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Know Your Indie: RatDog Games

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We’re forging ahead with more Indie goodness, making sure you’re well aware of these up and coming studios before they go huge.

Up this time is a local studio from Dartmouth, Massachusetts known as RatDog Games. I recently had the pleasure to speak with Andrew DeSilva, a man of many hats over there and an all around nice guy. In addition to being a co-founder, he also serves as a producer and designer on a number of projects currently in development.

Want to know more on who they are and what you can expect out of them? Have a look below. A big thank you to Andrew for his time and candor on this!

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Derek Nichols: For those who may not be familiar with your studio, if you wouldn’t mind, please give us a run down. Who is Rat Dog Games and how were you founded?

Andrew DeSilva: RatDog Games consists of a team of four good friends who share a passion for games. We are an indie studio based out of Dartmouth, MA who have worked on titles individually including but not limited to Bioshock Infinite and Kindgoms of Amalur. The company was originated back in March of 2011 during the inaugural Pax East event. We all went to enjoy the convention but left with a new-found desire to create our own games instead of working for larger studios.

DN: Where did the name of the studio originate from?

AD: The name is symbolic for the company being an indie underdog of sorts. We are well aware of how hard it is to break into the industry and wanted our name to represent the fact that we plan on making an impact. We thought the dog would represent the industry as a whole and our studio would be the rat. Our artist Josh quickly drew up a humorous logo and it stuck.. what began as a joke one night ended up being the name and logo which will represent us for years to come. We are the rat conquering the mighty dog.

DN: What games have inspired you and your team growing up?

AD: Given that our entire team is in their early to mid twenties, we are part of the first generation which was brought up on video games. This allows us for a monstrous list of games. Some of our favorites include Streets of Rage, Phantasy Star IV, Legend of Zelda: (A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time), Earthbound and Ogre Battle 64.

DN: What project(s) is the studio currently working on?

AD: Given the risks of being an indie we always try to be working on multiple titles at once. This allows us to minimize risk if a project happens to not do well financially or a prototype needs to be scrapped. We currently have two titles being developed for mobile and one larger project for the PS4. The two mobile projects are titled EverDead: Zombie Apocalypse and a tentatively titled project Puzzle Sphere. The PS4 titled was originally codenamed Loaded but since been released as Drykkur.

DN: Are you able to go into the story at all, perhaps a teaser for what players can expect?

AD: While we are not releasing much information about Drykkur’s story (partially to keep it a surprise and also because it is still in development) I can reveal some items. In Drykkur players find themselves mysteriously teleported into the Viking world of Midgard as one of four playable characters. Midgard is in turmoil. A demon named Malphor is preparing to resurrect and only the Norse Gods have the power to re-seal him. Players are cast in the role of the hero while attempting to uncover the mysteries of who they used to be.

DN: How did the idea come about for Drykkur? What was the influence for this title?

AD: Drykkur was originally a very different project. It began its life as a mobile beat ‘em up game meant to be a satire on the lack of stories In traditional beat ‘em ups. We also had some great ideas on how to create proper touchscreen controls for the genre on mobile without the use of “buttons”. Over time the project began to change to a point where we felt consoles would be a better target platform. We contacted Sony and the project really began to take off. Given that Drykkur features elements from the beat ‘em up, RPG and dungeon crawling genres some of our biggest influences are Streets of Rage, Diablo and The Elder Scrolls to name a few.

DN: And what about Everdead: Zombie Apocalypse? What was the inspiration behind that title?

AD: The idea of EverDead came from reading player complaints about all zombie games feeling the same. We ran with that idea and decided to try and take what we liked about some zombie games and add what we felt was missing. We then decided to create a zombie simulator featuring distinct day and night modes. During the day players are tasked with the job of running a survival camp where survivors must be sent on missions throughout a city to acquire resources which are key to survival. Those same resources are then used to keep their camp alive , barter for supplies as well as build weapons / defenses to fortify their camp from zombie attacks. Night mode features side scrolling tower defense combat with camps survivors acting as movable towers. EverDead was inspired but such games as Rebuild, Kingdom Rush and Plants Vs Zombies.

DN: It may be a bit early, but how would you like to see these games evolve post release? What would you like to see added down the road?

AD: It is certainly difficult to say how they will evolve. That is entirely up to our fans, we will make changes and add content based on their feedback.

DN: When are you looking to launch both games, what platforms will it be available on, and is there a price point set?

AD: As of right now we are aiming to release EverDead (mobile) by the end of 2013, Puzzle Sphere (mobile) by Q2 2014 and Drykkur (PS4) by the end of 2014.

DN: Thank you for your time!