Interview: Screencheat – out now for PS4 and Xbox One!

Screencheating is something everyone does. “Not me!” you cry, faithful Player Attack reader, but deep down, you admit that you have gained something from peering onto the little square designated for your opponent and not you. You have become the thing you reject. But fear no more! The guys at Samurai Punk have come up with the perfect solution: A game where you can only Screencheat – and it’s out now for Xbox One and PS4!

We spoke to Nicholas McDonnell, Samurai Punk Director, about what the game is all about.

Player Attack: What inspired you to create Screencheat?
Samurai Punk: At the game jam where Screencheat was originally conceived we had aims to create split-screen cooperative games where players communicated information that only they had access to. But we ran into the design limitation of split-screen games where plays could skip the whole mechanic and just screencheat making the games intentions moot. So we came to the conclusion to take that flaw of our previous idea and turn it into the core of something completely different. Because of our history as kids playing Halo and GoldenEye it made sense to give the game the same feeling in play and just push the mechanic from there.

PA: You’ve had a pretty successful run at conventions around Australia over the last few years. In fact, I got to play the game at RTX in January. What’s the feedback you’re getting from players?
SP: We consistently get great feedback at events, I guess that has a lot to do with the game being so suited to being played in big noisy spaces with groups of friends. For example at PAX South we decided to get an inflatable couch for our both and people really responded to being able to sit down and relax with their friends which is exactly the kind of atmosphere we’re trying to get across.

PA: When you look back now, and think about the awards and really positive reviews you’ve received, did you anticipate that your game would be as popular as it’s become?
SP: I don’t think we knew it would get as big as it has. I mean we’re not particularly well off and we still barely pay ourselves but it’s enabled us to get the game onto console and start working on a new title so that’s huge for any new studio in this industry.

PA: What’s your favourite weapon in the game? There’s a variety of things you can kill you friends with. (I think the piƱata looks the most entertaining.)
SP: I really like the wall_Hacker, mostly because it in itself is a dumb joke about shooter culture and hacking. Also it just happens to be really fun to shoot people through multiple walls because you’re that good at Screencheating and know where they are.

Screencheat in action

Screencheat in action

PA: The last few years have been hard on Australian developers. How do you think the Australian games industry is going, and where do you think it’ll be in 5 years?
SP: I can’t speak about where the industry came from as I just haven’t been around for that long but it seems to be growing everyday around here. There’s loads of small to medium sized studios popping up and staying up around here. Additionally spaces like The Arcade in Melbourne really help facilitate growth and foster the community side of development. Over the next couple of years I’d hope to see more medium to large studios form or grow out of what we have now as that’s essentially what’s missing in our development culture but whether that will happen I don’t know.

PA: Where should players direct their rage when your game destroys a few friendships?
SP: They can contact us directly at Samurai Punk on Twitter or Facebook, or through our website samuraipunk.com, but I do hope no one get injured or upset because of our game. If anything forcing everyone to cheat should settle arguments.

PA: What’s the future hold for you guys?
SP: Once we’re clear of Screencheat we’d like to start getting back into jamming as that’s how our studio formed and it’s been ages since we’ve worked on something small. But we’ll definitely back with something new in the future.

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