Family Guy: Video Game!
Family Guy was shipped in 2006.
Platform: PS2 / XBOX
Published by: 2K Games
Developed by:
High Voltage Software
Format: DVD
Family Guy: Video Game! (not subtle, these ones) is a platform/shooter hybrid for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The game owes much of its lineage to both Wario World (GameCube) and the studio’s grand lineage of platform/adventure titles. In fitting Family Guy fashion, the mechanics also make the game equal parts brawler (Peter solves a lot of problems with his fists, for better or worse), collect-athon (lots of junk to collect) and joke-fest (welcome back, Jewish Optimus Prime).

I’d like to think this game is somewhat notable in the pantheon of all licensed content because of the extraordinary amount of cooperation from the people who make the show. It’s the same characters, voice actors and writing that you’ve come to expect from your Sunday evening; a far cry from, say, the LOST game.

Development

Lest you get the wrong idea,  I only worked on the original prototype alongside HVS-lifers Patrick Dolan, Eric Stoll and Jennifer Fassett. We worked on a lot of the core mechanics – fighting, jumping, world progression, object scale, collectibles – as well as charting out a significant portion of the game world. We had a demo neighborhood and plenty of design to go forward with.

This process went over a few months until the licensor got cold feet and put the project on hold, so I was surprised to see HVS actually got the contract and published the game some time after I left the company. (I’m there in the Special Thanks as a result.) I have to assume that it was built using roughly the same engine that was used for The Haunted Mansion and Zathura.