Interview with Fun Bits

Hello everyone! The Media Managers recently got a chance to sit down and play Squids from Space. It’s an incredibly fast-paced, top down, team based shooter. Humans and Squids go head to head for the future of earth! The game has a really good and unique variety of weapons. It makes you look forward to seeing what will be announced and released next. So please enjoy the interview with Fun Bits!

How did the idea for Squids from Space come about?

“The SQUIDS FROM SPACE idea actually predates my time at Fun Bits! From what I’ve heard, what happened was that the folks who made Fat Princess were discussing ideas for their next multiplayer action game. During the discussion, one of the artists doodled an alien with a squid for a head, and when the others saw it they loved it! Apparently that was when the direction of the game shifted towards the “army soliers vs squid aliens” core concept. SQUIDS FROM SPACE was born!”

Can you tell us a little about the gameplay for those new to the game?

“SQUIDS FROM SPACE is a fast-paced, colorful, team-vs-team action game that you play from a top-down camera. You can join the Human team or the Squid team, with each team having its own completely unique set of weapons, abilities, and vehicles. The two teams fight for supremacy in the battle for Earth!

It’s pretty easy to just jump in as a new player and start shooting enemies, but if you’re more of a support player then instead of shooting enemies you can help your team gather resources from around the map to level up your team’s weaponry! In fact, teamwork is a huge component of SQUIDS FROM SPACE, and it’s usually the team that works together better that wins, rather than the team with the most individually-skilled players.”

What are some things coming up for Squids in Space?

“At the time of this writing, we’re about to release a HUGE new mechanic for the game: Mutators! Mutators allow the players to change or add a ton of different rules to the game, like randomized weapons, super fast movement, bullet time-style projectiles, permadeath… or even the much-anticipated Big Head Mode! Mutators let players take a break from the core game modes and play the exact style of game that they want to play. We’re super excited to see what players do with it — we had so much fun with it internally that we’re already planning on expanding the number of mutators available in the future!

Another upcoming addition to the game that we’re excited about is Leaderboards, which will be aimed towards our more competitive players. The plan is to have a monthly leaderboard as well as weekly leaderboards, with rewards for players who end the “season” in the top ranks! Leaderboards will be based on individual performance instead of on wins and losses, so you won’t feel like you get punished if you happen to join a team with newer players — if you play well and work together, you’ll still be able to make progress on your leaderboard score!

Lastly, we have two new maps in the works that we’re really excited about. Sunrise Heights takes place in a war-torn suburban neighborhood. There’s even a picturesque pond, with ducks! Also, a former resident of the neighborhood has… gone a bit off the deep end, and isn’t happy about the Squids OR the humans bringing the battle for Earth into Sunrise Heights!

Meanwhile, we also are developing a big-city map, where you can fight in the streets and alleyways… but also on top of the downtown skyscrapers, using Squid UFOs to hop from rooftop to rooftop! This map is still very early in development, but keep an eye out for it sometime next year!”

Do you have a favorite weapon in the game?

“I love the Magno-Blaster. Reflecting my enemies’ attacks back at them is SO satisfying for me — it requires good timing because the Magno-Blaster has a limited battery, so I really feel like I played well when I can take down an enemy with their own reflected RPG rocket!”

Did you have any interesting challenges while making the game?

“Oh yes. So many. Probably the most unexpected challenge for us was how to allow players to actually hit each other with attacks while everyone is moving around so quickly. SQUIDS FROM SPACE is extremely fast-paced, and players move super fast, especially while sprinting!

In fact, part of the core design of our combat was that a skilled player could dodge enemy attacks by juking around and using good movement. That idea sounds all well and good, but when we first started prototyping it out, we quickly discovered that it was really, really difficult to actually hit anyone! We ended up doing a lot of work adding predictive tracking to our weapons so that our combat felt balanced between offense and defense, and so that the player who used their resources — ammo clip vs sprint meter — more creatively would be the one to come out on top.”

Are there any other projects you’re working on or would like to work on?

SQUIDS is our primary focus right now, and while we have some ideas about what we want to make next, it’s probably bad luck to talk too much about any of them, haha. Game development is a weird business, and you never know what’s going to happen! If you like SQUIDS FROM SPACE though, make sure to stay tuned because we’d love to make more awesome games for our players to enjoy!

What advice would you give to those new to game development?

“The advice I always give to anyone looking to break into game development is — make your own games! There are so many great game-creation platforms out there, and so much information on how to do super creative things with them. If someone is looking at you as a potential hire, the most impressive thing you can have on your resume are completed game projects.

Not only that, but working on your own projects will teach you a LOT about game development that you just can’t really learn from a tutorial or a lecture, like how to keep your project’s scope reasonable, how to test and hunt down bugs in a useful way, or how to make an interface that players can intuit how to use naturally. It will probably be frustrating at first, but that’s how you know that you’re learning new skills! Start small, keep at it, put your games in front of other people to get honest feedback, and keep an open mind.”

Please go check out Squids in Space on Steam!

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