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Behind the Scenes of The Last Tinker: City of Colors

Jason Sorensen's Avatar + Posted by Jason Sorensen on Aug 15, 2014 // Product Manager, LOOT Entertainment

PlayStation’s embrace of indies is one of the most important developments in the gaming industry today. There are vast seas of awesome, innovative games that get made but then are completely overlooked and undiscovered – and PlayStation has neatly solved this. Thanks to PlayStation, you can actually develop a really cool and innovative game, knowing that if it’s well-made, it can be featured on the best damn gaming platform around.

And here at LOOT, we believe that The Last Tinker is something special. Judging from the vast majority of the comments our announcement post received last week, it looks like you guys feel the same way. Which is AWESOME. Do you know how good it feels when you announce a game and people are like, “I can’t wait to play this!” It feels like you just won a wrestling match with a grizzly bear inside a nuclear submarine and there’s Megan Fox and all of a sudden Morgan Freeman is narrating in the background. That’s how awesome it feels. So thank you guys for that.

As a result of your feedback, we’ve reached out to the original developers of the game – Mimimi Productions – for a small, tongue-in-cheek look behind the scenes of the game that we think really does represent the rebirth of 3D indie platformers – The Last Tinker: City of Colors.

LOOT: You’re an indie. Why have you not made the 1,682,735,348,241st clone of Flappy Ninja Fruit Birds?

Mimimi: Making clones is hard. We just wanted something simple, you know, like an eight-hour 3D action adventure. That seemed like something we could handle. :P

But in all honesty, you won’t believe the number of people who told us that we would just do mobile games for many years. It’s not like they didn’t have a point, by the way; but in the end, hard work and boatloads of luck enabled us to do something that we actually, honestly care about, which is what indie means for us. And that’s beyond awesome.

LOOT: Tell us lots of cool behind-the-scenes technical thingies about the creation of The Last Tinker.

Mimimi: For starters, we really had lots of fun doing the voice acting for the game. Those sounds our characters make when they talk? Almost all of them were made by core team members. Our cutest NPCs are voiced by our sound artist’s wife, and the main bad guy is actually his dog.

Behind the Scenes of The Last Tinker

As you can imagine, the art department could really go bananas during development. For instance, one of our artists is a huge Dark Souls fan. If you are as well, then take a good look at Biggs; you might find his design strangely familiar. And what game about colors would be complete without Bob Ross? It may have started out as a joke, but in the end we actually put a Tinkerworld version of him in the game.

Naturally, our coders had their very own demons to battle. Having Koru free-running through Colortown sounded like a good idea, until we realized that with everything being round and organic; we had no edges to grab onto or define where Koru should jump. We still think it was well worth putting in the extra effort, though, since the parkour element of the game is so much fun. Strangely enough, what made it work in the end was changing a single variable from 0.04 to 0.03. This one little change turned the whole system from an unplayable mess to an almost perfect equivalent of what you find in the final game.

Behind the Scenes of The Last Tinker

LOOT: Be honest – if you had eleventy-trillion dollars to spend, The Last Tinker would be a gritty first-person shooter designed specifically as a tech showcase. Right? Right?

Mimimi: The goal never was to make a super detailed, hyper-real game, but something where we could go all out, visually and creatively. We wanted to look at our game and say, “Wow, my eyes just caught fire, but it sure looks cool.” We grew up with games like The Last Tinker, and if we could transport the feeling we had back then into our game, that’s something we’d be proud of forever.

But seriously, with that much money, we probably would have fled the country and would now live on our own private islands. From where we would still develop the game, of course. By now it would have such vital features like space exploration (with the Bean-with-Bacon Megarocket), RED vs. GREEN vs. BLUE multiplayer, a guest appearance by Knight Solaire, a Sims-style Colortown life simulation, eight additional bosses and a cow level. Target release date: 2020.

Behind the Scenes of The Last Tinker

Behind the Scenes of The Last TinkerBehind the Scenes of The Last Tinker

LOOT: Okay, seriously. For people who like 3D platformers, what sets Tinker apart?

Mimimi: Color is your main weapon and your primary tool in The Last Tinker. Red color damages enemies for example, but also makes people angry. Green on the other hand makes everyone afraid. It makes for some pretty fun gameplay, especially if you have an NPC partner who is essentially a living bomb.

Parkour works differently than you would expect from a typical 3D platformer. It’s more accessible; you don’t have to readjust the camera all the time, and freerunning through Colortown feels like one big theme park ride.

Our story is lighthearted on the surface, but actually delivers a heartwarming message: namely, that you should appreciate differences instead of fighting them. It’s kind of a no-brainer, but with what seems like half the world at war right now, it can’t hurt to say it again and again.

The Last Tinker: City of Colors makes its PlayStation debut on August 19th. Come check it out next week! If you have any questions YOU want to pose to Mimimi or LOOT, let us know in the comments below, or get in touch with us on Twitter (@LOOTent and @MimimiProd) or Facebook (LOOT and Mimimi). See you in Colortown soon!

//Add Your Own

18 Comments   8 Replies

1

+ Bad_Brains on August 15th, 2014 at 8:13 am said:

This was probably one of the best things shown during the conference. Feels like it’s been awhile since I played a good, colorful, platformer. Definitely going to be following this game till it’s released. Looks great!


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    + Jason Sorensen on August 15th, 2014 at 8:24 am said:

    Thanks, Bad_Brains! Please let us know what you think of the game when it comes out next week!


2

+ Nitro73 on August 15th, 2014 at 8:22 am said:

I heard it was awesome on PC, so I am excited to have a Ratchet & Clank style platformer to play. Also, great choice on the Franziskaner.


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    + Jason Sorensen on August 15th, 2014 at 1:33 pm said:

    The Mimimi guys are an absolute joy to work with! Here at LOOT we’re really, really pumped to bring this game to PlayStation — Tinker just *feels* like a game that belongs on a console, and it fits the PlayStation ecosystem perfectly.


3

+ Teflon02 on August 15th, 2014 at 8:35 am said:

can’t wait to play, sadly can’t get first day but hopefully first week


4

+ BorrisMcD on August 15th, 2014 at 8:50 am said:

Single player only? Getting it regardless but enjoy couch co op.


5

+ Narcissus1302 on August 15th, 2014 at 9:02 am said:

So no Vita version? It’s a shame that a handheld getting only indie titles as support doesn’t even manage to get the best looking ones. Way to go Sony…


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    + Jason Sorensen on August 15th, 2014 at 12:17 pm said:

    To be fair, that’s not PlayStation’s fault; we chose which platform to target when we started the project. It may not seem like it at first glance, but there’s *a lot* going on under the hood with Tinker (particularly with shaders and draw calls), and that’s most easily achieved with the PS4 since it’s the newest platform with the most horsepower.

    Doesn’t mean we’re not big Vita fans, though! See the guy at far left in the LOOT team photo above? That’s my boss. Just *try* to pry his Vita away from him…


6

+ MakoSoul on August 15th, 2014 at 9:41 am said:

I just have one question related to the parkour/platformer elements.

Why was it decided to go with an auto-platform/parkour button that requires minimal to no skill, instead of going with a modified traditional platforming mechanic where you need to execute commands for run, jump and ledge grab in order to successfully navigate the world?

I am interested in this game, but as a platformer, and an auto-platform button makes this game seem like it isn’t actually a platformer.


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    + Jason Sorensen on August 15th, 2014 at 11:52 am said:

    One thing The Last Tinker does is try to innovate what *kind* of challenges you might be able to find in a platformer. Experimenting with the platformer format is something this game does really well, and where one aspect of the game might at first glance appear easier, it actually makes room for other types of unconventional challenges.

    For instance, there’s a very challenging part of Green District — you’ll know it when you see it — where a lot of stuff is happening very quickly, and it requires precision and a lot of skill to get through. If the game had a more conventional control scheme, not only would people be shouting at their TVs and inventing new curse words, but it would actually take away from how the challenge itself is structured.

    One of the key aspects of Tinker is that it has some elements you don’t necessarily always find in a 3D platformer, because the game itself is very conspicuously trying to do new things with the genre, and that means the control scheme has to accommodate this. At the same time, you want the game to be an intuitive, pick-up-and-play controller experience that doesn’t require an IT certification to memorize.

    Trust me, Tinker provides a good amount of challenge. :)


7

+ subsamuel01 on August 15th, 2014 at 9:44 am said:

Any word on pricing yet? Really looking forward to this.


8

+ Darig0n on August 15th, 2014 at 10:59 am said:

I hope there’s a sale or its decently priced..


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    + Jason Sorensen on August 15th, 2014 at 1:34 pm said:

    We’re being a bit coy on pricing since the game comes out next Tuesday, but suffice it to say we think people will be very satisfied with the price — especially PlayStation Plus members. ;)


9

+ MakoSoul on August 15th, 2014 at 12:16 pm said:

Interesting! Thanks for the detailed reply, Jason!


10

+ tusunami on August 15th, 2014 at 3:29 pm said:

Well I will be looking forward to this real soon I think the price will be around 15 to 20 dollars and this will be another great indie ga to add to my collection!!!!!!


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    + Jason Sorensen on August 15th, 2014 at 6:18 pm said:

    Awesome! Thanks, tusunami!


11

+ UndreyVITA on August 15th, 2014 at 6:30 pm said:

Thanks so much for bringing this to PS4, I saw it a few months ago but wanted to play it on a console.

When I get a PS4 this will be one of my first digital purchases, I love platformers.

Thanks again :).


12

+ Jay-Matrix on August 16th, 2014 at 12:27 pm said:

Not much happening on the 3D platforming scene of PS4 (sadly enough), so I’ll gladly take anything that’s offered…of course it’d also be a plus if the game’s any good! Here’s hoping.


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    + Jason Sorensen on August 17th, 2014 at 9:27 am said:

    We really do believe that The Last Tinker is going to kick off a renaissance of 3D platformer games; it just *feels* like the right time — and the right platform — for this genre to make a comeback.

    As for the game itself…we think you’ll be pleased. ;)


13

+ Lord_Rinja on August 16th, 2014 at 12:29 pm said:

Wow, that was fast! I’m glad you worked closely with Mimimi to bring this to the PS4. I love many different genres but The Last Tinker truly stands out right now on a console that has currently been pushing a lot of dark themed games lately. It blows my mind that this is already coming out next week. Good job to all of you and good luck on Launch Day :-)


14

+ android92 on August 16th, 2014 at 2:00 pm said:

Thank you for reviving my favorite genre! Come Tuesday, this game is mine! Along with Counterspy :)


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    + Jason Sorensen on August 17th, 2014 at 9:28 am said:

    Awesome! Let us know what you think of Tinker on Tuesday!


15

+ mjtch123 on August 16th, 2014 at 8:28 pm said:

Will this game be 1080p and 60 frames per second? This game looks promising.


16

+ MakaiOokami on August 16th, 2014 at 11:40 pm said:

Apparently all you need to get the boss’ vita out of his hands, is to give him at least 1 beer, and ask him to pose for a photo.

Then run, and hope that he’s too busy drinking to realize he has a bottle he can lob at your head!


17

+ SureBigBuster on August 17th, 2014 at 8:47 am said:

WOW, this was so flying under my radar. I’m glad I saw this, I REALLY like everything I saw on that teaser. Count me in!!


18

+ Firethorn43 on August 18th, 2014 at 1:36 pm said:

Very excited to play it! This came out of the blue when I saw it a few weeks ago and it really caught my attention. Its a pretty busy week when I am also getting CounterSpy and Infamous First Light but the more the merrier I guess!


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