From 3D To 2D: The Reverse Evolution Of Mutant Mudds

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It’s always interesting to see how games change from their conception to the time that they’re shipped as a completed product. Take Mutant Mudds on the Nintendo eShop. It’s a retro-style 2D platformer that can be quite the challenge, but it wasn’t always this way. At one point, Mutant Mudds was a 3D platformer being developed for DSiWare, under the title Maximilian and the Rise of the Mutant Mudds.


Here’s what the transition from 3D to 2D was like:



Unfortunately, Renegade Kid were unable to find a publisher for Maximilian on DSiWare, and self-publishing the game wasn’t feasible at the time either, so they decided to shelve the project. Two years later, it re-emerged as a 2D platformer that looked nothing like the original, aside from featuring the same main character and the concept of using a water gun and jet pack.


“The way Mutant Mudds ended up being a 2D platformer was due to more of a whim than a calculated decision,” Renegade Kid co-founder, Jools Watsham, shared with Siliconera.


“We were developing a 2D platformer for XBLA, which had no connection to Mutant Mudds whatsoever, and due to the fact that I was in pixel-pushing mode the random thought to create a small pixel version of Max popped into my mind. What I drew at that moment is almost exactly what Max looks like today in Mutant Mudds.”


Now that Mutant Mudds is a relatively known entity, Renegade Kid are bringing it to the PC. The version PC will include all of the original eShop levels, as well as 20 new levels where you get to play as Max’s grandmom. The “Grannie” stages are tougher than the regular ones, but Grannie has the ability to use all power-ups at once, unlike Max. The PC version of the game also has online leaderboards and uses depth-of-field and blur effects to emulate the 3D effect seen in the 3DS version of the game.


Mutant Mudds will be released for PC on August 30th as a download game via GOG, Gamersgate, and Desura, as well as directly from Renegade Kid. For a week after release, you’ll be able to grab the game for $7.99, after which you’ll need to pay the regular price of $9.99.


Food for thought:


Renegade Kid have no intention of taking Mutant Mudds back to its original 3D concept any time soon.


“It’s certainly possible that we might explore a 3D platformer with Max in the starring role sometime in the future, but we do not have any plans to do so at this time,” says studio co-founder, Jools Watsham.


“I love 3D platformers—Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 3D Land being some of my favorites—but if I had to chose between a great 2D platformer or a great 3D platformer, I would choose to play a great 2D platformer every time. 2D offers a precise perception of the action, which 3D can not.”

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Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.