Squirrel with a Gun Interview – Weapons, Open World, Progression, and More

Game director Dan DeEntremont speaks with GamingBolt about Dee Dee Creations' upcoming open world action game.

Posted By | On 19th, Apr. 2024

Squirrel with a Gun Interview – Weapons, Open World, Progression, and More

A regular-sized squirrel using a regular-sized gun against regular-sized humans- the perfect example of how even the simplest of elevator pitches can be among the most bizarre and eye-catching. Dee Dee Creations’ Squirrel with a Gun has been on many a radar ever since it first went viral, capturing attention with everything from its central premise to its promise of a physics-based game where the recoil of weapons is as much a platforming tool as the weapons themselves are- well, weapons. Hoping to learn more about the game and what’ll make it tick, we recently had the opportunity to send across a few of our questions about it to Dee Dee Creations. Below, you can read our full interview with game director Dan DeEntremont.

squirrel with a gun

"Any game developer will tell you they have a thousand ideas floating in their head at a given moment. But it takes a long time to execute an idea, so they must choose one carefully. I’ve had the idea of a squirrel holding a regular-sized gun in my head for a while."

Like many others, Squirrel with a Gun first caught my eye when its clips were doing the rounds on Twitter, and I was instantly reminded of how great video games can be when they’re not afraid to have fun and not take themselves too seriously. So, my question is, why does the squirrel have a gun? How did that idea first come up, and what was the process like of then actually designing an entire game around it?

Any game developer will tell you they have a thousand ideas floating in their head at a given moment. But it takes a long time to execute an idea, so they must choose one carefully. I’ve had the idea of a squirrel holding a regular-sized gun in my head for a while. It might have been subconsciously influenced a bit from Eddie Izzard where one of the punchlines is “We wanted diamonds, or sherbet or a squirrel with a gun!”

At inception, the only certain ideas were “Squirrel holding normal-sized gun” and “Powerful recoil.” From there, the recoil evolved into a way to enhance movement. Then, we thought “What if it came to a normal suburban neighborhood and caused some chaos?” But tormenting unarmed civilians by itself seemed a little mean-spirited and not very challenging. So then, what’s a bad guy archetype we can all get behind? Why, nameless faceless goons in suits, of course! And thus, the Agent enemies were conceived.

Squirrel with a Gun’s guns are going to be more than just weapons and will also be serving as tools for traversal and platforming. Can you tell us about what sort of depth and variety the game is going for there? Will the physics of each weapon be different and enable different movement and platforming actions?

Each gun class enhances Squirrel’s jump in a unique way. For example, the pistol will allow a few extra midair “jumps,” while the shotgun gives you a huge amount of pure verticality. A weapon such as the rocket launcher can cause extreme damage by shooting downward but can throw Squirrel incredible distances.

I understand that using guns is (obviously) the main draw here, but what will combat in Squirrel with a Gun look like when players are trying to take a more melee-centric approach?

Squirrel can be quite formidable even without a gun. There are lots of objects, such as bricks lying around that you can throw at the enemies to damage or stun them. Squirrel can even perform an unarmed face-scratch takedown on stunned enemies. You can also climb enemies, up to their neck, and snap it as a stealth takedown! There are even a few high-level moves like parrying melee attacks and grabbing rockets to ride back to the enemies who fired them. There’s a lot of options available for players once they get a handle on the basics of combat.

squirrel with a gun

"An interesting thing we’ve learned is that when you play as a character 1/10th the size of a human, an entire residential block can be massive."

What can you tell us about the game’s open world sandbox? How large will the world be, and what should players expect from it in terms of the activities and optional quests it will have on offer?

An interesting thing we’ve learned is that when you play as a character 1/10th the size of a human, an entire residential block can be MASSIVE! This is actually what prompted the need to traverse with the RC Car in the first place. The Neighborhood sandbox is divided into 3 major Areas. Each Area in the Neighborhood contains a multitude of unique puzzles, often involving the Citizens. As an example, one location has a man wearing a party hat, alone, crying. What you must do is bring him a cake while avoiding nearby agents. Completing these puzzles typically gives you an Outfit piece or a Golden Acorn. Collecting enough Golden Acorns is the key to unlocking new vehicles and opening other Areas of the Neighborhood. In addition to the sandbox area, Squirrel will occasionally travel underground into agent “Bunkers” where there are more golden acorns to collect, along with a few bosses to fight.

How many different types of vehicles will players be able to drive around the world? Will the game also have driving-focused side activities?

There are 3 types of vehicles in the game. The one on land, another for water and one for the air! There are a few Golden Acorns and combat areas in the game that will require vehicles.

What should we expect from Squirrel with a Gun’s progression mechanics? Will players be finding new ways to become more powerful as they progress forward beyond new weapons?

Throughout the game, Squirrel can find “Reload Energy,” which allows it a certain number of reloads to any gun it is currently holding. As the player collects Reload Energy throughout the game, they can continuously use their gun in combat without the need to run away to look for more ammo. Squirrel is mainly enhanced by the guns and outfits it has equipped, though we do have a hidden “leveling” mechanic, which is tied to how many Golden Acorns it has collected. The higher the level, the longer its health bar gets.

squirrel with a gun

"We are working on a lot of fun costumes and accessories."

I imagine the fact that the game’s protagonist is a squirrel probably opens up some really unique and interesting ideas where cosmetic customization options are concerned. What should players expect from the game in that area?

Yes! We are working on a lot of fun costumes and accessories. Some accessories keep with the idea of “human sized thing held by a squirrel” such as a wedding ring being used as a tiara. Some outfits can enhance Squirrel’s abilities. The bomb suit can make it immune to explosions (at the cost of running speed). And there are, of course, different colored furs based on different squirrel species.

Do you have plans to add any multiplayer elements to the game?

Squirrel with a Gun will be a single-player experience.

Roughly how long will an average playthrough of the game be?

Based on time spent so far in playtests, we expect the game will have around 10 hours of content.


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