PSM: This is Might & Delight’s very first release on the PlayStation Network. People who are not familiar with your studio, what have you been working on previous to Pid, and how big is your team?
Andreas Wangler: The team started out small in 2010 with the main part consisting of people having worked on Bionic Commando Rearmed released in 2008. Since then we have grown and at it’s largest the team consisted of fourteen people. A nice mixture of experienced AAA-game people but also a few from the indiescene.
PSM: How much of the time developing the game was spent on the concept and prototyping different mechanics?
Andreas Wangler: I would say that the first year was spent on perfecting the beammechanic and defining the artstyle of the game.
PSM: How did the gameplay mechanics evolve and were there ever alternatives you considered at some point?
Andreas Wangler: The game started out more focused on stealth gameplay. That itself pushed the development of the beammechanic. We wanted Kurt to have a way of moving past obstacles and enemies in smart ways. Before that we were playing around with other ways of controlling gravity but the beam soon hit the sweet spot for us.
PSM: How did your experiences from previous projects (like Bionic Commando: Rearmed) aid you in the development of Pid?
Andreas Wangler: It helped us in knowing what makes a good platform game, that without solid and tight mechanics you will never be able to make a good game.
PSM: The character design and environments are visually very unique and whimsical. Where did you find the inspiration and influences for the art and presentation?
Andreas Wangler: Our Art and Creative Director Jakob Tuchten has been influenced a lot by Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McCay and also played the game released for NES a lot. The game Little Big Adventure 2 is also a game that I believe was a big influence.
PSM: Pid is reminiscent of old school platformers. Items like the slingshot, bombs and keys bring back fond memories of games like Goonies II and Little Nemo on the NES. Are there any other attributes or mechanics that draw inspiration from retro games? For instance, what about game difficulty? Are there health bars? And how did you handle checkpoints in the game?
Andreas Wangler: I think Pid is a good example of a modern platform game with inspiration from retro games. We want to challenge the player as back in the old days but at the same time we have a very forgiving checkpoint system taken from modern games. We indeed have a healthbar and it can be extended throughout the game to compensate for the rising difficulty. Details like that you jump higher by holding the jumpbutton is also something that just had to be in there of course.
PSM: What was the reasoning behind portraying the protagonist as a young boy in the game?
Andreas Wangler: I believe it strenghtens the feelings we develop, as players of the game, towards the world we encounter through Kurts eyes. Experiencing the unknown planet through his eyes gives the game a new dimension that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.
PSM: Does Pid’s backstory explain how Kurt came into possession of the energy balls he uses to create gravity beams?
Andreas Wangler: Yes, it gets explained early in the game.
PSM: How long do you expect the campaign to last for an average player?
Andreas Wangler: 10-12 hours.
PSM: What was the reasoning when creating a separate Co-op campaign? Did it present any significant or unexpected gameplay challenges?
Andreas Wangler: The only huge difference is that each player gets one beam each instead of the two you originally have. The levels are all the same. But I think people will find that it’s a different kind of game when played with a friend.
PSM: Is the charming and jazzy trailer music indicative of the music in the game?
Andreas Wangler: The music in the trailer is composed by the swedish band Retro Family who also has made all the music for the game.
PSM: Do you have any plans for a PlayStation Vita version of the game?
Andreas Wangler: Not at the moment no.