Review Fix chats with the team behind the Steam game, Moribund, Mike Papagathangelou (Game Designer), Alexander Panayiotou (Game Programmer) and Kate Mataraga (Game Programmer), who discuss the game’s creation, development and goals. Inspired by the Ouya and PlayStation 4 mega hit, Towerfall, Moribund is all about getting people to play together.
You are four friends. On a couch. You have four controllers. All you need is a post-apocalyptic excuse to duke it out. Only you never thought you’d love a fungi spewing gun that always leads to the same end result: glorious dismemberment. Moribund is a local multiplayer game that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where a highly aggressive fungus strain has devoured most of the life. The gameplay is fast paced and has an “easy to learn, hard to master” approach. Two to four players can play simultaneously.
Review Fix: How was this game born?
Mike Papagathangelou: Our inspiration for this game was initially Towerfall. We really liked this whole local competitive multiplayer thing going on and we decided to give it a go. The pillar of our game is “tension”, and the basic mechanic of the game where you immobilize an opponent before killing him (most of the time) is designed to create this exact thing: tension. After a few prototypes we had achieved what we wanted. Short moments of extreme tension that continuously add up and the releasing with player’s death along with laughter and cheers (or broken controllers). Initially we planned to add a single player campaign or bots but at some point we had to either make a good local multiplayer or a mediocre one with a mediocre single-player too. We hope we chose the correct one.
Review Fix: What was development like?
Alexander Panayiotou: Bumpier than expected as always. Tweaking controls took a lot of time. We expected the physics to be smoother too. But what’s good with these kind of projects is that you can prototype and iterate very fast. You can design everything again and again until you make it perfect and the process is usually fun (having a couple of friends over to help you playtest is a nice break)
Review Fix: Any fun stories or wild moments?
Kate Mataraga: Well gameplay can be hilarious at any given time, but there was a quite memorable moment. There was a local event, much like a game expo, and we had posted an open challenge on Facebook, inviting anyone brave enough to play vs our game-designer on 3 versus 1 team battle. And another game development team accepted the challenge. One of ours versus 3 of theirs. Whoever eliminated the other team 10 times would be the winner. And after a very long and loud battle the score ended 10 – 9 in their favor. Super tense, super fun. There’s a video of it on our Facebook by the way.
Review Fix: How does this game disrupt the game landscape?
Papagathangelou: We took an alternate approach on the design of the game. It’s much more unforgiving, and it is much more skill based than other “party games.” New players can still get along easily if the don’t storm on the hard levels, but there is quite some depth if you wanna take it a step further. Our art direction was also quite different. We went for more brutal and hardcore visuals, music and voice acting. We understand that the aesthetics might attract more ‘experienced gamers” rather than casual ones, and we designed the gameplay to support this, and vice versa.
Review Fix: Who will enjoy this game the most?
Panayiotou: Anyone who is competitive and has a few friends.
Review Fix: What are your goals for the game?
Papagathangelou: Every game developer just wants to see his game being played and enjoyed. The perfect thing would be for the game to be successful enough for us to make a sequel. We had so many ideas we couldn’t fit in this one.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Panayiotou: We would really like to further expand the game with more modes, levels and options. Right now we have some ideas on what to add but until we see how the people respond to it we will focus on the XboxOne port.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
To everyone out there who tries the game. CONTACT US. Tell us what you thought of the game. Engage with us in the steam forums and tell us what you would like us to improve.
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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