PAX West 2018 Highlight: With Friends Like These
Craig from Shy Kids Club spoke with us at PAX this past weekend about their upcoming title, With Friends Like These. Not your traditional "shoot em up" or "bullet hell" but in the same vein. It balances whimsy with difficulty and frustration with relaxation some how. Craig and his wife, Nicole, have been working on With Friends Like These for a few years now and are excited about where it is today. This is where we jumped in and got to taste the fruits of their labor.
They wanted to make sure it was couch co-op and approachable to anyone. Craig said that from the get go they wanted both players to be equally important and that one was not just dragging the other along. He said that it came from him being a terrible partner in co-op games which I get because I am too. So, once they laid that as the ground work everything built from there. Nicole decided to make the story grim. While you do shoot many creatures you encounter, you are not killing them. You are warping them back home after an accident that causes them to cause chaos.
They have kept it local cooperative for right now. In his words, it's because we like couch co-op and I am not that great of a programmer. So it was a handy way to stay on the couch with a friend. They actually had it working on a Nintendo Switch as the convention so it was great to test out their newly minted build. So far it is for PC and Switch but they are looking into the rest of the consoles because they fit so well together.
Craig joked about how he was not that good of a programmer and that he was more of the hype guy but don't let that fool you. He is clearly a skilled programmer, because the controls are spot on and level design is great. Nicole is also humble about her work but if you get your hands on With Friends Like These you will see how well done the art is.
The small taste that we did get is filled with color, whimsy, and tight controls. It showed because at 10:30 there was already a pretty sizable line forming to play With Friends Like These (PAX opens at 10). They were both excited to be part of the PAX 10 and that they were getting a lot of traffic. Honestly, it was one of the best games I played at PAX 2018. If you want to learn more stop by Shy Kids Club and follow them on Twitter and Facebook.