Interview With Joe Mirabello
We recently came across a game titled MOTHERGUNSHIP that was launched on 17th July, 2018 on Steam platform and got in touch with the developer of this interesting game.
Interview With MOTHERGUNSHIP Steam Game Developer Joe Mirabello
Here is our interview with the developer of MOTHERGUNSHIP game where they talk about this game along with some interesting aspects of game development.
1. Tell us a bit about your game and what was it that inspired you to make this game?
Mothergunship is a fast-paced randomized FPS with a ridiculous crafting system unlike anything ever seen in an FPS before. We let the player build some really absurd guns and then throw them into chaotic, bullet-hell-ish firefights with hordes of robotic enemies. Co-developed by Grip Digital and Terrible Posture Games, Mothergunship actually started its life as Tower of Guns 2, a sequel to the 1994 game Terrible Posture Games made as an experimental project (which was then ported by Grip to consoles, which is where the relationship started). Along the way, we realized that Mothergunship needed a name and identity of its own.
2. Naming a game is almost always one of the most difficult tasks since that’s what people identify with. Was this name the first choice for the name? If not then what were some other options you were looking at?
Mothergunship has had a number of names during its development. It started as Tower of Guns 2, because that’s how the project began its life. Then we went through a period with a temporary name that we discovered had a trademark conflict, and then finally had a series of meetings to come up with a dozen candidates, then voted on them all, did some polling, some focus testing on the names, and finally narrowed in on Mothergunship. In hindsight, we should have known that would be the winner; even when the name was suggested, we all laughed. That’s a good sign right there, as it perfectly captured the tone of the game we were going for.
3. What sort of thought process went behind the artwork of this game?
We knew we wanted to make something that looked more contemporary than the Tower of Guns did…while at the same time, we also wanted to keep the art creation process as fast as possible. We also wanted to make sure that the process for the art in the game was easy for new artists to come on board with, and so it needed to be rigidly defined. To this end, we made a whole art bible detailing the process, which you can see here.
4. What was the major challenge in developing this game?
Every game dev process has challenges, but in my opinion, Mothergunship’s biggest challenge was the scattered nature of the team: Grip Digital has their offices in Prague, and Terrible Posture has most of its team in New England, but then there were developers in Germany, Alabama, Zlinn, with more partners in the UK and California. The logistics of keeping such a scattered team productive and moving forward were no small task…we got very skilled in communicating over Slack, Skype, and similar tools.
5. Any in-game secrets that could be easter eggs for players to discover?
Yup! Our favorite is the special missions that appear randomly as side missions. But we try our best not to talk about them too much.
6. Why do you consider Steam as a platform for your game and is there any other platform you look forward to getting your game onto?
Steam is pretty much the de-facto platform for PC gamers..so it’s a no brainer to be on it, but we’ve also been able to lean heavily on Steam’s community to help us build a communicate with our players and find out what future adjustments they would like. Additionally, Mothergunship is available on Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
7. How much time did it take to get this game developed and what can players expect in updates for this game?
We started development at the very end of 2015, so it took about two and a half years to complete the project. The project started as just me and a single developer from Grip though, collaborating together..and from there it grew ever larger and larger. We plan on supporting development with updates in features and content–in fact we have a major coop update coming out in just a couple weeks!
8. What are your future plans as a game developer?
First, get this coop update released. And then, perhaps a little rest for the team. They’ve been pushing hard. Then it’s on to the next patch and content update for Mothergunship!
9. How long have you been developing games and what is the most enjoyable aspect of game development according to you?
For me, the most enjoyable part is seeing when the systems begin to congeal together. There’s a long period in game development where disparate systems are not ready to be connected together..and when it finally does come together it can be magical.
10. Have you developed the game solo or you have a team working with you?
While Mothergunship’s predecessor (Tower of Guns) was developed mostly solo, Mothergunship’s team is quite large for an indie team. At the peak, we had 12-16 developers or so on the project, with many more spending part of their time on the project.
11. What are your personal favorite games?
Me personally? I grew up on classic FPS games; Doom, Dark Forces, Quake, Half-Life, Deus Ex, Thief…and most of these games had active mod communities. It was a good time to get into gaming. On consoles, I was in love with Metroidvanias and exploration heavy games like the various Zeldas. These days I lean heavy into roguelikes and roguelikes, as is probably evident from the roguelike nature of Tower of Guns and parts of Mothergunship.
12. Any message for our readers?
Please go try Mothergunship! We had fun making it, and you can pick it up here,
Follow our development on Twitter by following @mothergunship