De Mambo – Developer Interview

Last weekend I caught up with Lucy Dove, one of the developers from The Dangerous Kitchen, who were showing their forthcoming Switch title De Mambo at EGX Rezzed. I chatted with Lucy about the history of the game, what it’s been like to work with Nintendo and what to expect from De Mambo when it’s released.

You can check out our hands on preview of the game here.

How did De Mambo end up on the Switch?

Around the end of last year we were approached by Nintendo, they scouted us at Bitsummit 4 and you don’t say no to Nintendo right? This is the first time it’s ever been on a console, so basically it was about a week’s worth of work to get it working on the Switch but we got it on there within a few days.

What have Nintendo been like to work with?

We’re really flattered as they’re selective over what indies they take on and they’ve been really supportive. With Playstation there’s so many indies, but Nintendo are a lot more personal with their help and they’ve been really supportive. We slightly don’t know what we’re doing and they’ve been very supportive of us not knowing much.

How does it feel to be on the Switch?

To have it on the Switch is ridiculous. It’s so so cool and we’re really glad this is our first console. It will be going on Playstation and Steam but later in the year and the Switch process has just been so much easier to deal with. None of us have ever made a game before so I don’t know how we’re on the Switch, I don’t know how this is happening.

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Can you tell us a little bit about The Dangerous Kitchen?

There’s three of us: myself, Amit and Shaun. We’re all artists and we all do a bit of everything. We sacrificed Amit for most of the coding and he does art, animation and the bosses.

Shaun and I do a lot of the level design. I do most of the in-game design and the backgrounds are all Shaun. He also does the sound effects and Amit makes the background music that sounds really pleasant.

Can you tell us a bit about what a typical day is like for The Dangerous Kitchen?

So we don’t sleep. Shaun mainly plays Zelda…no I’m joking. At the moment Shaun and I have been working really hard on single player levels. We’ve got almost 60 at the moment and we’re going to have late 70’s by release. The single player is sort of like a Mortal Kombat battle tower mixed with WarioWare. There are loads of really weird little challenges so it was really fun to make.

Amit’s been making bosses recently which no one has played because no-one’s completed the single player tower yet. They’ve reached the smaller boss but there’s another boss beyond that and some really difficult things before him.

We all do the marketing ourselves as well, so we have publishers in Asia [Chorus Worldwide] who want things and we’re like: “goodbye sleep”.

How long has it taken to get De Mambo to this point?

The concept was September 2014 and Amit began coding for a month for the prototype. I signed us up for EGX Rezzed two years ago and the guys were like: “oh my god what have you done?” We applied for the Leftfield collection and didn’t get in because we were a little too gameplay focused and not ‘concept enough’, which was the best thing that ever happened to us.

We pooled our money and got our own stand, which is the best thing we ever did. We won office space in Playhubs [an incubator for indie games] and they were amazing. We didn’t get much development done but we learnt a lot about business and marketing. We also met our publishers in Asia and it exploded from there.

Does the game have an online mode?

No it’s local, we did want to do online but this is our first game and obviously Amit’s done the codes and at the moment it’s just not going to happen. We’d love to include that in a sequel though. Luckily the Switch is perfect for local multiplayer so we don’t really need online right now.

When is De Mambo due to be released?

We’re saying summer on the flyers, but we’re hoping for late June. Nintendo want it late June so we’re trying for a worldwide launch. It won’t be any earlier as it’s only been working on the Switch for a week.

What has the reaction to De Mambo been at EGX?

Once people play the game once, then they get it. If you just saw a video of De Mambo, you would think: ‘what the hell is going on’, so this event is great for getting people to play it.

Follow The Dangerous Kitchen on Twitter and you can check out more info about the game on their website.

LucyAmit and Shaun are all on Twitter with updates about De Mambo‘s development.

Long time Sonic The Hedgehog apologist. Love/hate relationship with Nintendo. Big fan of retro games, hater of modern retro-styled games. General grump and proud of it.