I have a real love for the little games you see on itch.io. At one point recently I happened to take a look there and saw Extreme Meatpunks Forever. The game caught my attention thanks to... well it's a game about driving mechs made of meat and punching Nazis. Do I need to say more? Fast forward a few days, and I happened to see the game at Play NYC 2018. Apparently it was my destiny to know about Extreme Meatpunks Forever, so I decided I had to learn more. Thankfully Josie Brechner was there. She was more than happy to talk about her time working on the game as its composer, and took a few minutes to talk with me.
TechRaptor: So I’m here with Josie, who’s doing the soundtrack for Extreme Meatpunks Forever. Why don’t you quickly just tell me what’s Extreme Meatpunks Forever?
Josie Brechner: Sure! So, Extreme Meatpunks Forever is a combo visual novel/mech brawler were you play as four queer characters on the worst road trip in their lives, and pretty much of all time. The game is about working through the story in this sort of alternate reality where people use mech suits made out of meat to fight Nazis and run from the cops.
TechRaptor: That’s already amazing. So why is this road trip so bad? What happened?
Josie: Well we’re showing episode 3 today. So it’s a serial game, it's coming out in six different episodes, and episode 3 takes place right after we left Sundown, which is the Meatpunk’s hometown, and they got into a scrap, a bar fight, that escalated to a fight with the cops and, you know, things get hairy. You start punching fascists in a world that’s threatening and unfriendly.
TechRaptor: So you have these… You said they’re mech suits made of meat. How does that work?
Josie: The technology is pretty complicated, especially in our reality, but they’re powered by blood and if you stay in them too long can go feral. Which is never good. It’s a pretty cool-- basically most of the technology in this game is based around meat or a sort of body horror concept. Muscles and flesh and sinews. All that good stuff.
TechRaptor: Sounds almost kind of disgusting, but it’s not like… Like I’m watching someone else play right now, it’s not like it’s super gory or anything. I actually kind of like the graphics, it almost looks like a older Amiga game.
Josie: Yeah, so, Heather Flowers, who is the main developer for the game, did a lot of the background art and it’s heavily ASCII influenced. So you’ll see random, in like the cacti later on, you’ll see random H’s in there, and it’s all woven together in a weird, non-aesthetic, way.
TechRaptor: So you specifically worked on the soundtrack, correct?
TechRaptor: Want to tell me a little of what went into making the soundtrack?
Josie: So the soundtrack has a bunch of different kinds of influences. Primarily we’re drawing from folkpunk, also punk rock, there’s a lot of anime moods in there, there’s some horror--
Random Guy Playing the Game: You guys got a great game, that’s a great soundtrack!
Josie: Oh, thank you so much, wow! That was a live compliment! Uh… so the genre, it’s like a real mix, but hopefully it all works together.
TechRaptor: That’s funny, that was a live complement. That’s good though, shows you’re doing a good job.
TechRaptor: So one of the goals in the game is that you’re punching fascists. Well, more specifically, you’re punching Nazis. This is great. How did we end up specifically with Nazis? Was it because that just seems to be the unfortunate current political situation, or just because punching Nazis is always fun?
Josie: Well, Heather has talked a little bit about… this is a concept she’s been brewing for about 10 months, about making out own myths. So part of that modern day myth making is taking our weird, kind of bad, reality and spinning it into a fiction that’s a little more digestible. So there’s definitely a lot of stuff that speaks to where we’re at in both, she and I are trans, so there’s a lot of that experience in the game as well. Yeah, it’s both cathartic and also real and hard and weird and… all sorts of things.
TechRaptor: Awesome. Well I’d really like to thank you for talking to me, this seems super interesting, and I’m really excited to see more of this.
Josie: Awesome. Thanks so much for coming by Sam, and I hope you enjoy playing the game.
We'd like to once again thank Josie Brechner for taking the time to talk with us.