Adventures of Pip is approaching its halfway point in its Kickstarter campaign, which features Wii U as one of its base platforms. Instantly drawn in by the beautiful pixel-art visuals, Nintendo Enthusiast’s resident indie nut, Andy, wanted to find out more about the game, as well as help bring it to your attention. With Tic Toc Games’ Creative Director Marc Gomez and Senior Producer Cathy Camacho, find out the inspiration behind the graphical style, who they’re collaborating with on the soundtrack, a chance at heading to the 3DS, as well as the team’s plan, should they not receive the required funding.
Please make sure you check out the game’s Kickstarter page and get one of the few early bird special tiers, which are going for just $10!
NE: Who are Tic Toc Games? What were your favourite games and consoles as kids?
CATHY: I grew up playing the NES and classic text adventures games, like King’s Quest and all the other Sierra games on the PC. My favorite game of all time is Kid Icarus for NES, but currently, my favorite game is the Bioshock series. Is it safe to admit that I have a major game dev crush on Ken Levine? That man can do no wrong in my eyes.
MARC: Favorite console, N64. Ocarina of Time, Mario 64, and Goldeneye were groundbreaking to me.
NE: For the readers who haven’t heard of Tic Toc Games, what games have you created before starting Adventures of Pip?
CATHY: As a company, we have worked on games such as Panda Pop with the publisher SGN and worked on another original IP called Pug Run. Our main goal as a company is to develop experiences — not just a game. We want players to have fun with innovative gameplay mechanic and be engaged. As individuals, we all worked with some well-known companies — I came from Disney, Larry Kirschner, our CTO, from Nickelodeon, and Shereef Morse and Marc Gomez started their careers at WayForward. We all worked on some famous IPs at our respective companies, but we now want to create our own characters that people will fall in love with. We also hired some talented programmers and artists to fill the studio — they all have the passion and drive to create games with heart and rich storytelling.
NE: How long have you been developing Adventures of Pip?
MARC: It’s been a couple of years since the first design conception of the game, but we’ve been fully developing it for less than a year.
NE: How did you decide upon the games unique art style and is the storyline just as unique?
MARC: Coming from a very traditional pixel background, I wanted the look and feel of the classic pixel style but without the stiffness, especially with the lower resolution evolutions. The initial thought for the game came from wanting to develop a story around a single pixel, since I love and made many pixel titles. From there, it became a matter of how to approach this concept in a game design. The story is of a lowly pixel in a kingdom of high-resolution citizens. In this kingdom, your pixel count determines your worth and for Pip, he’s at the bottom of the barrel. Everything changes when an evil queen places a spell that absorbs all the pixels away from the kingdom, leaving all the citizens as single blocks. Only once everyone is equal can the true hero rise in Pip!
NE: What kind of variety can we expect and how does Pip absorb pixels?
MARC: Each world will provide several types of enemies and obstacles, all with difficulties that ramp over time. Enemies will grow in pixel count and become harder to take down. When the dark queen absorbed the pixels from the kingdom, she used them to build an army of evil creatures. Each time Pip smashes one of these creatures, he absorbs back the pixels that were taken. With these pixels, he grows arms and legs and gains new abilities that he never had before. Boss battles will be of the epic kind! Each boss will try to knock the pixels out of you but, at the same time, provide fodder for you to gain them back and utilize evolved strategies to find their weaknesses.
NE: Are there any plans to include a co-op mode or any multiplayer options?
CATHY: We have discussed co-op and possibly multiplayer mode during the early development stages of AoP. It is definitely an option we have considered. We can tie in some cool co-op mode similar to what’s found in Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, where players can pick up or de-evolve their friends to piss them off. Ha!
NE: After planning such a beautiful game, do you have any special plans for the game’s soundtrack?
CATHY: Yes! We are super excited to have Virt do the soundtrack for us.
MARC: Virt, aka Jake Kaufman, knows his bit tunes. He can make magic rainbows come out of his keyboard.
NE: Now, how about some exciting Wii U-only features for the game? Have you explored any of the options yet?
CATHY: We can totally do the obvious and have the second screen be the player’s overworld map, but that would sell the Wii U extremely short. It would be cool to utilize the stylus in some way — e.g., drawing a path that Pip follows, tapping a stylus to kill an enemy. All of this sounds out of the current scope of the development, but it’s all cool ideas. I’d love to also use the camera in some way. It just all depends on if we get the funding to build those features ino the game. What would you guys like to see?
This might seem a little crazy, but it would be great to have your Mii display somewhere alongside Pip or even be Pip, but again, I’m getting ahead of myself. Help us get funded first, so I can make all this awesomeness happen for you!
NE: Should you reach your base goal, when do you forsee the game releasing and for how much?
CATHY: Depending on how much is funded, we hope to release the game sometime between November and January. Trust me, we want to make sure that every cent we collect is used to making this game the best damn game ever. In stores, we plan on selling the game for $15 USD, but we still have 1000+ for $10 on Kickstarter as the “Early Bird Special” on the supported platform of your choice!
NE: Is there a certain tier you could recommend to readers of Nintendo Enthusiast?
CATHY: In the design phase, we had a whole slew of side quests for Pip to take part in and I was hoping to have myself immortalized in the game — I’d definitely be wanting to have a 16-bit version or 32-bit version of myself in the game and saying a catchphrase.
MARC: We structured the tiers so that everyone can get something cool and the most bang out of their buck. If you’re a student, you can get the “Early Bird Special” for $10. This gets you the game on a supported platform of your choice for a discounted price — of course, while supplies last! If you got the extra cash, you can splurge a bit and get the Platinum Edition to score all the physical prizes and, if you really got the pixels to spend, then you can get the $3000 tier, where you can party with the entire studio. We promise not to post any embarrassing pictures on Facebook or Twitter — okay, we might post one or two, but we won’t tag you. No promises, though!
NE: How did you find the path to becoming an approved Nintendo developer and any dealings since?
CATHY: They reached out to us after they saw our Kickstarter, so that was pretty cool! They have been extremely helpful with setting us up as a developer.
NE: What would happen if you didn’t meet your base goal and what do you plan on doing once development is complete?
CATHY: We all go in a deep dark cave of depression for a week, then reemerge to try again! We’ll never give up on this title. This is a game we truly believe in and, even if it doesn’t fund, we’ll find a way to release it, even if it requires a little bit more time and other means of funds. This is the little pixel that could and it will see the light of day! I am a huge Nintendo 3DS fan — I would love to see this game released on the 3DS, as I think it would be the perfect game to play. It is definitely not out of the cards for this project; with enough funding, it can be a future release and then, I can see my Mii wearing exclusive Adventures of Pip clothing or accessories!