Chances are you’ve come across the hit titles like Tiny & Big and About Love, and the other ones. These are also the brainchildren of Black Pants Studio, an independent game studio rooted in Kassel and Berlin. Their core team is a four-man detail of two programmers, Jones and Chris, and two artists, Stamm and Tobi.
When it comes to making loveable, bite-size, indie games, Black Pants Studios is specialized in kicking ass and taking names.
IG: Why is On Rusty Trails so addictive?! What element of game psychology were you playing with here?
BPS: I think two aspects to the game’s addictiveness are the pacing of the levels, and the controls which make it a very fluent game. In addition to that, the scenery in which it takes place is very carefully designed to make it a game where you can always discover something new.
I think it’s fun to see how those simple mechanics are used in different situations, and how they can make the game a whole new experience. Another thing to mention is that the stages are relatively short, so there’s no chance of getting lost. This way you easily get into "just one more stage" mode.
How did you come up with the idea for this particular universe?
The underlying concept of On Rusty Trails is racism. We wanted to make a game where nearly every aspect of it reflects this topic.
So we came up with this world of two tribes who are starting a war. The story itself is told in the background, reflected by the environment.
One of our main concerns was to keep the story from disturbing the flow of the gameplay.
What experience are you delivering with the blend of the graphics, music, and sound effects?
From the beginning, On Rusty Trails was designed to have this dark atmosphere. We were seeking to create something in contrast to cartoony characters. This contrast, I guess, fits the story and the game very well. Regarding music and sound effects, we wanted something different than the usual game music genres. Our sound designer Steffen did a really good job here.
What do you find are the differences and similarities between this title and your former ones?
The setting of On Rusty Trails is much darker than the games we did before. Although the game mechanics themselves are not particularly new, I think the way they are arranged and how they fit into the gameplay is something you don’t see very often.
What’s your single, proudest achievement within this title?
The biggest achievement is always that we finished it! There are times, especially in the middle of production, when you think: Oh my god, this will go on forever. But the team stood together and we managed to still be friends and to finish the first Black Pants Jump ‘n Change. And even better, we love the result of our work!