Starship Announces Playworld Superheroes for Mobile [Interview]

Playworld SuperheroesLiverpool-based digital media, technology and entertainment company Starship has announced the development of Playworld Superheroes, its upcoming mobile game, which aims to engage a player’s imagination as they create their own superhero and take it on a series of adventures. The game is aimed at players aged 5+, and will be free from in-app purchases.

Playworld Superheroes will be the first game in an ongoing franchise, with this adventure title offering a crafting system to help players create the items they’ll need during their adventure. Throughout the adventure, players will battle enemies and explore their environment in an experience described as a “Hollywood blockbuster-styled game of their own creation.”

We had a chance to chat with Starship CEO, Martin Kenwright, about the game’s development, and what player’s can expect from this new franchise.

Inside Mobile Apps: If you had to describe the gameplay of Playworld Superheroes “in a nutshell” what would you say? Does the game fit into a particular genre we might recognize? A platformer or hack-n-slash game, for instance?

Martin Kenwright: The Playworld series is all about empowering a child’s imagination. We give kids the tools they need to craft and create customized suits and gadgets in a real world setting. We then reward their creativity by introducing new land for them to play in – Playworld – the land of your imagination.

A child’s innate ability to dream and create takes them on incredible adventures, starring the player as the hero. What they’ve crafted allows them to take on new powers and abilities in that world. From the simplest crafting to the most state-of-the-art experiences, that’s what Playworld is about. The prologue is Playworld Superheroes, built upon the premise that where adults see cardboard boxes, kids can see a superhero suit.

It’s different in terms of game design. We’ve tried to bring a nice twist to traditional adventure games. We’re trying to give kids the Hollywood movie treatment without them having to worry about complex controls schemes.

IMA: How much customization will be available in the player’s creation of their superhero? What sorts of options will be available to them?

MK: You’ll be able to customize the entire superhero from the ground up. You even get to design your own logo. It was really important to us that we made the whole experience really personal to the player, so cut scenes in the game use their superhero logo as a signature nod to heroes in popular culture. In Playworld Superheroes, the amount of crafting isn’t completely open ended, but as the series unfolds that will change. Playworld is aiming to create dozens of product extensions over the years.

Playworld Superheroes

IMA: Are the player’s customization options limited to visual variations, or will they affect their resulting superhero’s powers as well?

MK: We’ve devised complex crafting systems that are too advanced to introduce all in one go, so with the first installment, we’re getting kids used to the art of crafting. The visual identity of the hero is really important in this game, but everyone has the same powers at their disposal, providing they work hard enough to level up.

We’ve pre-made quite a few of the items in this one, that gamers can make their own with crayons, scissors and extra bits to stick on, with more and more appearing in updates. As the series progresses, the customization options will impact the player’s powers and abilities, but as an introduction, the customization will affect the look and feel of the game. What’s unique about it, is the freeform and freestyle crafting; it mimics that way children play in real-life, so it should all come naturally to the player.