[Interview] Get Ready to do the Time Warp with the Creator of the Rocky Horror Show: Touch Me Game
Recently I made the fantastic discovery that there was a Rocky Horror Show game campaign currently on Kickstarter. The game titled The Rocky Horror Show: Touch Me is in development by London-based devs Rocket Lolly Games and lets you take control of the dance moves for some of your favorite Rocky Horror characters. It will be available on a tablet, and mobile (iOS and Android versions) and will be free-to-play.
This week I caught up with Rocket Lolly's co-founder Oscar Clark for a chat about The Rocky Horror Show: Touch Me and his experiences with running a Kickstarter campaign.
ESpalding: Hello, Oscar! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. Could you start by telling the readers a bit about yourself and your studio Rocket Lolly Games?
Oscar Clark: How long have you got? I've been working on games for about 18 years and have been involved with a number of early games services from BT's Wireplay game service, ThreeUK's mobile operator games platform and PlayStation Home. Ella Romanos is my business partner and we formed the company together to make the game - she's been in the industry around 9 years herself, much of it running her own games studios.
Spalding: Other than the obvious fact that you are a massive RHS fan, what inspired you to make The Rocky Horror Show: Touch Me game?
Clark: As much as it would be great to just make a game for a show that you love - you have to make sure it's something which has a chance to succeed. Yes we love Rocky Horror and both a privilege and a responsibility to make something that at least matches people's expectations; but more than that we have to make a game which will appeal to as wide an audience as possible. We felt that audience participation was the key. If we can make a rhythm action dance game which really feels good on a tablet or mobile device we could really pull off something amazing.
Spalding: As RHS has such a huge cult following, how are you going to make sure that players get an authentic RHS gaming experience?
Clark: That's a real challenge and I that's why we decided to approach the art style as if we were putting on our very own theatre show. That means paying close attention to the original Science Fiction Double Features which inspired the show in the first place, as much as our experiences watching the show ourselves - both film, Live Show and Theatre show. We have also reached out to a number of the biggest Rocky Horror community sites in the UK and USA and have made sure we showed off our concepts to them as early as possible.
Spalding: Why did you go for an interactive mobile game rather than any other style of game out there at the moment?
Clark: As I said before the key is the desire to create something which feels like audience participation as well as being easily accessible to as wide an audience as possible - we want to encourage new people to want to watch the Stage Show!
Spalding: The Rocky Horror Show: Touch Me game is currently on Kickstarter and is nearing the end of the campaign. What has been your experience with Kickstarter so far?
Clark: This is my first time doing a Kickstarter - as we have been really proactive - but it's still been more work than even we prepared for. I think, so far, the best moment was hitting 20% of our target within the first week. That gave us the feeling we were in with a chance. Today we hit just over $32k, which is 94% of our target and with 3 more days to go - we are in with a chance to make it if we get the support.
Spalding: What has been the most challenging aspect of developing the game?
Clark: To be honest - making the game is the relatively easy part. The hard part has been Kickstarter - but it forces you to learn!
Spalding: What has been your favorite aspect of the game to develop? Looking at the content list on the Kickstarter page, I am looking forward to seeing what the Freezer looks like. I can't help it. I'm an Eddie fan!
Clark: There are so many things I'm looking forward to finishing off - but it's the little details that I love. Things like researching the type of Car in the 'Opening Scene' or choosing to have Magenta wear 'Doc Martens' style boots has been at least as enjoying as working out the details of the game mechanics or how the Reward system will work. I just love making games!
Spalding: Out of all the RHS characters, who have you most enjoyed developing?
Clark: How could I possibly choose! Riff is the most complete so far; but I can't wait to work on Eddie or Columbia... and of course Frankie himself! To be honest I love them all. I also can't wait to turn a real player into one of the Phantoms!
Spalding: One of the things I love about this game is the fact that you will include a share feature so that players can share dances etc. with their friends. How will this work? Will it be a case of "adding friends" in-game or having a separate website where players can upload their content for others to view and download?
Clark: The share feature is really quite simple. It uses a feature that I happen to talk about a lot for Unity as an evangelist. The feature, Everyplay, automatically records the player's gameplay as well as their face - but don't worry you can turn that off if you don't want it! Then when it gets shared we will simply include the steps you have taken into the video as metadata. Yes you will be able to add your friends to the game via Facebook as well. We have an idea to offer a Facebook mask you can wear if you sign-up (allowing you to use your friends profile picture on the mask!)
Spalding: Over the years, RHS has been performed so many times, by so many people. I first saw the stage show at the Brighton Dome in 1998 when the lovely Jason Donovan donned the black fishnets, and there have been lots of soundtracks produced for various tours, etc. not to mention the movie soundtrack. Will you be using the unmistakeable Tim Curry soundtrack or have you decided to use one of the other performances?
Clark: Actually the initial soundtrack we will be using will be the Jason Donovan tour! That's because it's the favourite of Richard O'Briens and Andy Leigton (the music and games producer for The Rocky Horror Show).
Spalding: Are you able to tell us into what might come out of Rocket Lolly Games in the future?
Clark: Hehe - let's get this game done first - we have a long term agreement with The Rocky Horror Show and we have lots of ideas on what we want to do with this game - that's going to take some time to deliver as it is!
Spalding: Finally, on a light note, what is your favorite RHS song? As I've mentioned, I am an Eddie fan. "Hot Patootie" is a fantastic song but "Eddie" has got to be my favorite song.
Clark: For me it will always be my favourite Karaoke number... Sweet Transvestite!
Once again, many thanks Oscar!
The Rocky Horror Show: Touch Me is still live on Kickstarter, with only a few more day to go to reach its target. If you want to learn more about the game itself, head to my other article, Hot Patootie, Bless my Soul! and have a read about it yourself.