GN: So you've done some arcade-style beat-'em-ups before. Is this going to be an extension of what you've done before?
Tom: The general style evolved from Dad 'n Me, a game Dan and I made after Alien Hominid. Dad 'n Me won the "Best Web Game" award at the Independent Games Festival this year.
GN: Yeah, DnM was good stuff. It was an interesting change of pace having to chase after helpless children in a beat-'em-up.
Tom: [Dad 'n Me] was the starting point, but what we have created is from the ground up. The levels are much more expansive - with hills, ledges, branching paths and ladders. The characters have a lot more moves, including projectiles and the ability to jump. The ability to jump opened up the potential for tons of crazy air combos, where you can hover above the ground while smacking enemies all over the place. You can also ride horses and other creatures. It's a big step beyond the basic brawler mechanics.
GN: So will this will be a thematic extention of Dad 'n Me the way Alien Hominid (console) was to the Newground prototype?
Tom: In a way you could say that, although it is a completely new set of characters. But the comparison is similar - Dad 'n Me is our web game, and now we are building something much more amazing from the ground up for consoles.
GN: I know the Alien Hominid flash game was never intended as a promotional tool, but it certainly ended up working as one. Did you create Dad 'n Me as a warm up for this or to generate buzz?
Tom: Neither, really. We created Dad 'n Me as a way to burn off steam after Alien Hominid. During the production of Alien Hominid, I made a commitment not to program any other games until we were done. That ended up taking more than a year, so I was dying to make something in Flash.
GN: I can imagine.
Tom: Dad 'n Me was basically us unleashing our pent up ideas on a playground full of kids.
GN: Yeah, I've noticed you seem to like those role-reversals. Disorderly comes to mind, too. [Editor's Note: Disorderly was a Flash game Tom designed before forming The Behemoth about an orderly on a mission to assault nursing home residents.]
Tom: Yeah, I don't know what it is... Maybe I'm just too nice in real life, so I have to take it out on people in video games. I don't know why I program such evil stuff, it doesn't really reflect my personality if you hung out with me in person.
GN: Finding a constructive outlet, perhaps?
Tom: Yeah... It's definitely an outlet for something. I think I make the games I always wanted to play as a kid. In Golden Axe, I always wanted to kill the villagers as they went running by, so when I made a Golden Axe spoof in Flash years later, I let players kill the villagers.