VideoGamer.com: How will the multiplayer work?
MB: It's online and offline co-op, two-player. Basically the co-op game, there's no real story, it's an action blast for you to pick up. You're scored on how efficient and good and cool and how many times you didn't die. If you die you get respawned in and you get an anti-bonus at the end. We've gone for a strong single-player narrative, because it's the only real way you can do the story, although there are parts in the game where you get story elements from the co-op game, so it crosses over. It's happening at the same time in a different part of the ship with two other people. Because it's two players it's not really a strong directed narrative, but there's moments that cross occasionally, just to remind you about where all that's come from and why its happened. You can dive into the game and just play it. You don't have to read all the logs that you get, you can flick past all the expanse of the comic strips we've lovingly created if you must. It's there if people want to get deep in the story. For people who just want to dive in and play that's fine too.
VideoGamer.com: Did you ever consider competitive elements?
MB: There's leaderboards. Not so much versus. It's not set up for a versus mode. It doesn't work. We are contemplating doing a four-player more arcade thing, out of the same universe really, doing a lot of that stuff, but that maybe would be a different game entirely. We completely built this for the story.
VideoGamer.com: Regarding price, it looks to me a cert for 1200MS Points.
MB: I can't comment on pricing at the moment unfortunately. That's one of the things we're asked not to announce before. With Worms, we fought like fury... I nearly said something else there... for months to keep it at 800, because we believed that that was the right price point for the title. This one's been a bit more costly to build. So therefore I would doubt it would go out at 800 certainly. That's about as much as I can say. I think when people see it, it is a retail game online really.
VideoGamer.com: Was there any goodwill lost after the release of Leisure Suit Larry that might affect Alien Breed Evolution?
MB: I'll be open as anything. Larry didn't turn out great. There are reasons why it didn't turn out great. I'm not going to rattle on about excuses. It's one of those things. You're only as good as your last game. Hopefully the new Worms on LIVE Arcade, other than a couple of bugs that went unnoticed on, not our testing unit but a testing unit, which we're fixing, I think the Metacritic on that is 84, 85 per cent. Certainly with Alien Breed, if anybody's got any grumbles about what we can and can't do, they'll certainly see the amount of effort and care put into a product where we're unbridled by any nonsense we had to deal with in the Larry project. Yeah, hands up, it wasn't great. At the end of the day people don't have to buy anything. They go on reviews, they go on demos and everything else. If people make that decision that's unfortunate. It's not something we're worried about.
VideoGamer.com: Alien Breed Evolution will have a trial, so people will be able to try before they buy.
MB: Absolutely. And that's the way it should be. The last thing we want is people to be complaining about stuff like that. The great thing about LIVE Arcade is it's a real leveller. I did a talk at Develop yesterday saying it's all about the trial, it's all about the demo experience. There's no better marketing than giving people your game and saying well here it is. If you love it, buy it, if you don't, then fair enough, move on and move along. That's what we absolutely believe. The great thing about doing the self publishing - it's all self-funded – everything we're risking is ours, and ours to lose. Would we have self-funded, would we have done Larry by ourselves? Would we bollocks. We wouldn't have done that. We were making a game based on somebody else's script, somebody else's ideas, and it's very difficult in that position. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't work at all, and that was unfortunate.
VideoGamer.com: One of the intriguing things about the digital download space is that it's perhaps an avenue for developers to experiment at a time when they might no be able to otherwise. Alien Breed Evolution is something we've seen before. Are you doing any new stuff?
MB: Yes we are. Stuff that's very different to Worms, very different to Alien Breed. It's cool to be doing all this kind of stuff.
VideoGamer.com: Can Alien Breed come to iPhone?
MB: Maybe. I think we've got to watch out what the take-up is of Alien Breed on LIVE Arcade. We're incredibly heartened by the response just the screenshots got. Once people start seeing video people will go, oh my god, it looks much better moving than it does in the screenshots. So, I don't know. I certainly wouldn't see any reason why not. We are looking at some of our other IPs maybe for iPhone, simply because the games are a little bit simpler. The idea of having a touch screen 18 years ago was not something that crossed our minds! The game was never built for touch screens and stuff. We'll see. I certainly wouldn't rule it out.
The first game in the Alien Breed Evolution trilogy is due out for XBLA this September or October. PSN and PC versions will follow.