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DeathSpank Interview Hints At Game’s Hilarity

Canadian developer Hothead games is best known for its previous episodic series Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. With a team composed of ex-Radical Entertainment developers (The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction), we expect more great things from this studio. The next downloadable game Hothead is working on is an action/RPG named DeathSpank. Start getting excited now.

During our first half-hour with the game, we collected chicken lips for a witch’s stew, bought supplies from a lemonade stand run by a snooty pre-teen, and retrieved a fishing tackle box belonging to a yellow-bellied fisherman. We enjoyed our experience so much we decided to try and get some extra details about the game from one of Hothead’s designers. Watch us try to get a straight answer out of designer Chris Mitchell below.

We know that the story involves a hero searching for a lost artifact. Is there anything more you can tell us about the narrative?

For as long as he can remember, DeathSpank has searched for the The Artifact. It is a mysterious object built by mysterious forces for a mysterious purpose from very well known materials, carbon mostly. In his travels he has brought justice to the downtrodden, faced the riddle of bacon, and defeated evils so great naming them would hurt your recording device a little bit. Now at last he will learn of his true purpose…

Injecting humor into a game is never easy. How do you write a game that people expect to be funny?

This question of how do you make games funny comes up a lot, and we’re never sure how to answer it. The essence of comedy is timing, and video game actors have no timing beyond that which you manufacture into them. So I suppose the answer is, “watch lots of Three's Company while growing up.” It worked for us.

How big is the world of DeathSpank?

Big enough that focus testers kept getting lost until we added arcane navigation technologies called ‘maps.’ Big enough that our mighty computers would crash when we tried to edit those maps. Big enough to drive developers mad when trying to remember where everything is! Pretty big.

Where did the name DeathSpank come from?

The title came about when some of the guys on the team were literally trying to think of the most far out name for a hero they could come up with. Something that made fun of the sort of game the game industry wants. The name and concept for DeathSpank stuck into [creative director Ron Gilbert’s] head until he reached the point that it had to get made. It was a name and concept so good that every major publisher turned it down. Only the truly great get universally rejected at first.

What kind of quests can players expect to find in the game?

Well let’s see…gather quests, kill stuff quests, defend things quests, destroy things quests, protect people quests, recover body parts quests, build condominium quests, design golf courses quests, assemble magical body parts quests, cooking for the wretched quests, scientific discovery quests, wholesale destruction of villages quests, unicorn poop quests, leprechaun mobster quests. You know…the usual.

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Comments
  • Those quests you mention at the beginning sound an awful lot like those menial fetch quests that no one finds that interesting anymore.

    Having said that, the whimsical nature of the quests (chicken lips!) should probably make up for it.

  • Is this the game that blocked the third Penny Arcade game from being made? If it is, then it had better be awesome... or else...I'll... I.. will... Well, there isn't much I can do about it.

    I'll probably rant about it to my wife, and she won't know what the heck I am talking about.

    Long story short. Looking forward to this game. I love games with this sort of humorous twist to the gameplay. EarthWormJim anyone?

  • I'm getting excited for this game.

  • looks like a must get for me!

  • i love good single-player XBLA games

  • "I…er…uh… look over there! It’s bigfoot!"

    That's either a profound yes or a profound no.

  • I'm good. Probably gonna get it.

  • I find myself not feeling at all for games like this.

  • cool

  • Yay for this game!  Monkey Island was great so here's hoping for comparable writing.  But is there really not going to be a conclusion to the Penny Arcade games?  That would make me a sad adam...

  • I'll be monitoring this game and see what I can make of it.

  • I will be playing this game on the 360!

  • The game reminds me of Diablo lite, which isn't really a bad thing but i hope that besides the weapon and armor options that you can select more than one class or at least unlock them. online multiplayer too is a must, takign on bosses with 3 friends in a game like this would be fun and always made me enjoy play diablo 2 online

  • The game reminds me of Diablo lite, which isn't really a bad thing but i hope that besides the weapon and armor options that you can select more than one class or at least unlock them. online multiplayer too is a must, takign on bosses with 3 friends in a game like this would be fun and always made me enjoy play diablo 2 online

  • Bigfoot? Where? Hey, you're trying to distract me--bunny!