When people are asked to list the most well-known Genesis titles, they tend to stick to the common names like Sonic and Streets of Rage. A lot of good games are left out, and that’s because many of them continue to reside in the shadows, even after two decades. Many former Genesis developers have longed to remake or continue with franchises birthed long ago on Sega’s 16-bit wonder machine, and now the crowd funding site Kickstarter is actually giving them the chance.
That’s where Chris Tremmel and Mike Stragey come in. The original creators of the hit game Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure, they have taken to crowd funding to bring their flatulent hero into the modern era. For the game’s 20th anniversary, the duo is seeking to re-imagine their famed project by giving classic gameplay a modern twist. They plan to bring Boogerman to as many formats as possible so that players can experience the infamous toilet humor in high definition!
A modern telling of the Genesis game, the new Boogerman has our hero exploring Dimension X-Crement in order to discover what the nefarious Dr. Stinkbaum has done with all of the world’s pollution. Using an assortment of bodily functions, Boogerman will traverse six different worlds like the Mucous Mountains and Flatulent Swamps. Along the way, he will battle Booger Meister and an army of evil (and disgusting) henchmen.
To combat evil, Boogerman can rely on his famed farting and burping, and mucous… there is plenty of mucous. He can still take chili and peppers as power-ups too. Additionally, he now has new gadgets to help him in his mission, like the snot whip and the S.s.S.B.D. Fart Copter. He’s also learned some new tricks since his last outing. Boogerman can now wall jump and slide.
The game’s scope has been greatly expanded, and it now features a non-linear style of play, complete with an overhead map. Collecting certain items will also unlock new areas, offering increased replayability. The developers are also fleshing out the story more so that players can finally learn who the evil Booger Meister is.
Tremmel and Stragey have assembled an impressive cast for this project, including award-winning writer Jordana Arkin (Will & Grace, What’s New Scooby-Doo?) and composer Grant Kirkhope (Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Kingdoms of Amalur). As the original creators, Tremmel and Stragey will be working closely with their team to ensure that all the charm (?) of the original game is maintained, while adding all the benefits of modern technology.
As an added bonus, the team has secured the rights to use Earthworm Jim, Boogerman’s rival from Clayfighter 63 1/3. If the campaign is successfully funded, EWJ will be available to those who pledge at the $12 and $15 tiers as a playable character that can be used in a two-player cooperative mode! This add-on mode will also include exclusive two-player levels, and backers will get a nifty t-shirt for their support.
If successful, Boogerman 20th Anniversary is expected to slime its way onto the PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, PS Vita, Wii U, and Xbox One formats in November of 2014. Those interested in a bit more information or backing the project should head over to its official Kickstarter page. It’s interesting to see another Genesis game brought back, and hopefully this one will get the funding it needs to be successful.
Sega-16 was fortunate enough to chat with one of the men behind Boogerman’s creation and recent return. Chris Tremmel was kind enough to share his thoughts about the franchise and this new re-imagining.
Sega-16: Why haven’t we seen Boogerman since the 16-bit era? Was it a copyright issue?
Chris Tremmel: Well, the last time Boogerman appeared in a game was Clayfighter 63 1/3 on the N64. Since then, the industry has gone through so many changes, and these types of games were slowly phased out. Now, with the recent resurgence of retro gaming and a great platform like Kickstarter, we are lucky to have the opportunity to attempt a return, just in time for the 20th anniversary!
Sega-16: What made you decide that the time was right to bring Boogerman back?
Chris Tremmel: Well, it’s a combination of things. Mike and myself have had our heads down at various studios over the years and have finally come up for a breath. We have been trying to find the right time to work together again and this time the timing just happened to work out. Also, as I mentioned before, with the birth of Kickstarter and the re-birth of retro gaming, the timing feels perfect. The original game is very near and dear to both of us, we have always wanted a “re-match,” and to go back and deliver something more in line with the original vision in terms of variety and quality.
Sega-16: We’ve seen several classic franchises turn to Kickstarter for funding. Do you think major publishers are unwilling to take on a project like this, even as a downloadable title?
Chris Tremmel: The industry is a very different place now than it was 20 years ago. I think a lot of publishers get caught up in pursuing trends. While financially this may make sense on paper, sometimes it ends up leading to over-saturation of a particular type or style of game. The other thing you see a lot of, especially towards the end of a hardware cycle is licensed games. Because of reasons like this, I do think the big publishers are less likely to try things like this. That being said, we are fortunately seeing a lot of success from companies like Ubisoft with Rayman Legends and Way Forward with games like the DuckTales remake. Hopefully this will continue as there are a lot of great games in this genre that need to come back!
Sega-16: The original game had some stellar animation. Can we expect to see that level of detail in this version?
Chris Tremmel: Absolutely. One of the aspects of the original that we are most proud of IS the animation. We believe it still holds up because it was created by a team of experienced film and animation experts from places like Disney, Warner Brothers, Hanna Barbera, etc. The core fundamentals of solid animation never change, and we definitely hope to bring that style and quality to the new game as well.
Sega-16: This new game isn’t a linear platform like the original. Can you go into more detail on how the levels are set up?
Chris Tremmel: While the levels still maintain a linear structure, the game itself does not. In the original you simply progressed from one level to another with no choice in between. In 20th Anniversary we are going to include an overhead map like you would see in a Mario or Donkey Kong Country game. This will allow the player some freedom in how they progress through the game. In addition, it will allow the player to see the world as a whole so it makes more sense spatially and thematically.
Sega-16: Is anyone else from the original team on board for this game?
Chris Tremmel: Mike and I are definitely back! As for the animation team, unfortunately the company Lil’ Gangster is no more. I have been in touch with some of those guys and girls and everyone is pretty spread out now at various companies, although I know everyone would love to be able to re-unite if we could. On the music side of things, original composer Matt Furniss has moved out of the music side of things and into more software development. So, for music we are bringing in composer Grant Kirkhope of Banjo-Kazooie fame, which we couldn’t be happier about. On the story side of things we are working with Disney Television animation head writer Jordana Arkin. Jordana and I have worked together previously on the Kung-Fu Panda game. So, while not everyone is returning, we are pretty stoked about the new folks on board!
Chris Tremmel: This was a tough decision for us; we went back and forth on this a couple of time. The largest factor here was that we are launching next year if funded. That will be a year into the lifespan of the new consoles. We wanted to make sure that we were going to be able to take advantage of the newest features, and the communities that are beginning to form around the new hardware. If we had our way, we would make it on every platform available under the sun, even the Nokia N-Gage!
Sega-16: If successful, could this be the start of a series, or is Boogerman a one-game deal?
Chris Tremmel: It’s tough for us to think that far into the future at this point. But, if the game is successful and people want another one, we will be there for sure. The most important thing to Mike and myself is to make an entertaining, funny, solid platforming experience and we hope to get that opportunity!
Sega-16 would like to thank Chris Tremmel for talking with us. Be sure to check out Boogerman 20th Anniversary’s Kickstarter page to get a complete rundown of the new features and reward tiers. We’ll be back with a full preview if the game is successfully funded.