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Interview: Mothergunship Director Joe Mirabello

by on November 2, 2018

Interview: Mothergunship Director Joe Mirabello

In July, fans of sci-fi and the bullet hell genres were given a beautiful game that combined the genre with awesome customization options.  Mothergunship, from the development team of Grip Digital and Terrible Posture Games, received mostly positive reviews on Metacritic and with fans alike.  It isn’t just a well made first person shooter.  It sets itself apart with its gun customization, which brings a different type of strategy as well as entertainment.

Recently, a huge update was released by the team called Namengineers.  With the Namengineers update, fans can access a whole new campaign, ship type, game mode, and loads of balancing to the game.  And with the co-op update earlier, Mothergunship has something for everyone.

I reached out to the director of Mothergunship, Joe Mirabello, and talked with him about fan feedback, the new update, and what might come next for the game.  Here’s what he had to say –

GameOctane: Now that Mothergunship has been out for roughly 4 months, how has the player feedback been for the game?  How happy has the team been with the game since launch?

Joe: The player reception has been pretty encouraging. We initially got a lot of great attention and buzz, which was thrilling to us all, and the community helped us steer the game significantly in a direction that encouraged bigger and more ludicrous gun crafting. We worked hard to improve those with the Mothergunship coop update and even further with the Namengineers update.

How did the idea of a bullethell/customization/sci-fi game come about?  Did Mothergunship take on different forms before you settled on the idea that eventually launched?

Mothergunship started its life as a direct sequel to 2014’s Tower of Guns…but as we worked on the game and pushed development further and further along we realized it really needed its own identity. Some of the ideas we wanted to incorporate, like the over the top crafting, really did call out for their own lore and world. Even knowing we wanted to take the game away from Tower of Guns though, Mothergunship did take on a long and twisted road before it made it to the finish line. That’s any game though; development is always a very iterative process, based on testing assumptions and improving your results over and over.

The Namengineers Update looks to bring a lot of content to Mothergunship.  What are you most excited about with the update?

That’s a tough question. Between the new campaign story, the new guns, new boss, new features, new mobs… there is a lot we crammed into Mothergunship. I think though, for me, I love seeing new places and environments, so the new ship type is the thing I was most excited about.

What can players expect with the new Game Mode?  Are there any challenges that are particularily tough or entertaining?

Well, we’ve got miniboss encounters now that that show from time to time…and those can be particularly challenging..especially when combined with some of the new mobs. Additionally, there are new types of doors and dice roll modes that can certainly throw a wrench into any plan. Those are pretty exciting.

I can imagine that there have been some crazy customizations in Mothergunship.  What has been some of your favorite loadouts and why?

My favorite by far has been the work of one community member in particular—a guy named Frameloss who built some absurd guns. The guy built something he called “Thor’s Hammer”, which consisted of a bunch of lightning cannons with bounce modifiers on them. The result was lightning filling up the entire arena when you fired it—forming a spiderweb of unavoidable electricity.  Another shout out should go to the guys who decided to use the gun-crafting system to make guns that looked like tanks and spaceships. These were just visual jokes, but it was really fun to see the creativity within the community.

I’m really excited for the Namengineers update, and I’m sure fans are as well.  Can you elaborate on what might be coming in the future for Mothergunship?

Well, for now, the game has come together pretty solidly. We set out three years ago to build something completely silly and wild, and I feel like we’ve largely achieved that. Since launch, we put quite a few major post-launch updates as well as some minor updates as well. We’re working on one more minor update right now. After that, I’m not sure!

I know it’s a tough question to ask when it comes to future updates, but it’s great news that the team will look to make more minor updates to help make the game even better.  With any game, more content will come depending on the demand and fan support of the game.

Huge thanks to Joe for taking the time to answer some questions.  Give him a shout out on social media!  And while you’re at it, follow Mothergunship, Grip Digital, and Terrible Posture Games for more news and updates.

Mothergunship is available on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Steam for $24.99.  I had a blast with Mothergunship, and I think you will too.

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