We announced Squishy’s Revenge and gave a few details showing off a few pictures of the adorably destructive Squishy in the process. However, Squishy didn’t always look like the way he does now. In fact, he didn’t start out as Squishy at all. So this just as much the “evolution” of Squishy as it is the birth of Squishy.
The very first time Squishy’s Revenge was thought up was while the game designer, Rob Lockhart, attended the Games Learning Society meeting in Madison, Wisconsin. Originally, the monster to be included in the game was a Frankenstein type character. The reasoning behind the decision was that Frankenstein creatures weren’t the sharpest tools in the shed and needed constant direction. It fit with the theme of needing players to direct the monster to the targets, but there was something slightly off.
The problem was that this monster didn’t have a personality of its own. While it is recognizable, we were bound to what others have come to expect about Frankenstein. He had to be slow, he had to be dimwitted and he had to lumber along. It was all very predictable. It wasn’t a bad thing; it just wasn’t the direction we wanted to go. We wanted a monster that was unique, original and could do unexpected things. That is when Squishy started to take… errr… shape.
Squishy was created as an entirely new monster. It solved the problem of being predictable because there are no preconceived notions as to what Squishy can or can’t do. Squishy could have joyful reckless abandon, be springy, kinetic and be unexpected. It was just the type of creature that we were looking for. At first, Squishy took on more of a formless appearance. When artist Jess Riola was working on him, she felt like it Squishy was missing that special “something” that makes a character pop from the page. So Squishy went through a few more revisions.
Squishy had a few different looks and we eventually decided to keep refining the original concept, but by adding more personality and definable features. When the Green Squishy was added to the game, there was one last problem. The tiles that need slide around were also green. That meant Squishy blended into the background and was hard to see. Rather than try and re-color all the grass in the world, it was an opportunity to differentiate Squishy even more from other monsters. Most scary monsters are green or grey, but Squishy isn’t like most monsters. The signature purple color Squishy proudly sports is another feature of Squishy that makes him stand out.
Squishy allowed us to be more creative with the Squishy’s Revenge story since there wasn’t a precedent set with monsters people already know. Squishy also helped make the transition between core gameplay changes, which we’ll talk about soon.