Some of our best video game memories are of sitting on a crowded couch with some friends competing in local multiplayer games like Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart. There was plenty of screaming and even a bit of pushing when things didn’t go our way, but all in good fun.
Watching the trailer for WarpedCore Studios’ upcoming game, Aqua Lungers, rekindled thoughts of those long weekends in front of the TV with our buddies. It’s best described as a competitive undersea treasure hunting game for up to four players, where the goal is to score 3,000 points before your rivals by collecting gold and bringing it to your safe, but if only it were that simple! In addition to keeping an eye on your opponents, you must also contend with enemies in each of the game’s 18 stages and six boss levels! In fact, bosses can score points and even win a match if you aren’t careful.
On that note, we caught up with developer Diego Almazan to learn more about the game.
What inspired you to create Aqua Lungers?
There are so many things that inspire me in some way or another! When I first started the project I was playing a lot of local multiplayer games with my wife and friends, but just kind or ran out of games to play. That was one reason I went with split screen, the other being that I have a lot of nostalgia for split screen games.
In terms of the art and sticking to 2D, the biggest reason is that it’s what I’m best at. I spent most of my career in games as a concept artist working on projects like Star Wars: The Old Repulbic and Shadow of the Colossus PS4, so 2D art was something I’m used to doing a lot of.
Going back to the nostalgia thing, many of my favorite games were 2D, like Mega Man, Sonic, and Street Fighter.
How long was the game in development, and can you walk us through what the development process was like?
Aqua Lungers was in development for two and a half years. I’m not sure I can adequately walk you through the entire process! I was just learning how to code when I started the project, so many features and systems I needed for the game I had to learn about or invent as I went along. Much of the time went into writing code, testing, and going back and forth until I had a feature working the way that I needed it to. Sometimes it was very frustrating, but getting things right was always gratifying.
What are the unique challenges that come with being the sole developer on a game?
The first thing that comes to mind is the most obvious, which is that there’s a lot to do even on a small project. I like to tell people that you don’t realize how many hats there are to wear until they’re on your head! Besides art and coding, there’s design, animation, testing, marketing, going to shows, platform stuff, etc. It can really pile up!
Other challenges have to do with the fact that I chose to make a four-player game by myself. It’s not really easy when I need to test balance and mechanics that involve players interacting with each other.
Do you plan to support the game with downloadable content after launch? If so, what can players expect?
In the short term, I’ll be focused on making sure that any bugs that appear get addressed, and that players find the game to at least be mostly balanced. I don’t have any real plans for downloadable content, but there are plenty of things I would have liked to do with the game that did not make it into the final product.
Aqua Lungers looks like a fun couch co-op game. You’re probably getting asked this question every day, but when is this game coming out for the Switch?
I actually do get this question a lot! The short answer is that I’m trying!
For players seeing Aqua Lungers for the first time, what message do you want to leave them with?
Aqua Lungers lets you play dirty, but you don’t have to!
Aqua Lungers will release on Steam this week on August 9.