At Level Up KL 2019 today, plenty of people were milling about, with panels and demo booths open to visitors. We stopped by Passion Republic Games, showcasing their game, GigaBash. Mel Law, co-director, and Aiken Tow, game director, were on hand to answer our questions for a few minutes.
If you weren’t aware, GigaBash is a kaiju arena game. The monsters come to life to beat the living daylights out of each other across various maps. We had to ask: why this particular type of game? It seems easy enough to answer that they wanted something fun, and to create cool characters. Malaysia’s had plenty of exposure to childhood figures like Ultraman, Godzilla, the Power Rangers and Gundam, and they wanted to see these characters just fight each other.
There’s only a limited roster for now, with the game currently in development. With these monsters, having a robot seemed out of place. We’re told the character choice will make sense once the final roster is revealed. There’s also the matter of diversifying the characters, thanks to the aforementioned influences. They want the variety of characters, so you’ll have the robot, a King Kong archetype, and a projectile-using character.
The maps and locations are definitely inspired by the kaiju movie tropes. Tokyo is a definite inclusion after all, thanks to its roots. They’ll be expanding to include places with more flavour to be more fun to play, including interesting mechanics for players to interact with. Cities, seasides and other exotic places are being explored, to really capture that fantasy of being a giant monster.
Passion Republic has done much work outsourced to them, having provided their services for the past 10 years. GigaBash marks a time of change for them to create something of their own. They’re hoping to learn something from the experience: from designing a game, making gameplay decisions and building a programming team, to branch out from “just” art production. They’d be looking to share across the larger company and outsourcing team, improving the pipeline in general.
They’re focused on GigaBash for the moment, toying with the idea of a sequel, but they’ll have to see how it’s like in the future first. The possibility of a party game comes up, as the studio members frequently play them during break hours. What’s for sure is that they will want to make something that they’d play themselves.
With their presence at Level Up KL, it’s easy for Mel and Aiken to point out how big the local game development scene is growing. We have Magnus Games’ Re:Legend, Metronomik’s No Straight Roads, and Kurechii’s King’s League II as some of the prime examples. In 2 or 3 years, Malaysia could be a real hub in regards to game development, and who knows, maybe even for the whole world.
As for advice, they really can only impress the importance of “keeping at it”. Keep doing what you love, and definitely, one day, you’ll make it. They themselves at Passion Republic want to make Malaysia proud, and they think they’re on the right track.
Future updates for GigaBash will include a new mode, Rampage, with destruction as its theme. No details can be given yet, but it’s something to look forward to. There will also be online multiplayer. It’s surely too early now, but the idea of cross-platform play would be appealing too!
You can check out their website for other information.