Strategy Informer: How would you best describe the theme of Monster Madness? Are we looking at a homage to b-movies, or a gritty horror survival game?
South Peak Interactive: Monster Madness: Battle For Suburbia’s main theme is pure fun. You’re spot on with the homage to b-movies, though! We love those old films and we wanted Monster Madness to reflect that, so we’ve tried to inject as much affectionate humour as possible. There are sections that get quite dark, but the overall mood is pretty light. Fun is the primary goal. The style of gameplay is very much influenced by classic co-op games.
The comic book styling seems very prominent, and I heard a there might be an actual comic included. Is this a style you intended to achieve? Did you have any input during development from comic book writers and/or artists?
South Peak Interactive: We all love comic books, so we’ve used that format for our cut scenes. We’ve also put together an actual comic as part of our merchandise and publicity campaign. It fits the overall mood of the game perfectly. We wanted to do a tongue and cheek spoof on horror comics. So we partnered with Immersion Games and they came up with some great looking characters and cinematic cut scenes. It really brings the characters adventure to life.
Are you fans of the old arcade games like Gauntlet? Were there any old games in particular that provided inspiration?
South Peak Interactive: Oh totally. We really wanted to get the sense of frantic mayhem that Gauntlet had, but we’ve also injected a few influences from the likes of Smash TV, Powerstone and Double Dragon. Like all these games, Monster Madness is great in single player, but a total blast when playing with friends. Gameplay wise, we’ve got a few modern innovations. There’s a wide range of custom weapons, which the player has to build by collecting components around the levels and exchanging at the in-game ‘shop’. Also, the enemy structure is pretty deep. Including bosses, we’ve got 70 different monster types, each one with their own strategies and techniques.
The co-op is in Monster Madness is fairly straightforward. You simply team up to fight off the evil hordes. The game lets players drop in and out at any time. We’ve made sure the game balances dynamically as more people join in. The number of enemies will increase and they’ll change their tactics. There are also certain combinations of weapons that work well in co-op. Area-effecting and narrow-field weapons, for example. You can soften up a group of enemies with one and your pal can finish them off one-by-one with another.
Naturally, the combat system is a major part of this style of game’s appeal. How will it work, and what’s extra special about Monster Madness’ system that differentiates it from similar games? Can we expect weapons and vehicles?
South Peak Interactive: We’ve gone for a FPS control method, which allows for real mastery of your character and pinpoint aiming. This is used for both ranged weapons and melee attacks – each character comes with a signature weapon and a special move associated with it, but they can pick up just about anything and fight with it if they wish. However, if you stick with you’re character’s signature melee, you’ll be able to use a special charge-up attack which not only look amazing cool, but also does significantly more damage! A really cool aspect of the combat system is the custom weapon creation. Players can pick up components around the levels and then exchange them in return for a wide range of kickass weapons, all of which can be upgraded. There are Monster Madness versions of rocket launchers, grenade launchers, rail guns and miniguns, as well as more madcap weapons like a glue gun, a cellphone-based Taser and even a CD-launcher that flicks out compact discs as deadly as buzzsaw blades.
Finally, we’ve got the vehicles! We’ve included traditional things like Go-Karts, ATV’s and Hovercraft, but also a few more out-there machines like a Mech-Walker and a UFO. The vehicles are sometimes around as optional means of fending off the evil hordes, but some parts of the levels will require players to hop into vehicles. We’ve applied our co-op philosophy here, too. Nearly all the in-game vehicles will take multiple occupants, in the classic “I drive, you shoot” dynamic, which is obviously awesome fun.
What parts of Monster Madness are you particularly proud/fond of?
South Peak Interactive: We’re really proud with how the entire game has come together. When we switched to the Unreal 3 engine, it took just 11 months to re-write the game from the bottom up. Part of that is down to the U3 engine’s awesome tools and support, but also thanks to our team’s ability and commitment. As for the game itself, I’m really proud of the sense of deranged mayhem that Monster Madness regularly generates. On a more creative note, I’m also proud that we could pay homage to a few influences and also include a lot of 2D and comic-style art into the game.
Will there be any online elements to Monster Madness (online multiplayer, downloadable content, etc.)?
South Peak Interactive: Yes, of course! Online, we have a range of multiplayer modes, from traditional death matches and capture the flag modes to co-operative challenges such as Dojo Training, which is a co-op survival mode where up to four players have to battle successive waves of increasingly difficult enemies. As with all our online modes, player results will go into our Monster Madness leader boards. Our death match modes also allow players to get their hands on some of the game’s tastiest weapons and vehicles from the off, so again there’ll be a whole lot of mayhem going on! As for DLC, we have a few plans in the pipeline. You’ll have to watch this space for details…
The team behind Monster Madness are quite new to game development, being fresh out of university. Was it a rewarding experience for them? How steep was the learning curve?
South Peak Interactive: It was work of passion. Many people dream about making video games. Much of the team had gone to school with that dream mind. There was true sense of accomplishment to have a group of talent and like minded individuals brainstorm ideas and working as a team. We defiantly sleepless nights fuelled by energy drinks and candy. In the end we persevered through production obstacles and we look forward to working together on future games.
Are there any plans for a release on other formats, like the Wii, PS3 or DS?
South Peak Interactive: We’re working on other formats as we speak and I’m sure there’ll be announcements made soon. However, I doubt the DS will be able to handle the Unreal 3 graphics and Ageia physics that make Monster Madness work!
Please add anything else you’d like to say, or you’d like us to know about Monster Madness.
South Peak Interactive: You should check out Monster Madness if you are looking for a modernized throwback to top down shooters filled with action packed gameplay twist and exciting multiplayer environments.