Death JR - This
Death Jr. is a
hot looking title due for release on the PSP, we hunted
down Senior Producer Chris Charla for a chat, Q&A style.
Chris was very forthcoming and also gave us some exclusive
screenshots of the game for publication, to wet your appetite!
Before the interview we also
have available some very cool downloadable DEATH
JR "goodies" in the shape of a comic
book as well as an ingame movie trailer. There are instructions
supplied with the comic book detailing how you can read
the comic via your PSP, just download and extract then read
the word document.
DownloadDEATH JR comic bookhere
(10.2 meg) DownloadDEATH JR in game
Chris Charla - Senior Producer
Death Jr. is definitely an original looking title, what
was your inspiration behind its creation?
Chris: It wasn't something that was meticulously
planned or anything... It really just grew organically.
We were working on a tech demo, and needed a character.
Our art team came up with probably a dozen character ideas
-- hot secret agent chicks, dudes with axes, etc. -- and
one of the artists just drew this quick sketch of a little
dead guy. Everyone was into it and it seemed like the whole
backstory, how he interacted with his dad, his friends,
the whole world in general just kind of grew up very quickly
from that point. I think that's how we knew we had something
special, because it just seemed so easy to build this fully
fleshed out world around it. Here's something that's never
been revealed before: the character of Pandora actually
came into the world via one of those original character
concepts we did; she was originally pitched as a stand alone
character, but she just fit perfectly into DJ's world.
Being the first "real" platformer to hit the PSP,
did you guys feel any pressure to satisfy the audience of
this on growing game field?
Chris: Well, we don't consider ourselves
a platformer! To us DJ is a third-person shooter. There's
platforming there, but it's more a means to an end, rather
than an end in and of itself. Hopefully both platformer
fans and shooter fans will like the game.
What kind of Weapons and Enemies will we see in Death Jr.
Chris: Well, there's about 21 different
enemy types, plus bosses. Lots of different types of demons:
demons who spit, demons who fire laser beams from their
eye-covered asses, demons who smash you with tentacles...
We got most of the character designs from this book bound
in human skin... In terms of weapons, there's everything
from dual pistols to rocket launchers, electricity guns,
flame throwers, shot guns, and C4 hamsters. These are little
hamsters with charges of C4 strapped to their backs, and
they just squeak their way towards the nearest enemy and
What kind of atmosphere will an every day gamer feel when
playing Death Jr. ?
Chris: Hopefully dark, but funny. If I
say "creepy but cute," our creative director will
kill me, but um, yeah...
Should gamers look out for any unique technical aspects
in Death Jr. ?
Chris: Load times are one nice thing, level
size is another. We worked really hard to minimize load
times, and I think we have the best load times on PSP right
now. Also our levels are pretty big: the PSP has 24MB usable
RAM, and some of our levels are 60MB. But once you're in
a level, there are no load times that you notice at all.
This is tricky to do on PSP because you can't stream levels
because of the battery life, so we had to use another, secret
Did you at any time feel limited while developing Death
Jr. for the PSP ?
Chris: It's always hard to be working on
new hardware, but Sony's support was great, and Konami's
QA was really good too. There are some limitations in the
PSP, but by and large we were able to overcome them.
Despite the somewhat violent title, Death Jr. seems to offer
more of a humoristic side. What level of humor/violence
will we see in the game?
Chris: Hopefully there's a lot of both!
I think just some of the levels themselves -- the kids'
insane asylum, the meat-themed amusment park, are just funny
in and of themselves, and of course some of the comedy situations
just arise from the gameplay... a cow-boss that fires machine
guns from its udders is just cool to me.
How many hours of gameplay will the average gamer be able
to get out of Death Jr.
anticipate at least 10.
Are there any plans for a sequel in the future?
Chris: Not that I can discuss, sorry! Of
course, there's a lot we still want to do, and we think
there's a lot more in the world to explore, but sorry I
can't say anything else.
What is your favorite aspect of Death Jr. ?
Chris: C4 hamsters, hands down!
Chris for taking the time to participate in this Q&A
Session! also special thanks to Stephan Krause and Rammy
Eldaly for their help with this article.