It’s been a year and change since we released the (Critically acclaimed?) modernist Cold War cyberpunk game, Jazzpunk. We’re now pleased-as-punch to announce that we’ve been working on bringing this surreal experience to PS4! But we didn’t want to stop at doing a simple port of the game, so we’ve been grinding away on new content and modes that will be exclusive to the PS4 version.
“So what the heck is Jazzpunk?” I hear many (Most?) of you asking. That’s a tough one! But I’ll tell you what I know: Jazzpunk is the result of five years of careful laughromancy and studious application of the joke sciences.
Jazzpunk is largely an exploration/adventure game, but with a heavy focus on absurdist and surreal humor and a sleek mid-century modern aesthetic. We spent a lot of time creating a lush 1960’s world, then tried to stuff it like a pizza crust with as much joke-cheese as possible. I’ve been told the results are gooey and delicious.
A little bit of history on us and the project: we’re Necrophone Games, a little two-person company from Toronto, Canada. Jazzpunk began as a little side project that the co-founder of Necrophone Games, Jess Brouse, and I began around 2007. Mostly it was a hobby project, something we could work on in our spare time for fun as we’d been building a lot of small games and prototypes at the time.
Originally I had wanted to make a sort of straight-faced puzzle game set in a stylized cold-war setting. As development continued over the months and years, we had thrown in little gags and easter-eggs, mostly for our own amusement, but at its core the game was still fairly dry in regards to its puzzles and mission structure. Eventually we hit a make-or-break point where we reassessed the whole game and determined that our favorite sections to make and to play, were indeed the gags, the jokes, the comedy segments.
We decided to take the plunge into changing the genre of Jazzpunk from something like a typical “first-person puzzle” game to a comedy, which at the time was, and in many ways still is, a stigmatized genre in the video games universe. There were very few examples of comedy in games actually working at the time. The remaining portion of development went into redoing almost the entire game to fit this newfound idea of humor as the driving force behind the gameplay and exploration. It was an experiment that paid off in guffaws, knee-slaps, and chortles; it earned us an IGF Grand Prize nomination.
So for those of you that have played Jazzpunk before, I hear you asking “What’s the new stuff?!” In Jazzpunk, one of the minigames we included was a full-on parody of multiplayer old school deathmatch games like Unreal Tournament, Goldeneye, and Quake 3 Arena called Wedding Qake. Since release, one of the most requested features from fans was the expansion of this “Wedding Qake” minigame into a proper multiplayer mode. We’re pretty jazzed to announce that we will be unveiling a classic “four-player splitscreen” multiplayer mode into Wedding Qake, featuring unlockable characters, new levels, and fresh implements of devastating MATRIMONY.
In addition to this, we will be adding some new content to the single-player game, but I don’t want to give too much away about those just yet. Comedy thrives on the element of surprise, after all!
In short, we’re excited to bring this award-losing experience to PS4!
If you’re in San Francisco this weekend, stop by our booth (2171) at PlayStation Experience, especially if you want to be one of the first people on the planet to try our four-player split-screen Wedding Qake mode!
Feel free to hit us up with your questions in the comments below.