With Halloween quickly approaching, there’s no better time to play Extreme Exorcism – a paranormal platformer from indie developer Golden Ruby Games. Console Monster spoke to the game’s designer and head of operations, Michael Christatos.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Michael Christatos and I served as designer and head of operations at Golden Ruby Games.
2. Extreme Exorcism is a “paranormal platformer”. Tell us what this consists of.
Extreme Exorcism is a game where all your actions come back to haunt you. You play as Mae Barrons, an exorcist hired to rid a house full of ghosts. Instead of using séances and crystal balls, Mae likes to use rocket launchers, kung-fu and swords to get her point across. As you destroy ghosts, however; another one will return to copy all your moves from the round before. Your goal is to survive as long as possible while racking the highest score possible.
3. Where did the idea for Extreme Exorcism come from?
Our first thought was to make a game that focused on fast paced action with a lot of crazy weapons. As we were working on developing an AI that would challenge the player until we could come up with something good enough, we decided to just use the player’s past actions as a stand in AI. We soon realised that players offered themselves more of a challenge than we ever could, so we decided to keep it in.
The next challenge was getting our testers to actually understand this new mechanic, so we borrowed the idea of the “ghost mechanic” from Mario Kart, where you race against past versions of yourself.Once we used the word ghost, we decided to lean in hard to the haunted house motif and the rest was history.
4. What are some of your favourite features/moments in the game? And is there anything that you had to leave out that you wish it made the final release?
I think the best moments have really been outside the game, going to shows and getting to see so many people enjoy the game together. We really wanted to make a super chaotic game that brings friends and family together and I think we really succeeded.
We did want to add some more characters, weapons and levels, but decided to stay at the number we have so we could keep on track with our timeline – there’s certainly enough in there to keep people occupied for a while!
5. What games that are already available would you compare Extreme Exorcism to and why?
I believe the games closest to Extreme Exorcism are Towerfall Ascension and Super Crate Box, mostly because we were really inspired by how much fun they are. We really love couch co-op games and wanted to put our own twist on the genre, which is what sets Extreme Exorcism apart with the ghost-copying mechanic.
6. What has the initial reaction to Extreme Exorcism been like?
From what we can tell it seems to be doing pretty well. A lot of people seem to be very taken by the high score based format. All the feedback we’ve gotten at events was great too, where people would really click with the game and not want to stop playing it.
7. What does the future hold for Golden Ruby Games?
We’re planning to see how well Extreme Exorcism does before moving forward. Being a small company, a lot of our future depends on how well our last title does.
8. Speaking of other games, what are some of your current favourites?
Right now, I’m neck deep in Metal Gear Solid 5 and Splatoon.
Thanks to Michael for taking the time to answer our questions. Extreme Exorcism is out now on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.