Bizarre Creations are probably best known for the Project Gotham games. These wish-fulfilment titles allow players to zoom around real-life cities in licensed cars, earning “kudos points” for drifting, speeding, jumping, pulling tricks, and questioning the parentage of other drivers who get in their way. Okay, maybe not the last one. Despite being Xbox/360 exclusive the Project Gotham games actually started life on the Dreamcast, in the near-identical form of Metropolis Street Racer. Around the same time, Bizarre Creations also released third person platform shooter Fur Fighters on the Dreamcast (as well as PS2 and PC). That franchise started and ended with one game however, never to be seen again… until now.
Indie developer Muffin Games consists of just two people; Mark Craig and Jeff Lewis, both formerly of Bizarre. Yes, that means that although Muffin is a two man company, it is stimade up of four first names. They’ve managed to re-release Fur Fighters for the iPad (currently for just £1.49) due in part to Lewis buying the Fur Fighters IP in 2007… for five quid.
“Bizarre Creations was cleaning house and tidying up its business dealings,” he told Eurogamer. “By that point it was pretty clear there wasn’t going to be a sequel to Fur Fighters. The MD, Martyn Chudley, knew it was going to go into the ether if anything didn’t happen with it. As I had done the character design and came up with a lot of the world, he very generously, just as a gesture, gave me the rights. He couldn’t give it to me. He had to sell it to me for a pound. I gave him a fiver because I was very pleased. He really just meant it as a nice thing, rather than seeing it disappear forever. I don’t think either one of us had any expectation things would change in the way they have since 2007, and an opportunity to port the game to a mass market device would come along again.”
Craig and Lewis (who, rather than the British detective pairing their names suggest, actually work full time at indie Lucid Games – also a Bizarre Creations phoenix company) based the iOS version on the PC code, apparently developing the port over the course of a year in their spare time.
“I had seen the specs of the iOS devices getting close to the Dreamcast. You had the iPad 2 coming out and other devices, and I thought, well maybe I should try porting Fur Fighters just to see if a Dreamcast spec game will work on an iOS device. That was my main motivation – a curiosity thing. Plus I wanted the game to come back in some form. I thought, if I could get the ball rolling and just see if it was feasible… that’s how it started.”
The Muffin Men are now “considering” porting the game to Android, iPhone, the Raspberry Pi, and even the Ouya. If it proves to be a huge success, perhaps it could end up on more traditional formats too…