game and we wanted to hear more about that. Check out what Matt has to say about the humor of Fusion Fall in this great exclusive interview.
Questions by: Padma "Ladylotus" Fuller Editor/Site Lead
Answers by: Matt Schwartz Content Designer
1. Matt, tell us about the fun themes you have been working with in FusionFall?
To be honest, most of the fun comes from the fact that we have such a great collection of characters to work with. And we have the creators of all our shows to thank for that. Then we have the story unique to our game, which is an alien invasion of the Cartoon Network Universe. In our world, kids rule. So even though a giant slimy planet trying to eat you might not be what most folks consider "fun", we still asked ourselves, "How would kids react to this situation to make it more fun?" For example, in the infected zones in the game, kids have set up races to get them cleaned up. Then there's getting around the world, with bounce pads, zip lines, and cannons. Not to mention some of the cool items that our players have to fight the arch-villain Fuse and his minions. So even though the kids and our heroes are faced with a serious threat, they don't have to take it seriously every step of the way.
2. How do the Cartoon Network characters play into the humor in the game?
It depends on which characters you're talking about. Some characters, like Bloo and the Eds, are naturally more comedic than, say, Samurai Jack. (That guy has to lighten up!) We derive some humor from how the characters react to the Planet Fusion invasion. For instance, in his typical fashion, Billy (from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy) "adopts" a Fusion Spawn pet that he names Runty. There is also some humor in how the characters relate to each other. In many cases, some of these characters have never interacted before. So you have the prospect of Ben 10 hanging out with the friends from Foster's, which is funny just to think about. And perhaps a little bit strange.
3. How can players get involved in the fun?
Primarily, the players get involved in the fun by taking missions from the characters. Sure, some of the missions are more serious and action-oriented, but there is plenty of fun stuff to do as well. Sorry if this is a spoiler, but I'll give you an example: Blossom learns from Eduardo that a critical delivery of supplies from Eddy was stolen on its way to Foster's. So she asks the player to recover it. When the player finally delivers the package, we learn that it was a box of cookie dough. So, as you can see, Eduardo's definition of "critical" is a little bit different than Blossom's. Other than missions, there's lots of ways to have fun, from running the races in the infected zones, grouping with other players, or just exploring the world. Our game is a very vertical game. There's lots of fun to be had just trying to jump around the environments. Especially in the city areas, where the skyscrapers get pretty tall.
4. Can you give us a funny moment you remember from game development?
One of the things our team has to do is test the game on a regular basis. Me, Sam Lewis (lead designer), and Mario Piedra (art director) all sit near each other in the office. Often times, we test together while on speakerphone, which is easier than trying to chat in the game. So keep in mind that there are lots of other people working near us as well, many of whom are not working on FusionFall.
In the early days, there were overheard conversations that went something like this:
Me: "Sam, I can't see your pants."
Sam: "Well, I can see my pants."
Me: "It looks like you're floating there."
Mario: "I can see Sam's pants, but they're the wrong color."
Sam: "Well, they look fine to me!"
And so forth. The people around us started to wonder about what kind of game we were actually making.
5. Weve talked about the fun players will have with Cartoon Network characters, but how can players create their own fun in the game?
First of all, there is the great equipment, weapons and clothing in the game. We have Mario and the awesome art team at Grigon to thank for that. Players can create some pretty amazing combinations, many of which I'm certain we havent even seen yet. It will be cool to see what the players can come up with. We've already had a lot of fun running around in Dynamo armor with butterfly wings and an evil clown helmet. There are also the player emotes, which your Nano does along with your character. Again, thanks to the team at Grigon, we've got some hilarious animations, and each of the Nanos has a few surprises. So, visually speaking, there is a lot of fun that the players will be able to create on their own. If you're more competitive, we will have leaderboards for the infected zone races, and I imagine we'll see some player rivalries emerge.
6. Is there any word on Beta Testing for FusionFall?
There will be many opportunities for beta testers to get into the game before the end of the year. Watch the website (and the TV) regularly, and make sure that you're signed up for beta at fusionfall.com.
7. Matt, is there something special youd like to tell players and fans of Cartoon Network about the awesome game you are building?
Whyseven (Chris Waldron, our executive producer), is the self-proclaimed champion of the infected zone races. I invite all players to come in and take him to school!
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our FusionFall Game Page.