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Eurogamer Expo Sessions: Hello Games looks back at Joe Danger

Sean Murray joins us for a post-mortem.

Danger is our middle name here at Eurogamer, but earlier this year PlayStation 3 stunt bike superhero Joe Danger took it to a whole new level by making it his surname. He was also the star of a very good game, made by indie upstart Hello Games - four pleasant men beavering away in a room in Guildford making the game they had always wanted to make.

Last year they joined us at the Eurogamer Expo's Indie Arcade to show the game to the public for the very first time, and following its release this year we invited them back to do a post-mortem in one of our lovely auditoriums. In case you missed it, we also spoke to Hello's MD Sean Murray beforehand to find out what he had in store.

Eurogamer Thank you very much for coming to the Expo! You are of course now a veteran of two Expos, and what a difference a year makes!
Sean Murray

Yes, definitely for us. If you hadn't asked us to talk we probably would have come along anyway and just bothered people. We've gotten used to showing a game, you know? We're not quite in that mode this time around, but we had such a good time last time, genuinely - you know I've said this to you before when I've met you - it's something we still talk about. That was kind of our reveal. That was the first time people in public had played Joe Danger.

Eurogamer It must have been nerve-wracking.
Sean Murray


Eurogamer So you're coming into this particular Expo cool, calm and collected.
Sean Murray

Well, apart from the fact I have to talk, which is something I have the barest credentials to do - even on a one to one basis.

Eurogamer In your session you're going to discuss happy accidents that led to design decisions. What's that about?
Sean Murray

Well, I guess the whole talk will probably be some sort of happy accident. But we've had a lot of that, you know? Like - is this a bad thing to admit to? - we don't have a design document.

Eurogamer [Gasps dramatically.]
Sean Murray

Yeah I know! We have the barest concept of, "We'll have a little guy on a bike," and even that tends to change. Like, okay, a good example - we've got double-jump in the game, and it's totally necessary and it's a really cool part of the game, but it was just a bug. We had jump, and then you double-jumped. We saw it for the first time and thought it was quite fun, so we messed about with it and tweaked it. There was loads of that. If you hit a spring and jump you go higher - that was just a weird thing we never predicted, but it worked. I guess that's the thing - maybe we're not that subtle and we just rely on bugs to create our subtlety. That's the depth.

Eurogamer Did you ever consider a triple-jump or perhaps a Mario-style raccoon flying hat?
Sean Murray

Well that's the part I haven't told you - obviously it being a bug, you could just keep pressing jump as much as you wanted and basically fly. We took that part out. That got toned back. But it happened. And right there, if that had been fun, we would have turned it into some sort of bike flying game and everything else would have gone out of the window.

Eurogamer Maybe you can do an expansion pack.
Sean Murray

We could have a patch that just reintroduces all our bugs! It would be quite novel.

Eurogamer I'd love to see that going through Sony certification.
Sean Murray