Interview: Goons: Legends & Mayhem Takes Inspiration From NHL 94

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Goons Legends & Mayhem - via RageCure Games

Goon: Legends & Mayhem is a surprising blend of hockey and beat ’em up genre, yielding a unique gameplay experience. With over six players in hockey-themed gameplay, the game offers a decent challenge to the funky sports genre along with a handful of unlockables and upgrades. 

While on the core, the game looks arcade-style sports. But in reality, there is much more going on in the world that makes it highly engaging. To discuss more on the arcade-focused inspiration, we interviewed Dave Gagné, Producer at RageCure Games, over an email. 

Arcade Sports Gameplay
Goons Legends & Mayhem – via RageCure Games

Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your work on Goons: Legends & Mayhem.

Dave: I’m Dave, a Producer at RageCure Games. As you might be aware, indie game developers often have more than one role on projects. As such, I had the pleasure of performing audio, camera, lighting, level design, and management duties on Goons: Legends & Mayhem. Rest assured, I still had a team with me for the rest, which is still quite a lot!

Goons: Legends & Mayhem makes hockey look 10x more fun. With funky gameplay, sound design, and vibrant colors, what was the inspiration behind building such a unique and sweet world?

Dave: There is certainly a strong influence coming from older games such as NHL 94, Blades of Steel, and other classic hockey games. We also owe a lot to Nintendo as Goons: L&M came from a fairly simple question: What would happen if Nintendo would make a proper hockey game?

Goons Legends & Mayhem - via RageCure Games
Goons Legends & Mayhem – via RageCure Games

One of the aspects that intrigued us the most was combining beat 'em up with arcade hockey. How did this idea originate, and how did it fit into modern arcade games?

Dave: We realized that many members of the studio were hockey video game enthusiasts as kids, and we were wondering why that faded out through the years. It became clear that we needed to offer something that didn’t scratch that itch for a simpler, more arcade hockey experience.

We then realized that this game needed more than just a 3v3 mode and mixing it with hero-based games and brawlers completely made sense. I remember the first time we threw a fireball while playing a hockey match, everything just clicked at that moment.

For a player that is new to this genre, what character class would you recommend, and how does choosing the right class impact team strategy?

Dave: There are 8 different characters boasting different powers that you unlock through the story mode. They are split into 3 categories Sharpshooter, Enforcer, and Wingman. For new players, Brazier is the perfect Sharpshooter with abilities that will help them score their first goals.

Brazier is a mage who teleports and shoots fireballs, making it easier to craft both offensive and defensive strategies. Enforcers will offer more defensive strategies with crowd control skills, while Wingmen focus on buffing their allies and being a nuisance to their opponents.

Goons Legends & Mayhem - via RageCure Games
Goons Legends & Mayhem – via RageCure Games

You mentioned goaltenders acting like boss fights. Can you explain how these encounters work?

Dave: Goaltenders will actually offer a defensive layer in front of nets, but also an offensive layer against players. The Fishmonger, for example, will shoot fish mortar on the rink, disrupting everyone’s best plays.

Spindle, on the other hand, will be throwing cotton candy on the rink, in which players will get stuck in.

Besides the goaltenders, are there any other environmental hazards players need to be aware of?

Dave: Yes indeed! On top of the ferocious goaltenders, the environments they live in will also be treacherous to players. For one, the Fishmonger’s arena will feature penguins sliding across the rink, making it harder to navigate.

On the other side, Spindle’s rink features a rising platform with flamethrowers and the occasional rollercoaster. Those disruptions are not constantly spammed on the play area, but will rather be seen from time to time, keeping players on edge.

Goons Legends & Mayhem - via RageCure Games
Goons Legends & Mayhem – via RageCure Games

How does unlocking new characters work in the story mode? Also, are there any other unlockables players can work towards?

Dave: The story mode acts as a fun tutorial in which you unlock characters and stages while advancing through the campaign. It will also teach players hockey mechanics more sincerely through various minigames that will get them to master various aspects of the game. Once players are done with the story (or at any point through the campaign), they can jump online or into local matches to test their newly earned characters and skills.

At this point, their characters will level up, giving players currencies that they’ll be able to spend in various shops. Players will be able to choose some cosmetic options for the players, buy stickers that are used to communicate in-game and grab special goal celebrations.

You also mentioned customization features. What kind of customization options are available for characters?

Dave: Each character features some cosmetic options through full-body cosmetic options and sticks. Those will either give some more background on the character’s personality and past or just become a fun-themed cosmetic option.

Top down view
Goons Legends & Mayhem – via RageCure Games

How long Goons: Legends & Mayhem has been under development and how many developers are actively working on the project?

Dave: The game has been in the works for roughly 5 years, three of which have been full-time.  At its peak, 9 RageCure developers have worked on Goons: Legends & Mayhem, with help coming from other external teams as well as the publishing team.

How has the community feedback been with the game's last two playtests?

Dave: We have been fortunate enough to have a community that’s growing fast. It’s been fascinating getting to see that many players enjoying this thing we spent so much time crafting. Overall, the players have been enjoying the game a lot and the feedback has been greatly helping us tweak the experience to make it as polished as possible.

Generally speaking, the feedback is all about making the game loop as quick as possible, allowing for players to get in matches faster. We have to say, being overwhelmed with feedback and players appreciating the game is a nice feeling and we will be happy to welcome even more players in.

Anything else you would like to share with the readers?

Dave: Now that the game is out, RageCure is committed to making Goons: Legends & Mayhem the best version of itself, both on consoles and PC. A lot of smaller tweaks and improvements have already been added, leaving some room to add systems that will allow easier matchmaking.

We are dedicated to making the game the ultimate arcade hockey experience, whether you are a newcomer to sports games or a veteran hockey game aficionado.

We cannot overstate this enough: Goons: Legends & Mayhem is not a game made exclusively for hockey gamers. If you enjoy party games with friends, fun chaotic experiences or just looking for a chill, cute adventure, this game might just fit the bill. See you on the rink!

Goons: Legends & Mayhem is an Arcade Hockey PvP game, developed by RageCure Games. The game was released on April 11, 2024, for PC, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4/5, and Nintendo Switch. 

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