Is the appearance of U.H. Wutt based on any particular character? It seems to me that he bears a slight resemblance to Milton, Stephen Root’s hapless, downtrodden character in Office Space.
DB: Actually, U.H. Wutt is meant to be Uncle Buck in Uma Thurman’s Kill Bill outfit. Everyone loves a big guy in spandex. Admit it!
Something I want to highlight here is that you play some random dude. He’s a little rotund, and his “special powers” are the ability to read and react. You aren’t the cast of Expendables in Death by Game Show, you’re just a dude, and it’s your skill and resourcefulness that make the difference.
The game has a vibrantly violent art style. Did Judge’s cartoon shows, such as Beavis and Butthead, King Of The Hill, or The Goode Family have any influence over the game’s visuals?
DB: Our original visuals were meant to be Machinarium meets Binding of Isaac. That failed and we went with a much brighter look: Machinarium meets Futurama. We really wanted to keep that Machinarium crumbling look as it fit the game’s original concept.
It isn’t just Judge’s body of work that the game draws inspiration from. What other popular shows and films can players expect to see referenced and parodied in Death By Game Show?
MM: I can’t have a conversation without dropping in pop culture, that’s who I am. So from all of Mike Judge’s stuff―including Silicon Valley, which I love to death―to Breaking Bad to Star Wars to the Coen Brothers and Tarantino, there is a ton of stuff.
There’s a gigantic toaster that shoots exploding magnets in the game that’s called the “Yeah Bitch! Magnets!” Obviously straight out Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad. The droid barracks are called Kent Brockman’s Killbot Factory. Plus, we have some nods to the music world with the Rust in Peace launches barrels of bereavement (Hello Megadeth) and the Poundcake that shreds with a unique brown sound of bullets (Hello Edward Van Halen).
Could you tell us how you came up with the ideas for some of the upgrades and weapons, such as ‘Sexy Time’ and the ‘Scrote Hammer’?
MM: In marketing, everything is given glamorous names. The 26th Century version of Death by Game Show uses the same principle. The Scrote Hammer is just two huge freaking hammers on a pivot, yet give it a sexy name and BOOM: $50 per signed photo at Comic Con is in its future.
In Death by Game Show almost everything is based on garbage being thrown together to make new stuff. Kind of like recycling but with the purpose of damaging or blowing stuff up with the end product.
What other reasons are there for gamers to pick up Death By Game Show?
DB: The biggest reason I can give is that we’ve tried to make something different. So whether you are looking for something to laugh at, get challenged by or be creative with, Death by Game Show has something for you. It’s also not skimping on game time—for example, Malcolm has still not completed it and he’s 34 hours in.
I’m not going to lie and say it’s perfect. We have tried to be too clever in places, and we’ve probably made it too hard and punishing for many. It doesn’t hand hold enough for some, or it may be too slow at the start for others. It is different, though, and we hope you appreciate that at least.
The last thing I’d say it we have competitions running monthly for Steam wallet cash. The best videos, screenshots, imagery, custom sprites (yep, you can give everything a paint job), custom text (change all the text in the game) and custom challenges win $100. Check out the Death by Game Show community hub on Steam for more information.
That concludes our interview, but we would like to give a big thank you to Malcolm Michaels and Duane Beckett for taking the time to speak with us. You can follow Oointah on Twitter at @oointah.
Death By Game Show launches today, January 22nd on Steam.