Postal 3: Running With Scissors speak!

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In order to get this interview with the mildly insane Vince Desi and Steve Wik from Running With Scissors, we had to pass their initiation ritual.

We don’t want to talk about it.

CG: Where did the idea for the Postal series of games come from?

VD: We went from teaching kids how to count with Sesame Street to applying what they learned to an in game body count.

SW: Postal originated from a situation where we had been developing licensed games for the PC, SNES and Genesis systems for years and wanted to create our own original IP. Looking at the kind of games being made back then, we thought: “What if we made a game that let you do the things that other games generally don’t?”

CG: Why have you switched from a first person to a third person view?

VD: Monogamy was never a strong part of my thinking

SW: Technically, it could be argued we’ve switched back to a third person view! Lol. Postal 1 was “third person” …in a Robotron 2084 kind of way. Really our thing is just to mix things up, not keep cloning the same game over and over. We’ll save that for when we make a “Bionic Commando: Rearmed” style remake of Postal 1. *grins*

Plus we thought it would be more interesting and entertaining to actually see all the sick shit the Dude is doing this time. Anyway, I’ve developed sort of an automatic “sleepy response” to screenshots of FPS’s. It’s like: “oh look, another drab brown and grey environment with a big floaty hand holding a gun… Snooorrrrre…” Though I have to admit Bioshock was pretty sweet. 🙂

CG: What vehicles can we look forward to?

VD: I’ve always thought of a shovel as a vehicle, like driving a golf club just with a bigger wider head

SW: Vehicles? This is Postal, not GTA… The main issue I’ve alway had with including vehicles in Postal is that they dictate the design of the environments. Our approach has always been to focus on the”up-close and personal, hands-on” fun rather than the “everything whizzes past my car in a blur” fun. Not to say we’ll never do vehicles, with the right engine and design it could happen. But for now we’re trying to stay focused on what Postal is really about:Badger Saws! That said, we actually have a vehicle this time! LOL What is the one vehicle that can retain the up-close and personal style of play?That’s right, in POSTAL III we have “Thegway”s!

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CG: Many of the weapons in the game seem to be ones than involve animals – how did your love for animal based weaponry come about?

VD: No matter what please don’t confuse what we do with animals in games with how we support real animals in life. Most people are dogs with two legs, but worse, they think they’re better.

SW: Since we are not a science fiction game, our options for creating insane, over-the-top hysterical weapons can be a bit limited. Animals turned out to be a real world concept that inspired a lot of completely insane gameplay. So we’ve just been building on those concepts since Postal 2. The Postal Dude is kind of an urban Tarzan, I guess! I have to admit that after designing Postal III, it was a bit surreal to see so many stories suddenly appear in the news about people being attacked by monkeys and badgers and shit.

Anyway, as far as Postal III goes, trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a spider monkey rape someone in the eye…

CG: You obviously like pushing the barriers a bit with the series. Have you tried to exceed the level of tastelessness in the second game and if so how?

VD: I find this question offensive, RWS and Postal have more morality than all the Congress combined, and I’m confident if a poll was taken we would have a higher positive rating.

SW: We’re not so much about tastlessness as we are about….. okay,you got us. I think we’re hitting the whole tasteless thing on multiple fronts, from escorting Mayor Chomo’s (40 year old) Maylaysian slave “boy” past Paparazzi, to Gay Segway Biker gangs (led by Randy Jones, the original Gay Cowboy from the Village People) to simian face rape, we’ve got a broad spectrum of irreverence happening in Postal III. And what you have to do to defend the local porn shop from a cadre of self-righteous Hockey Moms must be experienced to be to be believed…

CG: Postal seems to be intent on offending everyone and everything it can, is there a deep critical reasoning behind this – such as challenging ratings boards, or exposing man’s obsessions with sex and violence – or is it simply because you guys find it fun?

VD: I’ve always felt we were and still are very mainstream, it’s the rest of society that I don’t understand. I was raised with the values of respect, truth and trust, somewhere along the way the world has turned upside down so now disrespect, falsehoods and deceit are the norm.

SW: Yes. Lol! It’s all those things and more! Here’s some background on the thinking behind Postal: When I first thought about what the design for Postal 2 should be, the very first thing that sprung to mind was the classic game design convention of barging into people’s houses. I always thought it was so weird that in prevailing game logic, if you see a house, of course you’re supposed to walk right in! And then a magical troll gives you a clue about your quest or a unicorn tries to sell you healing potions or some shit. So my first thought was to take advantage of that mental programming and start Postal 2 with a house you can choose to go inside. And of course, instead of giving you gifts, the resident freaks out, yells at you and runs to find a cop!

What I’m getting at is the idea of Postal as sort of a sociological experiment. A game where the missions aren’t about killing anything,where the violence is not specifically justified by the storyline, but is left up to the player to decide and justify for themselves. It’s merely an option.

Postal III takes this concept even further, as this time you can branch off to a whole seperate story with unique missions depending on whether you approach goals with lethal force or not. But as always, we leave it up to you to decide… Good? Or Insane?

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CG: Don’t you ever worry that your games will get heavily censored, or that someone will blame your game for some kind of killing spree atrocity?

VD: Like I said earlier, we fear nothing, Postal is truth is gaming.

SW: Where have you been for the last twelve years? Getting blamed for other people’s stupidity merely puts us alongside Elvis, Tales From The Crypt comic books, The Beatles, Mad Magazine, Led Zeppelin and Ozzy. Every generation has something that causes the previous generation to go all berserker paranoid and endow it with powers of mind control and societal destruction. I can’t wait to see what today’s gamers will find to be terrified of when their grandkids become teenagers…

CG: Being as offensive as possible, and plastering three quarters naked women all over your website, is certainly attention grabbing stuff; but aren’t you concerned it will cause many people to judge the game without playing it, thereby denting sales?

VD: Maybe we’re like a game lube, playing Postal will get you off, and our website will help you.

SW: Where have you been for the last twelve years? LOL Look, people have always been judging Postal without playing it. Much of the most heated vitriol we’ve ever seen has come from people who clearly have never actually played the game. We’re about crazy, irreverent fun, which includes edgy subject matter and naked girls. That’s what we like, and we’re honest about it. I know that’s a weird concept. (Though I suppose it’s no weirder than the idea that we’d plaster our site with naked chicks as a marketing ploy despite actually hating naked chicks…)

We’re not about taking ourselves seriously, we’re about showing as much contrast as possible with all the other oh-so-self-important game developers out there. Is there a price for that? Sure, but so what? Running With Scissors is a mindset. It’s a lifestyle, a philosophy. We’re pissing in the face of the videogame industry, social convention and the world, just for the fun of it!

CG: Following on from that, what would you like to tell us about the gameplay and humour?

VD: I wish people would flashback to when video games first started, they were fun to play, not extravagant endless stories of imagery driven technology. Those were the good old days.

SW: Well, I think a lot of it is evident from the answers above. Our goal is to provide irreverent, outrageous play mechanics that other games aren’t giving you. We strive to focus on things that are hopefully laugh out loud funny, or at least makes you go: “holy shit, I don’t believe I just did that”. We’re definitely not interested in dark, morbid murder fantasies. A lot of the humor in the story and situations comes from the real world. Hypocrisy is a big theme with the Mayor of Catharsis (who secretly runs the local porn shop, is a kingpin of international drug trade, and secretly has a (now 40 year old) sex-slave-boy in the closet of his office in city hall), then you’ve got pseudoscience religion and ecological zealotry mangled together in the form of the Ecotologists who are fighting the Evoluscious Cosmetics corporation and its animal testing facility.

And then there is the patently absurd, such as Osama Bin Laden in his retirement running a local restaurant chain called “Talibannigan’s”, which seemed to me to be the rational evolution of his marketing experience as the spokesman for Al Qaeda for all those years. So we take all this background craziness and throw you into it via the persona of The Postal Dude. We take some solid action-oriented gameplay, this time including a cover system, and we add outrageous and insane weapons to it such as killer beehives, the shop-vac and a boomerang machete!

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CG: Uwe Boll, who made the Postal movie, is due to appear in the game. How did the link between Postal and Uwe originally come about?

VD: I’ve never understood the German peoples need to self victimize themselves. In its own weird way Uwe was the perfect director to make the first Postal movie.

SW: It turned out Uwe had played the game and loved the crazy humor of it. He contacted us, gave us a bunch of money and raped our baby. Now we (and the player) will have our revenge! Muahahahahaha!

CG: Will we still be able to set people on fire and then urinate on them?

VD: Is Obama the first half black president?

SW: Yes! Well, we may have to… alter… how pissing works so that we can actually get our game into major store chains, but more or less yes.

CG: Is there still going to be an Xbox 360 version, and will there be a PS3 version?

VD: I can’t wait for the console world to go Postal….

SW: Xbox 360 is currently in development, PS3 is also planned.

If you’re over 18 and incredibly difficult to offend, head to www.runningwithscissors.com. Just bear in mind that it’s the site of the company these guys work for…

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Written by Patrick G

5 comments

  1. Russell /

    Does wnyone know when the release date is? This is the only game I”m lookin forward to other than L4D2 now…

  2. BATMAN_2C12FAC1 /

    yeah i wanna know too when postal 3 got release and russell l4d2 was is store the 17 (today)

  3. BATMAN_2C12FAC1 /

    yeah steve wik say stupide people judge the game and dont play the game but i play the game my mom see postal dude kick homeless drunk guy piss on him and burn the guy and my mom say this game is too much violent 5 minute after see other shit like tath my mom say kill this bitch kill this fat guy dont pay the milk and kill the terrorist seller tath so pretty fun i love my mom dont forget than my mom love cannibal corpse and rammstein and she not a violent person

  4. Early next year (between jan – april)

  5. Russell /

    I figured it out! It took some searching, but Postal 3 will be released Dec 31 in Russia and Worldwide Release in March!

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