Eat Them! Developer Diary: Controls

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‘Sup? I’m called James Parker, I’m a designer here at FluffyLogic and I’m working on Eat Them!, which Ana has been telling you about recently, and I’m here to say a few more extra in-depthy words about how making a game like Eat Them! actually happens on a day to day basis. Today – CONTROLS!

Eat Them!

A game can have the greatest technology in the world, the most incredible art assets, and USPs that would have marketing people salivating into their espressos, but if the controls feel wrong – if the player isn’t properly connected with the game – then everything else will be wasted.

One of the first things you do when designing any game is download a picture of the DUALSHOCK 3, cribbed from Google images, fire up your favorite drawing package, and put little lines all over it connecting buttons to boxes that describe their functions. At this stage, as an experienced designer, you make an educated guess at what’s going to work for your game. The reality is, until you get the game on the Test Kit, the controller in your hands and you actually try the thing, you may as well have been drawing a moustache on the Mona Lisa.

Eat Them!

Because customisation is a big factor in Eat Them!, each monster’s capabilities are going to be slightly different – and with four possible weapon positions on each monster, as well as kicks, grabs, jumps, and stomps – mapping all the controls, and all the while keeping things simple and intuitive, is quite challenging. Those things, however, are easily tested and changed, tweaked to accommodate new functionality and swapped to satify people whose fingers are the wrong way round – that’s the 80%.

The more dificult thing to get right is the 20%, that ever nebulous factor of whether the controls “feel” right. And that’s more than just where you hands sit – it’s how fast the camera rotates, it’s the timing of the build up to a punch, it’s the relationship between the press of the button and the action happening on-screen.

Eat Them!

No one wants to play a game where they feel they are out of control, and the very best games make you feel you are being more than just a player sitting on the sofa mashing buttons; they put you in the shoes of a pro skateboarder, or a cage fighter, or a superhero… or in our case an ultra-destructive five storey monster.

We’re getting there – we’re now at the stage where it’s almost impossible not to indulge in a spot of destruction when loading up a level, even if you were just there to check the latest exports. It feels good to simply tool around smashing things and eating people, even without the rest of the game content layer in. That’s a very good sign that things are going in the right direction. But we will continue to refine and polish and tweak to ensure that it feels even better before release. You don’t see Godzilla struggling to unleash his atomic breath, so why should the player?

Anyhow these are the current controls for the game – let us know any thoughts:

Eat Them! Developer Diary: Controls

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2 Author Replies

  • Looks great! Has a release date been mentioned yet?

  • Why it isnt a SONY controller?

  • Controls look good, seem to make sense.
    Any news on a demo and release date yet?

  • looks AMAZING!
    really hope the game’s as good as the art :)

  • when is it out??? looks very cool!! has a comic feel to it!!

  • Still looks awesome.

    Keep up the work, I want this bought.

    Also, a day one PS+ member discount would be awesome…it’s a huge reason to why I’m able to buy Dead Nation day 1 (damn you holiday shopping!)

  • Growing up I use to love playing movie monsters (Epyx), R.A.D. (Square), War of the Monsters (Incognito) and Crush Crumble and Chomp (Epyx). Big time giant monster fan and I am really looking forward to this game. Demo and release date has been asked so how about plans for additional DL content or known monsters addons?

  • It looks so rad! Like GTA: Chinatown Wars come to life.

  • Wow, this is TOTALLY “War of the Monsters” on PS3, will cell-shaded graphics.

    Not that that’s in any way a BAD thing, mind you. ‘Cause War of the Monsters on PS2 was one of the most fun games I’ve ever played (and played, and played :-))

    But I must say the resemblance to War of the Monsters is uncanny. The ‘slightly above the monster’s height’ camera angle, the gameplay elements of destroying buildings and picking up cars and debris to throw around. Even the city maps themselves seem to be pulled directly from WoTM.

    But I’m not complaining. Really! So this is “Son of War of the Monsters” or “Bride of War of the Monsters”. Whatever! Just keep the pick-up-and-play FUN factor of the original and I’m sold!!

  • R.A.D. (Robot Alchemic Drive) or Robot Dandy as its known in japan i think was a really interesting fun game! and this one looks awesome also!

  • I dig the style of design. The controls look good enough. When can we play it.

  • Controls look perfect. Nobody will be stomping, kicking, or jumping at the same time. Sounds good to me.

  • @Gtagentlemen

    Companies don’t have the Sony logo on thier in-game controllers because Sony owns the patent therefore only Sony can display a controller of that type with the Sony name on it.

  • A release date would be good to see … this looks like something I want to have.

  • why not just add fully customizable controls? Anyway, I would keep L1 and R1, but make R2= Kick, L2 = Stomp, triangle for head weapon, circle for back weapon, square to grab and x to jump. the shoulders buttons are basically like your hands and feet. Triangle is the top of your body = head, then circle is back then you jump with your feet which is X. Just layout everything like the way the body is. Of course I have never played the game, so if the game require analog aim for the weapons attack than the whole thing would be different.

  • War of the Monsters was one of the best most fun games to ever grace the PS2 so I can not wait for this game!!! Though I would love to see a proper sequel to the game with beautiful graphics and effects that can only be done on the PS3!!!

  • I suppose there’s no chance the cell-shading could be optional, right :-D

    I agree with StECnet above that it would be great to have traditional full textured graphics in this “War of the Monsters Sequel” -ahem- “Original IP” ;-)

    Speaking of that ‘other’ game, I notice you don’t have a “taunt” button mapped yet. Something to think about?

    Thanks for working to bring us this game. It looks awesome so far!

  • War Of The Monsters!!! can’t wait to play this remake!

  • Personally, I think it would make more sense if Triangle and R2 were swapped…Im loving the concept of the game btw :)

  • The game looks great. I will keep an eye on this one and the controls sense to me as well.

  • Hi Guys, thanks for all the kind words. There’s another couple of developer diaries to come and hopefully we’ll be able to announce details of release dates quite soon.

  • Poor “Select” button… No task for it?!?!?!?!?

    What about giving it the task a “Select”ing a song to play from your own collection during some sort of super move… This way peoples tunes that get them charged up for a super stomp can give them the extra connected feel when they hit the button for madness to begin!!!

  • Hey F-Minus, and other fans of the Select button (who knew?). In the short time between writing the diary and now, you’ll be pleased to know that the Select button now has a function.

    It can be used to show your current mission objectives, in case you’ve forgotton what you’re meant to be doing, in the excitement of throwing a fire engine at a helicopter.

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