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Sundhedspleje til stjernerne - Galacticare Interview

Vi satte os ned med Creative Director på Brightrock Games Josh Bishop for at tale Galacticare, den finurlige hospitalssimulering, der ser os helbrede alle de underlige sygdomme, som rummet har at tilbyde.

Audio transcriptions

"Hello everyone. Welcome to Gamescom. I'm Alex here with Gamereactor and I'm here with Josh and we've just checked out Galacticaire. Josh, for people who might not be in the know, what is Galacticaire and why should they be excited about it?
So yeah, each level is like an episode of that cartoon and you have a fully voiced cast of these crazy characters and in each level some different and usually quite dumb situation happens. So one level you're at a music festival and you're treating everyone from these mosh pits or, you know, one performer has thrown liquid metal all over their patients. In another level you might be at this giant space farm where all of the vegetables are dying and they've asked you to come and treat them."

"And throughout these levels they're not just sort of disconnected little episodes, we're sort of seeing a season, I guess, develop if we're going by the cartoon metaphor, as you can pick up some of these characters along the way. We had the example of the shopkeeper Baz in level one who you have to treat his warts on his tongue and then later on there's sort of consultants that you can even get as well."

"Yeah, absolutely. So as you said, yeah, you sort of gather your crew, your band of heroes as you go through the game. So yeah, starting with Baz who's the sort of the shopkeeper merchant character who's one of our colossal aliens. He'll sort of fly up to the outside of the station at the beginning of the game and you have to treat him and then he sort of befriends you and he keeps coming back."

"And then our consultants, so Twiggy Pop is our first consultant. She's a pop star from that music festival I mentioned who then joins you for the rest of your campaign and these consultant doctors actually come with you from level to level. They're not just inside one individual level."

"And we're not just seeing sort of wacky and fun characters, there's a lot of fun ways to sort of treat your patients. Could you maybe pick like a couple of highlights of rooms that we get? I mean a personal one for me is the projectile medicine, which is as I liken to the Simpsons episode where Homer creates a makeup gun and shoots Marge in the face with it. Yeah, yeah, we do like the projectile medicine room. Oh, I don't know, we've got quite a lot."

"So we have one called the boning chamber which has, you know, the name has been a bit of a contentious point within the team, but effectively if you have anything wrong with your bones, the boning chamber is where you go and there's this giant sort of robotic dog-like machine that'll basically eat the patient and then the doctor will then feed bones to the machine and it'll chew the patient up with the bones and spit them out, hopefully good as new."

"What I was really impressed by I think is the level of depth that you've got, not just with sort of treating the patients for their illnesses, but making sure that the hospital is good and not in a sense of good equals the most money you can get. You also have to get the patients of all the species that you've got which are quite a lot happy with different sort of things, so I remember you guys bringing up the cockroach race which has a sort of need to eat rubbish, you know, what else have you guys sort of brought in to create that level of depth within keeping everyone happy? Yeah, absolutely, so we wanted to use, so we call it species desires, so each of our species have two different desires and we wanted to use this as a way to kind of teach and encourage the player to build like a really nice hospital, but to do it in a nice and characterful way, so instead of just giving you a bunch of bars to fill and boxes to tick, the way this works is as you go through the campaign and you explore the galaxy and you meet these different alien species, you get introduced to their desires and that will slowly teach you how to build a good hospital instead of just having a tutorial saying you must do all these things to make people happy, it's this organic characterful thing as you go through and then if you do those things badly then one or more of the alien races will then be unhappy and if you've got doctors of that species they might quit, if you've got patients they might also leave the hospital, so yeah, it's all like directly built into the characters instead of just some UI menu somewhere."

"And with the sort of depth that we see, is this just sort of a game that we're going to see through going through the campaign missions, going through the separate levels or do we get a free mode as well to sort of just run our hospital as we see fit? Yeah, so on top of our campaign, all of the campaign levels actually turn into sandbox levels once you complete them and you can always go back to them at any point in time, you know, in the future with any of your new consultants or your new rooms or any of the new upgrades you've unlocked, we also have a couple of sandbox only maps that are there as well and all of your progress and everything carries across everything, you can take your consultants into the sandbox levels, level them up and then take them back into the campaign, so everything is this sort of whole connected experience. Can we also talk a bit about animations because there's a lot of fun guys behind us here and they all have their own sort of unique ways of like getting around, so the guy who's throwing up on my head walks on his hands, you know, Dr. Puss over there will sort of emerge from the ground, I mean, where do you guys sort of get inspired for these animations, where's sort of the, you know, do you have like meetings where you just go what's the craziest idea we can throw out into the hospital? Yeah, so I mean we've been working on this for a long time now, we're about five years into development and a lot of crazy character ideas have come and gone. Honestly, one of the hardest things when figuring out how to have all these characters walk around in the hospital is not necessarily the walking around but it's how they interact with things, so we have all of our treatment rooms that we've been talking about and in those rooms, you know, patients might need to sit on something or lie on something or whatever and we wanted to have quite a big sort of scale difference with our different alien species, so our vomiting friend here, he's actually our biggest alien and we don't have our smallest one here but there's, the smallest one is maybe like a fifth of the size of the biggest character but they still all need to sit on the same chair and lie on the same bed and that's been a really interesting and fun challenge to do basically, but yeah, they all walk around different ways, you know, one of them flies around, the little one I was speaking about, he walks around on all fours and yeah, the vomiting friend here, he's the Kooba Bally, he's walking around on his legs which is a good fun, on his hands I mean, sorry."

"And we're keeping our patients alive when we can but we're not always able to do that, our patients can die in this, correct, and they can die in a fair few funny ways, well, you know, not to sound like I'm diminishing the deaths but they are quite, you know, explosive. Yeah, so we've put probably too much time into killing patients, I mean, you say we try and keep our patients alive, not all players do that, we have seen several people this week who deliberately don't want to keep their patients alive, which is fine if that's what you want to do but yes, every single treatment room has a unique sort of death animation where it'll kill the patient in some new and horrifying way and depending on what disease the patient has, if they happen to die outside in the corridor because, I don't know, they've been waiting for too long, then they also have a different way of dying in the corridor as well, so they may sort of burst into flames as you mentioned, they may sort of dissolve into dust or just melt or like, you know, if they're frozen for example, they can, you know, just freeze into chunks and shatter onto the ground."

"Yeah, it's been good fun. Brilliant. How many levels are we expecting to see on a general basis to sort of fill out the season of this cartoon? So, the campaign has 11 story levels and they're all, apart from the tutorial, they're all about an hour and a half long. That can be quite a lot longer or, you know, a little bit shorter depending on how you're playing. We've made sure that all of the levels, they very much, you know, adapt to how the player is playing. So, if you want to just wait a while and spend a bunch of time decorating, the level will wait for you to progress or if you want to sort of hyper-optimize its speedrun, you can, you know, take things a bit faster. So, 11 story levels and then the bunch of sort of sandbox levels on top of that and you have to sort of go between them as you wish. Brilliant. Finally then, I guess there's just one thing to ask, when can we expect to see the full release of Galactica and what platforms will we get it on? Yeah, so full release is early next year and will be on PC, PlayStation, Xbox and beyond Game Pass as well. Brilliant. Steam Deck compatible? Yeah, so it will run on Steam Deck. It will have Steam Deck controls but that might not be something we have quite at release but it will have eventually. It already runs on Steam Deck, it's just, you know, we haven't got the controls quite right yet. Josh, thank you so much for your time."