Hello everybody! Recently we interviewed the Lead Developer over at Finite Reflection on their co-op twin-stick game Twin cop. So grab your quarters and let’s start this interview!
Could you tell us about your game Twin cop?
“TwinCop is a couch co-op game where both players control the same character! It’s a top-down twin-stick 80s-soaked absurdist tale of corporate conspiracy and homicidal pontoon boats.”
Why did you all decide to go with the 2 players one cop gimmick?
“We came up with the idea for the game at a game jam in 2017. The theme for the jam was “Waves”, and we interpreted it as “making a game where two players have to be on the same WAVElength”. We asked the question: what would the most cooperative game ever look like? Naturally the answer was a game where both players control the same character. We then came up with the aesthetic: absurd 80s cop action flicks in the same vein as RoboCop. It just felt fitting.”
What were your inspirations for the for the characters?
“The characters in the game are all based on some trope of 80s cop action movies. They are all hardened and tough “heroes” that want to defend “justice” even though they really don’t have a solid grasp of morality. The story and characters exist mostly as a parody of the cheesy and silly 80s-era action films.”
What was the hardest part of developing the game?
“The hardest part to design was balancing the co-op elements. We wanted the game to be fun to play with a friend but we didn’t want it to be challenging. Very few parts of the game ask you to be particularly dexterous (so long as you’ve played a twin-stick shooter before) and there are fairly few points where the game expects you to die and learn from your mistakes. The focus in TwinCop is FUN and LAUGHs.
The other aspect that made this game difficult to develop is that all 4 members working on this game have full time jobs and can only work on it when we come home at night. The small advantage this gave us is that we are not financially dependent upon the success of this game, however it certainly extended the development time of the game. I didn’t get half as much sleep as I wish I had the past 2 years I’ve spent working on this game, however I have gained a much greater appreciation for good time management.”
Do you all plan on making a second game or making dlc for twin cop?
“We are not opposed to making a sequel, but we are unlikely to make DLC. Over the past 2.5 years we have learned a lot about game development and with our current knowledge we would rather move forward onto more awesome projects than try and add more to a game we have already launched. We are already discussing how we can architect our games from the beginning to work better with plans for DLC in the future, something we didn’t do when starting TwinCop.”
Out of all boats why a Pontoon?
“To be honest, I’m not sure. We came up with that right at the very beginning and it just stuck with us. It sounded random, and made us chuckle when we said the inciting incident in the story was a terrible pontoon boat accident.”
What was your favorite part of the story?
“My favorite part is probably a very ambitious and experimental section I included near the end where the two players are allowed to talk to each other with little to no direction in-game. It was an idea I had near the end of development that I couldn’t get out of my head, and based on watching some folks stream the game I think it was a good idea.”
How did you get into game development?
“I got into making games in middle school, back when Flash games were all the rage. I wanted to make my own flash games so I started teaching myself how. I never managed to finish any games during middle school or high school, but when I arrived at college I met my current business partners and discovered its a lot more fun to make games with friends. Its also a lot easier to finish a game when you have a support network to help you out.”
Do you have any future projects you all are currently working on?
“We have already started prototyping some of our ideas for next projects, and we are looking into doing some contract jobs to acquire funding for our next project. At the moment we are still trying to finish porting TwinCop to consoles (PS4 and XBOX), so once that is done it will be easier for us to dedicate more time towards future projects.”
What is something you would like to tell other game Devs who are just now starting out?
“If you’re just getting into making games my primary advice is to FINISH GAMES. You do learn a little from making prototypes and small projects, but you will learn the most from taking a game idea and completing it. You don’t have to release it on Steam or consoles, you could just upload it to itch.io for free. Just finish the game: add in a main menu, add credits, add all the tiny touches you want to be able to give it to someone else to play without requiring your presence to explain it. Becoming a better game designer/developer is no different than becoming a better athlete: it requires practice and training. Making a prototype is like going for a short jog every other week, but finishing a game is akin to training for and running a marathon. You will learn more than you will anticipate.”
Hopefully you all enjoyed the interview! Please go check out Twin Cop on the Steam store!