Exclusive Interview: Stellar Jay Studios Talks Dad Beat Dads

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WGTC: There are 9 different dads (some that are even non-human) that are playable. How fun was it getting to create all of these characters, and were any of them based off a staff members’ father?

TW: It was a blast! Crazy characters are something we’ve always loved to come up with. Fish Dad, for example, started off as just a joke idea, but everyone loved him so much that he had to be in the final game. I’m actually the only Dad out of the four of us, so a dad based on me – – “skinny, out-of-shape-hipster Dad – – didn’t seem like a very appealing character.

WGTC: Stellar Jay Studios was originally founded to be an internet animation studio. What led to the shift to creating video games?

TW and CM: Well, we’ve always loved video games, but the barrier to entry was really high up until relatively recently. With Valve opening Steam up a bit more, and programs like ID@XBOX, it suddenly seemed like a game of our own was within our reach. After achieving a lot of our goals in animation, we decided to take a chance and jump headfirst into video games. So far it’s been a fantastic decision!

WGTC: In the past, you’ve done some licensed web games with Cartoon Network, working on both the Teen Titans Go branded Channel Crashers and Battle Bowlers starring characters from The Amazing Adventures of Gumball. Are there any other Cartoon Network properties that you’d like to make a game on, and would you like to do a full fledged release?

TW and CM: For sure! Cartoon Network were absolutely brilliant to work with. They have huge brands to protect, but the amount of freedom they gave us was really humbling and gratifying. Two of shows we’d love to tackle are Regular Show and Adventure Time. They both have sensibilities that are really crazy and wild, but rooted in a really solid world with specific rules. A game for either one of those properties would be amazing!

WGTC:  You’re also working on a game called Cloudface that is aiming for a 2016 release. Can you tell us a bit about the game, and if it’s been difficult working on two projects simultaneously?

TW and CM: Cloudface is a 2D platformer that’s a kind of love letter to the classic games of the 80s and 90s. The levels will be mostly linear, with branching pathways and lots of secrets and collectibles to find, similar to how Banjo-Kazooie played, only 2D. We really loved games like Earthworm Jim, whose character animations were top notch, so we’re planning for tons of hand-drawn, weird animation throughout the entire game. We’re super excited to work on it!

It is a challenge to have multiple projects on the go, which is why Cloudface took a bit of a backseat during a lot of the Dad Beat Dads development. Now that DBD is pretty much complete, Cloudface is back on the front burner and aiming for a Fall 2016 release!

WGTC: Dad Beat Dads is already out on PC and is coming to Xbox One. Is the game still on track for a 2015 release for consoles?

TW and CM:  It [came] out on October 19 on Steam (buy it now!) and will be released on Xbox One in February 2016. The Xbox process is a bit more involved, since we have to go through their certification pipeline and make sure it conforms to their technical specs.

WGTC: Why should gamers keep an eye out for Dad Beat Dads when it releases on Xbox One and PC?

TW and CMDad Beat Dads is a super fun party game. Every time we watch people play, the entire room bursts out in laughter and screaming. It’s got action, humour and Dads flinging babies. It’s got a tongue in cheek coating, but the game really tests your reactions, and can require some lightning quick timing. And most important of all – It’s a ton of fun!

That concludes our interview, but we’d like to give a big thank you to both Ted Wilson and Corey McDaniel for taking the time to speak with us. Both Ted Wilson and Corey McDaniel can be found on Twitter at @Tedwilson79 and @siskavard, respectively. More information on Dad Beat Dads can be found on Stellar Jay Studios’ website.

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