Interview With Josh Fairhurst of Mighty Rabbit Studios

Let’s jump right into Saturday Morning RPG. I have to admit, when I saw the very first teaser footage I was thinking the project was much smaller in scope than it really is. Then your latest YouTube and Kickstarter footage whipped out the fully 3D environments and I was completely blown away by what an ambitious game this is. Was the Mighty Rabbit team also surprised by just how big and involved Saturday Morning RPG became? Was it one of those projects that started out as a pretty simple concept and then the features started snowballing, or did you all know pretty much what you were getting into from the beginning?

I’d love to say we knew what we were getting into, but that would be the biggest lie I’ve ever told. We initially pitched Saturday Morning RPG as a three month project. It was going to be a bite sized episodic RPG…how hard could that be to make? What we didn’t realize was that building an RPG of any size still requires the core components that make the 100 hour epics tick. You’ve still got to have an engaging and strategic battle system, you still have to have interesting character progression, and you still have to have all the systems for managing that. We certainly knew what we wanted, but we had no idea how long it was going to take to get there.

Now that we’ve got the first two episodes in a fully playable (and re-playable) state, it’s really cool to see all the systems we’ve built interacting and working smoothly. We’ve even got systems in place that the player won’t see for a few episodes. One of the quests in Episode 2 has the player choosing whether to investigate or destroy barrels of gruel. If they choose to destroy the gruel they get an immediate reward; however, if they choose to investigate they’ll get a big reward but they won’t get it until a later episode. It’s kind of Mass Effect-ish, in that choices from one episode will carry forward to others (or even backwards – heavy!).

Help us set the scene for our readers as far as the game’s story goes. In Saturday Morning RPG’s world, there’s this kind of merging of reality and cartoons to the point that cartoons are reality TV, right? So when a cartoon bad guy gets out of hand in Saturday Morning’s world, it would be kind of like the cast of Jersey Shore suddenly invading your hometown? Pretty scary, come to think of it.

It’s kind of like when you were a kid and you grabbed your Luke Skywalker, Optimus Prime, and Cobra Commander action figures and then made them all fight. You can replace those names with any of your favorite action figures, but we all had some point in our childhood where we made characters from disparate universes cross over into one awesome battle. Saturday Morning RPG takes place in the world where those battles happen!

It’s kind of high-concept and hard to convey in the game, but the world Marty (our main character) lives in is pretty much a world where everything from Saturday morning cartoons actually exists. We drive this home in Episode 2, which takes place in Marty’s school, by showing the sheer diversity of Shadow Valley High’s student body and its faculty. The janitor is a robot named Stanley (who thinks everyone is a robot), Marty has classmates who are Share Bears (full size multi-colored grizzly bears who live in the clouds) named Mauly and Bearris, and his school has been overrun by the evil forces of the HOOD (a nefarious terrorist organization, think COBRA).

In the in-development Episode 3, an anti-drug rally at Marty’s school is shut down by the Badbots (evil Botchangers who are addicted to the refined energy drug, Powertron) who then announce they will be stealing all the power from Shadow Valley’s Ronald Reagan Dam, prompting Marty to come to the rescue. In Marty’s world, at any given second, there are hundreds of evil schemes being put into action and thwarted. It’s a pretty unsafe world when you think about it – but it’s a world where literally every Saturday morning hero and villain live.