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PAX East 2013: Secret Ponchos dev on combining elements of LoL and Street Fighter into a Spaghetti Western shooter

[Continued] Page 2

GZ: Why do you refer to them as archetypes rather than characters?

Caley Smyth: Everyone will be able to build their own outlaw. So what happens at the beginning of the game is you go in, you select your archetype, customize the colors, and that’s all you’ll be able to do at the beginning. But then we have a reputation point system. You get points for kills, assists, damage, stuff like that. We’re also working on the idea of being able to wager. You’ll be able to wager your reputation points against someone.

There’s character investment in the sense that you can customize them, you can upgrade them as you get reputation points, but we also want you to be able to lose points. It’s something we liked about a lot of the games we grew up playing, and it’s kind of disappearing.

GZ: A lot of games now are all about progression and getting more and more and it starts to feel like a grind.

Caley Smyth: Yeah, you see that with a lot of big companies and big titles, because they want to keep people happy, they don’t want to disappoint them. Luckily, we’re in a situation where a lot of us doing this game, we did it because it was our chance to do something creative. So we can take that risk because we’re a small indie company. It’s not a big deal if we only sell 200,000 units, we don’t have to sell 4 million to break even.

GZ: So you can afford to go for a niche audience.

Caley Smyth: Yeah, I mean, it’s all right here. It’s a spaghetti western, it isn’t just the typical military shooter. It’s highly stylized, which is one more removal from the normal stream. Then we made it multiplayer only. We really wanted to tool it toward skill too.

Secret Ponchos

GZ: Where can we expect to see this game?

Caley Smyth: We really want to get it on PC, on Steam, there’s a lot of demand for that. Right now, we’re an indie developer and so this is all console. Right now we’re in talks with some publishers like Microsoft and some others and we don’t know what’s going to come out of it. We are for sure going to be on the Xbox or the Playstation, but hopefully both.

GZ: Did you consider anything like the Vita? It seems to be a hot spot for indie games at the moment.

Caley Smyth: It wasn’t something we considered, because really, we’re so small that we need a big audience. One thing we really want to do is push content out after it releases. We love the Team Fortress model, they just keep people involved and keep them in there. That’s what we want. We want people to keep playing.

GZ: That kind of support seems trickier to do on something like the Xbox, no?

Caley Smyth: Yeah, exactly. I don’t want to tell people that this is how it’s going to be, that we’re going to have free content, because we don’t know. That stuff is still to be determined, but that’s what we want to do. Even if we end up with Microsoft only, we’re still going to do our best. If we’re going to do content then we’re going to do big packs then, for very little money.

GZ: So what’s the release date you’re aiming for?

Caley Smyth: We really want to get it out before Summer. 2013 for sure. It’s close, we’re really just fine tuning stuff right now. It’ll definitely be out on a console, but we want a PC version too.

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