Soon you will be able to duke it out as dogs, dinosaurs, rabbits, and more in the upcoming multiplayer brawler Party Animals from developer Recreate Games. We had the opportunity to ask the game’s Product Manager, Andy Jianyi, questions about the developer’s upcoming release. In our interview, we spoke about the game’s origins that derived from a missing gap in gaming experience from the team’s family members, how physics-based titles helped inspire the release, the adorable pets that inspired the title’s cast of playable characters, and of course, its future availability.
Party Animals began development because of one simple idea: the developers wanted to be able to share their passion for hardcore gaming with their loved ones. Behind the curtain of Recreate Games, the studio is packed to the brim with longtime gamers who have probably spent more time behind a monitor than they probably should have. Popular titles such as The Witcher, Kerbal Space Program, and Dark Souls have taken up hundreds of hours of the staff’s time over the last few years. Their biggest problem with these titles was that their families were not into playing them or really anything the team considers competitive and hardcore video games. The staff at Recreate Games wanted a title that they could use to spend time with their families rather than alone. They wanted people with just about no gaming experience to be able to play something fun, yet wholeheartedly competitive at its core.
“We would love to play with our close ones, but usually people in our lives are not into these hardcore games, and we are not too interested in generic party games either,” Jianya says. To solve this problem, the team decided to focus their next project on a game featuring adorable and friendly-looking animal characters. They wanted a game that looked approachable, masqueraded by cutesy visuals that appealed to all audiences. The title had to be flat out fun to just mess around in whether you were winning or losing, but something that also provided a level of depth that could satisfy the competitive needs of the developers. Recreate Games wanted a title similar to other popular easy to pick up and play games that are difficult to truly master.
“[When creating Party Animals], we drew a lot of initial inspirations from Human: Fall Flat, Gang Beasts, Stick Fight, and Super Smash Bros: Ultimate,” Jianyi says. “We love the idea of real physics in video games. Aside from the endless and funny outcomes of the physical actions, physics-based games provide a level of immersion that couldn’t be achieved in other genres.” Party Animals was intended to be entertaining from both a playing and viewing comedic standpoint. Every punch, kick, and flip was intended to have a special outcome with a knockback of a few laughs. “In our physics system, the effect of a simple punch will vary based on your position, your enemy’s position, speed, stamina, and where you land the punch. It’s quite hilarious when the unexpected happens,” Jianyi says.
When it came to designing characters the team knew exactly where to start. Without any hesitation, their boss’s corgi Nemo was chosen to become the star of Party Animals and was the first character to make the roster. “We do not really have a process of choosing species though. We just add in the animals we love, which is quite a lot,” Jianyi says. Two of the game’s characters were actually directly based on two fans’ pets: the husky Kato and the one-eyed kitty Kiko. According to data gathered by the team, the most popular character is currently Carrot the bunny. The team is planning on implementing more animals at a future date, but they currently already have a roadmap to release.
“In our current plan, we will have 3 game modes, 8 maps and 10 characters at release,” Jianyi says. The three current game modes that will be available at launch are Fight Club- a time-based brawler with both solo and team modes, Last Stand- a round-based free for all battle royale, and finally Snatch Squad- teams fighting for special items in the arena such as gummy bears, soccer balls, or even lumps of coal. Each map has been intricately designed to accommodate various strategies and core gameplay elements. Fight Club and Last Stand, in particular, will always be refreshing when it comes to fighting due to the arena you may land in. Currently, the game supports up to 8 players in the same room with 4 additional positions available for spectators, but the devs have pondered making the game larger.
While fully eradicating the problems of online synchronization and making every round feel as rewarding as possible are aspects you would come to expect in a local multiplayer brawler, you may be wondering–what is the best aspect of Party Animals that will blow players’ socks off? The team still has a few impressive features yet to be unveiled that they are not quite ready to talk about just yet, in case the presence of corgis has not sealed the deal for you already. “We have a couple of tricks up our sleeves, but we are not going to say too much about them,” Jianyi said. “Let’s just say they might shock a lot of people.”
The PC version of Party Animals will be released on Steam by the end of 2020, with console ports set to hit later at the end of 2021. The game is currently planned to make its way to the Nintendo Switch, however, Jianyi did not specify whether the PlayStation and Xbox systems in question would be current, next-gen, or both systems. You can watch Party Animals’ official steam trailer below.
“We hope you guys can have a great time bonding with your loved ones in Party Animals,” Jianyi says.