[Interview] PewDiePie Lends His Face, Voice in New Platformer

People who are active in the game streaming community have likely heard of PewDiePie, Felix Kjellberg, whose vivid personality and videos on YouTube have made him a minor celebrity. With over 7 million followers on Twitter and 42 million subscribers on YouTube, his vlogs and videos of him playing video games have brought him a lot of success. His enjoyment playing games led him to lend his likeness and voice to the game studio Outerminds, Inc for a new game: PewDiePie: Legend of the Brofist.

This is a very well done 2D platformer. The graphics and music have a very strong retro feel. The game consists of PewDiePie traveling around on a simple quest to find the Brofist and defeat some antagonists. The game stars him as well as cameos by several other big names in the game streaming community: CutiePieMarzia, Markiplier, CinnamonToastKen, Jacksepticeye, and Cryaotic. Each of them contributed their own voice acting to the game and are playable characters.

The game works well on Android TV too. It can be downloaded and played with full integration of the gamepad. Being such a highly praised game, I wanted to get a better idea about this studio and how this idea came to fruition.

On Outermind’s Origin

The overworld map is a lot like many retro games
The overworld map is a lot like many retro games

How did you select the art style for the game?

We all from the previous generation had the NES and stuff and we loved those games.

Where did the idea for the game come from?

Back in 2014 we went to a gamejam and the event was fun to play and watch. The top ten game developers had the chance to be played by PewDiePie himself. We built a 2d game that featured him as the protagonist, which was sort of an early version of this game. Even before the results came in PewDiePie said he liked it and wanted us to improve it.

What is like working with PewDiePie?

It was very overwhelming working with him and the others. All of them did their own voice acting.

Working with PewDiePie was cool. Everytime the lead artist was working on something he’d show it to PewDiePie and he’d be like, “Yeah, I like it!”.

We’re a lot like kids making games.

What is your team like? Who did the art and the music?

At first we were just four people: two programmers, one lead artist, and myself. We added a web artist, another programmer, and a level designer. The maximum we were at was 7.

The music was made by a popular chip artist Rushjet1.

On Developing the Game

You fight against flying barrels, UFOs, and unicorns
You fight against flying barrels, UFOs, and unicorns

Why did you decide to support Android TV?

The game was already designed to support gamepads and a friend said there was a problem with the NVIDIA Shield and we said we had to support it. We did it on Android TV as well as Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. We worked really hard to make it work on iOS and Android. It was amazing on a phone, though having a controller in your hand is the best thing.

How much time did you spend developing for Android TV?

Since we work on so many platforms and we’re so small, it’s hard to say how much time was spent.

How does the gaming experience differ from a phone?

It’s always cool to play on a big screen with a controller, especially when there’s people in the room. It’s fun to play and fun to watch and you need a big screen to do that. This was big in the 80s and 90s with the NES and SNES.

The game controller for the Nexus Player is pretty cool. Apple’s is good. Amazon’s controller is really good.

Our lead artist put so many easter eggs in the graphics that you can see well on a big screen which you may miss on a mobile device.

How did you integrate Google Play Games?

There’s achievements and there’s about sixty of them. There’s a leaderboard because when you beat the game (even on easy, it’s almost impossible to beat on hard), you unlock a new level where you try to survive for a period of time and the longest times are displayed in the leaderboard.

On the Android TV Platform

PewDiePie does his own stunts
PewDiePie does his own stunts

How does Android TV compare to other TV platforms?

I think that they’re basically equal for the moment. From what I saw in Quebec [where Outerminds, Inc. is based], the Google consoles are less popular. There’s not much marketing.

I haven’t seen a friend with the Nexus [Player] before, although my friend had the NVIDIA Shield. I don’t have many friends that have Google, Amazon, or Apple devices. My friends are console players.

What’s next for Outerminds, Inc?

We’re making another game with PewDiePie. He tweeted a screenshot of it last week. That’s all I can say about it.

Conclusion

This game is full of moments for PewDiePie and others to show off their personalities. Even if you aren’t a fan of them or the childish humor, this is a still a platformer that has solid gameplay and great art direction. For a relatively cheap price, I’ve had a lot of fun with it. It’s available now for you to download in the Google Play Store for $5.

Nick Felker

Nick Felker

Nick Felker is a student Electrical & Computer Engineering student at Rowan University (C/O 2017) and the student IEEE webmaster. When he's not studying, he is a software developer for the web and Android (Felker Tech). He has several open source projects on GitHub (http://github.com/fleker)Devices: Moto G-2013 Moto G-2015, Moto 360, Google ADT-1, Nexus 7-2013 (x2), Lenovo Laptop, Custom Desktop.Although he was an intern at Google, the content of this blog is entirely independent and his own thoughts.

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