We speak to Ester Sánchez of Resistance Studio about her upcoming game Pushy and Pully In Blockland and why they’re skipping a PC version.
When we announced ‘IG@FG’, I was inundated with responses from developers (Thank You). One game that was sent to me that really stood out was Pushy and Pully In Blockland because one of its influences is a game I spent far too much of my childhood playing – Pengo. I opened the game play trailer for Pushy and Pully and was mesmerised what I saw. An homage to many of the arcade games I’d spend days on in my youth, it was like this title was laser tailored to my tastes. The colour scheme, personality, like a sparkling, colourful tribute to my early game playing days.
Pushy and Pully In Blockland is described as a “Co-operative arcade game with a retro feeling. Players will journey through lots of levels with our two hero girls: Pushy and Pully, trying to crush their enemies to clear each stage by pushing blocks and getting power ups by joining blocks together”. Sold.
Obviously, I wanted to find out more and Resistance Studio founder Ester Sánchez agreed to answer some of the questions I had about Pushy and Pully In Blockland, all of which you can read here;
Finger Guns: How did Resistance Studio come together?
Ester Sánchez: A couple of years ago I met Miguel (art) and Jose Ramón (music) in a game jam. We did a couple of mini games together and when Nintendo Switch came out we knew we wanted to do something for that console. Then I called an old friend, Julio (game designer), to join the team and help with the game idea. After that, Resistance Studio was founded.
FG: What inspired you to create Pushy and Pully in Blockland?
ES: The japanese arcades of the 90’s. Three Wonders is one of my favourite arcades back then. It has 3 games, one of them is Don’t Pull. I played it a lot so I wanted to make a homage of it. The game is not only inspired by it but we took inspiration in others like Tumblepop, Bubble Bobble, Pengo or even Bomberman. All those arcade games have very good game design and are really fun. We want to give players the same feeling when playing our game.
FG: This type of puzzle game seems like a real rarity. Why do you think that is?
ES: I think times have changed and so has the videogame market. People demand photorealistic graphics and big multiplayer experiences and that’s what the market mostly provides. Fortunately I think there’s still space for some small fun games like ours.
“Console manufacturers are really supporting and promoting indies right now and the market is not as saturated as it is on PC.”
FG: Pushy and Pully in Blockland has been announced for consoles but not PC. How important do you think developing an indie game for consoles is now, given the current volatility in the PC market?
ES: The PC market is not really interesting for indies right now. It is true that there are a lot of users in Steam but the discoverability is not good. It is very ,very crowded and it’s hard to make your game visible, especially if you are not known. There is also the problem that a lot of people don’t want to spend more than a couple of euros in a game which makes it harder to be profitable. Console manufacturers are really supporting and promoting indies right now and the market is not as saturated as it is in PC. This along with higher price tags makes it more interesting for indie developers in this moment.
FG: Will Pushy and Pully be making use of the Nintendo Switch specific features, such as the Joy-con Rumble or touch screen?
ES: Absolutely! We love the HD-rumble and the game will use that feature. It won’t use the touch screen because the game has classic arcade controls (dpad and buttons). You can also play with 2 joycons and the console in portable or docked mode.
FG: Having watched the game play demonstration trailer (repeatedly, seriously, it’s mesmerising) I noticed new monsters being regularly introduced. How many types of monsters are you intending on having in Pushy and Pully? Will they have new abilities to deal with?
ES: The game has 5 themed worlds. Every world has 2 unique monsters and one generic one that will appear everywhere. Every monster has its unique abilities that the player needs to discover in order to be able to defeat it. It will get harder as the game progresses.
FG: How are the star ratings for each level calculated? Is it based on speed, number of blocks pushed or something else entirely?
ES: The stars are calculated based on how good the player did. It takes in account time and score. Some levels can be done fast by killing monsters or slower but with higher score by doing combos. We want to give the opportunity to get a good ratings to both kinds of players.
FG: Pushy and Pully in Blockland has 1 and 2 player co-op. Are the levels the same for both options?
ES: Yes. All levels can be finished playing solo or with a friend. When playing solo, you’ll get some extra time to help you finishing the level though.
FG: Can you accidentally (or maybe on purpose?) squash your co-op partner with a pushed block?
ES: No. We wanted this game to be friendly and cooperative so you can’t hurt the other player. You can however move the player to stop the block in certain spot and help you defeating some monster or boss or getting a higher combo. We would like players to discover different ways to help each other finishing the game.
FG: Last question – Which is your favourite? Pushy or Pully?
ES: I can’t really decide. I like both, Pushy is more innocent and cute and Pully is more of a fighter and adventurer. They are different but without each other’s help they won’t be able to escape Blockland.
Pushy and Pully in Blockland is coming to PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch in 2019. You can follow development by following the team on Twitter, by joining their Discord server, keeping track of their dev diaries on Medium or by following them on Facebook.
IG@FG (or ‘Indie Games @ Finger Guns’) is a new irregular feature exploring the world of indie games. To keep up to date, please follow us on Twitter or Facebook.