Two guys who had been working with Harmonix for quite some time got together and are creating an amazing looking indie game called Thumper. Brian Gibson, who is currently the Bass for the band Lightning Bolt, and Marc Flurry, who was the lead programmer for Dance Central games and Beatles Rock Band, got together to form DROOL. Their first game is Thumper, a survival rhythm game where you play as a space beetle and your goal is to fight enemies using your “thumping” ability on the way to killing Crakhed a giant head from the future. On top of that they have an incredible sounding soundtrack that if the trailers are any indication will be a must have in your library. As of right now they have no targeted release date and they are going to put the game on the platforms that make the most sense so it is entirely possible it could be on both PC and consoles which would be excited. I was able to reach both Brian and Marc and ask a few questions to both of them:
During both of your times working on Rock Band and Dance Central did you ever have aspirations on working on a game like this or was it not until you met each other that you discussed the possibilities
(Brian) We never actually worked together at Harmonix, but we would see each other walking around and started having some conversations outside of work. I think we connected more as fans of weird art and music,and both shared the vague notion that we wanted to push games more towards our eccentric tastes.
Was there any games that inspired you to make Thumper?
(Brian) I’m personally inspired by a lot of early video games, when the subject matter and gameplay was more iconic, ineffible, and abstract, and less about trying to create a believable, highly realistic scenario. Something like an inexplicable angry floating head was commonplace, and made perfect sense in those days.
Is Thumper going to allow our own music and level creation eventually?
(Brian) Right now our focus is on creating a universe that has a a strong sense of mood and identity, so letting players mess with that will contaminate the vision. UGC was an idea we had originally toyed with, it’s something that we may consider as an expansion down the road after the games core identity has been more established.
Do you use your “thumping” to fight an enemy?
(Marc) Thumping is one of the core moves. It will be part of how you overcome obstacles, score points, and possibly be tied to a fighting/weaponry system. We’re still experimenting with some control and gameplay details.
Is there a non-written story behind the game?
(Marc) Yes. Although we haven’t settled on an “official” narrative yet. We have general “themes” guiding us, but we’re not sure how much explicit narrative will be in the game, if any. Sometimes it’s cooler to leave things mysterious.
Do you have any other audio from the soundtrack that might not otherwise be available in the trailers?
(Marc) We’re developing a lot of audio and the actual game will sound like the trailers at some points, but different at other points. We want the whole experience to feel like a journey/adventure, so there will be definitely be musical variation.
What made you so interested in Rhythm games?
(Marc) I’ve always been a fan, since I first played Parappa. Gitaroo Man is another game that blew me away as a kid. I was lucky enough to start working at Harmonix right when Guitar Hero was in development. So rhythm games have defined my career so far. But after Thumper, I’ll probably make different types of games!
I personally can’t wait to check this game out as I will eat up anything rhythm game. They will be at PAX, GDC and E3 so if you are going to those events you should check them out. Their website is here: http://www.drool.ws/
You can check out Brian Gibson’s band Lightning Bolt here: http://laserbeast.com/
You can get a look at their trailers here: