Slime-san releases today via Steam on PC/Mac/Linux, and this week we had the opportunity to speak with the game’s lead developer, Fabian Rastorfer of Fabraz, for an interview delving into the game’s design, development, post-launch and more. Join Kyle Haste of MonsterVine’s IndieComplete podcast for the in-depth discussion about Slime-san, a game where players control a cute ball of slime in a myriad of platforming levels in the belly of a giant worm that ate you. Fabraz has also confirmed to MonsterVine that Slime-san will be coming to Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One this summer.
The interview was recorded and prepared for listening, however an edited transcription of select questions from the interview can be read below. For the complete interview, click play on the SoundCloud embed below, or listen via the IndieComplete podcast series with the following links:
As mentioned in our preview of the game, Slime-san is swallowed by a worm. Really it’s an utterly enormous worm as it has some 100 levels inside it, including boss encounters with most of its major organs, and a whole village of animals that’ve been swallowed too, resigned to their intestinal fate. Platformers of this style are typically very lacking in context or background, but Slime-san provides plenty, presented here and there between stretches of levels to always remind you: you’re inside a giant worm, and it wants to digest you.
With that in mind, what inspired Slime-san? How did the idea form and harden into what it is now?
The theme was entirely based on the idea of playing a character that’s usually the loser in other video games. So like if you play Dragon Quest, what’s the first monster you kill? It’s probably a slime. It’s going to happen in most RPGs, the slime is the loser. So we said, “Let’s take a slime and make him the protagonist.” So what’s a fitting story line for someone that usually loses? Well, how about at the very beginning of the game, the moment you hit ‘start’ you get eaten by a giant worm.
That’s the fate of a slime. But, now that you control the slime, you have the chance for revenge, for retribution. So you can fight yourself through the worm and out its mouth, into freedom.
From that, we kind of worked out mechanical twists to create the fast-paced platformer that we always wanted to make, and we’ve felt don’t exist as often as people think. When an article states, for example, “At first we thought it [Slime-san] was just another fast-paced action-based platformer,” I usually tend to ask, well, what was the last one? N++? Super Meat Boy? And you’re already going to start running out of other games to list, because a lot of them are more story-based. You’ve got Limbo, which is much more story-based. You’ve got puzzlers, or more slow-paced a la Mario. Or Sonic, where the levels are incredibly long. But short, bite-sized levels that are incredible fast-paced, they’re just not as common. And so we wanted to dive into that and add new mechanical twists.
There’s a good amount of story and world in the game and inside the worm, why bring story into a game like this? How do you figure out the pacing of it all?
I just love writing humorous dialogue. Our past two games, one of the most compliments was always the humor. And so, I grew comfortable with writing that sort of stuff. And I feel this game has so much potential for ridiculous humor that I needed to explore it. And I also think that it adds a lot of life to this obscure little bizarre world within the worm.
So, we went crazy. I think we have aroud 80 characters in total throughout the entire game. And most people that go through the town for the first time [Slumptown, the town within the worm where other animals the worm ate now live] go there just to go shopping, and then they’re like “What the hell is this!? There’s a ramen shop! There’s a clothing shop! There’s a skyscraper! There’s an arcade parlor! There’s a dojo!” You can spend a really good chunk of your time there.
What I also kind of like about it is it gives you a brief moment of a break. The levels are so fast-paced, but at Slumptown you can chill, you can talk to people, you can have a chuckle or two, and I think it’s fun that way.
What can you tell us about the replayability of the game, and any post-launch plans?
So we have a lot of post-game content. When you beat the game you’ll have New Game+, which remixes all of the previous levels so you can try tackling that. All of the levels have international leader boards, so you can compete for trophy times. We have a boss-rush mode that you can also be competitive about online. We have a speed-running mode. We even have Twitch integration, where you can play the game while streaming on your channel, and the chat can vote-in changes in the levels as you play. Obviously the could vote in ‘helps’, like for example spawning-in water so you can swim around. Or they could spawn some huge difficulty, so they can make you super-sized, or flip the gravity on you. And because it’s the internet most people so far have been rather unhelpful to people [laughs].
Collecting everything is a challenge on its own, and there’s one final gift for that that I’m not going to spoil. Outside of all of that, which I really do think will take you 30-50 hours, we are planning to do content-patches if we build big-enough of a userbase, and potentially even a level-editor. That’d definitely be something I would be super excited about.
For more, you can listen to the full interview with SoundCloud or the links above. Check out Slime-san’s trailer below. The game is out-now on Steam. For more visit Slime-san.com.