For many, the Joe Danger franchise will forever be associated with PlayStation. After struggling to find a publisher, Guildford-based indie developer Hello Games signed up to Sony’s widely-publicised ‘Pub Fund’ scheme – a move which provided the studio with financial support in return for exclusivity. The game proved to be one of the PlayStation Network’s biggest hits of 2010, prompting positive word-of-mouth from multiple corners of the PlayStation community.
In the eyes of some fans that viral promotion ensured Joe Danger’s success, so the confirmation that its sequel Joe Danger 2: The Movie would launch first on the Xbox 360 caused a minor backlash. Hello Games has since revealed that it wasn’t allowed to talk about the PSN release due to contractual obligations – but it has produced the port in record time, promising an additional 10 hours of content for patient players.
In order to celebrate the game’s overdue arrival, we sat down with Hello Games’ technical director Ryan Doyle to discuss delays, inspirations, and the future of the Joe Danger franchise.
Push Square: You know where we're going to start. The PlayStation 3 version of Joe Danger 2: The Movie is out today in Europe, but what took so long?
Ryan Doyle: [Laughs]. To be honest, it's all very long and complicated and, honestly, boring. Ultimately, we hadn't been able to say anything about the PS3 version at all. We wanted to, obviously – we really, really wanted to tell people it was coming, but we couldn't. It's been really hard, but now we've finally announced it's coming out, hopefully it’s pleased everyone.
PS: Are you happy with the reaction so far?
RD: Yeah, it's been really nice. I've been busy, so I haven't had a chance to see much of it on the internet, but what I have seen has been really good. I'm glad people appreciate that we've explained what happened.
PS: So, as PlayStation 3 owners, what can we expect as compensation for the slight delay?
RD: [Laughs]. Well, there's another ten hours or so of content, and that's based on the pure experience of the original game. There are more of the old-school Joe Danger motorbike levels, because a lot of people seemed to miss that a little bit. Hopefully, that'll satisfy everyone.
PS: Can you talk a little bit about the game’s movie aspect? What sort of themes does the game go through during the campaign?
RD: It’s all sorts really. The game is the result of us watching loads of old films.
PS: It shines through!
RD: [Laughs] Yeah, if you look at the level names they’re all puns. In fact, you probably saw that on Twitter – loads of fans were giving us really cool puns. In terms of the inspirations, though, there’s Indiana Jones, and then there’s lots of James Bond and 60’s spy and sci-fi stuff too. We also incorporated some really crazy stuff in the “Deleted Scenes” section of the campaign. One example is where you play as a bear on a unicycle. There’s some time-travel stuff as well, where, for example, you race through a jungle inhabited by dinosaurs. So, there’s plenty of variety compared to the first game.
PS: Cool. Talking about the original game, why did you decide to go absolutely mad with the sequel?
RD: Well, to be honest, we wanted to do more with the original game anyway, but we couldn’t. It was just four of us at the time, and we were fairly limited in what we could do.
PS: Have you grown, then?
RD: Yeah, there are a few more of us now, and it’s given the opportunity to do this. We’ve got a lot more resources to put a ton more variety into the game.
But, as I was saying, the first game came about by playing with lots of toys and stuff, whereas the sequel emerged as a result of watching loads of old classic movies. It’s perfect for where Joe Danger’s going, and it gave us the excuse to do pretty much anything.
PS: You’re probably not talking about it just yet, but is this the last we’re going to see of Joe Danger? Are you thinking about trying something different now, or are you keeping that quiet?
RD: Well, we’ve got the iOS version still to come, but at the moment we’re not planning Joe Danger 3 or anything like that. We want to move on a bit and work on some new IP. Being independent has given us the freedom to do that, so we don’t want to get stuck doing the same thing.
Being independent has given us the freedom to try new ideas, so we don’t want to get stuck doing the same thing
PS: Whatever you decide to do, make sure you release it on PSN at the same time as everywhere else, yeah?
RD: [Laughs]. Yeah.
PS: Do you have any final words you’d like to share with the rest of the PlayStation community?
RD: I just hope that they understand where we’re coming from with the delay, and I really hope they enjoy the extra content.
PS: Alright, thank you so much for your time, and the very best of luck with the game – we can’t wait to play it.
Are you eager to play Joe Danger 2: The Movie? Did you enjoy the original game? Let us know in the comments section below.