EA’s newest title, The Fancy Pants Adventures is available today on the PlayStation Network and tomorrow on Xbox Live. Created by Brad Borne, the man behind the hit flash game phenomena, in conjunction with Over The Top Games and EA2D, The Fancy Pants Adventures takes all the excitement from the original two Flash games and delivers a new adventure designed for your console.
In honor of today’s PSN release, we got in touch with the Brad Borne and asked him to tell us all about the new game – and about his favorite pair of pants.
What is Fancy Pants Adventure about? Is there a story line?
Fancy Pants Adventures is about a stick man with a mighty pair of fancy pants, of course!
There is indeed a story this time around: Cutie Pants, Fancy Pants Man's little sister, is kidnapped by pirates. It's up to you to save her, with a little help from their previous, highly incompetent captain, Captain Rainbowbeard.
What was the inspiration behind it? Do you yourself have a pair of fancy pants perhaps?
Chalk it up to spending way too much time freeform doodling on anything I can get my hands on. The concept of a gang of silly pirates commandeering the King's giant royal bathtub was just too goofy of an idea to pass up.
I don't have a pair of bright orange pants myself, but sometimes all you need is to stand out a little, to break the monotony of everyday life. Sometimes all it takes is a pair of fancy pants! Everyone should be a little awesome in their own way from time to time.
How was it working with EA to bring this game to Xbox Live and Playstation Network?
It's been great. The project wouldn't have gotten off the ground without them. They've always been fans of the series, and they just wanted to see the best game possible made. They brought a lot of experience to the project, and the collaboration between them, Over the Top, and me, definitely created something unique.
What sparked the relationship between yourself and EA?
So I'm the original creator of The Fancy Pants Adventures, which began its life as a Flash based series. Some time ago, EA2D contacted me about creating a web based version of Mirror's Edge, and that resulted in Mirror's Edge 2D. We were both happy with the end result, and kept in touch once ME2D was released. Once I started working on World 3 of Fancy Pants Adventures, I kept them in the loop, and after a few conversations, we were both convinced that the way to create the very best Fancy Pants Adventures game would be to bring it over to consoles, as a full arcade release.
You've been making flash games for a while then.
Quite some time, about 6 years I believe? The FPA (Fancy Pants Adventures ) series is a good chronicle of my journey learning to program. I've always tried to focus on design, and learn to code as necessary.
How long is the game this time around? Is it longer since it's on consoles?
This release of Fancy Pants Adventures contains more levels than World 1 and 2 combined. Each level is also far larger, and contains many more things to do in each. As a bonus, World 1 and 2 are unlockable with updated art and playable with all of the new features modes introduced for the console.
When you're not doodling rainbow-bearded captains, what games do you play in your spare time?
I try to play a bit of everything, really. I know a lot of developers have trouble finding time to sit down and play video games, but I feel like it's almost part of the job. You have to love playing games if you're going to spend your life making them, I always say. Still, finding time to play games was difficult towards the end of development, and there's quite a few that I've started that I haven't been able to beat, yet, which drives me crazy! There's so much to learn, even from more contemporary genres, when making an old school platforming game.
A few games that I've really enjoyed lately are Donkey Kong Country Returns, Metroid: Other M, Halo: Reach, Pokemon White, and Mass Effect 2. The impact of emotion in Mass Effect 2 entwined with gameplay cannot be undermined.
I've also picked up a 3DS at launch, and it's probably the coolest device I've ever played. Some people in the industry would call it a cute babysitting tool, but I would consider myself a self-respecting 20-something who has no problem playing the thing in public. Can't wait to see how games mature for the platform.
When I'm traveling, I tend to go through iPhone games because of their quick play nature, but I begin to miss the deeper experiences that the consoles or even the dedicated handhelds provide.
What games have you played on 3DS so far?
I hadn't played a Pilotwings before, so I was able to get a ton of enjoyment out of 3-starring every challenge. I picked up Super Street Fight 4 3D, and was finally able to really get into the game. And, I'm currently weaning myself from the 'Lite' control scheme. I just picked up Steel Diver, and it's a really interesting control experiment. Like most 3DS owners though, I'm really looking forward to the system's 'second wind' coming this summer.
And do you see yourself eventually creating games for the 3DS?
If it was up to me, FPA would be on every system capable of running it! It really depends on how well the XBLA and PSN versions sell right now, and we'll have to hear some more details on the 3DSWare store. We're running a full 3D camera in the game, which is completely different from what I've done in Flash before, and even though it's a 2D side-scroller, I think all the layers of parallax would look great in 3D.
Before we started you mentioned traveling a lot. What's the traveling for?
All part of being published by EA! We get to go out and get the game into the hands of the press all over. It's a pretty surreal experience, presenting at a showcase alongside games being created by industry legends. It's a great chance to show journalists just how deep of an experience FPA can be.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to one day make a flash game that becomes hugely popular and then gets published by a mega game company for download on consoles?
Shoot for one step at a time. Make a game that's unique and most importantly, fun. You can't get published if you're making games that rip off other company's characters! Mostly, you have to love games, and love creating them. Try to be the best at one thing, and try to put your own unique spin on everything else.
The one asset that you have that no one else does is yourself! Put your own personality into the game, and people will be able to relate to your game much easier. People love seeing the human side of things, and the humanity in a creation is really where the art comes from.
If you're getting picked up by a publisher, make sure you can continue doing what made your games popular in the first place! Make sure that they love video games and know what made your games popular in the first place. I don't think I could trust anyone who's not a gamer first and a creator second.
And lastly, what’s your favorite pair of pants?
I usually pick a nice shade of light blue to compliment my gentlemanly fedora.
I once had these pair of jeans that had horizontal zippers on the legs that were totally sweet, but they got worn out and I can't find another like them again. Maybe one day…
Thanks for taking the time to do this.
No problem. Thank you!