Siege Spot – A Hat In Time

Posted on Jun 02 2013

Siege Spots A Hat In Time

It’s time for a Siege Spot Special, where I post a little off my normal schedule to talk about something so cool I couldn’t wait to post it. This time I’ll be talking to the developers of an up-and-coming crowd-funded game called A Hat In Time, a game inspired by classic N64 platformers.

The interview is a bit further down, but first I want to make sure you know what A Hat In Time is, as if you haven’t heard about it on Twitter, or Facebook, or maybe even Myspace. I’m not sure if A Hat In Time has a MySpace, but if not they’re losing the potential sales of all two people that still use it.

TomMyspace(SiegeSpots)
Even Tom has moved on at this point.

A Hat In Time, developed by new indie game company Gears for Breakfast, is a platformer currently planned to be released on PC and Mac (at least). They list their inspirations on their Kickstarter page, among which are Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie. The latter of the two is a personal favorite of mine, which is a secret to everyone except anyone who has spoken to me for longer than two minutes.

BanjoKazooieChat
Pictured: Me, proving my point.

Let’s go ahead and say what you already know: This game looks gorgeous. Well, it’s gorgeous to me, anyway. If you liked The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, it looks like you’ll be visually right at home on your adventure here. The artists here have done a good job of sticking to one art style without becoming stale. The two zones we have seen in screenshots and trailers are thematically different while still feeling like they belong in the same game. It’s refreshing to see an indie developer create a whimsical style without reusing assets ad nauseum. Heck, that’s better than some triple-A devs. I’m looking at you, Square Enix. Try to pawn off a copy-pasted environment in an MMO again, see what happens.

Where was I? Oh, right, A Hat In Time. The gameplay seems to mimic the classic collect-a-thon platformers of the N64 era. Some of this platforming looks hella difficult. I couldn’t imagine making some of these jumps in my gaming prime. To be fair, my gaming prime was two minutes ago, when I moved up from Beginner to Light in DDR. It’s all downhill from here.

But seriously, take a look at some of the precarious places you’ll find yourself in during A Hat In Time.

HatInTimeLavaHatInTimeLava2
That’s LAVA. I dunno if you knew, but that stuff will KILL YOU.

Clearly. we’re looking at a decent platforming challenge here, and I couldn’t be happier with that. That fact alone made me back this project immediately. Speaking of backing, as of this writing, A Hat In Time has more than surpassed its goal. Don’t take that as an excuse to not donate, though. Looking at the stretch goals offered on this Kickstarter, it’s clear that Gears for Breakfast is devoted to putting out a quality product.

HatInTimeStretchGoals

I got a chance to talk to the director of A Hat in Time, Jonas Kaerlev. He was kind enough to answer a few pressing questions I had regarding the game. Luckily I got to him before A Hat In Time hit its goal in an insanely quick two days. Hopefully all that money hasn’t gone to his head; I know it’d go to mine.

Twinkies
Yes, This would be my life. Perfect.

A lot of people really want to work in games, but rarely do they follow through on it. What made you decide to take the plunge and actually make one of your own?
I love collect-a-thons, and I was so disappointed to realize that they are slowly disappearing! I decided to use this frustration for something constructive… and as a result A Hat in Time was born!
Looking at your Kickstarter, you’ve got a fairly international dev team. How did Gears for Breakfast get together?
I knew both Trey Brown and William T. Nicholls before I began development on the game! After I had shown my prototype for the game, they were super interested in participating! As we began working on the game’s assets, we got in contact with the rest of the team one by one, until the team got to the size it is today!
How did you get started in developing A Hat In Time? Did the characters and art style come first, the story, or the gameplay?
Gameplay came first! I had started messing around with different gameplay elements using simple placeholder box characters before the game’s visuals came in.
Obviously A Hat In Time has drawn an artistic inspiration from The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and gameplay inspiration from Super Mario 64. Are there any other games that inspired your project in any specific way?
Definitely Double Fine’s Psychonauts! Such an enjoyable game with so much life! It has definitely opened my eyes to how you write good and memorable characters. Everyone remembers the Milkman from that game!
It looks like there’s a lot of precision platforming going on here from what I see in the screenshots. Like, super precise at times. Scary precise. Noticing that, have you made efforts to make this platforming enjoyable for players who might be using a keyboard and mouse?
I’m a keyboard-and-mouse kind of guy myself, so the game controls just as fluent on that as on a controller! We’ve made absolutely sure you’re in full control of Hat Kid, she’s far from slippery and her double jump contributes much to that! I think you’ll have a blast doing platforming with her!
You tout A Hat in Time as a collect-a-thon. I’m sure you don’t know specifically yet, but how many different collectibles can we expect out of this game? Maybe on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is Super Mario 64 and 10 is a Donkey Kong 64?
Probably around 6 or so, but that’s only because Donkey Kong 64 had such a huge number of collectibles! We want to make all collectibles usable in one way or another – for instance, badges provide you with direct attack and ability upgrades, hookshot parts provide you with additional platforming and combat moves, energy bits give you health, hats and masks also have functionality! So much to collect!

HatInTimeCombat

There’s been a lot of focus on the platforming in this game, but I notice one of the screenshots on your Kickstarter shows a combat tutorial. How major is combat going to be in A Hat In Time?
It won’t be as big as platforming, but it plays a significant role! Enemies get stronger as the game progresses, and so does Hat Kid! Not to mention boss battles require you to be in absolute control of your umbrella!
Any other information would you like our readers to know about your game and Kickstarter?
Yes! Please back us on Kickstarter (http://hatintime.com/Kickstarter)! We really hope to make our pledge goal of $30,000! Maybe if we get past that, we could even get a chance to implement some of our stretch goals like co-op (has there been a collect-a-thon before this that had co-op in the main game??), full voice acting, or even more chapters and levels to play in!!
Alright, one last burning question: Do we get to find out why Mustache Girl has a mustache?
Hehe, maybe, but I won’t spoil it here!!
Once again, you can back A Hat In Time on Kickstarter right now! Even if you don’t back, keep an eye out for it when it releases, estimated to be early next year! Don’t worry about forgetting it; I’ll remind you.

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Comments
  • Kayarath June 4, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    You forgot to mention to vote them up on Steam Greenlight… that’s important ya know!

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