Interview: Mutant Mudds Reader Questions

Renegade Kid answers your questions

With Mutant Mudds getting closer to release we recently gave you, the readers, the opportunity to ask Renegade Kid any questions you had about the game.

Jools Watsham, director of Mutant Mudds and co-founder of Renegade Kid, was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer your questions.

@samus2008: How big will the download be?

Jools Watsham: Less than 20MB.

@Sephariel: Is some kind of DLC planned for the game?

JW: No, but you can count on more Mutant Mudds invading the eShop in the future.

@JHardin1112: How much will the game sell for?

JW: The price is not finalised yet. We're thinking around $9.99. This is based on the cost of previous DSiWare titles such as Cave Story ($10) and Shantae ($12).

@Karakato_001: As you said earlier, in another board, at another site, this game will last 8 hours to complete, is that true? If not, how long is the game's length?

JW: My response has not changed. Of course every player is different, but on average I think first-time players will be looking at 7-9 hours to collect all 40 Water Sprites and 2,000 Golden Diamonds. Experienced players should be able to bash through it in about 3-5 hours, if they're familiar with the game or just bad ass.

@Xerxes: Are there going to be side quests and/or bonus material?

JW: There is a secret character that is unlocked when you collect everything in the game.

@pokedude78: It's a good 3DS Game!!!!1

JW: Erm, thank you! [He smiles]

@NathanSandwich: Are there any other weapons besides the water gun?

JW: The Water Cannon is the only weapon in the game. You can obtain a power-up that increases its fire rate and allows access to new levels.

@GeminiSaint: I just want to know how this game differentiates from a generic platformer. All the trailers I've seen so far show what seems to be fairly generic gameplay. Yes, I know there are layers, but the core of the experience still looks like it's jumping here and there and collecting gems--you know, nothing out of the ordinary.

JW: From a gameplay perspective, I think the main element of Mutant Mudds that justifies its existence and provides players with something to get their teeth into is the hover ability. Learning how to use this properly is vital if you plan to complete all of the levels. I believe it offers a unique and challenging gameplay experience that is fun and a test of player's timing and skills. It is true that running and jumping is standard fare, but what really counts is how these abilities are utilised through the level design, hazards, and enemy placement. I am confident that platformer fans will enjoy their journey through Mutant Mudds. The game does not rely on the layer jumping ability.

@Jfilesguy: 1) Are there any other gimmicks other than multiple layers?

JW: In addition to the layer jumping, there are power-ups, secret levels, and enemies that utilise the 3D effect.

@Jfilesguy: 2) Will the game be mostly linear or will it have non linear aspects? (choosing the level order, branching pathways, backtracking, that kind of thing)

JW: Mutant Mudds starts with just one level accessible. When you collect the first Water Sprite a new level is unlocked; when you have two Water Sprites, three more levels open up. So, while the game is linear, you have a choice of which levels you want to play as you progress. Also, the majority of the secret levels can only be accessed by equipping a certain power-up. The power-ups can only be equipped when a certain number of Golden Diamonds have been collected. This results in a great choice of levels to play when those Golden Diamond milestones are met.

@Jfilesguy: 3) Will there be any thing other than the main campaign?

JW: If you mean mini-games or multiplayer, then no.

@Jfilesguy: 4) What 8-bit/16-bit game gave the team for this game the most inspiration?

JW: Super Mario World. Wario Land on Virtual Boy. Gargoyle's Quest.

@Jfilesguy: 5) Will story be a big part of the game, or will it be more of an afterthought added to the manual at the last minute?

JW: While the story is certainly not an afterthought, it's not a big part of the game. The main focus of Mutant Mudds is platforming challenge.

@kingofe3: What month is this game going to release on the eshop?

JW: The game is at Nintendo now. We are waiting on their final approval. We won't know the release date until the game is approved. It could be January or February in the US.

@stromboli: Will it stay exclusive to 3DS/Nintendo?

JW: More than likely, yes.

@eryan64: What were some of your inspirations for the character and level design?

JW: Even though some people have said Max looks like a character in Earthbound, he was designed from the basic concept of us wanting the main character to be a young, slightly nerdy-looking boy. The level designs are inspired by Nintendo's vast collection of incredible platformers, including the Mario and Wario series.

@K964: Are there any sort of multiplayer modes planned?

JW: No.

@brandonbwii: Does this game truly support SpotPass as mentioned in Nintendo Power? Does it take advantage of the new add-on content feature?

JW: No, it does not unfortunately. That was our original plan, but the time required to support this feature would have delayed the release of the game by a few months so we decided to focus on the development of a standalone title to make sure it could be released sooner.

@BlueNintendo11: Do you have any plans for a sequel?

JW: Yes.

@Rockgamer: With the shift from 3D DS retail game to 2D 3DS downloadable game, how much of your original vision for the game has stayed intact?

JW: Really only the essence of the original game remains. The core player package carried over with shooting and hovering, but the level design and enemy design for a 3D platformer versus a 2D platformer are drastically different. Personally, I am happier with the 2D rendition of Max's adventure. The gameplay is more precise than a 3D platformer can offer.

@eirikr: What is the difference between this game and Cave Story? Obviously apart from the character and level design. In other words what distinguishes this game from others?

JW: That is an interesting question that I honestly haven't thought about before. First off, I love Cave Story. It is an incredible game. I think the main difference between the two games is that Mutant Mudds is focused on providing a platforming challenge to platformer enthusiasts in a very accessible format. You can quickly choose which level you want to jump into, so when you only have a few minutes to play you're able to maximise your time. Along with that, you have a choice of which level you want to jump into.

I think you'll also find that Mutant Mudds has a stronger emphasis on challenging level design, and offers a constant pace of varying challenges in each level that keeps you engaged in the level. In a nutshell, Cave Story is more like Metroid in terms of layout whereas Mutant Mudds is more like Super Mario World in regards to separate accessible levels.

@Sga: When will it be released in France/Europe?

JW: We are a small studio, so we have to take everything one step at a time. Once the US version is Nintendo-approved we'll send the game off for age rating with PEGI and such. So, the release date may be March-May for Europe.

@Birdman13: What other games are you developing/want to develop for the 3DS?

JW: We have another eShop title in development right now, which will be released in 2012. I would also love to develop a FPS title for the 3DS! [He smiles]

@battLeToaD: Which buttons does it use for which actions?

JW: The short answer is the same as Super Mario 3D Land and Mighty Switch Force. Jump: B or A. Shoot: Y or X.

@daznsaz: What will the boss battles be like, blast till their gone or inventive thinkers?

JW: There are no boss battles in Mutant Mudds.

@bahooney: How many unique features of the 3DS does this game take advantage of? i.e: Spotpass, Streetpass, Play Coins, etc?

JW: Mutant Mudds only takes advantage of the 3D feature — no Spotpass, Streetpass, Play Coins, etc.

@bahooney: Will the original build of the game for the first DS ever see the light of day?

JW: Possibly.

@crazyj2312: Will there be any kind of incentives for me to replay the game, like bonus levels and the like?

JW: I think there are some good reasons to replay the game. I'll let you be the judge of that.

@Zsxdflip: Will there be any cameos, possibly other indie characters?

JW: No.

@Stuffgamer1: When was it pushed back from a December release date?

JW: We had originally hoped the game would be released in December, but it just took a little longer than expected to complete the game. Add Nintendo's approval process and the holidays on top of that and it unfortunately put the game into a Jan/Feb release.

@accc: Can you throw in a playable prototype of the 3D platformer game that this was originally supposed to be as an unlockable bonus?

JW: Because the 3D platformer is on the DS, it would not be a simple task to get it running on the 3DS as a bonus item inside Mutant Mudds. It would have resulted in a few months of extra work I expect.

@zorkzedork: Will there be a demo for this game?

JW: Great question. I am a fan of demos. But, unfortunately I don't think we'll have one for this game. Demos take a lot of work to create and we have to make sure it adheres to all of the Nintendo standards in regards to bugs and such. We have a choice of whether to spend our efforts on these types of things, or developing content for new games. It's a tough call, but I think focusing our attention on creating content for new games is best for our current situation. When we get bigger, after the tremendous sales of Mutant Mudds you guys will help us achieve, we’ll be in a better position to produce demos and support DLC features.

@weirdproq: Were you inspired by the parts in Virtual Boy Wario Land where you could jump into the background and then back into the foreground?

JW: Yes, I love Wario Land on the Virtual Boy. The layer jumping on that game was definitely the inspiration for Mutant Mudds' layer jumping. But, I always felt that Wario Land didn't quite push the 3D effect as far as it could have, so I tried to incorporate 3D as much as we could in Mutant Mudds in terms of enemies and hazards so it feels like a unique experience tailored to the 3DS.

@Radixxs: Who wrote/created the soundtrack for the game? And, (if applicable) how did he/she go about writing the music, to fit the game's atmosphere or to sound good on its own?

JW: Troupe Gammage created the music for Mutant Mudds. I send him screenshots of the levels and he does his magic. I am extremely happy with the music he created for the game. I think it is perfect.

@K-C: Do you plan to make more 3DSware games like Mutant Mudds, or going back to retail with impressive graphics like the Dementium games?

JW: Both. I enjoy playing both, so I enjoy making both.

@Tare: What sort of things can the player unlock?

Jools: You unlock regular levels, secret levels, power-ups, and a secret character.

@Dark_TeeJay: Did you have to drop any of the team or hire more developers because of the shift from 3D to sidescroller?

JW: No one was fired or hired for the Mutant Mudds project. The 3D platformer demo on the DS was developed by myself and Renegade Kid's art director, Gregg Hargrove, and our technical director Bob Ives, whereas Mutant Mudds was developed by myself, Matthew Gambrell and Troupe Gammage. Matthew handled the programming of Mutant Mudds because he has lots of experience with 2D platformers and it just kind of naturally worked out that way.

@Qwikman_N_Bass: Will there be a party for the game's initial release and am I invited?

JW: I'll probably just have a private party in my mind. You are invited.

@battLeToaD: Do you plan on bringing Mutant Mudds to the Wii U? Did you get any infos on its special features and limitations yet?

JW: We do not have any current plans for a Wii U version of Mutant Mudds, but it's certainly possible. We have not applied for developer status of Wii U, so we do not have any tech specs.

@RightHemisphereG: Is there going to be a control setting that can change up the button layout? Ether, preset or manual settings setup?

JW: There is not a way to change the controls. We have made it so both A and B buttons jump and X and Y buttons shoot.

@123akis: How big is the content?

JW: 2000 Golden Diamonds. 40 Water Sprites to collect in 40 levels. 16 unique enemies. 5 worlds. 3 power-ups. 1 awesome Grannie.

@EmmanuelMunoz: How was the process of working with the eShop in mind different from doing so with retail in mind?

JW: From a gameplay perspective, I think it's important that eShop games can be accessed quickly. With this in mind, we ditched the traditional boot-up sequence of 100 company logos and legal text and simply go straight to the main menu where you select your save slot and jump into the game. The only place you'll see the Renegade Kid logo is in the credits. Once in the game the level select hub has also been designed to provide quick access. And finally, the very nature of Mutant Mudds is tailored to the eShop audience in terms of it being a side-scrolling platformer with retro-styled art. Unfortunately, it would be very difficult to sell such a game in the retail space, regardless of its scope.

@King_Boo: I wonder if he'll be on Nintendo Week to promote it.

JW: That would be cool. How do I get on that show?

@Nintendude92: Is the pace of gameplay we've seen in footage as fast as it gets? As in, is there a run button? I think the game looks slow. Is it slow, in your eyes?

JW: I think the speed at which Max moves is perfectly tuned for the gameplay challenges required of the player. Too fast/too slow is relative.

@Sga: Oh and how much will it cost in Europe?

JW: I do not know. I will be having discussions with NOE when we're closer to the release, which might be March-May 2012.

We'd like to once again thank Jools Watsham for taking the time to take part in this interview.

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