Little known developer Behaviour Santiago is in the dreaded crunch. Its eyes are bleeding as it smashes out downloadable co-op game Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime ahead of its projected spring release. And yet creative director David Williams still found the time for a chin wag, via a timezone-bending phone call, to tell Eurogamer about one of the smartest-looking downloadable games of the year. What a nice man!
Eurogamer: This game is a partnership between Sony Pictures and Atari. How did Behaviour Santiago get involved?
David Williams: We'd been talking to Atari for some time about different projects. They came to us asking what we would do with this. We gave them a nice presentation saying, we want to make this game a bit more upbeat, a bit more arcadey. They liked the way we were going and we decided to work together.
Eurogamer: The game reminds me of the old 1987 Ghostbusters arcade game by Data East. Is that deliberate or coincidence?
David Williams: That's actually a coincidence. We looked around at different games. I saw that one a couple of weeks ago when I was looking around on YouTube. But no, that one wasn't one of the references.
We looked at previous Ghostbusters games and really wanted to make something a bit faster, a bit more arcadey. If we were going to look at anything it would be things like Smash TV and the old arcade games of those times. So, the genre is the same but we weren't actually looking at that game.
Eurogamer: Co-op is hot right now. Was that an emerging trend you identified early?
David Williams: Multiplayer is very popular at the moment. But also as far as the brand goes, Ghostbusters is about four people working together as a team, all having their good parts and their bad parts and their pros and cons. So having a four-player game made perfect sense.
Eurogamer: In this game each of the four characters is a rookie that has been drafted in to help save New York. Some are disappointed they won't play as the Ghostbusters from the movies. Is that important?
David Williams: The general story is that there is a demon that's being resurrected in New York City and because of this process there are lots and lots of ghosts being drawn to New York from all over the world. This means that the original Ghostbusters team is pretty much overrun with work, so they've had to recruit these new rookies to help out.
The original team does take part in the game, but in the story sequences in-between the missions. They are there, but you don't get to play the original characters.
Eurogamer: Does it include voice acting from the original cast?
David Williams: No. The story is shown through comic sequences.
Eurogamer: Why won't we play as the original characters? Were the actors not available?
David Williams: I'm not sure what the process was. This was more of a direction from Atari.