Just prior to E3, GEEK met with lead game creators Mike Dietz and Ed Schofield to talk about their return to the stop motion animation gaming world with Armikrog. - a project that only the minds behind Earthworm Jim and The Neverhood could pull off. Well, them with a little help from YOU!
If you’re an old school (but not OLD old school) gamer, you know Earthworm Jim. For the uninitiated, it was originally an SNES and Sega 2D side-scrolling adventure starring a super-suited worm facing down a demented array of foes, supported by a funky soundtrack and an irreverent sense of humor.
Created by Doug TenNapel at the prompting of Playmates Toys’ desire to create their own property that would rival the success of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Sonic the Hedgehog, Shiny Entertainment bought the rights and hired Doug to design and build out the game with a team to great success. It eventually got made into an animated cartoon series in the mid-90s on the KidsWB!
A few years later, TenNapel, along with a team of talented stop motion animators and game makers, came together to create the critically acclaimed cult classic point-and-click adventure game, The Neverhood. Following the adventures of Klaymen, you controlled him through a puzzle filled world built out of photographed real world sets hand-crafted by the design team. It was eventually purchased by Steven Spielberg for Dreamworks Interactive, it was modestly distributed, but received numerous accolades from within the gaming industry and from fans around the world for its music and innovative gameplay.
Jumping ahead to 2013, we discovered that Doug had joined forces with Mike Dietz and Ed Schofield (both former artist and animators on Earthworm Jim and The Neverhood) of Pencil Test Studios to create a whole new stop motion animated game project called Armikrog. However, this time, they don’t have the support of a major game studio behind them. They’re doing it for their love of the artform and for the fans of their earlier work, which is where Kickstarter and the fans can help make this one-of-a-kind project a reality.
Mike and Ed gave us an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of Armikrog. (the period is silent) and their first foray into the world of online crowdfunding via Kickstarter.
Video Segment Producer: Mauricio Portillo