Former Rare developer Chris Seavor has returned to games with Parashoot Stan, a top down endless runner for iOS devices.
Seavor, who left Rare in January 2011 after nearly 20 years at the legendary UK developer, is best known for his work on the Conker series. He was project lead on Conker's Bad Fur Day for N64 and Conker: Live & Reloaded for the Xbox.
After leaving Rare and taking some time off to travel Seavor founded indie developer Gory Detail and set to work on Parashoot Stan, which is about a young boy who imagines himself as a superhero after reading comic books about a fictional world war. In the game you move the iPad or iPhone to control Stan as he falls through the sky and away from Baron Bully, with virtual joysticks used briefly for shooting sections. The game's first gameplay video is below.
“We stuck with an endless runner format, but we wanted to do something slightly different with it and try and bring a bit of humour into it,” Seavor told Eurogamer. “I'm old school, so that way of doing the graphics, going back to Killer Instinct and Donkey Kong with the rendered stuff to give it a personality and character. That was the premise of it.
“We're not going the Conker route of profanity, although it's a little bit gory. It's comic book gore. And maybe a little bit of innuendo but it's low-key.”
The game's power-up system is delivered through the use of pets, which have both passive and active abilities. The deck system means you can bring out three pets but use just two at a time. These pets have combos, which Seavor expects players will discover as they play.
“It's your typical keep going twitch gameplay,” he explained. “Something is chasing you. The peril is this balance between do I go faster to get away from the guy chasing me, which obviously makes the game harder to play, or do I go slower and last longer because it's safer, but risk him catching me up?”
Parashoot Stan, the third game Gory Detail has started, took eight months and a team of four to complete. It's out mid-December for 69p. An Android version as well as free pet pack DLC are in the works. The game has a virtual shop, as you'd expect, which is designed to sell virtual goods that will “fast track” players' progress. “There's nothing in the game you can't get from playing it," Seavor insisted. "We're not saying, 'if you want this pet you have to pay another 69p.' You buy the currency, which is dollars, but if you play it you'll get them anyway.”
With Parashoot Stan nearing release Gory Detail is already hard at work on its next game. Its name remains a secret, but Seavor shared some gameplay details.
“The next one is a little more, I wouldn't say experimental, but certainly a lot more work,” he said. “We're going to be a bit more ambitious with it. It's more of a traditional platformer, but it's sort of an inverted platformer. I can't say any more, but there's a real twist on it.
“That's very much a story-driven one. Mood wise we're going more the direction of Machinarium. It's a dark mood - definitely not comedy - and very melancholy. I've always wanted to make a game that was a little bit more serious.
“It's still character-based. It's about a little dog who's lost his his ball in the sewers and how he gets out.”