A short time ago, we posted a news piece regarding Chris Seavor's plans for the Wii U. He hinted on Twitter that Nintendo's console could figure in his plans, and we can now exclusively reveal that he wasn't kidding — Gory Detail's next game — following the iOS title Parashoot Stan — will be called The Unlikely Legend of Rusty Pup, and it's coming to the Wii U eShop.
We caught up with Chris and ex-Rare developer Shawn Pile to chat about the game, which is a loosely described as a 2D platformer with dark elements.
"It's all very much about the story," says Seavor. "It's a very sad tale. It's not dark as in 'mature' — it's not got swearing in it, or anything like that. It's quite a serious and adult story, but still a fun and hopefully playable game with lots going on. There will be moments of dark humour, but nothing gory." Seavor also confirmed for us that the game will be gracing both the Wii U and 3DS eShops — the latter of which will surely allow it to exploit its impression of depth to great effect.
Although Seavor and Pile are keeping their cards close to their chests regarding the finer details of the gameplay, they did divulge some information. "It's a 2D platformer, but a with depth to it," Seavor explains. "You physically move in and out of the screen. It's also got hints of Lemmings in there. The game has a core gameplay mechanic — and when I say mechanic I mean something you do which will effect something else in the gameworld — which we can't say because it will give so much away! The main reason I'm being secretive is because we don't know whether it works or not yet and until we've tried it properly, we won't know. It will change. You put a mechanic in and even the simplest mechanic will throw out a thousand different problems."
However, gameplay is just one part of the puzzle in the world of Rusty Pup — narrative and story are of equal significance. "The character is becoming the important thing," Seavor explains. "You're caring about this character. There are added elements which make it quite like a virtual pet game, a nurture game — you've got this character you want to keep alive. Rather than you're controlling him to get from A to B, you're controlling everything else to make sure that he doesn't die. Within that framework, you've got your traditional kind of gameplay — platforms that move, monsters that get out of the way, monsters which don't — but Rusty always has a relationship with you. You're the narrator. So in that way, it's like a God game — it's not strictly a God game, but it's got narration and this mysterious figure — which is you. I'm going to do some little twists and turns with the logic of the story, so there's a reason for the character to be there. It's not like Angry Birds or Jetpack Joyride — there's a reason this character is here. He just doesn't seem to know why."
There certainly feels like a sense of progression at work here; Gory Detail has dipped a toe into indie development and is clearly aiming for bigger things with this Wii U eShop release. "Chris has tried the '30 second game' with Parashoot Stan," says Pile, who worked with Seavor at Rare on Conker's Bad Fur Day. "Stan was the "sitting on the toilet" game," agrees Seavor. "You don't start out with your most ambitious game. We've done Stan and solved a load of problems, and set up a business. Now we're taking a step back and making something that we actually really want to make. " And when can we expect to see The Unlikely Legend of Rusty Pup? "We're looking at about a year and half turnaround," replies Seavor.
We're already counting down the days. You can follow Gory Detail on Twitter.