Arnie Neikamp directed Weapons Drawn, one of five games in The Jackbox Party Pack 8. To celebrate the launch of this game on October 14, we asked Arnie to share a little insight behind-the-scenes.
Who was on this design team, and what were their roles in creating this game?
Director: Arnie Niekamp
Producer: Alex Weick
Lead Editorial: Ryan DiGiorgi
Lead Gameplay Engineer: Michael Siciliano
Lead Artist: Hector M Padilla
Audio Lead: Avery Makel
Music: Elise Wattman
Lead Controller Engineer: Alex Swan
QA Lead: Bryce Broderick
The design team also included April Denise Dizon and Hero Paul See. And of course there were more writers and artists and our two hosts, Sarah Kempton and Scott Tunnix.
What was your favorite part of working on this game?
It was such a skilled and creative team and I really enjoyed how much of the process and the worldbuilding of the game was collaborative. Early on, when the theme was still in flux, we talked a lot about a kind of over the top, dinner theater sense of theatricality. As the game evolved some of the more obvious trappings of that went away but the whole process did have a feeling of “let’s put on a show!” And whenever a new element went into the game, whether it was a piece of art, music, narration or just a new physical mechanic of the game, you could tell a lot of love and personality and gone into making it. But also I just liked murdering each other a lot.
What are you most excited about people experiencing?
To me the game is the most fun when players start talking and arguing and figuring out the little ways the other players give themselves away. Finding hidden letters in each other’s drawings is the central focus of the detective work, but after a game or two players sometimes start noticing other ways their fellow murderers seem suspicious, like arguing a little too hard for one case over another.
Are there any behind-the-scenes production moments or funny screenshots you’d like to share?
Here’s an audio clip Elise added to her audio visionboard during preproduciton. She included it as a joke for the presentation to leadership. Although, honestly, it’s a great song.
And here is some of Hector‘s early concept art.