Dogfight - Walking Platform Concept Art
Co-Optimus: What kind of options does the game have to make things harder or easier for players? I like shoot ‘em ups in general, but bullet hell games are often too tough for my taste.
Anthony: It sounds like we have similar tastes when it comes to shoot ‘em ups. We know that bullet hells are a popular subgenre with some incredible titles, but we wanted to go a little more casual and accessible with Dogfight. If there’s a choice between fun and challenge, we’ll lean more to the fun side of things.
With that said, we do have options so that you can really dial up the difficulty. On the Atomic setting, a single bullet will zap all your health, and they come faster and more plentifully. You can also turn the speedrun setting up to the max, so as you score consecutive hits on enemies the game will speed up, requiring quicker reflexes. You can set the number of lives down to 1. You can choose more challenging weapons in your loadout. There’s all sorts of knobs you can turn.
Likewise, on the other side of the equation you can easily scale down the difficulty, give yourself more lives, etc. We think the default settings provide a great balance, but it all comes down to what kind of play is going to be fun for you. \
Co-Optimus: Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story features 4-player local co-op, a feature we’re quite fond of. Can you tell us about the pilots and aircraft the team gets to choose from?
Sure thing. You can choose between four pilots, both veterans from the Sausage Wars and young new recruits to the Sausage Bomber corps. It was fun to give our pilots from the original Sausage Bomber a bit of a back story and add two more pilots to the roster. Each pilot comes with their own plane, and each plane has slightly different stats under the hood, though we never tell you exactly what these are, so you’ll have to try them out for yourself. Each plane was inspired by an existing fighter-bomber of old; we’re curious how many players will recognize the originals.
Dogfight - Pilot and Mechanic Concept Art
Co-Optimus: In co-op games, if a player runs out of lives, when do they get to come back?
Anthony: If a player runs out of lives, they get to jump back in on the next mission. Initially, we tried having a pool of lives that all players shared, but that got confusing in the heat of battle, so we went with this more traditional, arcade-familiar approach. The difficulty settings allow you to give players more lives per mission, so if you want to make sure everybody gets to stay in the game the whole time, you can always bump that number up.
We also have a fun keep-alive mechanic, where if your plane gets shot down you aren't going to lose that life immediately. You can button mash to fill up a repair meter while your plane is falling. If you fill the meter before you hit the ground, you're back in the fight without loss of a life!
Co-Optimus: I was pleased to see that Dogfight is Steam Deck compatible. Did you have to do any Steam Deck-specific optimization, or did the game work well right off the bat?
Anthony: The Steam Deck has unique dimensions for its display, so we needed to tweak the UI a bit in order for everything to fit properly, but otherwise we were really happy with how well the game worked right off the bat.
Steam also provides Remote Play, so if you can't get your buddies over to play on the same couch, you can still co-op together.
Co-Optimus: Finally, is there anything you’re proud of about Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story that we haven’t already touched on?
Anthony: We keep coming back to the notion of having fun and getting people to laugh. We want you to sit down and have a good time for an afternoon, maybe with some friends or family. It's a good feeling to see people doing just that. I especially love seeing parents play the game with their kids.
We hope the whole family will enjoy the game and have a laugh at this absurd yet believable world we created.
Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story costs $17.99 on Xbox Series S|X, PlayStation, Switch, and Steam, and $14.99 on Epic. We'll have a full co-op review soon!