Dear Sir or Madam, you look like a dead parrot. Also, your mother certainly was a hamster, you change into a platypus, and your hovercraft has tiny feet. Now, do you feel this delightful sensation in your nipples? That is because you are now under influence of an insult — the most powerful force invented by men. And this happens to be the very same power that we decided to utilize in Oh…Sir!! The Insult Simulator. So, if the delightful sensation is still there, please stay with us and learn how Oh…Sir! came to be in the most insulting blog post in the history of blog posts, you tottering, fool-born hedge-pig!
Vile Monarch is a Polish villain who decided to take over the world by making mischievous video games. It was September 2015 when he was in the process of creating his first invention, a barbaric strategy game named Crush Your Enemies. Back then he was yet unknown to humanity, plotting in a crammed lair with his five minions, two of whom were infamous for co-creating This War of Mine before joining his forces (myself being one of them). It was the time where that happened, the event that changed everything.
The tired crew needed some entertainment, and what’s more entertaining for a video game developer than developing video games? This piece of folk wisdom led the Monarch’s representatives to a Game Jam organized by Artifex Mundi company, where they could compete with other Polish game developers in a 42-hours game making marathon. The topic was “This parrot is no more” — a sentence known to us from a famous sketch by Monty Python. It seemed like fun, relaxing exercise, but became the source of a whole sequence of unlikely events. What’s the secret? It’s simple: we made an insultingly good little game.
The idea behind Oh…Sir! was to take the “This parrot is no more” topic apart, find the funniest associations with it, and turn them into game mechanics. This is the important part, because an alternative approach might have been to focus on representing the topic in the aesthetics or writing, but we were determined to figure out unexpected ways of how we could show it in the gameplay itself (I confess, I am a little obsessed with telling stories using game mechanics). To this day, I treasure our crude quasi-mindmap with entries like “funny Brits”, “polite gentlemen”, “weird dialogue”, “pet shop”. What really resonated with the team, was the observation that Monty Python’s sketches are full of peculiar dialogues, often sprinkled with creative insults (our biggest inspiration other than the pet shop was Python’s “French taunting” — look it up!). This was where the idea emerged to make a fighting game where you use words to hurt your opponent’s pride, having the pet shop scene as the heart of the conflict.
But, as they say, ideas are cheap. It was only a starting point for hours accompanied by a lot of beer and a little of sleep, where we designed the precise rules of the game’s grammar (first as a card game prototype), wrote more than a hundred of insult-components, manually assigned the scores (by judging what’s funny and what’s not), created the graphics, animations, and sound effects and made it all work using programming magic. What we did at the very end of the process, was to record our voices for all the insult-components. This was the moment during the process where for the first time we thought “oh my, this turns out to be really amusing”. To our surprise the jury thought so as well, awarding us with the second place. The other developers agreed, giving us one of the two audience awards in the contest. Not bad for a bunch of callow fopdoodles.
Encouraged by this first little success, we decided to put the game out there for free, with almost no changes to what we’ve done during the jam. We didn’t expect much, feeling that the public won’t necessarily be impressed with the game’s awkward voice acting, silly writing, vague scoring rules, and general crudity. But my goodness, was I impressed! To our disbelief thousands of rude people decided to play the game and sometimes even wrote some words about it. Mostly nice words! What’s this world coming to?
All right, but it was a free little game, maybe enough to laugh for 15 minutes and move on to being a serious person. Trying to expand or improve it would be silly, especially if we were to demand any money this time. Ridiculous idea indeed… So, we decided to do it. We were still focused on Crush Your Enemies, but we managed to clone some of the developers and summon some new ones to set up a new team dedicated to a new project: Oh…Sir!! The Insult Simulator. Just a small side-project, an affordable curiosity being a proper version of our jam game: with more content, improved vocabulary, online multiplayer mode, professional (British!) voice acting and some additional mechanics that were meant to make the game just a little bit deeper. Again, we didn’t expect much…
But again, we were surprised with the demand for rudeness, silliness and English tea. The Insult Simulator overshadowed our other project, Crush Your Enemies, by all measures, succeeding on every platform we released it on and becoming a YouTube and streaming sensation.
And now April 2017. Vile Monarch feels a small step closer to world domination. He’s cozy in his new lair in the center of Warsaw, working on several new projects with his 12 men strong little army. He now understands the power of insults and plans to use it in his further shenanigans. He is especially pleased that now the illustrious Xbox audience will be able to enjoy the nipple-exploding sensation brought by verbal violence. He’s also preparing a brand-new game in the series, called Oh…Sir! The Hollywood Roast… but that’s another story…
Thank you for staying with us to the end of this absurdly long blog post. We love you, even though you smell of elderberries.