They behind the indie multiplayer shooter Lead And Gold, and remade classic Bionic Commando: Rearmed, have taken quite a different direction for their next game. Hamilton's Great Adventure is a co-op third-person puzzle/adventure. The announcement intrigued us enough to want to know more, so we threw questions at developers FatShark. Their thoughts on co-op, humour and hats are below.
RPS: Obviously Hamilton’s Great Adventure is quite a diversion from Lead And Gold. What took you in such a different direction?
Mårten Stormdal: We wanted to try something completely different. This project is in a different genre and has different look. I guess we sort of cleansed the palette. The only similarity to Lead and Gold is that there’s still a co-op angle in there.
Martin Wahlund: We also wanted to create a game for people that like to play an easy to pick up game with a friend in front of the same screen. To build a solid single player experience with a nice story was another goal.
RPS: Have you been pleased with the performance of Lead And Gold? Do you intend to add any more maps or updates?
MW: Yes we are happy with the performance. However you always want to do more and always have some features that you really would like to add, but due to budget reasons or limited resources just can’t do. We are doing updates now and then for Lead and Gold. Currently Playstation Network PLUS customers can play the game for free. I am sure you will see a lot more of the Lead and Gold brand in the future.
RPS: Can you explain a bit about how Hamilton’s Great Adventure will play? It’s co-op, between a man and a bird, right?
MS: Hamilton's Great adventure can be played either single player or local co-op. In co-op the second player is able to jump in and out of play at any time. There is no need to restart and select other game modes or settings or such.
When playing cooperatively, one of the players controls Ernest Hamilton and the other controls the bird Sasha. The objective of the game is for Hamilton to reach the golden key and then the exit door. Sasha's part is divided between interacting with the environment and luring away enemies, creating a safe path for Hamilton to travel. Sasha also collects the Mysterious Dust fueling Hamilton's gadgets
RPS: Will this be two people at the same PC, or will you be offering online co-op? Oh, and there will be a way to play it solo?
MW: Yes, the game is very much designed to be played as a single player adventure. You can play the game solo for periods and in co-op mode whenever you want. The story is the same.
MS: There will only be local co-op. We are looking at a mouse and keyboard solution where Hamilton is controlled with the keyboard and Sasha with the mouse. This makes for both an interesting keyboard-mouse combo for solo play and a good co-op experience (just like in the good old PC days). Of course, the game also works really well playing solo or co-op with standard game controllers.
RPS: Clearly comedy is important to you as a developer. What sort of humour will we be seeing in HGA?
MS: Humor is very important. We create games to have fun when playing, and what better way to have fun than with a laugh. It also serves as a mood setter, creating a nice and pleasant environment. This time around we have tried to creating something for a broader audience. There’s everything from cartoony slapstick to pop cultural references.
RPS: As a smaller developer, how do you find the cross-platform developing process? Presumably experience from the GRIN days plays a part?
MW: We have obviously a solid background as sub-contractors on many AAA titles both as a company and as individuals. We also have multiplatform experience from our latest titles Lead and Gold and Bionic Commando Rearmed 2.
Our engine supports multiple platforms so all our games can be run on multiple platforms even though we, for some reason, only releases the game on a subset of them sometimes.
RPS: What is it with hats, eh?
MS: Hats are just great. They create a good recognizable silhouette and you can tell so much about a character by just looking at his hat. We simply love them.
RPS: Thanks for your time.