Dan Teasdale

Dan Teasdale, Co-Founder of No Goblin.

Tell us about yourself!

Hi! I’m Dan Teasdale. I’ve been making games for a while (some of you might know me from Rock Band, The Gunstringer, or Destroy All Humans!). Along with Panzer, we’ve recently co-founded a studio here in Seattle called No Goblin. We make rad unique video games, and our first game is called Roundabout!

Tell us about your upcoming game, Roundabout!

Roundabout tells the story of Georgio Manos, the world’s first revolving chauffeur. Set in 1977, you play as Georgio while he spins through the city of Roundabout picking up passengers, finding secrets, and falling in love – all while driving his revolving limousine.

It’s part spinning puzzle game, part Crazy Taxi-esque speedy traversal, set in a full ’70s open world. It sounds out there when you describe it, but it’s incredibly easy to pick up and blast around town as Georgio.

Okay so what you’re saying is that Roundabout is pretty ‘out there’. How did you come up with such madness?

The initial inspiration for “spinning puzzles” came from a Game Boy Advance game called Kuru Kuru Kururin, where you move a spinning stick piloted by a bird around a neon maze. From that basic premise, we threw in a bit of everything – Crazy Taxi passengers, Tony Hawk scoring, GTA open world design, powerup-based world unlocking, you name it – and then introduced a ’70s chauffeur theme with full motion video story and a rad soundtrack.

Cruisin' through the city

Cruisin’ through the city.

How does the player score points in the game?

Roundabout’s scoring is actually inspired by Tony Hawk’s “trick to manual to trick” system. In Roundabout though, our tricks are pulling off tricky puzzle navigation or picking up coins, and our manuals are causing low scale mayhem like knocking over signs or running over people.

It adds this really nice risk/reward system where you’re trying to be careful on one hand to rack up your score, but at the same time you’re trying to cause mayhem in order to keep your multiplier going.

I heard you can upgrade your limousine! What kinds of things can we expect from this wonderful automobile?

Georgio has a pretty huge range of things he can upgrade his Limousine with. We showed the helicopter upgrade and the limo boost in the trailer, but there’s a dozen or so additional abilities you can swap in and out to solve specific puzzles or reach specific areas. One of my favourites is the “diving” upgrade. If you’ve seen The Spy Who Loved Me, it’s pretty much the same as Bond’s Lotus Esprit but in revolving limo form.

The real key is knowing when to equip and use each upgrade. For example, the “reverse direction” upgrade might make it easier to navigate twisty roads, but it means you won’t be able to helicopter up to a collectable on a nearby rooftop.

ToasterThis isn’t really a question, but I just wanted to let you know that I laughed until I cried while watching the Roundabout trailer 

Thanks! I’m glad people are digging the ’70s setting and vibe that the trailer reveals. I’ve wanted to make something set in the ’70s for a long time, just because it’s an era not usually touched in video games. 1977 is also this super rich crest of the wave that’s American Greatness – the Space Shuttle, Disco Inferno, The Love Boat, even Star Wars are all 1977 landmarks.

The advertising from the era is a huge inspiration as well, obviously. While researching, we came across this ad for The Meat Toaster!

Look at that thing! If that doesn’t sum up Peak Americana circa 1977, I don’t know what does.

How far along is the game in development? Do you have an idea of how many stages/levels there will be in the finished game?

At the moment we’re transitioning into production. We have all of the gameplay running and iterated, we’re happy with how it feels, and now we’re building out the full world. We’re on track for shipping in 2014!

Roundabout’s an open world puzzle game, so a lot of our areas and goals overlap. The footage in our launch video is a very small slice of our “city” area, but we’re also adding in some suburbs, a Miami-esque beachfront, some hinterlands, and some extra special surprises that I can’t talk about yet.

In that world we’ll have dozens of passengers you can pick up, hundreds of collectables, and a full suite of additional goals for each route. It’s designed to be revisited and played in different ways rather than just blowing through the main story once and calling it a day.

Offroadin'

Offroadin’

Roundabout is on sale right now for a promotional price, am I correct?

That’s right! We’ll be launching Roundabout at $15 next year, but we’re offering an early bird deal on roundaboutgame.com that gets you the PC, Mac and Linux versions of the game for $9.99. We’re also including some cool bonus extras like soundtracks and a digital art book.

On top of that, when we get greenlit, all pre-orders will receive a Steam key on top of the DRM-free download. Add it to your Steam library, share it with a friend, whatever you want to do is cool with us!

How can gamers support you and your team as you trek through development (and Greenlight!)?

The biggest thing at the moment is your Greenlight votes. Every click gets us closer to releasing on Steam, and releasing on Steam is a huge multiplier on being successful for us. Best of all, it’s a free way to tell us that you think we’re making something rad!

As well as the early bird deal on roundaboutgame.com, No Goblin is also funding the second edition printing of the Men of Game Development calendar for 2014. As part of a prank that blew way out of proportion, we managed to enlist a baker’s dozen of game development’s most topless men to pose in a calendar for us. Check out menofgamedev.com for some preview pics and the button to order!

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions Dan!

Not a problem. Thanks for the questions!