Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Since our last interview, you have been hard at work on a new video game called Frog X Bird. What can you tell us about the premise of the game and the mission of the player(s)?
Bryan Rodriguez and Joe Laurino: For Frog X Bird, we wanted to create a local competitive multiplayer game reminiscent of the kinds of games kids crammed together on the couch to play growing up, in the days before online multiplayer became the "big thing." We always enjoyed Joust as kids and grew up on Smash Bros., and the two games sort of naturally melded together.
The goal of FXB’s core BATTLE mode is pretty simple; you control a rider atop a bird (called a Rufflebeak), and your only goal is to knock the other players off of their birds while making sure they don’t do the same to you. It’s easy to pick up and a lot of fun, and it allows people of all ages to get in on the action without a crazy high learning curve.
The Smash inspiration comes from two things: the arenas, which all have their own pros and cons, and the different game modes that switch up the rules in various ways – for example, in FRUIT BLAST, you’re all scrambling to collect fruit that spawns all over the stage. In RIBBASKETBALL - a mode that was a real hit at Playcrafting NYC events - there are no KOs at all, and instead has players shooting hoops to score points.
Between the different game modes and arenas, there are lots of different ways to have fun!
BD: How would you describe your shared creative process in designing and producing the game?
BR/JL: Most of our games start off with us just messing around with little ideas we think might be fun and growing them into something concrete once we prove that. There’s also an element of scratching the itch for the kind of game we’ve been wanting to make while working on other games. So, during THE ATTACK PACK, which was strictly single player, we started to get the itch to do a multiplayer game that would bring people together.
Oh, and the whole "frogs riding birds" thing came from us literally saying, "Hey, what if frogs rode birds?" which we know isn’t an exciting answer, but, you know, it’s what happened.
The game itself came together pretty quickly; we started developing it eight months ago, and the initial release is already out! It was easier focusing on one game instead of parallel-developing three at once, and it allowed us to better focus and collaborate to produce something polished and bug-free.
This time around we had a form of "focus testing," because we showed the game at a lot of different conventions and expos throughout the year while we were working on it. We got some solid feedback that made it into the final game, and it also showed us that we had something good on our hands, because most of the feedback was just that it was a blast to play! That was the best part of the whole thing: seeing people’s reactions as they picked up controllers and battled one another. It got really competitive at times; we definitely ended some friendships and perhaps kindled a few new ones.
BD: The initial release of the game launched in November; however, additional downloadable content will be available post-release. What do you have in store for players by way of additional content?
BR/JL: The "Vanilla" FXB experience launched November 21st with six playable characters, four game modes, and four arenas.
We’re just getting started, though, and plan on keeping the fun going with a year’s worth of content! We have several expansions and smaller updates in the works; we’ll be announcing the first one early on in 2018.
Outside of that, we’re going to keep the exact nature of the amount of expansions and updates planned a secret for now. But we can say that when all is said and done, the "Complete" version of the game will have 13 playable characters, eight game modes, and eight arenas, as well as a single-player component for those that don’t have any buds to play the game with.
It’s gonna be a crazy year for Frog X Bird, and we hope everyone joins us for the ride!
BD: On which platform(s) is Frog X Bird available for players?
BR/JL: Frog X Bird is currently available on PC via Steam. We’re looking into getting it on other platforms once we wrap the "Complete" version of the game we mentioned above. (We’re lookin’ at you, Nintendo!!)
BD: Are there any other projects on which you are currently working that you are able to share with our readers?
BR/JL: Nope! Just Frog X Bird at the moment. We are going to be focusing for roughly the next year on supporting this game and making it even better before we move on to anything else.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Frog x Bird and Attack Mountain?
BR/JL: The best way to learn more about Frog X Bird is to check it out for yourself on Steam!
Otherwise, you can follow us on Twitter (@Attackmountain) and on Facebook. Come and say hi! We try to respond to every message we get. If you’re a streamer, we want to hear from you!