Developer Interview with Different Tuna About “Derrick the Deathfin”

Earlier this week, I had the chance to review PSN’s latest indie title, Derrick the Deathfin, developed by the two person studio, Different Tuna. Today, I had the great opportunity to interview one of the developer’s from the two man team, Gordon (who’s the “Head of Fresh Produce” at Different Tuna).

Marcello: First off, thanks for taking the time to allow us to interview you about your studio’s new game, Derrick the Deathfin. What exactly sparked the idea of making the world’s “first underwater papercraft” game?

Gordon: No problem, we will do literally anything for free publicity.

The idea for the gameplay came first as a result of a mildly inebriated conversation about the relative merits of Mega Drive games Sonic & Ecco, at which point the genius module of my brain finally engaged for a few seconds to come up with the idea of combining the two. The 3d papercraft look and feel only came about at a later date when artistic genius Ronzo (http://ronzo.co.uk) came on board the project.

Marcello: The game’s visuals are stunning to say the least. How much of a challenge was it to develop this art style for the game?

Gordon: Thank-you very much! It was a challenge for sure, and the look is all the work of Ronzo. We wanted to come up with something very fresh and new & I think we’ve done that. If you take a look at some of our making of shots – http://derrickthedeathfin.com/art.html – you will see that we built most of the objects in the game out of paper first. Then we photographed them and had our talented friends at http://www.ten24.info/ model & animate them for us. So quite a convoluted process, but worth it!

Marcello: How did you guys come up with Derrick as a character?

Gordon: I had the name Derrick the Deathfin even before the project kicked off. I assumed at some point somebody would tell me that calling a shark Derrick was ridiculous and that we simply had to change it. Nobody ever did so it stuck. The character of Derrick is all Ronzo’s work though, I love him! Interestingly enough, and in direct contrast to Ronzo himself, the character is extremely popular with young females.

Marcello: How long did it take you guys to develop the game?

Gordon: 2 years! It was a lot of hard work for sure, but nearly always good fun, and Ron & I were determined to make the best game possible.

Marcello: How did the game come about as a PSN exclusive? Did Sony approach you guys or did you approach them about it?

Gordon: We knew Derrick was to be a console game, so we approached Sony with the concept in the first instance and they loved it. The rest, as they say, is history. Or at least the rest is stuff that happened in the past.

Marcello: The game reminds me a bit of SEGA’s “Ecco the Dolphin”. Was that an inspiration for you guys?

Gordon: Ah yes it was. Specifically the intention was to capture the feeling in the original Ecco when you jump out of the water for the first time. There are many many other influences in the gameplay, Sonic being a prominent one, but also Mario Galaxy, Joe Danger…

Marcello: Derrick is definitely a very likable character. How does the future look for our favorite papercrafted shark? Do you guys plan on releasing a sequel to Derrick the Deathfin or possibly even DLC?

Gordon: We are a 2 man team, so the only thing planned for the immediate future is sleep and perhaps some excessive marshmallow consumption. There is no DLC planned at all. And as for a sequel, well a lot more people will need to pick the game up than currently are for that to happen…

Marcello: Now there’s one thing that really struck me while playing the game…this would be perfectly suited as a PS Vita game! It has a great pickup-and-play feel to it that would be perfect on-the-go. Have you guys considered bringing this title to the PS Vita?

Gordon: We get that comment a lot, but we are a PlayStation 3 exclusive at the moment. In the future though anything could happen, with the possible exception of time travel because then of course we would know about it already.

Marcello: Thanks again for your time Gordon!

Gordon: Thanks for the questions & review again!

As I had stated in my recent review, Derrick the Deathfin is a very good game that I encourage anyone who’s ever played “Ecco the Dolphin” or just loves indie games to give a shot. Derrick the Deathfin is available now on the PSN for $7.99.

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