Q: So is this a rhythm game?
A: The player’s actions don’t have to happen to a specific rhythm. However, many elements are tied to musical rhythms so if you spot them, you can use that to your advantage. Many folks find the game easier when they can hear the music and certainly more enjoyable. It’s an integral part of the experience.
Q: Interactive audio…can I load my own music tracks into the game, then?
A: No, because the game isn’t driven by a single track. Instead, it’s multiple tracks and samples that are mixed together in real-time and effects are applied to them, depending on what happens in the game. If you’re interested in creating such a set of loops, samples and effects that work within the game’s framework, do hit me up, though, it might be cool to have guest sound sets!
Q: Are you working on this all by yourself?
A: Yes. Two friends have helped out occasionaly with marketing art (thanks Marc S. & Marc S.!).
Q: This could be cool on mobile, will you release it on those devices?
A: The plan is to bring MODSORK to PC and Mac first. Later on, I’d like to get it on any platforms that support a game controller. The Switch would be a perfect fit with it’s detachable controls that even match the colors. Touchscreen devices, on the other hand, are not a priority because it would require big changes to the gameplay for the game to work. But who knows…
Q: What game engine does MODSORK use?
A: The game is being made in Unity 5 (and some plugins). Originally I wanted to use a pure 2d engine, but the audio capabilities were limited there.
Q: What are the inspirations for MODSORK?
A: While playing Brothers: a Tale of two Sons I found there was great satisfaction in mastering its controls, once you got past the initial learning curve. I decided to make a game based purely on that control scheme and abstracted it into a Geometry Wars -like arcade arena.
I’ve always done some things with my left hand, others with my right (which is called cross-dominance). Maybe that’s why the underlying mechanics of Brothers resonated with me on a personal level (that game is great in many other respects, too). Super Hexagon is also an influence, though I really suck at that game. Last but not least, there’s some parallels to Surgeon Simulator in the sense that MODSORK, too, can make you feel clumsy in an amusing way.
Q: Is this game really about connecting people?
A: Well, graphics and mechanics are obviously rather abstract, so it can be about anything you want it to be…It’s like…a mirror to your soul! 😉
Seriously, though, MODSORK started out using the usual video game vocabulary of enemies and killing etc. Then I prepared a talk for Fantasy Basel about “Death in Video Games”. It really struck me how that metaphor is so ubiquitous, yet rarely actually has anything to do with the gameplay mechanics. I realized that in the case of MODSORK, using that vocabulary was really just a lazy (if convenient) fallback to a video games default. So reflecting about the game some more, I found this new interpretation of connecting people, energy hugs and making grumpy friends burst with joy…
Q: Yeah, alright, but what about the lasers?
A: Everything is better with lasers.