Interview: Ripstone on ‘Men’s Room Mayhem’

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Whilst I was writing the review for Men’s Room Mayhem I couldn’t help but wonder where the idea came from as it’s quite bizarre. I still remember trying to explain the game to my wife and seeing the look on her face! So I sent some questions and Phil Gaskell, Creative Director & Co-Founder of Ripstone Publishing quickly replied.

PS Nation: Could you go into detail of when the idea came to you? What time of day was it? Working lunch or Evening meal?

image001Phil: Lol, I’m gonna have to really think hard, it was a long time ago. I don’t remember exactly the day but I do remember the nucleus of the idea came to me when I was between jobs in 2004. I took a mini 6 month sabbatical after I left independent game developer Warthog (just before the Gizmondo debacle). I was with friends on a night out at the local boozer, which is rather handily next-door to my house! After quite a few pints of real ale I made numerous trips to the gents (well, the seal had gone at that point) and had a moment of clarity, where I became conscious I was following these particular rules when using the facilities. Nobody had sat me down and taught me these rules, I just intuitively followed them. Being a game designer at heart I’ve always been interested in cognitive and behavioural psychology as we use it so much in games, so I wondered if it might be fun to make a game from it.

PS Nation: How long did it take to make the game from idea till now?

image002Phil: After coming up with the concept I then spent a few years producing and designing mobile games working at a mobile publisher called iFone. This was in the pre-touch screen and smartphone era where Java games ruled. I knew Men’s Room Mayhem was a perfect small-form game for mobile but the devices at that time were all pretty woeful in terms of input. So I had a difficult time working out how the game design could work and for it to remain fun and instant without turning it into a boring management sim or something akin to Tapper (one for the oldies there). It wasn’t until I played Flight Control in 2009 on my iPhone where I had an epiphany and realised exactly how the game could work. Like a lot of ideas I have though, they get parked and full-time work takes precedent. So the stars didn’t truly align until 2012 after I founded Ripstone and was able to decide for myself what to fund and publish. I met the guys at Sawfly Studios after the closure of Studio Liverpool, and they were looking for a game to help them start up their studio, so it seemed like the time had arrived.

All told from concept to launch it took 9 years! But in reality from the point I handed the idea over to Sawfly to help us make the game it took around 6 months.

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PS Nation: Will there be any DLC in the future?

Phil: As you might imagine we had a lot of ideas that we had to park when making the game. We had to be realistic given the type of game and the price we’d charge, and also small teams like Sawfly need to see revenue quickly so their business can stand a chance of success. So yes we’d love to add more to the game at a later date, and we hope PlayStation fans will buy the game and love it so much we have no choice but to make more!

Men’s Room Mayhem is due out on PlayStation Vita, Android and iOS from the 21st May. Just finishing my review for this very soon so keep an eye on the site for that.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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