Launched on June 26 for a host of platforms, McPixel is one of the more interesting genre mash-ups we’ve seen in recent times. It packages LucasArts point and click dynamics inside 20 second Warioware-style vignettes, asking that you save McPixel from an impending explosion before the timer runs out.
Perform the wrong action and you’ll blow everyone to smithereens, but work out the correct solution and the bomb will be defused and you’ll live to point and click another day.
The metagame is clever too in that the series of scenarios loop till you’ve solved each one, allowing you to enjoy the game’s excellent jokes through failure before you find success. We’re a couple of weeks away from release but you can get the general idea by playing through some of the stages on the game’s official website here.
We caught up with the game’s brilliantly-named designer Sos Sosowski to find out a bit more about McPixel.
Hookshot Inc.: What’s your story?
Sos Sosowski: I’m from Poland and there are not many indies where I live. I have a degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, but I always loved making games. When I realised that working as a teacher wasn’t going to get me anywhere, I started looking for a programming job.
I began working on a social MMO that inevitably failed to become popular and had to look for another job. I applied to Frictional Games and as a part of the application process I got a task to solve and got to work with their engine. I used the money from this experience to develop my first indie game, Thelemite. It took me a month to develop and I managed to get Newgrounds sponsorship which ultimately convinced me to become full-time indie game developer.
Describe McPixel in 15 words or fewer.
One bomb. Twenty seconds. One McPiiiiixeeeeel! Whose balls will you kick? *KABOOOM*
What made you think: ‘I have to make this game’?
This game was originally made for Ludum Dare 21 competition. I was thinking mostly about a game that can be done in 48 hours. I recalled watching MacGruber Saturday Night Live sketches and that’s when it came to me. McPixel!
It’s sort of like WarioWare meets Monkey Island. Which is incredible. What is it that you love about those two games?
I love Monkey Island for evoking hard-thinking. It makes you think hard about solving riddles and such. And WarioWare on the contrary, forces you to act quick and mindlessly. When you combine these too and force the player to ‘think mindlessly, quick’ it’s only natural you get weirdest possible results!
Name one way in which being an indie developer is better than your previous job, and one way in which it’s worse.
I should probably say that getting steady income was good in my previous job, but I didn’t get that (my boss screwed me over), so yeah. Being indie is the best! I do what I love the best way I can!
How did you go about designing each vignette?
I nag people for ideas. It’s really hard to come up with anything that I haven’t done already at this point. then I just start drawing and creating funny outcomes for each action. I pretty much do it mindlessly and then look back at it and try to improve anything I don’t find amusing enough.
What is your favourite joke in the game?
Kicking butts! Running gags are the best gags. I love it when I see people playing and after n-th time they still try to interact with people in the game and the outcome is always the same.
What’s the dream? Where are you headed next?
My dream is that everyone will be enjoying McPixel 🙂 When this happens (or not) I promised free DLC to everyone and I will keep my promise making holiday and occasional levels for it. And when I’m done with all that… well, hard to say, but I will do my best to come up with something at least as cool 🙂
What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into independent game dev?
My advice is make games that you would love to play! Don’t make games that you think people would admire or buy. Just make cool games and most of all, have fun in the process. No one will have fun playing a game that you haven’t had fun making!