TEAM 17 | WORMS [Game Developers]

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TEAM 17, the famous video game developers responsible for such popular properties as WORMS, SUPERFROG, and ALIEN BREED, have been around since 1990 and continue to release product for Windows and Android platforms. STARBURST caught up with TEAM 17's Bethany Aston at the recent PLAY EXPO...

STARBURST: We can see that you guys have really been busy, you have five games here, all of which look very different, covering several genres. Let’s talk about Flockers first. It looks like a puzzle game, is that right?
Team 17: Yeah, it’s like a modern day take on a classic puzzler. It’s set in the Worms Weapons Factory, and you’ve got to guide the super sheep to the exit and try to keep as many sheep alive as possible, because there are a lot of traps you’ve got to avoid.

It looks quite similar to Lemmings...
It’s definitely inspired by that kind of genre, but we’ve got a few different things that Lemmings didn’t do back then. Take physics, if you get a lot of sheep walking into a ball for example, it can set into motion and make a gateway for them. There’s also anti-gravity and stuff like that.

Are we right in saying there may be a few appearances from the Worms themselves?
Yes, there are some hidden references; you’ll see them in the background, plus things like Concrete Donkeys being made. And then for the boss levels, you may see some Worms.

Yeah, it’s a real love letter for fans of the franchise! So the second game you’ve got here is The Escapists, that looks quite different, can you tell us about that?
Yeah, so this game is made by one guy called Chris Davies, and it’s out now in Early Access. It’s like a sandbox, prison escape game.

So, how do you go about escaping then? What sorts of things do you do in the Prison?
It takes a long time to get everything you need to escape, it’s all about your relationships with the prisoners, and how you get all the items you need to escape. You need to craft things like a shovel so you can start digging out, but you have to think about what to do with the soil, you can flush it down the toilet so nobody sees it; you need to make supports and things so you don’t cause a cave in! There are a few other ways [to get out] actually, you can go into the vents up to the roof and use pliers to cut through. So you have to work on your relationships with people and on getting all the items you need to get out - you can find them or steal them.

So, rather than a game of action, it’s a bit more like a game of patience isn’t it?
Yeah, it’s very strategic in how you manage things and how you go about your daily routine. Making sure the guards don’t realise what you’re doing and so on!

Ok, the third game you have is “Overruled!” Which looks particularly interesting, could you tell us a bit about that?
Sure, it’s a 2D ultimate brawler, where the rules are always changing. You get these things called Change-em-up cards, which change the rules. So you could be playing king of the hill, but then if someone plays a card, it could change to a headhunter, or Swag Bag (where you have a bag and you get points for holding it, and people are trying to get it off you).

So, one second you’re allied with a friend and the next you could be beating the tar out of them?

It looks like a lot of fun for when you have a few friends over. So on to Penarium
Yes! So this one has been made by some developers in the Netherlands called Self Made Miracle, it’s like a 2D platformer. There’s an arcade mode where you have 3 stages, with local multiplayer. You play as someone called Willy who is a poor farm boy, he’s saved up all his money to go to the circus, but he’s gotten himself into the wrong line, and become a contender rather than a spectator, and the enemies are trying to kill you, so you just have to stay alive as long as possible, get the highest score and challenge your friends.

Ok, so the last one you’ve got on here is Schrödinger's Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark
It’s a platformer based on the Schrödinger's Cat physics theory. You play as this… kind of… feline superhero. So, you get these things called Quarks which are like your power-ups. And with that he can make things, like a helicopter, or platforms to get to places!

So, those are the games, they all look great and we’re looking forward to seeing them further down the line. We’ve got one more question, can we expect anything from Worms in the future?
Not at the minute, we’ve just released Worms onto Playstation 4 and Xbox One, and we’ve got it Worms on IOS and android. So at the minute we’re just kind of supporting those titles and doing more updates and stuff like that

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