As you may know, the excellent Adult Swim cartoon Rick and Morty already has a Virtual Reality game confirmed – but one of the show’s creators has much grander ambitions.
Justin Roiland – who voices both Rick and Morty (as well as Lemongrab on Adventure Time) – has teamed up with former Epic Games’ producer Tanya Watson to form a new VR studio called Squanchtendo.
The press release announcing Squanchtendo was a hand-made comic, which you can see below. I’m so glad I’m not making any of this up.
If every press release was like this, I honestly believe the world would be a much brighter place.
Anyway, Roiland and Watson recently sat down with GameSpot to chat about the new studio. While they aren’t quite ready to discuss exactly what they’ll be working on, Roiland did reveal why he wanted to form his own studio.
He explained that, as a fan of VR, he feels there’s a certain type of experience that’s currently missing:
I do appreciate the cool arcade stuff and the short-form VR experiences. And I have no doubt that there are studios out there working, toiling away right now on exactly the types of games that I’m desperately wanting to play. But it’s something that I feel like I could bring the sensibility and comedic tone that we do on Rick and Morty to the VR medium. I want to bring that tone and character and personality and story and set it on top of a foundation of really strong, cool gameplay.
Watson meanwhile, echoed Roiland’s sentiments. She was initially drawn to working with him because of the idea of collaborating on ‘these really great, comedic, narrative-driven things with interesting characters in crazy worlds.’
Roiland also cited the improvisational nature of certain episodes of Rick and Morty, claiming it’s that kind of bizarre, humorous energy that he wants to bring to Squanchtendo’s unique experiences.
I want to go in the booth with some of my favorite voice actors and just let them go completely off book. Just go nuts. Less scripted, more outlined, loose performances and then really write that stuff in the edit bay when you’re cutting the dialogue. I found that that’s such a winning formula for the way my brain works on the TV side.
Watson – someone who worked on ‘serious’ games like Gears of War and Bulletstorm – is looking at Squanchtendo as a chance to throw out all her old experience, work with some real comedians, and try to inject her projects with genuine humour.
Both Roiland and Watson hope to share more about some of Squanchtendo’s upcoming games at PAX, with Watson teasing that it’s some kind of ‘comedy action RPG’.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to make it big at Squanchtendo, they are in fact hiring. You can find out more info over at their website, or read the rest of the excellent GameSpot interview here.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.