Interview: Doctor Who: Legacy’s Executive Producer Susan Cummings & Creative Director Lee Cummings

by on December 25, 2013

It’s the 50th year of The Doctor this year, and we’ve already been spoiled with the likes of a special anniversary episode, a reveal of a new Doctor and more. We recently reviewed a brand new mobile game based on the many incarnations of The Doctor – Doctor Who: Legacy – and we were lucky enough to sit down with the game’s Executive Producer Susan Cummings, and the Creative Director Lee Cummings, to ask them a few questions about the game, its future and more.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. Was the studio already full of Doctor Who fans or was there a lot of research involved to get the amount of characters in there as there are?

Yes, Tiny Rebel Games is essentially Susan Cummings (exec producer) and Lee Cummings (creative director). We both grew up with the show, we’re both massive fans, it was the first show that came to mind when we decided we wanted to make this sort of game. And we’re pretty obsessive about the details.

2. Where did the decision for the art style come from? It’s fairly unconventional as far as Doctor Who comes

We have a fabulous art director at Seed Studio, Pest Jiang. We worked very closely with the BBC to nail an art style that we’re all happy with. There are definitely some Asian influences by design although keeping it very accessible and recognizable to the core Doctor Who audience.

3. Is there a consensus about the studio’s favourite Doctor, or does it often descend into all out war? What about favourite companion?

Susan: David Tennant, hands down. I adore him and everything he does. Though I’m quite fond of all of them.
Lee: Paul McGann would have been my favorite had they released more with him in it. Other than that, I’d go Tennant as well though it feels wrong to say I have a favorite. I love all of them including Matt Smith who I’m sad to see go and am very excited about Peter Capaldi.

4. Where did the decision for the gameplay style come from? Was it a result of market research or a style of game that you felt would really fit the Doctor Who universe?

As with all the games Susan and I work on, we make games that we want to play. While we come from a long history of working on big console games (Grand Theft Auto series, Bully, Borderlands, Bioshock), we’ve had equal fun working on smaller experiences where we can really create something personal. We had a great experience working with our friend Steve Fawkner (creator of Puzzle Quest) and had been itching to do another game like this, particularly now on mobile. That said, we think its impossible to try to create a canon as rich as the 50 year Doctor Who history — so its a perfect sandbox to make a game like this. We feel that the puzzle mechanic works incredibly well for portraying Doctor Who combat/conflict. Much better than any twitch mechanic.

5. Are there any plans to expand into other areas of the Doctor Who universe? Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, etc

We love everything in the “expanded universe” of Doctor Who, and while we’re heavily focussed on going back through the Doctor’s timeline from the series, we’ve absolutely had discussions about things like Torchwood.

6. You recently released a code for a special version of the Tenth Doctor wearing a brown dressing gown from the Christmas Invasion episode, do you plan to create and release more alternately clothed Doctor Who characters?

Yes! Our first priority is going to be more outfits for the Doctor/s, however we want to continue releasing alternate outfits for the main companions (Clara, Vastra, Jenny and a few others already have alternate outfits), and we’re looking at adding a gameplay element to that as well – costumes changing the character’s abilities and stats.

7. The game travels backwards through the Doctor Who episodes but what about future episodes? Any chance these will get added to the game at some point?

The game was always intended to be more of an ongoing experience (rather than something more like a traditional console game which you launch and walk away from), and while right now our focus is on the release of season 5 content, we definitely want to follow the Doctor as he heads into the future.

8. What does the future for Doctor Who: Legacy hold? More episodes? More characters?

Both, and much more. Through December we’re releasing a load of new content (episodes such as Victory of the Daleks, Flesh and Stone, The Impossible Planet) and characters (like the Ood, K9, and other fan favorites), but we’re also hard at work on supporting more platforms and are designing a whole new gameplay mode which we aim to have out early next year.

9. Any chance that future updates to Doctor Who: Legacy will have more game modes or game styles?

Sorry, answered that above =)

10. When will we get to see Peter Capaldi in the game? Christmas time, when the new full series airs or are there no plans at all at the moment?

We have our hands full right now with the Doctors leading up to Tennant and Smith. We’re about to launch Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. Certainly we are MASSIVE fans of Peter Capaldi (who isn’t?) and will be thrilled to have him in the game when the time comes.

11. The most important question of all: Ketchup. Fridge or Cupboard?

Store brought – cupboard, then fridge when opened. Homemade, always fridge.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Susan and Lee for taking the time to answer our questions.

What do you think of Doctor Who: Legacy? Have you played it yet? Does anything you’ve read here make you want to check it out? Let us know in the comments below!