I admire a woman ballsy enough to name her daughter 'Gonorrhea' 11 Jan, 2010, 20:27 / 1 comments

Ron Gilbert's new game DeathSpank is "very close" to completion, which (hopefully) means it's also very close to getting released. In celebration, here are some details and trivia that have accumulated since PAX. These aren't new, exclusive revelations - you can get most of it from this PAX demo, whilst simultaneously enjoying the music of composer Jeff Tymoschuk. If you prefer your lavish game details in the form of text, though, simply click on the universally-accepted button for lavish game details in the form of text, the "Read More" link; but, do beware of spoilers.<:MORENEWS:>

The first important thing to know is that, in the videos, enemies are stopping themselves from attacking Deathspank because their aggro status is off - in Ron's words, "It's easier to capture footage when monsters aren't doing things you don't expect."

The story at the beginning of the game is simple: Deathspank's sword has been broken, and he needs another one. The person to go to is Eubrick the Retired (Formerly Eubrick the Bitter...), a retired adventurer, who will lend Deathspank his sword Bessy if Spanky gets him a spicy taco ("I want a tank! No, wait...a taco!"). Unfortunately, the only person willing to make a taco spicy enough for Eubrick refuses to make it, a result of a previous lawsuit. This is all related to Deathspank being out to rescue a bunch of orphans from the nefarious Lord Von Prong, who has trapped some orphans in a castle, and Sergeant Orq, the Orq (the q makes it "totally new and different") responsible for breaking Deathspank's sword. The Sergeant is hanging out at Camp Orqawanga, a summer camp for Orqs. This is worth mentioning because, as you see in the video, entering Orqawanga will make the sun slowly set (the same happens in at least one other video). All of this is somehow related to a place called Scurvyville - a town for pirates and home to the important Captain Taint - and Cliche Island, which, in an unforeseen cliche, I mysteriously know nothing about. There's also the Demon Mines, which house some more of the orphans Deathspank is seeking, and the Sanctuary for the Wounded you can learn about by watching the video and jumping ahead to 06:50 minutes.

the game is usually pitched as a hybrid of adventure and RPG games. Little is known about that, though this Idle Thumbs podcast sheds a bit of light.
What we do know is that you can assign attacks the way you want to (the Xbox's A button to cleave, for example) and whenever you want, as well as dress Deathspank up in your choice of clothes and armor. This all relates to the puzzles. For instance: when in Scurvyville, dress as the pirates do. There's also a targeting system, and, as I'm sure many of you will be happy to know, zero loading time.

The developers are using a production methodology that lets them know if the game is fun or not and, if it's the latter, to quickly break down and make a new combat system over the course of a week. The game has been externally playtested and is now in the "tweaking stages".

Deathspank can die, though this isn't a game about punishing the player and, upon dying, the titular hero should be transported back in front of the last dancing outhouse he, uh, made a deposit at. How and if this will affect things like stats and weapons is unknown.

The art direction's notable for being a "forced roll perspective". The idea is based on a toilet paper roll. Imagine pulling out the paper, looking at it from a low angle, but seeing little 2D papercraft art popping up, very slowly and gradually. This allows the designers to have the exploration and rich feel of 3D graphics, while maintaining the look and charm of good 2D art. The cutscenes are being animated by Klei Entertainement, whose work you can check out in this trailer for their upcoming game Shank.

There you go. The interview I linked at the top of the newspost should give you more info, as should the podcast. I hope you enjoy.

1 Comment

  • black_sheep on 11 Jan, 2010, 22:29…
    Awesome, can't wait!