We’re currently working on a review for Dungeon Punks (liking the game so far!), so we got in touch with the game’s developer to talk about it’s journey to the PlayStation 4.
PS4Blog: Hi! Welcome to PS4blog.net Would you mind introducing yourself to our readers so that they can know who you are and what it is that you do?
Hi Antonio! This is Dan Goldstein, and I started our tiny indie game development studio Hyper Awesome Entertainment with my brother Josh. We had a lot of help from other folks, but along with Alex Belzer the three of us are the core team behind Dungeon Punks.
I write all of the code, and generally lead the project in terms of design although we all collaborate on that part. Which is quite a lot to do, when you consider that Dungeon Punks is coming out on multiple consoles and PC!
But those games were fun for maybe 30 minutes at a time. Fast forward to today and we just didn’t find many experiences in the genre that were able to keep us engaged for hours on end. We wanted to take all of the things we loved best about our times at the arcade, add in a ton of magic and customization, and weave in a deep enough set of gameplay that it would re-create the enjoyment we had together there, all in the context of a long term play experience. It’s all about having a great time with a game you can play either solo or together with friends.
PS4B: Dungeon Punks is finally available on PlayStation 4, which is great since we definitely wanted to play a brawler like this,. For those who haven’t heard about the game, could you please give them more information on the concept?
Sure! Dungeon Punks is the first game to take the tag-team fighting mechanics from games like X-Men vs Street Fighter and weave them into a 2.5D Brawler RPG. The tag-team mechanic lets you string together crazy custom combos using each hero’s individual spells and special moves, so that you can fight each stage in interesting and varied ways. The main story mode is great played solo, but really shines with up to three player co-op adventuring. And there’s a terrific PvP mode that lets you use the tag team fighting system to its fullest against the ultimate opponents – your friends.
We made Dungeon Punks because we wanted to make a modern brawler that we always wished existed and wanted to play for ourselves. Growing up in New York City, Josh and I were huge fans of the arcade brawlers of the 90’s. We’d go to the corner deli, the pizza places, anywhere that had the hottest new machines. And we’d play multiplayer, which was just a fantastic time.
PS4B: How deep is the RPG side of the gaming formula? How much customization will players have over the character’s development, equipment, skills, etc.?
Integrating an RPG into a brawler led to a lot of very interesting design choices we had to make. The RPG is light enough that if that’s not your thing you’ll still love the game, but deep enough that if you pay attention to it then it can really influence how you play. When we added in the tag team element, we realized that some of the stat training aspects that had been really important previously were now able to be replaced by hero choice. So we were able to streamline some parts of it while keeping a ton of diversity of playstyles.
Spells and equipment are quite varied and what you choose makes a very direct impact on how you’ll use your characters. But because you get to choose a new tag-team of two heroes every time you enter the world, you can mix and match different abilities and equipment that complement one another. For example, you might pair the Djinn who is a great magic user but whose melee attacks aren’t as strong with the Were-witch, one of the physically strongest characters in the game. And you can jump back and forth between them, using them for their strengths based on how you’ve equipped them and which spells or moves are useful in a given situation.
PS4B: How long will it take players to complete the game? Are there any missable trophies in the PS4 set?
The main adventure mode of the game is about twelve hours long. If you play again in New Game+ mode for an added challenge, that’s probably a bit longer than that again. And then there are the really innovative new Joust mode PvP Battles which you can play pretty much forever!
In Joust PvP mode up to three players select tag teams and fight to the death, but inside of an arena that features a boss and his minions as well, and sometimes mounts! The fights are really interesting and tactical. That mode alone is really a new kind of experience in the brawler/fighter genre, and you can have endless fun with a couple of buddies.
There’s one trophy that requires beating New Game+ mode, but otherwise you should be able to get them all if you just play the game normally. If you do accidentally miss out on a quest, it’s easy to go back and do it later.
PS4B: Is there any DLC planned for Dungeon Punks? Considering the nature of the game, it’s easy to see that extra level packs would probably make players very happy.
We’ve got some other levels that didn’t end up making it into the main game, so DLC is definitely a strong possibility! The original design for the game actually featured procedural random dungeon generation, and we definitely still have the ability to add that in, too. We ended up going with a more structured experience because we thought it was the most fun for new players, but there’s no reason we couldn’t add a new mode that has an unlimited supply of those encounters. It’s exciting to think about all the different directions we could take this in.
PS34B: Thank you for your time . Do you want to add anything?
Thanks so much for the interview! We’re just really excited for people to finally get a chance to play. For nearly five years we’ve been working very hard to make a super fun experience for everyone, and we’re grateful to see from the initial response to advance copies that people are having a really good time with the game. I’ve been hearing from folks who played for nearly twelve hours straight! I hope everyone gets a chance to play, because Dungeon Punks really ended up being the game of my dreams that I knew we could make if we dug deep and tried to make the very best experience possible.