GDC 2013: Necrosoft reveals Gunhouse for PlayStation Mobile
Necrosoft CEO Brandon Sheffield revealed Gunhouse during the PlayStation Mobile panel at GDC today, whilst also discussing his forthcoming work with Streets Of Rage composer Motohiro Kawashima on Oh Deer! (pictured).
Sheffield first revealed Gunhouse, a title about a “house made of guns” that has to “defend some orphans from Alien Invaders.” The game has grown out of a Peter Molydeux tweet, which was then worked on at last year’s gamejam ‘What would Molydeux?’, which Sheffield helped organise.
The other game was the previously announced Oh Deer!, a title about “hitting as many or as few deer as possible in your Station Wagon.” Sheffield described it as “very inspired by Outrun” and features art from pixel artist Junkboy (also art developer at Mojang). The title is receiving music direction from Motohiro Kawashima, one of the composers of Streets of Rage 2 and 3 (with Yuzo Koshiro.)
“This is the first game [Kawashima] has worked on since 1993,” explained Sheffield. “It’s been twenty years for this guy, and he’s super excited and super involved. When I told him we couldn’t afford to pay him that much, he said, ‘Don’t worry about the money. I’m just happy to make music again.’”
This decision to seek out a largely-forgotten composer was clearly something Sheffield was passionate about, and he admitted was not without his problems, with Kawashima not speaking English and Sheffield relying on his limited Japanese.
“To send Kawashima a five line e-mail about his work takes me about half an hour,” Sheffield admitted.
Sheffield also described how he felt PlayStation Mobile was a better fit for his company’s games, with access to the Vita offering both button and touch controls. “With Oh Deer, which is a driving game, not a racing game, once I heard we could use buttons, I gave a cheer,” he said. “But with Gunhouse, you control the direction of guns but also grab puzzle pieces which you arrange into a shape inside of the house itself. That pretty much only works with touch, so we are going in both directions at once.”
He did however admit that PlayStation Mobile’s separation from the wider PlayStation Network (currently without access to leaderboards and trophies) were a problem. “I would love for us to be integrated, for us to have leaderboards,” he said.
Sheffield, originally a video game journalist who edited Game Developer Magazine for many years, first attempted to enter game development through triple-A channels, working as narrative director of cancelled Square Enix/Cavia title Catacombs.
“My experiences with triple-A game development ended in failure,” he added, “by comparison, with PlayStation Mobile I’m in control of my own destiny.”