Pit People: Interview with Ian Moreno
While at the Microsoft Spring Showcase in February 2016 I had a chance to get a first hand look at The Behemoth’s new game Pit People and had a chat with developer Ian Moreno on some of the finer details.
Ian Moreno: Hi. Uh so, what are we talking about? We’re talking about Pit People. Formally Game Four, which is our kind of thing. It’s become tradition that every game starts out, Game Three, BattleBlock Theater was Game Three for a year. Anyway, it’s now Pit People, and it’s a fast-paced turn-based co-op adventure… through time and space.
Brandon Storck: Through time and space?
Ian Moreno: [chuckles] Through time and space. With every game we always tackle a new genre, so this is our take on the strategy genre and it is our goal is to make a strategy game that maybe non-strategy players would maybe play. So we’ve super simplified a lot of the controls. You know, taken away a lot of the minutia. I mean, under the hood, it’s actually rather deep in terms of what’s going on.
Brandon Storck: It’s approachable.
Ian Moreno: Yeah, but it’s approachable, like you said. It’s really, we refer to it as a game of positioning where you’re moving your fighters into specific positions where they can maybe isolate an enemy, or not. If you’re adjacent to two, you don’t know who your fighter’s gonna attack. You just position your players and then you execute your orders and then stuff happens.
Brandon Storck: So, instead of having direct control over your forces like you would in most turn-based RPGs, you’re essentially just giving orders and letting your fighters do the work for you?
Ian Moreno: Right. They have minds of their own.
Ian Moreno: And then story wise, you experience this apocalyptic wonderland through four uniquely tragic characters who have all suffered something sad. So as you see in the beginning, Horatio loses his son Hansel, and they’re all gonna come together and even though it seems like they come from like these disparate backgrounds, it’s gonna be little bit more tied together. And all the time you’re dogged by this narrator…
Brandon Storck: Voiced by Will Stamper.
Ian Moreno: Voiced by Will Stamper from BattleBlock Theater. And that there’s more to this narrator than meets the eye. Not to quote Transformers, but there’s clearly some bit of an agenda there.
Brandon Storck: He has his own agenda. He has his own thing going on that he’s not letting on to much about it.
Ian Moreno: Yeah. We don’t have a release date right now but we’re gonna have a closed beta later this year. So, we’re gonna open to the masses, some of the masses… S’masses.
Brandon Storck: And is this releasing on Windows 10 and Xbox One simultaneously?
Ian Moreno: It’s gonna be Xbox One with Windows 10 to follow.
Brandon Storck: Very cool. How specifically is co-op working?
Ian Moreno: It’s gonna be local as well as online.
Brandon Storck: Local as well as online?
Ian Moreno: Yeah, it’s interesting. Actually we’ve been spending a lot of time on it because as you see, there’s a lot of information going up for being simple. So how do we communicate two players moving their stuff around. And so we’re trying to get that communication, just tweaking it and dialing it in. So it’s pretty much how you see it now, but you’re gonna have a blue and then another color variation, which is the other team for the second player.
Brandon Storck: Is there any P vs. P (Player vs Player)?
Ian Moreno: Yes, Absolutely! We’re gonna have 2v, you can get up to four players in 2v2 action, which is a lot of fun!
Brandon Storck: Very cool. So, it sound like the story and the setting, you guys have your trademark art style coming from flash animations on Newgrounds, it sounds like the story and the setting is gonna be this collage of Alice in Wonderland and The Twilight Zone and just absolutely ludicrous zanyness going on, which we all love.
Ian Moreno: Oh yeah. Yeah. Like I said, in the beginning you see the bear blood is falling on the planet and it’s messing with time and space. So now you’re gonna see a dude with uzis versus someone with a sword and shield or later maybe some lasers and versus a hair troll and a cupcake healer and an electro robot that can stun and zap people and teleport.
Brandon Storck: Sounds absolutely insane!
Ian Moreno: [laughs] Yeah, it’s pretty fun.
Brandon Storck: Thank you very much.