THUMPER combines classic rhythm-action with breakneck speed and brutal physicality. You are a space beetle screaming towards confrontation with an insane giant head from the future. The game really turned some heads at this years EGX, so we hooked up with Marc from Drool to give us the latest news on this upcoming 2016 release.
Can you give us a talk through about THUMPER and what the game is about?
Thumper is a rhythm violence game. You are a high-speed space beetle cruising through a psychedelic landscape. There are many rhythmically arranged obstacles and enemies designed to kill you.
THUMPER received some excellent feedback from the game’s recent showing at EGX in the UK; this must have been exciting to hear?
Definitely! Even though we weren’t able to attend EGX and Thumper was shown in a rather nondescript location in the Leftfield Collection, we received lots of positive vibes from players via e-mail and Twitter. It’s a great source of motivation as we near the final stretch of Thumper’s long development.
Drool has an extensive background in creating music games; can you tell us more about this and how has this shaped creating THUMPER?
Both Brian and I started our game dev careers at Harmonix, a Boston-based developer renowned for its music games. It’s a great company and we both learned a lot about the art and craft of game making there. Thumper is a reflection of our taste in games and art. It’s not really a response to or reflection of Harmonix’ games. More than anything, we want Thumper to be something unique.
Does the band Lightning Bolt (your partner Brian Gibson’s band) supply all the music in the game and has he written tracks especially?
Brian makes all the music for Thumper himself and it’s done by him individually, not by Lightning Bolt. I think Thumper and Lightning Bolt share some common artistic threads, but they are separate projects.
How many levels can we expect and how long does each one last?
We’re still figuring that out. The main “campaign” will be at least ten levels or so, perhaps more. Each level will probably take 20 to 40 minutes to play through the first time.
How does the game progress gameplay-wise as you beat the first boss, Crakhed?
The first level is almost like a tutorial. It’s an introduction to the basic mechanics. As the game progresses, new levels will introduce new mechanics and variation. We want the game to feel like an adventure of rising intensity, challenge, and surprise. You can also expect to see more of Crakhed in the later levels.
Does the game have a Platinum trophy and how difficult is it to win all the trophies?
We haven’t started implementing trophies yet so I’m not sure about the difficulty. It’s usually best to wait until a game is almost finished and then consider how you can use trophies to incentivize and reward the players who care about them. I don’t see any reason not to include a Platinum trophy!
Creating a game to stimulate all the senses all at the same time must be a challenge; how far are you to having everything wrapped up?
Our development process is very informal and iterative, so it’s basically “when it’s done.” But we’re committed to releasing the game in 2016 and we’re getting pretty close.
Would you consider making a PS Vita version of the game?
Sure! But as a two person team, we’re overwhelmed finishing our debut PS4 and PC versions. Once those are finished, we’ll consider every platform and do whatever makes the most sense.
Which games would you like THUMPER to be spoken about in the same breath?
So many games have influenced Thumper in many ways. The list includes Mario Kart, F-Zero, Wind Waker, and the work of Platinum Games. Of course being mentioned alongside any of those would be a real honor.
DROOL LLC is a game company founded by industry veterans Brian Gibson and Marc Flury. Brian and Marc have worked on multi-million selling franchises including Rock Band, Guitar Hero, and Dance Central.
Many thanks to Marc for taking time out to speak to us. We’ll be bringing more news and updates as soon as we get them. Stay tuned!
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