How Bight Games came up with its cannon blasting, llama shaving game Fleeced!

Wacky piled on wacky

How Bight Games came up with its cannon blasting, llama shaving game Fleeced!

We all know the App Store is the spawning ground for absolutely bonkers game ideas.

Still, Canadian developer Bight Games is pushing the wackiness envelope when it comes to Fleeced! - Shear Terror - the world's first Peruvian flavoured, cannon blasting, llama shaving, multiplayer iPhone game.

You can get an idea how it works by checking out the game's trailer.

After checking up on visiting hours, we made an appointment to visit its CEO Stuart Duncan to find out what he'd been drinking.

Pocket Gamer: What was the inspiration for Fleeced?

Stuart Duncan: First of all we started with fairly wacky premise - two feuding brothers blasting away at each other's llama pens with cannons in order to harm the other's prized llama.

Whenever we ran into an issue, the solution was always a wacky one.

Originally each player had an entire herd of llamas, but this was cluttered and just didn't feel quite right. That's when someone suggested that instead of stealing one of many llamas, why didn't he simply shave one llama? We had a good laugh, and then quickly realised it fit perfectly.

Why Peru and llamas as opposed to Wales and sheep or any other nationality/animal etc?

Simply put, because it was something radically different and it doesn't hurt that llamas are just funny; it fit.

When we'd decided on llamas, Peru came to mind, and its natural beauty and colourful costumes provided excellent inspiration for the world and characters.

How nervous are you that such an original game will be too strange for the App Store crowd?

There is always a risk with making an original game, but we're not sure anything is too strange for the App Store. And there's definitely an appetite for new and creative games.

Can you explain what players will actually being doing in the game?

The most exciting part is firing your cannons and blowing up your brother's walls. When you press the 'fire' button, you switch to a behind-the-ball camera view and can tilt the iPhone to guide the cannon ball to your targets.

You can hit lots of things: the other player to make him drop his coins; his cannons to damage them; his coins and power-ups to steal them; but most importantly you can hit his walls.

When a wall is destroyed, the nefarious Rustler will zip into the pen and shave a bit of wool from your opponent's llama. When his llama is completely shorn, victory is yours.

How does the money and strategy element play out?

Your strategy will affect how you spend your coins. If you're buying lots of cannons, you won't be able to afford wall upgrades, and vice versa. And which gun you choose to buy will determine how much time you have for various activities.

Some guns hit hard, but take a long time to reload. They're great for defensive players as they let you break your brother's walls, but still pay a lot of attention to your own walls.

Alternatively, some cannons hit lighter but reload quickly. If you're quick, you can do as much or more damage than the bigger guns, but you'll have a lot less time to tend to your own defence.

Why do you think these features work so well?

It's a good mix of comedy, action and just enough strategy to keep it interesting. While it's one thing to master the artificial intelligence, it'll be quite another to beat other players.

In multiplayer, Fleeced develops into a frantic pace of shoot or be shot. If you spend too much time repairing your walls, and not enough time blasting, your opponent is sure to get the upper hand eventually.

How difficult was it to develop the multiplayer mode and how will players get access to this?

It wasn't too bad. We're using Exit Games's Photon platform to provide internet multiplayer. For players it will be as simple as selecting the two player internet option. There's also a local mode, using Bluetooth or wi-fi to go head-to-head.

What are you most happy with about Fleeced?

Bight is fully committed to fun and original games and Fleeced has been a great project. It's hard to nail down one thing that we're the most happy with.

Any successful game has many working parts, all complimenting each other. I guess that's it really - it's how cohesive the game is. Everything in the game seems natural, even though the premise is insane.

What's the planned release and price?

We're planning to submit on October 30th, and the price? What would you pay for a cannon blasting, llama shaving, wool stealing game?

Thanks to Stuart for his time. We hope he gets well soon
Jon Jordan
Jon Jordan
A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon can turn his hand to anything except hand turning. He is editor-at-large at which means he can arrive anywhere in the world, acting like a slightly confused uncle looking for the way out. He likes letters, cameras, imaginary numbers and legumes.