The Dare to be Digital 2015 team talks to Develop about working on their entry title EctoPlaza

Dare Blogs: Yeah Yeah Games’ four-player ghost smash ’em up

What’s your game?
EctoPlaza is a stretchy ghost smash ‘em up where four players take on the roles of happy haunts at EctoPlaza, the number one resort for spirits in their golden ghastly years.

Have the time of your afterlife as you enjoy gourmet meals, luxurious beaches, and absolutely, positively not rocketing into your friends at blistering speeds in a variety of locations with a colourful cast of characters. And please, pretty please, no jumping on the beds. Please.

What has the Dare experience been like?
The Dare experience has been incredible, to say the least. Few festivals provide the same level of mentorship and exposure for student developers. The teams this year have been tremendously supportive of each other’s efforts and created a community that values education and play above all else.

What have you learned from Dare?
While developing EctoPlaza, we challenged ourselves to try to create the game specifically for a festival setting. This raised unique challenges and questions that we had to answer: how do we create a balanced, competitive multiplayer game? How do we make sure the game is as fun for the spectators as it is for the players?

Most importantly, how do we make EctoPlaza accessible to the widest possible audience, while still allowing for deep and challenging play? By exploring and testing our solutions as we developed the game, we learned much about what it means to make an accessible game that celebrates all aspects of play.

Are you looking forward to ProtoPlay?
Absolutely! From our very first design talks, we knew we wanted to create something that was compelling for both player and spectator. We are sure EctoPlaza will find a home at ProtoPlay.

What are your ambitions after Dare?
We plan to bring EctoPlaza to PC, Mac and current-gen consoles. EctoPlaza was built from the ground up for controller support and couch play, and we know it would be perfect for consoles.

Follow Yeah Yeah Games on Twitter @YeahYeahTweets and Facebook to learn more about their game.

Dare ProtoPlay and Indie Fest is on 13th-16th August in Dundee’s Caird Hall and City Square, with all 16 Dare student games on show, indie games, talks, workshops and more.

Team members:

University of Southern California:

  • Michael Effenberger – Team Lead, Producer
  • Tiffany Zhang – Animator
  • Max Palazzo – Designer
  • Neilson Koerner-Safrata – Engineer
  • Brianna Lei – Animator
  • Colin Horgan – Engineer
  • Jocelyn Kim – Animator

Berklee College of Music:

  • Natalia Perez – Composer, Sound Designer

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