An underlying theme of de Blob, manifested by the game's oppressive black-and-white antagonist, the I.N.K.T. Corporation, helped widen de Blob's audience beyond the youth and hipster market. I.N.K.T. is "the creeping homogenization of our urban landscape," says Hagger. "Blob is fighting to prevent people from feeling alienated from the world they live in; he's stopping life from becoming bland and colorless." Blob is an attempt to empower the disaffected by "using color and music as constant rewards for activity."

"It works on so many different levels. You see parents go, 'Well that's something I'd really like my kids to play' and parents that go, 'That's actually a game I'd like to play - so damn, I kill two birds with one stone.'"

Hagger is quick to note that the team's ability to express themselves and deliver this message was only possible due to a number of "creative champions" who spent their time ensuring that corporate understood and supported the game. These people include THQ's recently appointed Director of Creative Services, Danny Bilson, "a phenomenally hooked-up guy who helped communicate the core message of Blob to people who still couldn't see it," and the THQ Asia/Pacific PR team, who also "saw the potential in Blob from a long, long time ago. They talk to corporate as often as we do and they were telling people, 'Don't overlook it. Don't forget it. Don't write it off.'"

"At each critical step, we knew we had to convince people that the vision was sound," Hagger said. "Each step forward was difficult, but as we learned how to better communicate what was cool about the game, all aspects of the business started to rally behind it, You're convincing people that you will deliver something that will get critical acclaim and will have the best possible advantage slotting into the marketplace. We were lucky to have a lot of people championing de Blob."

Initially, it seems that the risk has paid off. de Blob has received a Metacritic rating of 82, higher than Nintendo's own platformer Wario Land: Shake It. The Official Nintendo Magazine U.K. even touted it as "the best game Nintendo never published." The team at Blue Tongue can rest easy knowing they've accomplished at least one of their goals: developing an original title that has received critical acclaim.

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Hagger is happy to have been proven wrong about the characteristically risk-averse industry. "The world isn't yet run by the I.N.K.T. Corporation," he says. "There are nice people, wherever you look ... but they're in hiding."

Hagger hasn't confirmed or denied whether Blue Tongue will continue working on original titles but he can reassure that "we will continue to develop great games. The same passion we have for making de Blob as a new and original IP, we're bringing that same passion to the next project."

That sounds like Blue Tongue's still enjoying their time in the sun, if you ask me.

Daniel Purvis blogs sporadically at graffitigamer.com and keeps the www.GamingSA.com residents well-informed. If he were a DJ, he'd be DJ Perverse.

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