"We are often frustrated and bored trying to play games with our kids."- Flying Wild Hog cofounder Klaudiusz Zych explains why his indie studio is taking a break from first-person shooters to make a family-friendly platformer. As the game industry matures, more and more developers are looking to make games they can enjoy playing with their whole family. That's part of the reason that Flying Wild Hog, the Warsaw-based independent studio perhaps best known for developing violent action games like Shadow Warrior and Hard Reset, is currently working to release the kid-friendly cooperative platformer Juju. "There are a lot of wonderful, kid-friendly multiplayer games available, but the majority are competitive in nature," writes Flying Wild Hog cofounder Klaudiusz Zych in an editorial published by Polygon. "Such games emphasize differences in skill and lack the special feeling of camaraderie that comes from achieving a goal together, as a family." Zych goes on to outline some of the design challenges Flying Wild Hog faced in trying to build a cooperative game that doesn't reward competition between players or make the less-skilled members of a team feel bad about their performance. "We learned early on how easily feelings of inequality could be triggered. We tried incorporating sections with separate paths for each player, and ride levels in which each player had a specific role, but none of it succeeded," writes Zych. "People felt divided and constrained, like they were missing out on part of the experience rather than working together." Zych's description of the hurdles Flying Wild Hog has faced in tackling its first family-friendly cooperative game may offer other developers some interesting insight, and is worth reading in full over on Polygon.
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Making a great game you can play with your kids isn't easy
Flying Wild Hog cofounder Klaudiusz Zych explains some of the challenges his studio has faced in transitioning from releasing Shadow Warrior to developing the family-friendly cooperative platformer Juju.