Steve Stamatiadis, Creative Director
Lindsay Parmenter, Studio Manager
Let’s start off with a kind of controversial question. Why was Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 4 so different?
LP – Our friends at Microsoft reached out to us wanting a 2D platformer that worked with a touch-screen for Windows mobile. That was our starting point. We were excited for the opportunity to expand the TY universe, as well as try out some of the ideas Steve’s been kicking around for years.
Were there any early concepts or ideas that weren’t used in the game?
SS – There used to be another world hub with three more levels and a boss that got nixed – the D levels. We did end up using one of the D levels in place of something else. The D levels were designed around using the Zappyrang, and you can see some of these things in the artbook. Other concepts that weren’t used in TY1 were around ideas of the desert at night, UFOs stealing cows, weird ghostly lights and such that were actually Frills. The idea of the disguised Frills migrated into TY2 along with the helicopter concept. At the time, they weren’t that well thought out and so we cut them to ensure we made our milestones. But they didn’t die soon enough and Animal Logic was already making the cutscenes which made for some weirdness with the Talisman cutscenes.
What was the inspiration behind the game?
SS – Walshy (Robert Walsh, CEO) came back from E3 and had been talking with Sony, and they were wanting to do a platform game. We had heard no one was wanting to do platformers anymore, but we loved them and had wanted to do one, so we jumped on that. During brainstorming, it came to where like the whole room started saying Tasmanian tiger, and the vibe was immediate. It was destined.
Is there any secret backstory we don’t know about yet?
LP – Tonnes, but it is a secret!
Are there any missed easter eggs throughout the four games?
SS – In TY2 with Sly’s Shack, if you look down below and look into the field, there is a Quinkan crop circle. It was a hint of TY3 to come because we were already working on it.
There’s also how Gooboo Steve blabs on and on about “Them”. That’s an inside joke with one of our mates, Darren, from when we were joking about “Them” and who are they, you know, them.
If there was a sequel to the series, what is the one thing you would want to add to the game?
SS – There’s a whole bunch of stuff I would like to add to TY5. Like a Camerang, where you can take selfies, and I keep threatening to add a Yourmumrang. And of course, the stick, where you throw it and have to pick it up again. But seriously, we’d probably approach the level design differently to be more singular in that you’d go into a level and do everything, instead of needing to go back later to complete it, focus on more of a collect-a-thon friendly design, and less open-world.
Would you ever go back in time before the first game?
SS – A proper prequel? We’ve designed some things as a one-off gag like styling TY in the vein of Disney’s 1920s Steamboat Willie. We’d probably do more future stuff than past stuff. But of course, with The Dreaming and TY3, that is going into the past. It would be interesting to go back into the opening battle with all the Thylacines and Boss Cass, or to explore why Sly grew up to be like he is.
We’ll end with some hope, will there be a fifth in the series?
LP – Of course we would love to do another full TY game. It’s a bit of a resource issue to be honest, to make a game like that. Back in the day TY1 was a team size of at least a couple of dozen people, and we’re about half that these days. For that type of game we’d need a bigger team, a bigger budget, a bigger everything. There’s so much more we can do with modern consoles. The scale can be huge.
A big thank you to Steve Stamatiadis and Lindsay Parmenter for the interview and we all hope to see a fifth game in the series from Krome Studios!