In this latest Games On Deck postmortem, producer Tim Maly and designer Matt Repetski discuss the development
of Capybara Games' Pillowfight
, a fast-paced customizable mobile fighting game "starring total babes."
In their introduction, Maly and Repetski explain the genesis of the title:
"Pillowfight's story began when some of Capybara's founders were taking a break from GDC 2006 preparations. We had wanted to bring a couple small concepts to GDC 2006 to flash in front of our publishing partners, but we hadn't really had time to formulate anything.
During that break, creative director Kris Piotrowski sarcastically said, 'Here's an amazing idea: Let's make a pillow fighting game starring total babes!' We all had a good laugh, but the laughter quickly died off as we realized: 'No seriously, let's make a pillow fighting game starring total babes.'"
On what went right, the two said of their one-thumb simplified control implementation:
"We researched as many mobile fighting games as we could get our hands on and we rarely enjoyed what we played. Because of the extreme control limitations every mobile game faces, it was clear to us that trying to emulate arcade-style fighting would just lead us to an over-bloated and clunky experience.
We really wanted to avoid that, so designer Matt Repetski and the team decided try to create something that was more akin to Mike Tyson's Punch Out than it was to Street Fighter. By focusing on a very simple move set, our game became much more about timing and reading the opponent's attack pattern, instead of cumbersome movement and complex button inputs.
Focusing on these key areas helped us deliver a fighter that is appealing to the hardcore crowd, but was easy enough for a casual player to pick up and play.
Furthermore, this approach let players spend less time fumbling with buttons and memorizing special moves and more time looking at pretty ladies hitting each other with pillows, which was also one of our objectives. Mission accomplished!"
You can now read the full GamesOnDeck feature on the subject
, with more from the two on what went wrong during the game's development, including a number of features cut from the final version, and total babes with detached torsos.