Co-Optimus: One of the big features of the title, and I've heard you emphasize this point in another interview, is the multiplayer component; playing with (or against) friends is important. What's been your approach to making that side of things work? How do you balance a game (or not balance it) so that four friends on the same team are all having fun?
Michael: This is a great question. Multiplayer is the most important component of Mutant Football League. Here’s my philosophy on MFL multiplayer:
- You have to be able to load and get into the game fast. This can’t be a twenty minute technical ordeal to set up the game (like some other games I won’t mention). This is an arcade game. It shouldn’t take more than 2 minutes to start the game, pick teams and kickoff.
- It has to be fun. People have to laugh and scream while playing it. If Players aren’t laughing, screaming and yelling at each other, the game isn’t working.
- It has to be accessible for both highly skilled and newbie players (playing at the same time). The different teams have handicapping built in, so even the most novice players can still have fun and compete with their friends.
- It has to be fun and interesting to watch even if you’re not playing.
- It has to be a game of skill. Even though this is an arcade game, skill should win the day.
- And finally, the control needs to be simple enough that you can play this game when you’re severely inebriated. Seriously, it’s a party game!
Co-Optimus: For now, understandably, the main focus is to get a solid working game out the door with at least local co-op in the Exhibition mode, but there's the potential for online co-op in that mode and the Season mode. What's that hurdle (i.e., developing online capability and then integrating it into the game) look like for a small development team?
Michael: Hahah. It’s like looking up and seeing Mount Everest before you, looming high in the clouds and deciding, we’re going to climb this bitch…without oxygen masks! We’re either confident and fearless or really stupid (probably a little of both). We have local multiplayer working and gamers have been playing it at Game Shows. It works well and is really fun. Online multiplayer is the single biggest risk we have left in our development, but we’ve got really smart engineers working on it and and we’ve come this far. There is nothing to do at this point but believe and trust in our engineering team to pull this off. That being said, I’m only going to promise online multiplayer modes (including co-op) for Exhibition modes.
Co-Optimus: I know you've mentioned how much the community has been a part of helping to bring this game about. What's been some of the feedback you've received about the title thus far? Are there features that have been implemented or at least put down as a possibility based on what they've said?
Michael: We’ve had hundreds of fans of the original game play this game at shows like PAX West and GenCon and everyone who has played has given us a pat on the back and a big thumbs up. When I hear people laughing and screaming when playing, it confirms we are on the right track. Our goal is to deliver on the community’s expectations for what this game needs to be. This is their game. They’ve defined the direction, not me. Remember, I’m the guy who screwed everything up on our Kickstarter campaign.
Someone in the MFL community always comes up with a really clever mutant parody name for a player or a team. Between all the players, teams, plays, music, dialog, formations, stadiums, obstacles, and dirty tricks, this is a game that is open to unique and mutated ideas... and the MFL community jumps on it like a Blitzer on a Quarterback.
So if anyone reading this wants to be part of this just sign up to our MFL fanatics club on our website also feel free to like and contribute on our Facebook page and of course you can follow us on Twitter @MutantFootball.
And we’re coming to Steam Early Access this Halloween (last week in October) so look for us there and help us finish the game!
We'd like to thank Michael for taking the time to speak with us about Mutant Football League and answer our questions. Check for the game on Steam Early Access at the end of October.