Xbox Tavern Interviews: PHOGS! Developer Bit Loom

We recently got the opportunity to pose some questions straight to the…bendy, double-headed dogs mouth regarding the upcoming puzzle title PHOGS! If you’ve not seen the game before, well, it’ll certainly stick in the memory! Check out the trailer below:

We first got our hands on the title at EGX Rezzed a few years back and had a good time with the short demo. Here Douglas, Henry and James – developers at Bit Loom – answer some of queries ahead of the games launch on December 3rd.

As a true 90’s kid, I loved cartoons from that decade. By chance does PHOGS! take any inspiration from Catdog? Otherwise, can you tell us where the initial idea came from to control a two headed dog?

CatDog comes up a lot when people see PHOGS! but the initial character idea was a development of another game idea, Dog Golf, where you played as a half dog/half golfer and every time you hit the ball your dog half would chase it. We quickly realised the idea did not have legs and it evolved into Dog Sports, a game about several double-ended dogs playing a ball game together. Biting onto things felt so natural for the Phogs and we kept coming up with new ways to use the double-endedness of the character leading us more towards a puzzle-platformer style of game which became PHOGS! as we know it!

2) Was PHOGS! always envisioned as a co-op experience and if so, was it difficult to adapt for single player users to enjoy as well?

We always wanted PHOGS! to be a co-op experience, our first idea was really the gimmick of tying two players together both in real life and the game with the shared controller / shared body. However we always wanted it to feel simple enough for anyone to pick up so that someone who’s more used to using a controller could be able to get to grips with controlling both at once. We always found playing as one person was a different kind of challenge to playing with two people and always liked that divide.

3) There’s an element of physics to proceedings if we’re not mistaken. Will players be able to use this to their advantage in solving certain puzzles, or are the solutions more pre-defined?

Have you been surprised by any solutions if so?

We tried to design puzzles in a way that players can find their own solutions while also guiding them to the solution we built it around, we don’t want people to be completely stuck on a part of the game but rather have fun exploring the possibilities for each mechanic. Showing the game at events we were always surprised by the new ways people found to overcome obstacles and made sure to keep an eye out for players getting stuck trying their own solution. We would often go back and design that alternate solution into the level as a valid way to get through a puzzle for future players.

4) There are three worlds to play though, are these split up into individual stages or are they a more open affair to explore?

While you are free to explore each of the 3 worlds in any order, each one is split up into 7 different levels including a finale level for each world. Each one explores a different aspect of that world where we tried to present the players with new and exciting experiences.

5) Will or can the Phoggyverse expand in the form of a new DLC world in the future?

We tried to squeeze all of the best ideas we came up with throughout development into the game and we currently don’t have any plans for DLC but if people really love the game and want to see more I’m sure we could find some new ways to surprise people and expand the Phoggyverse!

Thank you for your time, and we hope the launch goes smoothly for you! ☺

Thank you!

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Written by
I've been gaming since Spy vs Spy on the Master System, growing up as a Sega kid before realising the joy of multi-platform gaming. These days I can mostly be found on smaller indie titles, the occasional big RPG and doing poorly at Rainbow Six: Siege. Gamertag: Enaksan

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