Starting now, The Fancy Pants Adventures is live on the PlayStation Network! This is a pretty huge occasion for me. I’ve been making Flash games for a few years now, but this time, EA and Over the Top Games are helping to bring Fancy Pants Man to you, and I couldn’t be more excited.
For those who are unfamiliar with the series, The Fancy Pants Adventures is an old-school platformer with some new twists. The environment and your momentum play a large role in how you move through levels, but there’s no point in me talking too much about it, download the demo on the PlayStation Network and check it out!
What I wanted to talk about was how it feels to be a Flash developer moving up to the PS3. Maybe it’s just because I grew up as a console gamer, but to me, having a game on consoles really means something. To me, that’s just where they’re supposed to be played. It’s just an entirely different feeling, lounging back on a couch, especially when you’re surrounded by friends or family.
I designed the original series with traditional gameplay mechanics in mind, so to me, Fancy Pants Man really does feel at home being played with a DualShock controller. Of course, I couldn’t have done it without EA or Over the Top Games, but because of everyone involved, we were able to work in all the console niceties, like four-player online and local multiplayer and online leaderboards.
Coming from Flash development, though, there are a few things that I really appreciate that most developers probably take for granted. With Flash, a player’s experience can vary wildly, depending on their hardware, operating system, browser, or even Flash plugin version. I remember once realizing that most people were going to play World 1 at less than full speed. Think about that for a moment, after spending a year on one game, most people weren’t even going to be able to experience it correctly! On console PS3, I know that everyone is going to get a silky smooth 60 frames per second, have a great controller, and know how to control a 2D platformer with it. Being able to know exactly what kind of experience every single player is going to get when they sit down with the game is a huge relief!
The scope of the game is far beyond what I’m able to do alone, and in Flash. We wanted to have some very diverse platforming gameplay throughout, which takes a lot of very different levels. Over the Top is a group of ridiculously talented programmers and artists, and they were able to flesh out many parts of the game: bonus levels, King of the Hill and race levels, backgrounds, all of the different types of menus, they were able to bring a lot of their own personality, and players are going to get a much more diverse experience because of that.
As a Flash developer, multiplayer is pretty foreign to me, but as a gamer, I couldn’t wait to create something that people can play together. With multiplayer, there’s a balance we had to strike between giving players more freedom and letting them, well, break the game. We tried to err on the side of giving players more freedom, but a lot of the game really is an experiment, revising one of the oldest video game genres and seeing how much we add to it and get away with.
Platformers has always been my favorite type of video game, so it’s crazy to think that I have a chance to really shake things up and redefine such a traditional genre, as long, of course, as the gameplay mechanics made sense for the character of Fancy Pants Man. And since he’s one part Internet, two parts cartoon character, and one part flip book doodle, he’s an interesting little character indeed!
Well, that’s it for now, until next time, see you online!