A mind-blowing interview with Waving Bear Studio, the developer of Stuffed
There is definitely something fun to play as toys in video games. The next game Stuffed, coming out in early access this year, lets you take on the role of a bear who must battle waves of other toys. You do this with a bunch of DIY guns, making it a real FPS all ages. We had the chance to ask questions of the development team at Waving Bear Studios and they shed light on their creative process for us.
(Note: General responses are attributed to the studio as a whole, while specific responses from the people in it are accompanied by their names.)
PCI: Why was it decided that the player character would be a teddy bear? Will other toys be playable?
Waving Bear Studio: The original concept was created by Lucy (3D artist), however, we weren’t sure if audiences would embrace it. But after taking Stuffed at gaming conventions, we’ve found that the character of Teddy crosses many barriers of age, gender, and nationality, as most people can relate to having a teddy bear as a child.
There are no plans to make other playable toys at this time, however, you can customize your bear by mixing and matching different fur colors and outfits to create your own unique style.
PCI: What were the biggest development challenges in keeping a wave-based shooter game fresh and interesting for gamers?
WBS: By far the biggest development challenge would be the procedural generation of the maps. We wanted the in-game maps to be procedural, as that would help keep the game fresh every time a player plays. However, creating maps at run time affects most aspects of the game, as AI navigation maps need to be rebuilt once the map layout has been generated, different optimization techniques need to be done. used, more artwork needs to be created for the random to be noticed, the map layout needs to be synced for online multiplayer, the list could go on.
The procedural map generation raised a number of interesting challenges that we did not consider when we decided to implement it for the first time. However, seeing the positive response we’ve had from players appreciating the randomness of the cards in every game is worth it!
PCI: The original prototype was intended for a mature audience. How was it different exactly?
WBS: The original version is mechanically similar to what we have now. However, as we got a better understanding of our audience, we have eliminated much of what made the game “creepy / creepy” and made it more comedic / cute while still retaining the familiar gameplay that initially appealed to people. people.
PCI: How did you adjust the usual shooting mechanics to make this more playable or more enjoyable for the kids?
WBS: One of the things we were really aware of during development was making sure we didn’t âknock downâ the mechanics of a typical shooter or make it paternalistic for kids – we wanted to be able to provide them with the right ones. same experiences as adult players. , but make it more accessible for this young audience. However, we think about the difficulty curve a lot, so the previous rounds make it easier for players, as kids may not be as familiar with the shooting mechanics as we are.
A lot of the tweaks are really on the art side. One of the biggest challenges here was the guns, as we couldn’t really throw real guns into Stuffed! This is how we came up with the idea of ââbuilding them from household items and toys, although mechanically they still play like the types of guns more familiar FPS players may be used to.
PCI: What were the development team’s favorite toys when they were kids? Were enemies chosen specifically because similar toys were hated?
Ash: Lego, Trains and Power Rangers! It would be pretty cool to make a ‘Megazord’ style enemy made up of a bunch of different toys. Maybe that’s something we could consider adding in the future. Although now I am an “adult”, I am sure I have as many toys as I did when I was a child. I won’t let anyone take them out of the boxes anymore!
Mast: I had a big pterodactyl that I took everywhere with me and fed on cookies. On the other hand, I used to have Weeping Angel (Doctor Who) toys and was always terrified that they would move when I wasn’t looking, which I guess is. become what the sock monsters are in the game.
Lucy: My favorite toy as a kid was Lego. I loved Harry potter and became a great collector of Lego Harry potter sets, my favorite being Hogwarts Castle. Although they are not a toy, I found garden gnomes to be very scary when I was a child. It was just something about their wide eyes and their smile that put me off.
Dan: I have a hard time remembering if I had a favorite toy. I used to spend a lot of time playing Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee on PlayStation 1. I also had a strange obsession with the 2003 Cheeky girls album for a while.
PCI: Having weapons that are cobbled together from toys is a fun idea. What are the developer favorites and are there any that had to be removed due to implementation difficulties?
Mast: We didn’t have to cut any guns (fingers crossed) as we believe that is an integral part of the aesthetic and have always managed to make them work. My favorite is the Planky McBangBang, because I love how it looks like something a kid would try to create and name.
Ash: There is another skin for the One Bang (our sniper-style pistol consisting of a phone, telescope, and cassette player that shoots colored pencils) with a T-Rex head mounted on it. before. Visually, it must be my favorite! But I have a terrible aim when it comes to shooters, so when I play I tend to pass for more splash style guns.
Lucy: My favorite weapon is the Sk8rboi, which was named after a certain popular song from the 2000s. It’s a skateboard that shoots golf balls like a machine gun.
Dan: Jelly Boom Boom because of the name. ð
PCI: Will there ever be the option of classic ‘find the key’ style FPS levels, or other playstyles, possibly as DLC?
WBS: We love the idea of ââintegrating different game modes to Stuffed. As we are very community driven, we would like our audience to help design the game as we progress. As we move from Early Access to a full version, we definitely want to focus on new modes, especially more competitive or PvP-focused modes.
PCI: What real toys would the dev team least want to fight?
Ash: It must be a Furby – have you seen any of those without fur ?? They are terrifying !! And there is something really off-putting about their eyes.
Mast: I agree with Ash, Furbies scared me when I was a kid.
Lucy: Ash I see your Furby and I raise you Long Furby (don’t google it unless you want nightmares)
Dan: If the toys were life size, it would have to be Megatron. I can fight any full sized toy.
We thank Waving Bear Studio for taking the time to chat with us. I can’t wait to put my paws on it Stuffed when it enters early access. Be sure and come back, as we’ll have some thoughts to share on the game as soon as possible.