Rag doll Kung Fu creator
LHtimes: Hello Mark, tell us a bit about yourself, who are you and what did you do in the past?
Mark Healey: My name is Mark, and I’ve been in the games industry for far too long – my first title was a budget game on the C64, last thing I worked on was Black&White at Lionhead studios. I’ve been working with Peter Molyneux since Theme Park…
LHtimes: What is Rag Doll Kung Fu all about?
Imagine having a Kung Fu Fight with string puppets, except you don’t have to worry about getting the strings tangled up, and you don’t have to have a kung fu fight.
You control the characters on screen with the mouse – there are no pre-scripted animations in the game – it’s all up to you – to walk, you have to literally pick up one foot, then place it in front of the other.
Sounds tricky maybe, but it doesn’t take long before you’re spinning through the air like a Russian gymnast.
This means you get to create your own style, and can act out whatever you feel like, and of course, if you really feel like it, you can have a fight.
If all goes well, and I get the online stuff working properly, then you can act out various silly situations with people all over the world, have dancing competitions, chatting, fighting, that kind of thing.
I already have multiplayer working on a single machine – you can plug in up to eight mice (with a usb hub), and simulate all types of strange behaviour. (Thanks to J STOOKEY for that cool multi mice code he wrote for MAME!)
It’s about Chi power.
Where did the idea come from exactly? Have you always had a passion for Kung Fu?
It started two summers ago, me and some friends decided to make a short kung fu film, just for some laughs. We had a budget of 50 pounds. We had some really bad fake bald heads, and the stunt man was a floppy blow up doll. It seemed natural to make a game to go with it.
How long have you been working on this game and were there other people involved? If so, would you mind telling us?
It’s taken about a year and a half, in my spare time (I work as a full time artist at Lionhead studios!) which has also involved learning C++ and DirectX.
Well, of course there are the people in the film, and I’ve collaborated with various friends, there’s no way I could understand Microsoft Documentation without an interpreter.
What else – apart from Rag Doll Kung Fu – are you working on at the moment?
I’m helping to finish Fable, specifically, I’ve been working on some pre-rendered cinematics, which basically involves panning a camera over these huge, amazing fresco style murals, very skilfully painted by our in house Egyptian Rembrandt, Kareem. (None other than Puk Bul Kim, from the movie)
What piece of art/music/movie/… do you think we all should have experienced?
As much of it as possible!
What are your future plans for Rag Doll Kung Fu?
To finish it this summer. Then put it online.