Brendon Chung knows what people expect out of a first-person shooter. Guns? Check. Strafing? Yep. Ammo drops in strategic yet predictable locations? You betcha.
A sneezing system? Uh, sure. Noxious green clouds that follow you when you’re smelly, giving away your location? Um. Actually, yes.
Skin Deep is the latest project out of Chung’s studio, Blendo Games, and it’s his first-ever FPS title. He’s known for developing clever first-person action and puzzle games including Gravity Bone, Thirty Flights of Loving and Quadrilateral Cowboy, and visually, Skin Deep fits perfectly into his repertoire. The only difference is the gun.
“I’d never done one where you just have a gun and you straight-up shoot people,” Chung said. “I thought, you know what? This is something that I love. This is a game genre that has been so important to me for a long time… This is kind of my attempt at making a bunch of little things that I like in first-person shooter games, and putting them into a game that I think will be funny.”
Chung started coding back in elementary school, when he would spend hours between classes customizing levels in FPS classics Doom and Quake, and he continued modding as titles like Half-Life, Quake 2 and Doom 3 hit the scene. He got a job at a mainstream studio in Los Angeles, but continued working on his own projects and eventually went fully independent, picking up a handful of accolades in the process.
Despite a deep personal connection to the FPS genre, Chung hasn’t released a shooter of his own — but that’s going to change when Skin Deep hits Steam. The actual release date is still up in the air, a fact that may be concerning for anyone who remembers waiting for Quadrilateral Cowboy, a game that was “six months away” for well over three years. (On the Skin Deep FAQ page, one of the Qs reads, “Is Skin Deep going to take 4+ years of development time like your previous game Quadrilateral Cowboy?” and the accompanying answer is, “I hope not.”)
Regardless of a release date, today publisher Annapurna Interactive showed off a new trailer for Skin Deep. A new, extra-smelly trailer.
Skin Deep is a non-linear espionage shooter set on a spaceship and played from the perspective of an armed, cryogenically frozen insurance agent whose job is to protect the vessel from invading space pirates. The game looks lighthearted yet sophisticated, in classic Blendo fashion; it involves shooting, sneaking and solving puzzles, and all of it is animated in Chung’s signature cubist style. This ties back to FPS history, too — Skin Deep and most of Blendo Games’ titles are built on a modified port of the Doom 3 engine, idTech4.