Review Fix Exclusive: Inside ‘Genetic Disaster’

Review Fix chats with Benoit Gomez and Lionel Barranco, who discuss their upcoming game, “Genetic Disaster.” Detailing its creation, unique art style and old-school game mechanics, Gomez and Barranco let us know why it’ll bring back some awesome memories.

About Genetic Disaster:

Genetic Disaster is a “cooperative” rogue like for up to 4 players, with fun and gratifying gameplay wrapped around cartoony and super colorful cute graphics. You can play alone, with friends (who may not be your friends anymore at the end of the evening), on your couch or online but whatever happens, you will curse everyone ! Collect weapons, potions, share your life (or not) and upgrade your hero at each level to create your own style of play or to match that of your teammates. Therefore, cooperation constitutes the key element to victory, and at the same time very often will drive you to lose the game.

Review Fix: How was this game born?

Benoit Gomez: Most of us at Team8 are gamers and we used to play together even before funding the studio. So when it has come to design our first project it was obvious to us that it has to be a game we could play together made for the band of buddies

Review Fix: What was development like?

Lionel Barranco: Well as they say: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” The project was scheduled to last 12 months maximum and finally took 18 months, the team as shifted during development, finances went low forcing us to find new funding source while staying fully independent…It has been hard to come so far from a logistical point of view with sneaky bankers, paperwork enigmas and hidden traps. It was hard, for everyone.
And as soon the game is released and stable everyone is going to take some free time.

Review Fix: Any fun dev stories?

Gomez: Fun story like the game designer naming every enemy after the name of a crazy uncle or mother in law? No, absolutely not.

Review Fix: What makes this game special?

Barranco: The whole game has been built around cooperation, we actually developed the coop mode before the solo mode. That’s why Genetic Disaster is truly made to be played together. We developed an adaptive difficulty that scales depending on the number of players, not only a basic health’s scale. The game really changes.

Review Fix: What games influenced this one the most?

Gomez: I guess Enter the Gungeon is the most obvious one, but a lot of games including Broforce, Castle Crashers, Crash Bash and many others. At first, we wanted a coop rogue-lite, but the more we were working on it, the more we turned it into a Saturday evening action game, and so more and more game were influencing us to finally put together Genetic Disaster.

Review Fix: What inspired the art?

Barranco: The art team is from a specialization in concept art so they came up with something very neat, something that we are not used to seeing in a game even less in indie games. We really wanted to take our distances with the dark and pixel art cliché of indie games. Colorful, attractive and hand painted…yup that’s right, Rayman Legend is our main inspiration.

Review Fix: Why do you think gameplay from classics like Robotron 2084 and Smash TV has survived so long?

Gomez: If you ask me it’s because of two things: first, the nostalgy of old games. But also the hardcore difficulty and unbeatable challenge. Today most games are made to be beaten when “before” it was possible to beat them, and this change everything. It makes the player works hard to get his reward, instead of being drawn in achievement, skins and loot he barely deserves.

Review Fix: What’s your favorite memory as a gamer?

Barranco: There is a lot but the thing I love the most as a gamer is when you suddenly watch your clock and realize it’s the middle of the night, that you completely lost track of time because you were immersed into the game.

Review Fix: How does this game disrupt the video game landscape?

Gomez: Disrupting is a bit strong I have to admit; but the goal of Genetic Disaster is to mix several kinds of games to finally create a cooperative rogue-lite. Roguelike are for the most very hardcore and turn around solo mode. If it disrupts the video game somewhere it’s in showing that every kind of game can be open for a different audience: every rogue-like doesn’t have to be hard like in the ’80s or every STR doesn’t require mathematics degree. it’s only the way you choose to present the game to the players.

Review Fix: Who will enjoy this game the most?

Barranco: Definitely the group of friends. It’s a game meant to be played with your buddies where you play together but also have many opportunities to troll everyone. So it’s not about the age of the player, but more of who they are one for each other. Definitely the group of friends.

Review Fix: How do you want this game to be remembered?

Gomez: Honestly if the game is remembered, it will be enough for us! We would like Genetic Disaster to be remember as a game designed around and for coop and not another game with a multiplayer mode made in two weeks.

Review Fix: What are your goals for the game?

Barranco: We want it to please the audience. It seems obvious I know… the goal here is to sale enough game to allow us to go on consoles and work on updates. There is a lot of stuff we didn’t had time to put into the game and that we would love to integrate.

Review Fix: What’s next?

Gomez: As I said we want to go on console (XBoxOne and PS4) because Genetic Disaster really is a game to be played with friends on your couch, so for the next year it will be our main concern. Also free updates to maintain a community and exploit the concept of the game to it’s limit. Then, and only then, we will maybe work on something else.

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Patrick Hickey Jr.

Editor-in-Chief, Founder at Review Fix
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the upcoming book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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About Patrick Hickey Jr. 7037 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the upcoming book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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