We had so many awesome questions from our community that we had to split our first edition of Ask Us Anything into two parts (read part one here). So, no long winded introduction today, here's the rest of the fabulous questions and their juicy answers.
The Rest of the Questions
We ended the previous part on a cliff hanger - Nippon Marathon was stolen?! How will that pan out? Let's find out!
How did you guys come up with the characters? - coryinthedank via Discord
So this is really a continuation of KYLEZOOKI's question from the first part of this article. In the Nippon Marathon prototype the players were just brightly coloured mannequins. I'd been feeling really good about the core concept and had started to think about it as a serious thing. Now I'm going to go off on a tangent.
Amy and I went on a holiday to the US. I took my laptop and during any spare time I could find I started working on an actual design document. One evening we returned to the hotel and I had a notification on my phone - 'Your camera has noticed some motion'. I had set up an old phone in our dining room back in Birmingham, UK to keep watch over our stuff and the Alfred app (which we highly recommend) had detected something. I logged in and couldn't believe it, we were 4000 miles away in a hotel in Miami and our house was being robbed! I shouted down the phone at the burglar who actually looked right into the camera. Then Amy and I desperately tried to get in touch with the police. When I finally got a call back from them they had found the burglar freezing and soaking wet after trying to escape through a nearby canal. Sadly his bag full of our stuff including our WiiU and my Zelda savegame (ARGH!), laptops and HDDs were at the bottom of the canal.
Amy: Ahh the savegame, we were just about to reach Ganon too.
Andy: I didn't know what was stolen at the time, we couldn't sleep so to try to put it out of our minds we concentrated on this new game idea.
Ok back to the point...
Sticking with the Takeshi's Castle (Beat Takeshi, MXC) theme I always felt that the contestants looked really funny, like they'd wear some poorly constructed costume and look quite pathetic in an endearing sort of way but they would take the competition very seriously. J Darwin and Nishibori were based off of this idea. Zenbei was inspired by the original Uncle Sailor, Kobayashi (@GrowHair) I showed my designs to Amy who then came up with the idea for Snuguru Maestro, saying that he should have the head of our Dog Buster but he should act the opposite, he should be well spoken and quite classy by comparison!
When we got back to the UK it was horrible, our stuff was trashed, our belongings had been tossed around everywhere, there was police markings where footprints and hand prints were waiting to be analysed by forensics and we couldn't touch anything. I took stock of what was missing and realised the Nippon Marathon prototype was on those HDDs. I was gutted! Then, 3 weeks later a neighbor returned our WiiU, it was totally broken and must have been dropped while the burglar leapt over the fence in their back yard, it dawned on me that there might be more stuff so I went knocking on everyone's door and explored their back yards trying to find out belongings. I returned back to the house with two memory sticks, one had my Zelda Breath of the Wild save game on it and the other had a slightly older backup of the Nippon Marathon Prototype.
I think we probably cried a lot.
Wedy Jones strikes me as Onion Soup's mascot character so to speak. As such, would Wedy Jones potentially make a cameo news reporter role in your upcoming game? - Tangociss via Discord
Andy: I feel the previous answer was too long so how about this.... Yes!
Amy: Well, funny you say that. As you said, our company mascot did become Wedy, and we grew quite attached to her. I particularly became attached to Wedy doing all of the social media content in her eyes, so it felt right for Wedy to be a part of the new game. Plus I like to think of Wedy as the love child of myself and Lady Gaga, so erm, yeah, we like Wedy. So much so she now has her own game!
If you've not seen the trailer for UEDI: Shadow of the Citadel, watch it here:
What is the developers favourite stage to race on? - Tangociss via Discord
Andy: I think I'd have to say Jinko Eki Station, it features my favourite music and I just love running on the bullet train and then diving through the closing doors of the subway just in time. It has many Shiba Inu and, after spending half a year in Tokyo it is really satisfying to push over the salarymen! Can I say that? Oh, I just did!
Amy: Super Ichiba Sweep! I like the trolleys, the music, the references to Supermarket Sweep. I like the feel and flow of the level, the rooftop, sliding down the giant narwhal into a supermarket. I like the trolleys (you said that), I like knocking over the mascots, the cereal boxes. I have to do that! I think I've always wanted to run around a supermarket and cause havoc! I guess that's why I like it.
What were your inspiration for the stages and their 'gimmicks' (Monkeys, explosive sake, earthquake)? - Sleeping G.O. JC via Discord
Andy: I think it comes down to a desire to create new experiences. Nippon Marathon could have had a lava course, an Egyptian course, an ice course etc. but I really wanted to avoid stereotypical game settings as much as possible so we started thinking about our perceptions of Japan and how we might translate those into the game and so we came up with the names of the courses before working on them, this kind of ensured that we wouldn't revert back to the 'lava, ice, Egyptian' tropes later on in development. As for the gimmicks, it came from thinking about what exists in those places in real life, so in Osaka there really is a big wheel on top of a shopping mall. There are exceptions though, the bulls in Jinko Eki Station are a reference to Konami's Sunset Riders arcade, the commentary even nods to this by saying 'Hasta la bye bye' which is uttered by Sunset Riders' Paco Loco when he is beaten.
Who is JOE? - hatato via Discord
Andy: Snuguru is yet to reveal who JOE really is but I have a theory, JOE is actually SUPER JOE:
What is the point of the doctor? - paradox jc via Discord
Amy: Aww I think you've hurt his feelings...
Andy: Dr DeJong considers free will an illusion and human action dependent on consequences of previous actions. If the consequences are bad, there is a high chance the action will not be repeated; if the consequences are good, the probability of the action being repeated becomes stronger.
To study the contestants, he invented the conditioning chamber, also known as the DeJong Box, and to measure rate he invented the cumulative recorder. Using these tools, he intends to prove that contestants will attempt to escape the maze no matter how many times he invades their marathon.
He also gives the winner a star, maybe this is this point after all?
Would u like to make some guest characters from other Videogames as character? - ich120 via Discord
Andy: That would be so cool, maybe one character synonymous with each platform such as Mario, Nathan Drake, Master Chief and um.. Gordon Freeman? Actually we'd also like to look outside of gaming towards influencers from other areas of culture, I'll let you have a think about who you might like to see, maybe fire some suggestions into the Discord!
Amy: I'd like to see the pigs from Minecraft enter the Nippon Marathon. I think they'd do well.
We've Answered Everything!
So that's it for this supersized edition of Ask Us Anything! We hope you enjoyed it and remember, join our Discord Community to get yourself involved.
Thanks for reading.
- Andy & Amy