In gaming, we've seen some crazy concepts. Gamers have rolled up balls of junk into stars, fought off zombies by typing, and even performed QTEs to slaughter Greek Gods. However, few concepts are as strange as that of Viscera Cleanup Detail's, a game which tasks you to clean blood and guts off of a space station. Today we got to chat with Arn Rickert, one of Viscera Cleanup Detail's three designers to chat about his game, Santa's Rampage, and more!
Tech Raptor: Where did you get the idea for Viscera Cleanup Detail?
Arn: The idea was concocted during dinner about two weeks after our game Rooks Keep was released. It wasn't doing well and we were just brainstorming what we could possibly do next. Given the situation we were in, ideas ranged from crazy, to crazy dark. But at one point, I recalled the idea of having to clean up after a sci-fi horror mess(we've probably all thought that during a game), which was strengthened by an off-hand comment I saw from one of the RockPaperShotgun writers, I think.
Immediately, when we had that flash of inspiration, all kinds of ideas for the game came quickly. It made sense, we were enthusiastic and we knew we could get a prototype together relatively quickly. Cue ten days of intensive work and Viscera Cleanup Detail was born!
TR: Now that the game's workshop has been released, are there any player creations that stand out to you?
Arn: I haven't tried many of them out yet (my brother has, though), but when I last looked in early Jan, "The Sewer Job" stuck as being quite an impressive level. Hoping to see more as we go! We'll also have more content for level-designers before the end of our Early Access run.
TR: Are you surprised by the game's success?
Arn: Yeah, it's been a continual surprise! I really didn't think it would catch on as much as it has :) The best part of it's success has to be the fact that we can now work safely on our next game without worrying about how to pay the bills. For a time, at least..
Arn: When VCD was just starting to get traction (when we put it on Greenlight), the 'Fork Parker' Twitter account was one of the first to notice and talk about it. Then, we got an email from him, a call was made, and some plans were hatched. VCD: Shadow Warrior was born! We got some assets we required and then did our best to replicate the iconic level inside UDK, which I think we managed quite well!
TR: Do you have any plans to collaborate with other First Person Shooters in the future?
Arn: Not right now, no. If anything particularly interesting comes along, or we're offered anything that seems like a match made in heaven, then we might consider it :) But at the moment, there is nothing afoot.
TR: So what's the story behind Santa's Rampage?
Arn: When we first dreamed up the idea for VCD, ideas for the format started to come along quickly. We'd have umpteen ideas for different sci-fi space-station settings, of course, but we also had less conventional settings. These ranged from the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, to some kind of evil carnival cleanup and so on. From somewhere in the depths of my mind I thought up the idea of a Santa's workshop massacre. Towards the end of the year, we decided to see if we could pull it off quickly enough, after all, it would be ideal for a Christmas version of some sort. So for about a week or two before December, I worked on the environment in the evenings, after regular VCD work. Once we'd put up the last VCD update of the year, the other two joined in and we finished it off.
Arn: Nothing too unusual; polish it up and finish what we have left on the roadmap. Once we're satisfied with that we can release it from the tentacles of Early Access! Beyond that, we'll see about possible add-ons\spin-off's some time later. We have ideas, of course and some have a greater chance of being made. We're also quite eager get into some of our other games/prototypes, so once VCD has seen a full release, our work efforts will shift onto those. It must be said of course, that any required patches and perhaps the occasional map will be formulated as required :)
Bottom line; finish Early Access, get out any patches needed, perhaps the occasional map, possibility of add-on's in the future :)
TR: Before we wrap this up, any shoutouts you'd like to make?
Arn: Yeah! To anyone whoever played, bought or watched VCD; thank you! :)
TR: Thank you for your time.