Immediately upon walking into the main hall of Day of the Devs, Double Fine's annual independent games showcase (or as they bill it, an "impossibly excellent day of games"), I was face to face with UFO 50, the new game from Spelunky creator Derek Yu. He's not alone in making the game. He's joined in development by Eirik Suhrke (composer for Spelunky), Jon Perry (Time Baron), Paul Hubans (Spunk and Moxie), and Ojiro Fumoto (Downwell). Yu's alone in representing the game at the event though.
Of course, there's that other game Yu has in development under his development studio Mossmouth. A game nowhere in sight here at Day of the Devs. Nonetheless, we had to ask.
"I can't say anything about it except that I am fully involved in both games," Yu says, weathering the inevitable 'what about Spelunky 2' question. "I think some people are wondering [because] I announced UFO 50 first. [Like] Oh, is Derek actually working on Spelunky 2? Yeah, I'm fully involved. I'm just as involved as I was in Spelunky 1. And the two projects kind of work well together 'cause Spelunky 2 is a sequel [where] we're building off of Spelunky 1, and UFO 50 is 50 new games but they're smaller. So for me, it's really nice. They both scratch different itches and I find that it just keeps me very creative with both projects I have going on."
Spelunky 2 was announced months after news of the ambitious 50 game collection UFO 50 was announced. The news arrived at the tail end of Sony's Paris Games Week pre-show, and somehow, even just the bite-sized teaser trailer seemed to overshadow most announcements of the day, pre-show or not. The teaser for Spelunky 2 didn't show any gameplay footage, but it did show sweet polaroids of the familiar hero from the first game, including his surprise child, assumed to be the star of the sequel.
This teaser trailer left fans wondering one thing though. Is the Spelunky guy dead? What the heck happened? Yu shied away from giving any definitive answer.
"Can't say right now, anything beyond what you saw in the trailer," Yu says. "Right now, I just leave it to people's imagination."