BY JORDAN GIBBONS
In most video games, defeating an enemy is the last you will ever see of them, but in Golden Ruby Games’ upcoming Extreme Exorcism, each enemy you take down will come back to haunt you.
The Manhattan-based team of Mike Christatos and Andy Wallace were at Indiecade East at the Musuem of the Moving Image in Astoria over the weekend to show off their latest game, which will be their first foray into the console market when it releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC later this year.
Early on in the development process, Christatos suggested making the enemies you kill in the game’s singleplayer and multiplayer modes become ghosts that mimic the exact movements you made in the previous round. As you progress through rounds of each room in a haunted house, more ghosts mirroring your previous movements appear on screen to contend with.
Within a few rounds, the game turns into a chaotic romp with bullets, fire and ghosts filling the screen while the player must dodge the area’s hazards at a frantic pace.
“We kind of wanted to play on the fact that we don’t want to reward the player for firing wildly in the single player,” Christatos said. “Every bullet you fire is something you have to worry about.”
Wallace was not exactly on board with the ghost idea when it was first brought up.
“That’s a terrible idea,” he said.
Wallace eventually came around and the game mechanic ended up being the crux of the game and the intriguing element that makes their product stand out from other arena combat games that inspired it, such as Super Smash Bros., Towerfall and Samurai Gunn.
The haunted house setting for the game stemmed from Wallace, who wanted to have a haunted house level in their previous game, but when it did not work out they decided to work it into their new game. It resulted in being the setting for the entire game.
The setting also fit perfectly with their concept of using ghosts, which has been a staple of the racing game genre for years. After completing a race and attempting it again, an identical transparent version of your previous run appears on the track with you to serve as a gauge for your current attempt.
“Racing games already have this ghost idea that uses recordings,” Wallace said. “People were able to get on board with that metaphor a little more easily.”
Golden Ruby is working with a publisher, Ripstone, for the first time, which is helping them port the game to home consoles while the team works on quality assurance for each system.
“For us as developers, we’re just hammering away at that for the time being,” Christatos said and added a plea on behalf of independent game developers. “Buy indie games, support your local developers, so we can eat.”
Reach Jordan Gibbons at (718)357-7400, Ext. 123, firstname.lastname@example.org or @jgibbons2.