Interview with Peter Dassenko from TikGames about Scarygirl

Someone just hearing of Scarygirl for the first time might think of a survival horror title, or perhaps a game chronicling the rise of one of the Spice Girls. The truth of it is actually a bit more grounded in reality:

Scarygirl is being developed by TikGames and published by Square Enix. It appears to be an action/platformer of sorts and is based on a series of graphic novels by Nathan Jurevicius. I’ll admit, I was intrigued just by watching the video alone. However, I like to get as much information about a game as I can before committing to a purchase and what better way to do that than with an interview with Peter Dassenko, a producer over at TikGames.


Diehard GameFAN: For those interested in Scarygirl, but are unfamiliar with the graphic novels, what is the basic premise?

Peter Dassenko: So Scarygirl is an abandoned young girl who gets rescued and taken in by a giant octopus named Blister. She dresses like a pirate, wears an eye patch, and has a tentacle for an arm. You know, your everyday, run of the mill little girl. The story differs between the graphic novel and game, but the common thread is that her dreams are haunted by the image of a mysterious man and she ventures from her home in the forest to try to find him in the city.

DHGF: Is there a particular aspect of Scarygirl‘s backstory that lends itself well to a video game, or what was the primary inspiration for the gameplay?

PD: Obviously the art style would look really great at 1080p, but if you look closely at the graphic novel, you’ll see that there are some really interesting characters and some crazy situations they get into that we saw would work well in a game. I think a lot of people will compare Scarygirl to Klonoa once they see it in motion, but there wasn’t necessarily just one game that inspired us.

DHGF: Is there a particular kind of player you are targeting with Scarygirl, or is it a game intended to appeal to everyone?

PD: We think the game can appeal to anyone. The evolving combat and combo system will appeal to the core audience, while the art and visuals certainly appeal to everyone! It’s certainly not for a casual game in any way, but if someone who’s not so good at games wants to play, then a friend or family member who IS good at games can help them out in local co-op.

DHGF: Is there any connectivity with the Scarygirl flash game available on the official website, or were there any ideas presented that are making their way into the upcoming release?

PD: There’s not a connection to the Flash game – this is an entirely separate and unique title, aside from the shared brand of course.

DHGF: Were there any challenges you encountered when adapting an existing property into the video game medium?

PD: First and foremost was getting Nathan’s art style translated into a 3D world. We also spent time making sure all the ambient characters in the game had a personality. You’ll notice as you play the game that the worlds are very much alive with characters from the graphic novel.

DHGF: What aspect of the Scarygirl game are you most proud of or feel that players will appreciate the most?

PD: I think this game will most stand out for its stunning visuals. The game really does look unlike anything else. There are 7 unique environments in the game – this is something that you usually don’t see in a typical downloadable game.

DHGF: How much involvement does Nathan Jurevicius have with the Scarygirl video game?

PD: Nathan consulted on the project throughout the entire process. Towards the end of development he actually came and worked onsite with us to polish the visuals. He’s also done some unique sketches for the game that we’ve incorporated in the DLC we’re currently working on.

DHGF: Are there any differences between the different versions of Scarygirl, or will it all be largely the same?

PD: The XBLA, PSN, and Steam versions are virtually identical, so if you want the game and have all the platforms, feel free to get it on your favorite system.

DHGF: Does Scarygirl have multiplayer? If so, is it local, online, or both?

PD: Scarygirl has local co-op. The second player can take control of Bunniguru. There are certain special moves that require both Scarygirl & Bunniguru to complete!

DHGF: Are there any plans to add DLC for Scarygirl down the road, or is it a self-contained release?

PD: There are plans for DLC – we’re working on it right now.

DHGF: What’s next for your team after Scarygirl?

PD: In the short term we’re working on that DLC . In the long term, well, you know how we like our secrets – can’t tell you what we’re working on. In my spare time I’m working on a text-based Scarygirl adventure that only runs on Wildcat BBS’s – not sure that’s going to see the light of day though.


And there you have it. I’d like to thank Peter Dassenko for taking the time to answer questions pertaining to his game. As of this writing, Scarygirl is available to download today for 1200 MSP on Xbox Live Arcade, and will be available January 24 on PlayStation Network. A Steam version is on its way and will become available sometime during the first quarter of 2012. You can also learn more about Nathan Jurevicius and the Scarygirl graphic novel that the video game is based on by visiting the official Scarygirl website. Also, be sure to stop over and visit the official TikGames website, the developers of the Scarygirl video game. Look forward to the official Diehard GameFAN review coming soon!

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