2022-07-02

What do you get when you cross Warioware and a skeleton? Obviously, Spookware.

But Spookware is more than just Warioware reskin. This is a clever movie assembled by three Skeleton Brothers clever storytelling devices who decided to leave the basement movie cave for world adventures, solve problems and create new ones. It is a set of micro games with the theme of.

Developers Adam Pype, Viktor Kraus, and Tibau Van den Broeck did not try to recreate themselves and their movie-watching habits in the form of microgames. Instead, Spookware was born out of Pype’s participation in Game a Month. This is a challenge that asks developers to create one game per month for a set period of time. Pype and Kraus have collaborated earlier, Kraus provided the sound for Spookware’s first rendition, and Van den Broeck joined a little later.

An early version of Spookware was a small rapid fire microgame set. However, they were immediately asked by DreadXP to join one of their Dread X collections. This is a low cost bundle of small, clever horror titles created in a relatively short period of time. DreadXP asked the trio to flesh out Spookware, so of course they added a skeleton.

Spookware begins with a trio of skeletons (Lefti, Midi, Righti) relaxing on the couch and watching a horror movie. Horror movies appear to players as a series of horror-themed microgames. There are cut-off limbs, where to assemble bones in the right places on the skeleton, where to dig a skull out of the ground, and how to dismantle a bomb. Some feature regular activities with horror veneers, such as chopping trees in a quiet forest or manually submitting documents. After finishing all the micro games of the card sorting boss battle game, Skeleton Brothers will complete watching the movie and jump out into the world. From there, skeletons visit schools, later cruise ships, meet people, and overcome obstacles in the form of more microgames.

Spookware’s microgames are instantly impressive, with the best horror music and bold text making quizzes full of puns for each successful game. My favorite game is playing a saxophone skeleton with a bongo drum. The musical intermission ends with “This is jazz!”. If you succeed. They are all so stupid and pleasing rather than scaring them with horror metaphors. There are certainly many skeletons, but they are rarely repeated when it comes to metaphors and microgame activities. Also, the skeleton is very interesting and cool.

Microgames try to limit themselves to one or two actions because they need to be immediately understandable by people.


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Pype and Vanden Boeck attribute their clever microgame styling to Spookware’s main inspiration for the film. They and Klaus may not have intended to put the skeleton trio together with themselves and their regular movie nights, but to some extent it happened. According to Pype, when the three get together on a movie night, they’re constantly thinking of new microgame ideas based on the movie they’re watching.

“In terms of coming up with good ideas for microgames, at least I think I’m watching movies and trying to find something small and memorable,” says Van den Boeck. “For example, at school you have to grab a paper boat. This is a very famous scene in IT. I think it’s always a good way to shoot horror movies and movies that fit the genre of the chapter. Think of a memorable moment. Usually, there are very simple actions.

“We’re trying to limit microgames to one or two actions, because people need to be able to understand it right away. And based on that, we’re doing something easy and quick. I’m trying to create. I don’t want to lengthen the microgame. I think the longest game we have is 15 seconds and the maximum microgame is hard. “

The three were clearly inspired by Warioware, but Pype says he wants to use microgames in a new way to carry a story. Like microgames, the chapters and the inclusive story itself are movie-inspired. For example, the school chapter is based on Mean Girls and Clueless. The next chapter set in the city is reminiscent of Seattle’s sleepless people and Harry’s meeting with Sally. Every chapter features a different type of film, which in turn gives each chapter a different mechanism.

“Most of the time, at this point, we’re trying to come up with a new way to do things with buttons,” says Pype. “Initially, I was mainly from:” What are the good hopes of horror? “And there may be microgames. But now it looks like this: ‘What are the inputs and mechanisms you’ve never been to? And can it be turned into a joke or something? After a while, I don’t want all microgames to send spam from side to side. “

With the exception of microgames, Spookware’s most striking things are sound and art. Inspired by anime sound effects, Klaus looks for Spookware sounds, “strange pitch wobbles”, unrealistic, more cartoonish, but really satisfying. He says he is aiming for something.

When it comes to art, Pype gives a rather unusual explanation of why Spookware looks so unique.

“It’s very easy to create, all like images in the public domain,” he says. “And basically everything is projected onto a low polygon model. This is useful because a lot of lighting information is already contained in the texture. It doesn’t make sense that the texture lighting comes from. [one direction] But in the scene [the light comes from another direction]You can get a lot of things like fidelity for free, just because everything is very similar to something like HD.

It is not enough for all microgames to send spam from side to side.


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“And there’s a lot of post-processing. There’s a little painting-like filter on it, things are shaking a bit, rain, film grain, etc. just looking at things. So you can see that the resolutions are completely different and everywhere. The paint filters are there, the color grading and everything else is done, so everything is done together and a very clean and sophisticated look. Will be.

“It’s the best look you can get with minimal effort,” he concludes with a laugh.

Since Spookware is an episodic game, chapters for PC are currently open, but a total of four episodes are planned, and the team is currently working on episode 2. Pype says he hopes Spookware will encourage more developers to use the microgame set in the future.

“To Nintendo [monopoly] On top of that, “he says. “They shouldn’t. There’s no reason why not everyone should try to make something like that.”

Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN.She can be found on twitter @duckvalentine..