Mar 30

Guacamelee! Interview with Chris McQuinn of Drinkbox Studios


Guacamelee, for those who haven’t heard of the game, is an upcoming “Metroidvania brawler” for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita. We recently asked Chris McQuinn at Drinkbox Studios a few questions about this stunning game.

Travis Blair: So much is packed into just the description of the game, which I graciously lifted from you guys! Could you tell me what the experience has been like developing Guacamelee? Was it all on paper from the start, or was anything thrown into the mix during development?

Chris McQuinn: The process is really a combination of both those ideas. We like to produce mock gameplay videos and concept art just to see how a game could play out, and then we start to do mini-prototypes. Guacamelee! really went this way, and was constantly iterated on as we realized we’d need feature X, or feature Y.

Travis: What sparked the idea for a Mexican-themed game starring not one, but two luchador wrestlers?

Chris: The theme of the game originated from our animator Augusto. He tabled the idea during one of our game brainstorming sessions. At first the entire team wasn’t sure, but once seeing concept art, and discovering the rich amount of Mexican folklore to draw upon, we know it was a perfect theme.

Travis: Speaking of two wrestlers, could you explain the multiplayer? Is this a game best suited for those with a tag team partner? Any chance players can play as the female character in the main game?

Chris: The game really works well co-op, but also excels in single player. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. The 2nd player can drop in or out during the main campaign – her name is Tostata – and she essentially is Juan’s spiritual guide. Juan is of course the main character. And yes, if a player wants, they can play Tostata as the main character although the story has been designed for Juan.

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Travis: When I hear a game being compared to Metroid or Castlevania, I think of exploration and improving your character. Is there much to discover in the game, both in terms of hidden places and powerups? A fancy new mask for the wrestling protagonist, perhaps?

Chris: There is both exploration and character improvement. Throughout the game the player will gain new super power moves that not only make combat more exciting, but allow the player to access areas they had encountered earlier but were not able to access. As for the mask – well – a luchador keeps their mask for life usually. :)

Travis: The game will be available on both the PS3 and the PS Vita. Does it take advantage of any cross-game capabilities?

Chris: Guacamelee! will have cross-save and cross-play. Essentially one will be able to use their PSVita as a controller when playing on the PS3, and of course, could play the game independently on the PSVita.

Travis: Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions! When can we expect Guacamelee?

Chris: Guacamelee! will be coming out on April 9th in North America (so soon!) and April 10th in Europe. Thanks for chatting!