The Simpsons Game is one of the funniest videogames we've ever played so we sat down with lead designer Greg Rizzer at EA to ask him how he and his team managed it.
ONM Who made the decision to add so much parody to the title?
GR When we were thinking of concepts we thought it would be great to make fun of ourselves. We had such a strong relationship with the EA bosses. We'd go to them and say "What about Medal Of Homer, a WWII parody?" and they'd go "Great." It's wonderful that EA let us take shots at ourselves, because we do it pretty heavily in the game!
ONM Were there any problems with other companies getting upset with you for making fun of their creations?
GR I think it's got a bit more to do with people higher up saying, "Hey this infringes on our intellectual property", whereas the people who are actually making the game are probably thinking "That's cool! Thank you!" I mean that's what they say, right? You haven't made it until you've been parodied by pop culture.
ONM Have there been many compromises made for the Wii version?
GR Well, obviously, because the 360 and PS3 have a greater processing power, the visuals had to be slightly dropped but other than that there are only subtle differences. Homer doesn't have little burps but he still has the mega burp. And, in fact, the Wii version has some extra mini-games like Bite Night and Bartwings.
ONM How about the DS one?
GR The story arc of the DS game is the same - it has the same cutscenes and the same story. But we think it looks really good. It's the biggest DS cart possible, so it'll cost us more to manufacture, but we think it's worth it because we need to have all those sound clips in there. To have a Simpsons game and just look at text bubbles of Homer talking wouldn't be appropriate.