In our latest interview, we had the opportunity to speak with Last Limb Games and ask them a few questions about their game Organic Panic. We touch base on numerous topics, including the amazing physics engine, interacting with the environment and when you can get your hands dirty in this garden of action.
As of today, Last Limb Games has also introduced their Kickstarter campaign. They’ve got nearly 30 days to raise $40,000. Help complete development and bring Organic Panic to a market near you! For a minimum of $10 you can pre-order the game but other rewards include T-Shirts, art packs and even early access to the editor to create your own custom level. As always, all the needed links are at the end of the interview.
About Organic Panic
Organic Panic has been five years in the making! Brothers Damon and Anatole Branch have been working independently on the game from home for half a decade. Their incredible dream of a ultimate physics puzzle game is finally nearing fruition. Build and share you own crazy physics levels!
Indie Game HQ: What projects have you all worked on prior to Organic Panic?
Last Limb: Both brothers have extensive experience in the console and mobile video game space and their combined resume includes work with EA, HBO, Ford, Take 2 and the MLB as well as independent titles including GBA Thunderbirds and Xbox 360 Wing Commander Arena.
Indie Game HQ: How has the project evolved over the last 5 years of development?
Last Limb: Comparing our first trailer to our current trailer really shows the growth we have gone through. The game previously was a little more puzzler focused, but now we have a myriad of enemies with different abilities, on top of a great puzzler foundation. Water was also initially one of our only a few fluids; now we have acid, lava and other interactions such as steam and electricity. This progress was enabled when we went from using a pre-built physics engine that could handle 500 on screen particles, to a custom built engine that can handle over 100,000 particles. As you can imagine this makes for smoother and more detailed interactions and graphics.
Indie Game HQ: What variety of enemies, hazards, and threats can players expect?
Last Limb: Players are faced with barriers, objects, fluids as well as both static and dynamic enemies. There are over 30 different textures each with their own properties including conduction, friction, durability, etc. For example it is easy to tunnel through dirt, but nearly impossible to do the same through steel. Spikes, gears and weights are just a few of the objects players are exposed to; in a few levels we have even added in Rube Goldberg type machines. This is something we expect will become really popular in the user generated levels. As mentioned previously the fluids, and their realistic properties, add a great level of complexity and enjoyment to the game. Temperatures also come into play, steam comes off of lava, ice drips water as it melts, and wood burns if it becomes too hot. Of course there are the minions of the evil Meat & Cheese Empire. T-bone steaks are boxers, with limited range, but big impact; hot dogs have jet packs and flame throwers; cheddar cheese tosses sticks of dynamites with surprising accuracy, just to name a few. If everything goes as planned there will also be bosses. On top of all of these there are 4 main characters, each with their own abilities, which means each level can be played again and again and again, but still be a new experience every time.
Indie Game HQ: The physics engine looks absolutely fantastic. How long did it take to create and what makes it unique from others?
Last Limb: The physics engine and the interactions of each object with every other object is really complex. On top of that we wanted it to be as realistic looking as possible, which means programming at the pixel rather than the object level. In the real world a drop of water behaves differently than a puddle or a lake. We haven’t seen any other game that goes into that level of detail and complexity. We spent a lot of time perfecting these properties and hope player enjoy the difference as much as we do. The physics engine is the foundation the game is built on top of; we essentially started working on the engine on day 1, even before preliminary gameplay sketches. Luckily unlike when building a house we can make edits to this foundation as we run into bugs, or want to make improvements. It is great to hear and see people’s reactions the first time they play the game or are exposed to different elements, it makes the 5 years of development worth it.
Indie Game HQ: In what ways will players be able to interact with the environment to tilt the odds in their favor?
Last Limb: One of the things that we learned early on in the beta testing process is that each player depending on their video game experience and personality approaches the same level in completely different manner, some that we didn’t even imagine when designing the levels. Adding the four different protagonist characters on top of this means that there are a ton of different ways to approach each level. Some players may choose to bypass enemies by digging through levels. Others may attack from a distance and of course there are button mashers who will go in guns blazing.
Indie Game HQ: How easy will it be for players to create levels with the in-game level editor? In addition, how will players share said levels with friends and random internet strangers?
Last Limb: Each and every level was created using the same in game editor that will be distributed with the game. We dealt with the editor every day, which means we wanted to make it as easy as possible to use. We have included a bunch of tools that allow for players to intuitively create whatever shapes they want and then change the texture, elasticity, temperature, etc. as they see fit. After finishing the main story line I can see people spending hours creating what they envision as the perfect level and then sending it to their friends. The Organic Panic online community (yes, you will be able to play both on and offline) will allow players to friend and follow other players as well as rate user submitted levels. We plan on having all time and this week ranking lists.
Indie Game HQ: How often do you release new chapters for the Organic Panic comic?
Last Limb: The Organic Panic back story really lends itself well to the comic medium. A really bright and vibrant artistic style also evolved as we continued to work sketches. Comics allow readers to appreciate each and every detail at their own pace. We are taking with publishing studios, who have a lot more experience in the space, and hope to release at least bi-monthly.
Indie Game HQ: Is there a set release date and price for Organic Panic? Also, what platforms will we be able to play it on?
Last Limb: We don’t have a specific date in mind, but have been working on this project for a long time and want to put a preliminary bookend on the project. We are committed to not let seeking perfection come in the way of releasing the game and have targeted Q3 of this year as an initial release date for XBLA. The game was designed using a Xbox developer kit so that is why we are releasing on Microsoft first. Depending on our initial success we hope to port to Unity for PC release around the holiday season. From there who knows.
Indie Game HQ: Thanks again for your time. Is there anything else you’d like to add for our readers?
Last Limb: Organic Panic has been a labor of love, for a significant portion of our lives and has become a family affair. The game has been in development longer than Damon’s young son (whose voice is used for a few of the characters) has been alive. In short we have put a lot of time and money into this game and hope the public enjoys it as much as we do.
Stay up to date on the development process by becoming a fan of Organic Panic on Facebook. The development team can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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