Although it didn't exactly set the gaming world on fire, the first De Blob was and still is one the best third-party offerings on Nintendo's Wii.
What it lacked in the gameplay variety department it made up for with a unique mix of platforming and painting mechanics that made creative use the Wii's motion control capabilities.
Picking up a couple of years after the end of the first game, De Blob 2 tasks players with taking control of Blob as he and the members of the Colour Underground restore some vibrancy to the world.
This time, however, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners can also get in on the paint job. We had a chat with brand manager Rick Davis to chat about the history of De Blob, its multiplatform debut and what's changed since the first game.
De Blob has had an interesting history, it started life as a student project much in the same way that Portal did, how did it come to be a THQ game?
Yes, it was actually a student project for a PC game from Denmark. It's such a different game now but the original IP, where it came from, was something that THQ had looked at and really saw the potential in. THQ was able to work with the students and get the rights to the IP and gave it to Blue Tongue in Australia who made it into the Wii game it is, adding the deeper storylines that are fun because they have kids humour as well as darker undertones that make it fun for everybody.
With the second title why did you decide to go multi-platform rather than sticking with the Wii and carving out a reputation as one of the best Wii third-party franchises on the market?
Honestly, I think it's a strong offering on all the platforms, it's in a direction where it was developed for the Wii and much of the work from a development standpoint was done on the Wii. So it's not to say that they're eyes weren't on Wii, they've taken that original concept and made it so much more deeper.
There's everything from tropical bio-domes to levels with ice mechanics and physics and space levels. They've taken that Wii experience, the storyline and the visuals and maxed out the Wii and brought it to other platforms. I think there was less of a focus on platforms and more on how we can take the game to the next level and create that deeper game. It just made sense to make it available on all the platforms.
One of the criticisms of the first game was a lack of variety, what has been done to address this in the second game?
I think that was definitely one of the big things for the second game. There's environmental variety, so you're not just in a city, you can go into outer space, ice levels and tropical Islands so there's a huge visual difference. Then from a gameplay and mechanic standpoint you're achieving things and unlocking things the whole way through the game, in the first game everything was unlocked from the get-go. There's a whole new round of power-ups that didn't exist before, there's hazmat suites that let Blob roll through ink without being hurt, super-charge where Blob can go through the destructible parts of the environments.
The environments themselves have also been brought to life, literally everything can be painted; there's trees, grass, cars, hovercars that fly to life when they're painted, as everything is painted back to life it becomes a hustling bustling metropolis or Bio-dome, those are the biggest elements.
The first game felt like a concept, how did the team build on the first game to flesh it out into a more complete experience?