HBHUD: Word is that “DeathSpank” has been a long dreamt of project for Mr. Gilbert and as such I’m curious what the inspiration was for it?
Hothead: It all began as a bit of a spoof in an animated cartoon on Ron’s blog where he was just having fun creating this ridiculously over-the-top iconic character. He ended up really liking the character and pitched the idea as a game to us at Hothead, and it was exactly the type of game we wanted to make. It was a perfect fit, and we’ve turned it into an incredibly entertaining experience.
HBHUD: Ron Gilbert is one of the biggest names in the industry and has a long legacy of amazing games, what was it like to work with him and how did he respond to working in a console based focus rather than PC one.
Hothead: It was a great experience working with Ron, and we’re thankful we got the opportunity to do so. He helped pioneer adventure games in the late 80’s, and we were excited just to have him consulting with us when we were working on Penny Arcade: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. It was a very natural fit, and we learned a lot about making adventure games.
While Ron had never made a console game before, the staff at Hothead is comprised of veterans who have been making games for consoles for over a decade, so we were able to help him understand the differences between PC and console games quite clearly.
HBHUD: Obviously the writing in “DeathSpank” is one of its biggest points and it seems to focus a lot on parody, are there any particular comedic influences that impacted the game?
Hothead: There were no specific comedic influences, but we considered humor in all our decisions and let it come from anyone on the team. That’s why you can see it not just in the dialog, but in all aspects of the game. From what you’re killing to what you’re collecting, to whom you’re doing a quest for and why you’re doing it. We find that making funny games is a specialty of ours because of our history of comedic games such as Penny Arcade, Simpsons Hit & Run, Crash Bandicoot, and Ron with all the adventure games he’s made.
HBHUD: It’s easy to see there’s a lot of reverence among the parody of the traditional RPG games DeathSpank is based on, are there any classic themed easter eggs we should be looking out for?
Hothead: We HAD Easter eggs … really, we did but they were so delicious that we ate them all. Luckily, the entire game is a bit of an Easter egg and we’re very hopeful that a lot of people find it. Why aren’t you looking yet?
HBHUD: If there’s anything a good RPG should have it’s expansions, so I’m wondering are there any plans for any sort of additional content for “DeathSpank”?
Hothead: We have lots of exciting plans. Plans for world peace, plans for world domination, and even future plans for DeathSpank but we really aren’t ready to talk about them yet. But we would love lots of people to play the game and send us their feedback because we would love to give gamers more of what they want.
HBHUD: Now that you’re done with “DeathSpank” what’s next for Hothead studios, a return to the PAA:OTRSPOD series perhaps?
Hothead: Plans . . . lots of secret plans 🙂 Please stay tuned and don’t change the channel.
We’d like to extend a big thanks to Hothead games for taking the time to sit down and answer our questions. Just as a note all of our questions were answered by the lead designer over Hothead games, Mr. Darren Evenson.