PressA2Join recently interviewed No Goblin Co-Founder Dan Teasdale on his new game Roundabout, further projects and Harmonix
Editor: Can you tell us a little about Roundabout?
Dan Teasdale: Sure thing! Roundabout is a ’70s B-Movie game where you get to drive a constantly revolving limousine! It’s part puzzle game, part romantic FMV adventure, part open world exploration, and 100% eSports skeleton endorsed.
Ed: The Limousine spinning as you drive is a pretty unique way to get around how did you come up with the idea?
DT: The spinning is actually inspired by a launch title for the Gameboy Advance called “Kuru Kuru Kururin”. Kururin is a game about a bird that flies a spinning helicopter stick through mazes. I was a huge Kururin fan, but was bummed that nobody had done anything with that mechanic for 15 years. Roundabout takes that core “spinning” mechanic and blows it out to the open world FMV narrative masterpiece that you see today.
Ed: We’ve had the chance to play Roundabout and from what we’ve experienced so far it’s a lot of fun, how much fun was it to create?
DT: Roundabout was a blast for Panzer and I to create! I’m a sucker for cheap FMV, and enlisting our friends into helping us make a really bad movie was great. For the longest time we had no idea if people would like our very specific type of weirdness, so it’s been a relief to get such a positive reception.
Ed: Roundabout was released late 2014 for Steam and got a very good response, was it always the plan to bring the game to the Xbox One?
DT: Yeah, from day one we knew we wanted to bring Roundabout to consoles – in fact, I’d say it’s designed as a “console first” title. If we were a huge studio, I would have loved to release on PC, Xbox One and PS4/Vita at the same time, but alas, we’re only two people! I’d rather take our time with releasing each platform rather than rush them all out and have quality suffer because of it.
Ed: I love the customisation option, games are always more fun when you can drive around with a burger on top of your car, can you tell us what other cool features the game has?
DT: Customization is a big one for Roundabout. You can purchase hats for your limo, change paint jobs, and collect horns that have been scattered around the environment. You can also purchase properties, find collectables, complete in side mission challenges, and a bunch more!
Ed: Last year we had Lococycle and now Roundabout, mixing real people in with animation to create a fun gaming experience, do you think there should be more of that in games?
DT: I think FMV has a very specific place in conveying emotion in ways that would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars otherwise. There’s no way we could have animated characters with as much expressiveness as what our actors provided on camera. There’s also a cute retro novelty to it as well, but that’s more a secondary thing for us.
Ed: You have some really cool cameo passengers in the game including Peggle 2 Lead Designer Sylvain Dubrofsky and Super Meat Boy composer Danny Baranowsky, did you approach them to be part of the game or did they come to you?
DT: We actually did a bit of both! People like Sylvain and Danny we reached out to, since we’re friends and ex co-workers with a lot of them. We also put out a call for anyone who wanted to be a passenger in the game, which is where we got amazing people like our DMV Instructor and Nae Cooper. I’m super impressed with the level of acting ability from everyone who came through our limo set, some people were so talented that we had to tell them to ham it up a bit to fit the style!
Ed: You had a big hand in bringing us some amazing games in the past with the likes of Destroy All Humans, Gunstringer and Rock Band from your time working at Harmonix and Twisted Pixel, when and why did you decide you wanted to start your own Studio?
DT: Panzer and I have always wanted to start a studio together making fun unique games, but I especially wanted to make the kind of unique games that don’t seem to be made anymore. That’s also a lot of the reason we’re called “No Goblin” – you’ll never see a game with fantasy goblins from us, since that’s something that’s been well covered by thousands of other games.
Ed: We recently learnt that you play the Bass Guitar in a band, did you have any part in the games soundtrack?
DT: I do play bass! I played in Speck, who you might recognise as the guys who did “Conventional Lover” on the Rock Band 2 soundtrack. I would have loved to record more stuff for Roundabout, but we were so slammed with making a game and filming a script that I didn’t have any spare time to knock out a bassline. Maybe next project!
Ed: Are there any future projects in the pipeline for No Goblin?
DT: Yep! As well as finishing up the PS4 and PS Vita versions of Roundabout, we’re also in pre-production on Game 2. No spoilers on what that is yet, sorry!
We’re also the people behind the Men of Game Development calendar, which is a fine addition to any office wall. You can check out this years models at menofgamedev.com
Ed: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Dan