We recently sat down with Peter Williamson of Supersonic Software and talked about Wrecked Revenge Revisited.
We would like to thank Peter for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk with us about their game that released this week.
1.What is the day to day life at your studio like?
We start quite early – most people are in around 8am. It’s a small team, with most of us in an open-plan office. It’s pretty informal. We talk through the project informally, decide who is doing what and then get on with it! We have occasional formal design meetings too. Once a game is playable, we spend a lot of time playing and tweaking it.
We try to avoid late night crunches. A typical day ends for most of us around 5pm.
2.What’s your job title and what is the best/worst part about your job?
I guess it’s Managing Director, but we don’t really go in for titles here. I spend most of my time designing and coding our games. We have a great Office Manager who keeps much of the day to day running of the office out of my hair, so I can concentrate on our games.
Best part: doing what I love doing, creating games, coming up with ideas and following them through to finished products – very satisfying.
Worst part: it can be a long old slog from idea to finished game (with Wrecked it’s been the best part of 3 years since we first decided to go ahead). That can get you down sometimes.
3.Any weird or wacky people that you work with?
Most / all of us!
4.How did the idea for Wrecked RR come about?
We wrote most of the Micro Machines series, which were critically and commercially very successful. We then wrote Mashed, which has become a bit of a cult classic. We were (and are) getting more fan mail for Mashed than pretty much everything else we’ve done put together, so we thought it was time to take that kind of game onto the current generation of consoles. Having had a break from those sort of games for 2 or 3 years we were all fresh and excited about where we could go with that game-play all over again.
5.Could you describe Wrecked RR for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet?
2, 3 or 4 players all crowd around one TV screen. Each controls a car. A frantic battle commences, where the last car surviving wins. Players can bump and barge each other off precarious courses and can use a vast array of weapons to pound their opponents. It’s very frantic, very intense and lots of laughs. It’s also very social – in a genuine way, a group of friends getting together to have a great laugh.
6.How large is the team working on Wrecked RR and how long has it been in development?
I think we peaked at 11 people over the course of the project.
3 years from idea to publication, probably about 18 months of full-on development.
7.When you first set out to make the Wrecked RR did you envision it to turn out the way it did?
We had a very clear idea of what we wanted to achieve, so yes, I think it’s very close to what we had in mind.
8.Looking back on Wrecked RR now that it is closer to being released, what are the things that you are most proud of?
It’s genuinely lots and lots of fun. The end of a project can last quite a while – the game goes into testing, then format holder submission. With Wrecked that process has lasted about 6 months. During the main development we play it lots and lots. Over the last 2 or 3 months, we’ve largely moved on to our next project, so have been playing it less. Now it’s just about released, I’ve been playing it again with my kids – really for the first time in about 2 months and it still gives me a big smile. It’s a real laugh and loads of fun. I guess I’m most proud of the fact that my kids currently want to play Wrecked more than any other game in their collection. They really do – not just because I worked on the game!
9.Was there anything you were hoping to get into Wrecked RR that did not make it? Any chance you will try and get it in as DLC?
We had / have an ambitious plan for supporting the game via DLC. That’ll only be viable if it’s successful though… Mainly that is about new courses though. In terms of core game-play everything is in the core release and there are enough courses and weapon variations to keep players at it for years to come.
10.Can you give us some tips or strategies for Wrecked RR?
Different players play in very different ways. Personally I like to bump and barge and be as aggressive as possible. Sometimes that’s not the best tactic though. Waiting at the back of the pack and looking for an opportunity can work really well.
Try all the weapons, work out your favorite and set the game up to use that!
11.Now that Wrecked RR is close to being released, what’s next for Supersonic?
We’re mainly working on the Apple app store at the moment. We’ve got a massively exciting driving game coming out on that very shortly…
We also really want to bring Wrecked to PC. At the moment we’re trying to gauge what kind of demand there will be for that. If anyone would like to see the game, please email email@example.com with PC please! on the subject line…
12. Can you tell us anything that the future might hold for Wrecked RR?
DLC and PC hopefully! It would be great to think the game becomes really successful and we can really support it going forward.
13. What was it like going from your previous games like Micro Machines 2 and bringing the genre to current generation consoles with Wrecked RR? Was it an easier experience because you had worked on similar games before?
Definitely. We couldn’t have written Wrecked without all that experience. Wrecked / Mashed / Micro Machines are all deceptively simple games, but there’s a huge amount of subtlety in there and a very, very delicate balance to the game-play. Without both the experience of doing something similar before and the willingness to endlessly play-test and tweak the game-play we wouldn’t have ended up with Wrecked being nearly as much fun as it is.
14. Did you all come from game developer/designer backgrounds at Supersonic?
I’ve personally never had a job in any industry other than game design / game development. I’ve been doing this since I was 14. Some of the team have had more varied careers, but we’ve all been in games development for at least 10 years now, so there’s loads of experience.
15. 2011 was a big year for gaming what games do you play when not working on your own?
The big theme for me in 2011 was how much time I spent playing apps rather than traditional console games. Those kind of games tend to be more ‘snackable’, smaller and maybe more disposable. Rather than spending a year playing a handful of games intensely on console, I’ve probably played hundreds of games for a short while on iPhone. There are so many possibilities on those platforms…