Ittle Dew 2: Just for Laughs
Hey! Joel here again to talk a bit more about Ittle Dew 2. If it hasn’t been clear from my previous posts, and especially the last one about the whiteboard, there’s a big emphasis on humor in Ittle Dew 2 (and Ittle Dew 1…and most of our games, really). Honestly, we never even considered trying to make Ittle Dew 2 or its predecessor more serious. When video games try to be epic, serious story scenes can make the experience tedious and detract from the fun. Making something that’s silly, ridiculous, and lighthearted makes it easier to keep things fast-paced and snappy. Besides, if you think about it, when you have a game where you’re running around whacking hundreds of innocent wild animals and smashing pots and taking stuff for no reason, it makes more sense if your protagonist is kind of a lunatic.
There’s humor – or, at least, dumb/amusing/weird antics – in just about every part of the game, from the cutscenes to the enemies to the dialogue to the puzzles. I especially like the way the intro turned out, which is stupid yet subtle, and I still get a kick out of Business Casual Man (a character with especially interesting fashion sense) and one particular floor switch that runs away when you approach it. You can thank our main programmer, Stefan, for coming up with that one.
Some humorous elements are easier to implement than others. Daniel, our game designer, also wrote the dialog, and he tended to just make it up on the spot. If it wasn’t funny enough or something more amusing came to mind later, it was easy enough to rewrite the scene later. Visual gags, on the other hand, require a lot more work. Ideas for visual gags popped up constantly during development, either in conversation or on the aforementioned whiteboard, but we had to be choosy about what to include; very few of these jokes actually made it into the actual game. Sometimes the deciding factor was how much of an in-joke it was. Something might seem hilarious to those of us on the team, but if it wouldn’t make sense to the player, then there’s not much point. Of course, some of those inside jokes still made it in, but hopefully in a way where the silly quirkiness still fits the world or adds to the mystery of the game, even if you don’t know all the back story.
Basically, when it came to the humor, anything was fair game. If it made us laugh, and especially if we were able to build upon each other’s jokes, it had a shot of making it into the game. There was nothing off limits as too silly or too weird, as long as it fit within the game’s universe (and let’s face it; almost anything goes when you have a theme-park-like adventure island where most of the bad guys are hired help). Hopefully you’ll have as many laughs playing Ittle Dew 2 as we had when we were making it!