National Video Games Examiner Patrick Hickey Jr. chats with Samurai Punk co-founder Nick McDonnell, who discusses their nifty new First-Person Shooter, “Screencheat.” For those who have played and “cheated” their way to victory in a multiplayer FPS over the years, rejoice! “Screencheat” not only wants you to cheat by looking at your opponents’ screens, it’s a must.
For more on the game, click here.
Patrick Hickey Jr.: What inspired this game?
Nick McDonnell: We started the game from a prototype we built during Global Game Jam 2014. We were throwing around cooperative local multiplayer ideas at the jam and were constantly coming up against issues of Screencheating hindering the mechanics. So what we ended up doing was just taking that design issue and turning it into the core mechanic. From there, we drew a lot from the games we played as kids, like Halo and Golden Eye, to take ideas for feel and level design and the game just kind of evolved.
Hickey Jr.: What has the development cycle been like?
McDonnell: It’s actually been really organic and smooth for the most part. We’ve obviously had a lot of issues in areas like Steam and consoles where we are new to development, but otherwise we’ve just been building upon that core mechanic from the game and making the best party shooter we can.
Hickey Jr.: What games did you play as a kid? How did they influence this one?
McDonnell: I played a lot of Halo when I was a kid and it really influenced my take on level design, as that was one of my main areas of work on Screencheat. I always loved those games for their really interesting designs, which I guess was afforded to them because of the alien worlds they played on. As a result, they had a great vertical flow to them, which I don’t think we see a lot in modern console shooters.
Hickey Jr.: What makes this game different?
McDonnell: Unlike most shooters that rely on twitch reactions, Screencheat forces players to use their abilities of spacial processing and awareness to give them the upper hand on their opponents. This leads to the play at higher levels being more about positioning and duking, which isn’t really a big thing in other shooters.
Hickey Jr.: Bottom Line, Why should someone play this?
McDonnell: Because you’ve never played a shooter this weird before.
Hickey Jr.: What’s next?
McDonnell: We don’t have anything to announce yet but we’re rearing to get back into the idea space. We haven’t jammed as a team since 2014 so we really want to find time to do that again.