What Is Pid?

by Matt Miller on Jun 03, 2012 at 09:00 AM

One of the great things about the downloadable game scene is the way new studios can appear out of nowhere to grab your attention with a new project. Might and Delight is a new development house that recently unveiled its upcoming project, Pid. What is this new game, and why is it worth paying attention to it? We asked managing director Wendy Young to fill us in. 

What is the story concept for Pid?

Basically, you follow the story of a young boy who becomes stranded on a remote planet because of a unexplainable malfunction during his night bus ride home. This young boy soon uncovers a huge conspiracy that has the planet mesmerized and prevents him from leaving.

Who is the main character of the game?

Our protagonist is a young boy name Kurt.  We chose to design a "normal" character that people could relate to and his commonality makes the weirdness of the world seem even more peculiar.  He perceives the world in the same way the player does. I guess he is an innocent bystander that lands amidst a bit of space oddity. We also have a really cute player 2 robot character named Audrey.

What do you do in Pid? Is there a unique hook to the gameplay?

For me, it is less what you 'do' and more about what you 'experience'. Yes, I mean you play a game, so there is an action inherent in that process, but for us we want to challenge the player, not just hand you a game as you button-mash your way to the end. This is an ambitious project, so every aspect of our game is painstakingly crafted - we wanted to create an exciting and puzzling retro gameplay experience that goes hand in hand with that ambition. Pid is designed in such a way that one can hunker down with the controller and enjoy a classic platforming adventure.  So, what you do is a part of the experience. This game will definitely be unique; you won't forget it. 

Our hook....will hook you....but we challenge you to be masterful especially because of our core mechanic; the gravity beam. The "Gravity Beam" allows you to affect and change not only your own movement, but the environments, enemies and objects. This great advantage must be utilized with both creativity and wits to solve the perplexing stealth puzzles, stressing platforming challenges and chaotic action sequences that hinder our hero from returning home.

We've seen the gravity field concept in action in the video you released. Does that concept change at all over the course of the game, or do you consistently have just that one primary tool?

There is a variety of useful items and fun tools the player picks up along the way.

For example the slingshot is one of the permanent tools which allows you to shoot the gravity ball to unreachable areas.

Often the tools we offer open up a new way of looking at obstacles and allow the player to solve seemingly impossible puzzles.

So, yes, the gravity mechanic is one of the primary tools but we have a lot of variety...and remember you don't have to travel via gravity alone.

What role will the player's backpack or other inventory play? Are there shops, currency, and other traditional adventure style elements?

The backpack is the player's inventory system where all the items and trinkets, collected during the adventure, are stored. The stars are a currency system (of sorts) that can be used to purchase gameplay items such as tools, weapons and protective elements. In addition, there are several story related items and other hidden goodies to be uncovered as you play. The game is really jam-packed with all kinds of fun stuff; you just need to find them all!

We definitely incorporate traditional adventure style elements, but Pid is way more diverse. Overall, we think it brings something fresh to the adventure genre.

Don't take my word for it, you will have to try it!

How would you describe the visual style of the game? Audio?

Basically, the visuals and gameplay were both developed with an emotional goal in mind. Also, we have had limited resources which influenced our development process. For example, early on we took the decision to make 3D models without textures which means that 90% of the objects are simply one color, with the exception of some characters and interactive objects.  These simplifications create a very clean, flat and primitive type of visual expression. It's all 3D, but a simplified look, very basic and graphical. The challenge then lies in creating color combinations and shape compositions that give the "illusion" of information. Our creative director prefers to work with basic design principles, broad strokes rather than details, which works brilliantly for us.

We really wanted to create a world that was imaginative, charming and rich with unique characters and culture. There's something slow and almost sad about a space setting and we felt that would match the playful sides of our game concept.

I am really glad you asked about the music and audio design which has been a key part in creating the correct mood within the Pid universe. Our sound designer Josef and the musicians from 'Retro Family' haven't worked with games before and we really liked that. Their work on Pid is not influenced by a traditional video game sound style, and that has taken the game to a completely new level for us.  It just makes the whole game an immersive artful experience that we are really proud of.

What games have you drawn inspiration from in the creation of Pid?

At Might and Delight we really want to create charming unique games for everyone and Pid was designed with that goal in mind. Our creative director was influenced by Little Nemo in Slumberland, Studio Ghibli's movies and puppet animations, games such as Uforia  and Little Big Adventure. Pid definitely exudes that charm, visual breadth and dramatic wonderment.

We have created a world that is very strange and imaginative. The entire presentation and visual design of Pid revolves around playful, surreal and eccentric tones.

Truly, it is one of the most beautiful games; every area is unique and visually inspiring.

Are there enemies in the game that you're having to defeat or avoid? If not, what are the obstacles to progression?

Definitely, you will have to overcome larger-than-life obstacles, mini bosses and interact with surprisingly original enemy characters.  You will be challenged to outwit a variety of quirky robots and befriend unlikely allies on your quest to face-off against a ruler that has no intention of letting anyone leave the planet.

So there are loads of obstacles, but also we ask players to master a unique core mechanic in this puzzling platform adventure. 

What type of player will enjoy Pid?

We hope everyone! But ultimately, someone that demands more from their games and enjoys classic, retro platforming, action and adventure. You want to be challenged and stunned by something never seen before!

Tell me about your studio. Are the developers new to the gaming field, or did they come together from other studios?

Our studio is made up people from a variety of backgrounds - we have a solid core of Industry veterans with 10+ years but also we were able to recruit others with an interest in a variety of culture and games; 'Indie' people, industry friends, movie people, musicians, etc.  We are dynamic group of 13 and being so small we really require everyone to be involved taking ownership of their area of expertise. 

The core team actually met while working at our former studio on Bionic Commando Rearmed.  At that time, we just knew we were working on a special project and really became a tight-knit unit. That time really affected us, not to mention, we got to work on a cool Capcom project that was a really solid remake! 

In 2010, the founders got together with the hopes of re-igniting that magic. They really believed that the reason BCR was such a success was because of its retro remake charm and the talents of the old team. So, they pitched the idea of starting a venture that would bring classic retro games to the fore again. Then, Might and Delight was born.

We have been extremely lucky for such a small studio.  The ambition of the team is high and we have such an amazing support network that really believes in what we are trying to do.  It has all been a wild ride and the team is an outstanding group such a privilege to go to work every day.

On what platforms are you releasing Pid? Do you have a release date time frame?

Cross-platform digital download summer 2012.