If you like punishing design and smooth game flow look no further. Splasher is wacky, 2D platformer developed by Splashteam. Which consists of Romain Claude working on design, coding, and sound, Richard Vatinel handling the art and graphics, and David Boitier orchestrating the tunes. Some may even know Mr. Claude as the former designer of Rayman Origins, Rayman Legends, and Rabbids Go Home over at Ubisoft. About a week ago, gameplay for the titular game released on Youtube. I was immediately taken in with the fast paced gameplay and challenging level design.
I had to know more. Luckily, my inquiry was met with a response from the main architect of Splasher, Romain Claude. Not only did he agree to answer all my questions but also showcased his passion. The love he had for his creation was so palpable that I had no trouble believing Splasher had won several awards pre-release. Mr. Claude held nothing back regarding in-depth information and what inspires him. Needless to say, I can’t wait to have this game in my hands come early 2017.
Pure PlayStation: When people look at Splasher, they’ll see a fast paced, 2D platformer. I know paint plays a critical role in the gameplay but mind expanding on how Splasher is unique?
Romain Claude: So in the beginning the only thing you can do is shoot water and jump. At this point the game really looks like a traditional platforming and shooting game but with other powers thanks to paint canons, such as sticking and bouncing to walls. Later in the game you will acquire these powers and it’s up to you to choose what surface you want to paint, in what color, and in what order to create the path by yourself.
Pure PlayStation: Were there any specific influences for the game? A certain title or individual? Like Portal liquid for paints?
Romain Claude: Super Meat Boy, Portal 2/Power Of Paint, Battle Block Theater, Splatoon (when the game came out a couple of things inspired me as well, but we were already quite far in the game design process), and Ratchet & Clank (they do platforming + aim assisted shooting quite well). I also reused many things I’ve learned in previous games I’ve worked on, such as Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends.
Pure PlayStation: In the game’s description, you use the word demanding. What do you mean exactly?
Romain Claude: The first levels are quite cool and didactic but as much as you progress, beating a level requires trickier executions. Each liquid is mapped on a button. When you have to juggle with 2 of them, then later on 3 of them, in fast paced platforming sequences, with sometimes less than half a second to choose can very demanding.
Pure PlayStation: Splasher has a time attack and speedrun mode along with “special fun modes,” where you kill all the splashers yourself. Can you explain how they work?
Romain Claude: The speedrun mode features a continuous chronometer from the beginning to the end of the game. Whenever you finish one level you instantly start the next one until you finish the game. No cut scenes and Hub loop. Then you can compare your score with other people in a leaderboard. Some achievements will also be related to this mode.
The time attack mode features a chronometer per level. So the goal is to make the best time possible in a level you choose. Reference times to beat will be proposed for solo rewards such as bronze, silver, gold and platinum medals. This mode will feature leaderboards as well and special achievements too.
The dark mode is a special mode that you unlock after having finished the game once. If you do the game in dark mode, the goal is not to collect your buddies in distress but to kill them. An important thing is the fact that you can replay levels with powers you didn’t have the first time. So in this case it gives new tools to be even more creative in your sinister purpose.