Interview: Ludosity - Alien Chaos 3D
Posted by James Newton
Signs of intelligent life
Developer Ludosity and publisher Reef Entertainment just revealed a new 3DS download game for Europe called Alien Chaos 3D, so we tracked down the developer and convinced it to spill the beans on its upcoming eShop shooter.
Nintendo Life: First of all, can you tell us a little bit more about the Ludosity studio?
Ludosity: Ludosity has been through some adventures by now. It still feels like we've just started out, but looking back we've released eight different titles, shrunk our staff from nine to four and then up to 11 again, changed names slightly and even changed company form — we became a proper LLC just six months ago.
My biggest personal goal with Ludosity is to create the world's most attractive workplace. I couldn't say exactly how to achieve that goal, but it's what keeps me up at night. We try to keep everything as tight as possible, which is why we'll never grow beyond 20 employees. It's also the reason we managed to produce two Nintendo 3DS titles in nine months, starting from scratch. We're just that good.
NL: People may remember Mama and Really from an Xbox Live indie game called Mama & Son Clean House. Why bring the game to Nintendo 3DS?
Ludosity: Making a sequel to Mama on the 3DS was like a dream come true. The 3DS wasn't even out when we started and we were all very hyped over it. There was also a lot we didn't have time to make for the original game, so we were excited to have "another go" at it.
NL: What type of feedback did you receive for Mama & Son Clean House?
Ludosity: The main feedback is that it's a really funny and original concept, and that the gameplay actually is a lot of fun at the same time. The dynamic between first destroying and then cleaning up after yourself was really succesful.
NL: How have you adapted the idea for handheld gaming?
Ludosity: One thing we quickly focused in on when designing for the 3DS was the StreetPass feature. It also became apparent when trying out StreetPass Quest that StreetPass was the strongest new element of the 3DS (sorry autostereoscopic 3D, you're pretty cool too). It's unfortunately also very underused still, which is a shame. Our implementation engourages players to compete over a finite number of stars and we're having a blast with the feature ourselves in the office.
NL: What were the challenges in bringing an Xbox Live game to 3DS?
Ludosity: Fitting a co-op game onto a handheld was a challenge, and we decided to merge the two elements into a single character. In the end, this came out being even more fun to play, so we absolutely made the right choice there.
NL: What do the 3D graphics bring to the game?
Ludosity: We don't rely on 3D in this game for any gameplay elements. We decided that the game is all about fast action that is easy to get into, while still having a fresh and rewarding gameplay system. But of course, all the debris and explosions fly out in all directions now, how could we miss the opportunity to scare the player with a smoking robot-wheel thrown into his face?
NL: You generally don't see shooting and cleaning together in the same game. What was the thinking behind this unlikely combination?
Ludosity: We always try and do something fresh, so we approach game concepting from a slightly different angle. At the same time, we can't have our games being contrived or unintuitive, so it's a process of refining that concept over many iterations. We were able to arrive at a design that was both fun and easy to get into, but also rewarding if you want to chase highscores. And of course, having a macho-man clean up his mess is just plain funny.
NL: What kinds of weapons will the player get to use in the game?
Ludosity: The entire weapon system is quite different from other games, in that you have to recycle your spent ammo to get more. It also lets you choose your next weapon by sweeping the debris into different recycle stations.
All the weapons are good at different things, and some have surprising side-effects that we also exploit in some of the level design. For example the mini-gun send the hero flying backwards, so naturally we made a challenge level that revolves around him flying around the course instead of jumping and running.
NL: What else about the game should our readers know?
Ludosity: Chaining scores together with the scrubbing mechanic is exhilarating. You need to wait as long as possible before scrubbing so the next wave of enemies can get there before the combo runs out. To succeed, you need to be tactical of when and where to kill the enemies. If you're a pro, you can chain an entire level from start to end, earning massive scores. This together with the StreetPass Challenge Levels make for a very thrilling competition between you and your friends!
Alien Chaos 3D is set for an eShop release in Europe later this year.