Revealed near the end of last month, Flipping Death is one fine looking indie game headed to the Nintendo Switch and it is developed by none other than Zoink Games. We knew they were developing something for the Switch and had even seen a few teasers on Twitter, but we didn’t know what it was until the reveal. But the cat is out the bag and there was even a playable demo at PAX East and GDC, so we took it upon ourselves to arrange a little Flipping Death interview and now that we’ve got all the responses back, here’s everything Zoink Games’ Mikael Forslind was able to say about the upcoming title:
In typical interview fashion. Would you mind introducing yourself to our readers and telling us about your own involvement with Flipping Death?
Mikael Forslind: My name Is Mikael Forslind and I’m the marketing dude for Zoink Games. I take care of all the stuff the devs are too busy to worry about like publishing and marketing. My job is to make sure as many people as possible know about our games. For Flipping Death I handle what I just mentioned and I’m also normally the one that shows the game at different conventions.
Thank you, and now with the introduction out of the way, we can begin the interview.
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Flipping Death in a nutshell:
Miketendo64: Right of the bat, for anyone who missed the reveal last month, or just wasn’t paying attention, what exactly is Flipping Death?
Mikael Forslind: Flipping Death is a game about Penny, a girl that just unfortunately met her demise and died. Luckily enough she woke up on the Otherside and managed to get a job temping for Death! Yes, THE Death. He ran off to get some well-deserved vacation and left Penny in charge. Penny’s job is to help ghosts that are stuck in purgatory with different tasks and by doing so, she slowly uncovers what led to her own untimely death. It’s really a puzzle adventure game but with platforming elements to it. Since you’re dead, you can possess the living and you need to use whoever you possess to solve different puzzles on the living side. With a press of a button you flip the entire world around and you need to use both sides in order to progress through the game.
Miketendo64: Well since you mentioned flipping from the Otherside to Flatwood Peaks via the press of the button, for anyone who hasn’t played the demo, which button is the magic button?
Mikael Forslind: That should be the X button.
Flipping Death is an Old Idea:
Miketendo64: The second I laid eyes on Flipping Death, I immediately thought of it as a mash-up of Flip and Flopside from Super Paper Mario meets Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas. What made you decide on such a design and where does the inspiration for Flipping Death comes from?
Mikael Forslind: It comes from a number of different things. One as you say is Tim Burton and how he creates unique worlds filled with crazy and interesting characters. That’s really something we want to achieve with Flipping Death as well. But we also draw inspiration from our own games like Stick it To The Man and Zombie Vikings. The original idea for Flipping Death actually came from when we made Stick it To The Man and we started thinking about things that could be painted or written on the back of the cardboard figures. We started working on Flipping Death a few years ago but ended up waiting until now to finish the game.
Being a Spiritual Successor to Stick it To The Man:
Miketendo64: Purely because I’ve noticed it said in your PR email, your official blog post about the game and on the Flipping Death web page, why is Flipping Death a spiritual successor to Stick it To The Man!? And why make a spiritual successor when you could have easily made a sequel instead?
Mikael Forslind: Well, as I previously mentioned the idea for Flipping Death came when making Stick it to The Man so it just felt like a good way to take the Stick it concept and turn it up to eleven so to speak. Flipping Death is also being written by Ryan North who wrote Stick it To The Man so we really feel they’re similar in many ways. As you maybe seen in the trailer a few familiar characters are in Flipping Death as well. (Spoiler: It’s Ray from Stick It to The Man.)
Developing for Switch is a Doddle:
Miketendo64: Now Flipping Death is the Switch game you first revealed back in October of last year. How have you found developing the title for the Nintendo Switch?
Mikael Forslind: Well, we might have hinted about Flipping Death for a really long time but the official announcement of the game came in late February this year when we posted our Nintendo Switch trailer. Development for the Nintendo Switch has been great (and is still great) and the development process has gone really smooth since day one.
The More you Play, the More you Know:
Miketendo64: We both know you won’t be able to reveal the full story as of right now, especially since the cause of Penny’s demise is the very thing that she is trying to figure out for herself in the game, but can you tell us more about Flatwood Peaks? What kind of a town is it? What kind of residents call it home and just what kind of a relationship does it have with the nefarious Grim Reaper?
Mikael Forslind: It’s a really small town where everybody knows everybody. Penny used to live there actually before her accident. We’re really going for a feeling where you get to know the characters and what role they each have in the game. The more time you spend with them, the more you’ll figure out their story. And since the game is told over chapters, you revisit the characters multiple times.
Death Takes a Leave of Absence (To the Moon):
Miketendo64: Let’s talk about this sentence: “Welcome to Flatwood Peaks, a small whimsical town with a problem – Death is on vacation.” You’ve already confirmed it’s THE Death, but just what kind of a vacation is it the Grim Reaper will be taking and where is it he’s going?
Mikael Forslind: Yes, it’s THE Death. He’s been wanting to take a vacation for ages. Imagine having that job and never being able to take a day off! He’s going to spend time on the dark side of the Moon, because that’s a place where no one dies.
The Quest for Paint!:
Miketendo64: As for the ghosts, you actually teased one in particular on Twitter a while ago. Since we know the Ghosts need help with their problems, what kind of a problem is it he has and can you share his name?
Mikael Forslind: Can’t find that exact picture right now but we’ve shown a few ghosts on Twitter. In the demo we’re showing at conventions there’s this one ghost that for a very apparent reason was murdered by his wife. He was in the middle of getting his boat painted but met his destiny before he could finish it. One of your first missions will be helping him to find some paint and then to paint his boat. In order to this, you need to use both the living and the dead side and possess different characters in order to find the solution. Who knew painting a boat could be so tricky?
Flipping Death Will Support HD Rumble, but no Details on the How (Yet):
Miketendo64: Now onto HD Rumble and Switch features. Does Flipping Death take support HD Rumble, or any of the other Switch features and if the answer is yes, would you care to elaborate?
Mikael Forslind: We are planning to support HD Rumble but the details of this is still in development so I can’t confirm anything at this moment.
Miketendo64: Other than looking incredible and fluid, just what kind of a framerate is it the game runs on?
Mikael Forslind: No plans at the moment. We’re a somewhat small studio so we need to consider each port carefully, As for framerate? Not sure really, It’s still a little early to say since we’re doing optimization but the game runs really smooth.
No Plans for 3DS Release:
Miketendo64: Something I’ve already seen you say, is that there are no plans to bring Flipping Death to the 3DS. Is there any reason particular for this?
Mikael Forslind: No plans at the moment. We’re a somewhat small studio so we need to consider each port carefully and there are other platforms and titles that we’re focusing on right now.
A Little more on Ryan’s Return:
Miketendo64: The reveal trailer might not be the longest in the world, but it does show off just how well written and humorous Flipping Death is especially since there is a boat named “Secret Mistress.” Just how did Ryan North get involved with the title and what has it been like working with him?
Mikael Forslind: Ryan North wrote Stick it to The Man and we loved his humour so we always wanted to work together again. We showed him an early prototype of Flipping Death and he really liked what he saw so he agreed to work with us again.
Letting the Cat out of the Bag:
Miketendo64: How does it feel to finally be able to reveal Flipping Death after sitting quiet on it for the last few months?
Mikael Forslind: At Zoink Games we’re currently working on two games. We announced a game called Fe a year ago but we’re being a little secretive about that for a bit longer so it feels awesome to finally be able to talk about Flipping Death. It’s really a great and cool game to be a part of and I can’t wait to show more from the game in the future. Ever since we revealed our trailer people have been responding so well to it, which has been amazing!
Perks of the Job:
Miketendo64: Also, since you are such good friends with the guys over at Image & Form Games, did you know about SteamWorld Dig 2? Have you played the demo of it? And what do you think of it?
Mikael Forslind: Yeah, I actually worked over at Image & Form a few years ago so I know all their secrets. I enjoyed the demo, the version I tried was a bit more unpolished but it was really good. SteamWorld Dig 2 is going to be really sweet. Can’t wait to dig into it again.
Miketendo64: At this time is there anything else about Flipping Death that you can share/divulge to our readers and your fans?
Mikael Forslind: What we showed in the trailer is what we’re showing at this time but what I can say is that the game is going to be really, really funny and crazy. I can tell you this, the game takes place in this town called Flatwood Peaks and as you help the different ghosts you’ll unlock more and more of the city and you’ll be able to reach new areas. It’s almost like a metroidvania adventure game. Since you’ll spend so much time with these characters you’ll get to know them and discover more and more about their personalities which sets up for a lot of funny situations.
A Message for the Fans:
Miketendo64: Final question, is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
Mikael Forslind: Thanks for supporting Zoink Games! Also, be kind to everyone, don’t lie, don’t download stuff illegal, watch the new Dave Chappelle Netflix special, throw out vegetables if they’re moldy, tell your mom and dad you love them (if you do, otherwise don’t), travel, chase your dreams, don’t stop believing and oh, play games from Zoink Games!
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Mikael, your answers are more than worth the wait and thank you for taking the time to do this. I can’t wait to learn more about your upcoming title and sharing that newfound knowledge with our readers!