The very first console game for the CGI version of ‘The Addams Family,’ The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem is out now! Based on the new animated feature films the game is available now for Nintendo Switch™, Playstation®4, Xbox, Stadia and PC. The game has been developed by Outright Games and PHL Collective. We spoke exclusively to PHL Collective Studio Manager Nick Madonna ahead of it’s release…
MANSION MAYHEM – THE INTERVIEW
THE J: The animation style is excellent, just like the movies – which harks back to the original cartoon strip. How much of a challenge was it to stay true to this?
Nick Madonna: Oh, thank you! The animation team is going to be happy you called out their hard work. Staying true to the brand through the entire production was crucial for us – everything from animation, story, art, music, all had to be true to the Addams brand. Luckily, we had a lot of help from MGM. Their archive of reference was invaluable!
“MGM FULLY SUPPORTED OUR VISION”
THE J: Does this video game follow the storyline of the new film or is it a new story altogether?
Nick Madonna: The storyline in Mansion Mayhem is a new story and adventure for the Addams Family. When we set out to develop the title, we wanted to have the flexibility to be able to tell a story that worked with our gameplay designs. Sometimes being locked to a film script limits what a team can do and we did our best to avoid those pitfalls. When we spoke to MGM about our ideas, they were receptive and fully supported our vision.
THE J: Every incarnation of the Addams family, from the TV show with the iconic theme tune to the latest films, has brought something new to the family – what can we expect to see in their video game form?
Nick Madonna: The Addams Family is an instantly recognizable license that spans multiple generations. Each incarnation brings something different to the table. The 2019 animated film caters to a young progressive audience who are focused on individuality, identity, and irreverent humor.
[continued]: Our goal with Mansion Mayhem was to create a shared experience between kids and parents that’s accessible and rewarding. In addition to a cooperative experience, we wanted to explore the history of their home. The Addams mansion is an old and mysterious house that hides many mysteries and doorways to the unknown. Mansion Mayhem takes players on an adventure to discover more of the house and what weird and wild secrets exist inside.
THE J: Was the game always going to be a platformer or were other genres explored?
Nick Madonna: That’s a great question! The design goal of Mansion Mayhem was to create an experience where kids could cooperate with their parents and friends while also providing opportunities to feed their competitive spirit. The team thought about different genres but it always came back to platformer. We set a design goal for the game and constantly would use that as our guide. If the genre or idea didn’t support the design goal, we’d scrap it.
THE J: As fans of retro gaming, have any classic video games inspired this one?
Nick Madonna: Most definitely. We always like to take inspiration from games that we love playing. In Mansion Mayhem you can see small bits of inspiration from titles like Super Mario 3D World.
THE J: Were you all fans of the original Addams Family comic strip?
Nick Madonna: No one at the studio was alive when Charles Addams started publishing the cartoons in the 1930s but most of us grew up watching reruns of the television series from the ’60s and the fantastic movies from the ’90s. I remember going to see The Addams Family and The Addams Family Values in the theatre as a teenager. It’s surreal that all these years later I was lucky enough to be involved in a piece of Addams history.
THE J: Do the ports to other systems differ at all?
Nick Madonna: You can enjoy the same kooky gameplay across all platforms.
THE J: Excellent! How much of a collaboration is this with MGM?
Nick Madonna: This is a truly collaborative project – not only with MGM but with our publisher Outright Games. We are in constant communication and are working together at all points during production to ensure that we’re making the best product we possibly can.
THE J: How did your experience of working on a franchise compare with your previous experiences in video games development?
Nick Madonna: PHL Collective has worked on several licensed games in the past and we’re very used to collaborating with different brand holders. We get excited when brand holders present us with opportunities to deliver something new and exciting to their fans.
THE J: Was it fun to work with such physical comedy?
Nick Madonna: It was a blast to work with characters that lend themselves well to physical comedy. It took a lot of work to strike a proper balance between slapstick and the subtle and darkly comedic characteristics of the Addams.
THE J: What video games are you working on next?
Nick Madonna: I wish I could tell you what we’re working on next. It’s something really exciting and I can’t wait for it to be announced!
READ MORE NOW ALL ABOUT THE ADDAMS FAMILY: MANSION MAYHEM