Michael Panin, The Creation of The Lost Socks.
Socks! You wouldn’t think they are capable of much aside from smelling like rancid cheese after a long jog. The people at Nerf games are here to prove you wrong. Armed to the teeth with over the top weapons The Lost Socks is a beautiful symphony of destruction. We got a chance to check out Nerf Games newest project and talk to the staff. Originally we got in touch with the CEO Regov Anton after seeing the game in action. Hailing from Russia Anton was glad to give us the scoop except he was rusty when it came to speaking English.
After talking to the Regov we got the chance to interview Michael Panin who was better at speaking English to help talk about their upcoming project. The game will be available March 2nd on IOS.
So tell me about yourself. What have you worked on in the past and what got you into game development? What is your role on the project?
I am the IT director at Nerf Game. I got here just a half of year ago and took the place of Anton Augustinovich. "The lost socks" has been developed for over three years, so you can say that I came at the end of project.
At the age of 4 years, I have played "mario" for the first time and making games became my dream. I made my first game at the age of 12. During school I became pretty good at competitive programming and won 4-th place in Russia.
I have worked in several companies that were not related to games; Then I got invited by a game start-up to join them and dropped-out from college. After a year it has collapsed and I have found a new job here, at Nerf Game.
Tell me about your studio, How many developers are you working with? How did you guys come together to form Nerf Games? What other projects did Nerf Games work on?
Well, our studio has a long and tricky history. But I will tell it briefly.
Once upon a time, there was a man with money and desire to make games.
He has posted a work offer on a russian site. It sounded like this: "I am searching for guys who can make games. I have money to pay".
Obviously, there were many people making fun of him. But for some people it was a chance to create something fantastic. And they did as their hearts told them -- joined flexilestudio.
Yes, at first we were flexilestudio that made an ffree to play game called "Wimp: Who Stole My Pants". It was a fun platformer/puzzle game with decent graphics, but it had some issues like having boring first location (swamp). Consequently it wasn't a commercial success.
We were also working on a 3d shooter for XBox and PlayStation and MOBA game for web, but these games didn't make it to release and were closed.
Currently we have about 10-14 people. It's hard to say since we work with some guys on outsorce basis.
Can you briefly describe what Lost Socks is about? How does the game play and whats the story behind it?
Lost Socks is a game about a Sock, whose brother was stolen. He got goddamn angry and is know going to kick some asses!
Do you know how hard it is to be angry all the time? That's why our game constantly keeps player angry, giving only short time-outs between levels to relax.
It is a really hardcore game. Your granny won't be able to play it!
It is fast and you have A LOT of things you can do. You can jump. You can hover. You can dash, which makes you invincible and kills everybody in your way. You can shoot two types of weapons. While the hover mode you can shoot diagonaly And you can touch buttons and destroy gears to move huge parts of the levels.
Why did you choose socks as the main protagonist?
Well, why not? We just wanted to think of something funny, so that our game will have a cute exterior, but hardocre soul. We love this duality.
Where you inspired by any established titles? I can't help but get a Rayman and Earthworm Jim vibe especially with the weapons and characters.
Yes, sure, We were inspired by Rayman. But mostly Earth Worm Jim and other oldschool games were inspiring us. Even Comics Zone is presented in our game -- our socks have text clouds.
And when you destroy boxes, there is a word "Crash!" coming out of them.
From what I have seen the animation, effects and overall art looks amazing. What went into animating all the characters and weapon effects? What was your teams goal for the games visuals?
Well, our visual style has changed three or four times. And these were not minor changes, I gotta say.
And in the end, one month before the release we have found a way to drammatically improve performance of the game, so our artists have added a lot of lights and made the game even more colorful and still running a solid 60FPS!
Whats next for you and your team after Lost Socks?
Well, first of all we are going to port our game to pc and android.
We probably will make a sequel for "Lost Socks" and then proceed to making other games. Game Link: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1074889855
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LostSocksGame VK: https://vk.com/lostsocksgame