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Exclusive Interview: Singing Baby Shark: Sing & Swim Party’s hits with Recotechnology 

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You’d have to be a very special kind of person to work on Baby Shark: Sing & Swim Party. It’s a multiplayer party game dedicated to the Youtube sensation, and the music of said sensation in particular. That must mean listening to the Baby Shark theme over and over for months on end. We can only imagine what that’s done to their collective minds. 

Well, we get to wonder no longer, as developers Recotechnology invited us to pick over their collective minds. Have they gone to mush? Are they just going to repeat the theme tune back at us for an hour? Find out below!

baby shark sing & swim keyart
baby shark sing & swim keyart

Hi, could you please introduce yourself and your role on Baby Shark: Sing & Swim Party?

We are Jaime Arcaya, Art Director and Paco Encinas, CEO of Recotechnology, developers of Baby Shark: Sing & Swim Party.

Could you give us a short summary of the game?

Baby Shark: Sing & Swim Party is a cooperative rhythmic adventure game where fans can follow and play as the Shark Family, as the journey across the ocean to vacation to the FIN-tastic Festival. The game features two modes; rhythmic and Runner, as well as an up to 4 player couch co-op to allow the whole family to get in on the fun.

How did you manage to capture the look and feel of the Baby Shark videos? It must have been so important to make Baby Shark: Sing & Swim Party feel like you’re playing one of them.

We began by thoroughly studying the baby shark videos, analyzing every aspect of the visual elements of the IP. Our team of great animators and designers meticulously recreated the characters and environments, this included the vibrant colors and playful animations that are iconic to the baby shark brand.    

The first thing that really jumped out at us was that this was up to four-players at once. Was that your mission from the start? To have the whole family playing together?

As a company, Outright Games’ priority is to make games accessible for children and games that the whole family can jump in and enjoy. For a game like this that has a very young target audience, it is even more important to ensure kids can get the most out of playing, so having the option to play with parents and older siblings for guidance as they learn and independently or with friends when they’ve mastered the game, is a great addition. 

baby shark interview 1
Will you sing or swim with Baby Shark?

Four players means a lot of different competency levels playing together at once. How do you design gameplay so it could be enjoyed by both children and parents?

As this is a family game, we proposed a combination. The first steps in the game, the introduction, was designed with the goal of engaging and entertaining children with simple mechanics, recognizable songs, and a simple but engaging story with a “call to action” technique.  

The key goal was to increase the difficulty of the game gradually, in order to make the children learn and improve their skills level by level, so they still have fun. But at the same time, we make the playability more fun and engaging for older players, specially the parents, who are a key player. 

This is also a cooperative game, in which all the family and friends work together to get as many points and prizes as possible, so our aim was to make a game fun and family oriented. Anyway in the runner mode, you can also compete to be the one who gets more points, but all this ends adding points to the whole team.

What are the challenges in making rhythm action gameplay that kids can play? 

Two important points of the child-friendly design goal were to make the game visually understandable (that children easily understand what is going on) and to create a progressive difficulty curve that is attractive in the first part of the game for the children, and in the second part for the children’s parents as well.  

The gameplay mechanics are simple at the beginning, but as the players advances in the game through the different oceans they will find new different awesome game mechanics that they will enjoy, making the Shark family dance without stopping until the end of the game.

Are there lots of minigame ideas on the cutting room floor because they just didn’t work out?

Yes, instead of multiple minigames we designed the game with the idea of a deep gameplay experience, offering two main mechanics. This allowed us to improve the children’s learning because we train them through repetition and the specific difficulty curve, and not with multiple mechanics disconnected from each other. Within these types of games there are a lot of different mechanics, which are introduced gradually as the player advances, reinforcing the learning process of the young players, but surprising them with new and different mechanics that will help to improve their psychomotor skills and have a good time.

baby shark interview 3
ALL THE BABY SHARKS!

Could you tell us more about the stickers? We’ve got a little collector in our house, and we’re wondering whether they will be hunting around to catch them all.

Everyone likes stickers and especially the little ones, so we decided to use them as an extra reward when you complete some levels with their maximum score or a family of cards to try to keep the game attractive until the end, just as we intended to do with the achievements for those who intend to complete everything.  

Reco Technology makes such a mix of games, alternating between kid-focused games like Sing & Swim Party and Pocoyo Party, and very mature games like 1971: Project Helios and Kyurinaga’s Revenge. How do you and the team manage to mentally switch between the two?

We love making games, for us it is a challenge and we like to make them for all kinds of audiences, although we have a predilection for musical and strategy/action games.

And finally, as someone with a four-year old, I’ve heard Baby Shark more times than I care to count. I can only imagine how many times you must have heard it. Does it play in your dreams?

Of course, yes! All the team had the Baby Shark songs in their mind for about two hours every day after work. By the end of the project, when some of us were testing the game, the rest of the team used to sing the songs all together while they were working, like a camp team…We knew all the lyrics, so fun.

And after all, we have really enjoyed the work and we have ended up being very proud of the final result of the Baby Shark video game.  

baby shark interview 2
Tons of stickers to collect

Baby Shark: Sing & Swim Party is out now, and has received a verdict courtesy of yours truly. Head over to the review to see whether we became Baby Shark zombies through exposure to its dead-eyed chanting. You may be surprised by how much we liked it. 

Huge thanks go out to Recotechnology for giving us their time in the lead up to launch of Baby Shark: Sing & Swim Party on Xbox, PlayStation, Switch and PC
You can grab the game from the usual digital store – like the Xbox Store.

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