South Park’s Matt Stone on Making Snow Day! After 2 Huge South Park RPGs
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South Park’s Matt Stone on Making Snow Day! After 2 Huge South Park RPGs

“I’m the worst.”

Matt Stone is struggling to kill Kenny. The South Park co-creator isn’t in the midst of a creative crisis, he’s just battling against the iconic character in the latest game inspired by the series, South Park: Snow Day. He’s showing us the new 3D, rogue-like inspired fartfest ahead of the game’s release on Xbox, PS5, Nintendo Switch, and PC later this month. Kenny, in his Princess Kenny persona, is attacking Stone’s co-op team with anime-inspired hearts while rainbows swirl around.

“We came off of The Fractured But Whole, and we definitely wanted to do another video game, but we wanted to do something different,” Stone told us as he played Snow Day with us in New York. “We started talking about doing something a little different, more about replayability. More about being able to update characters. We always thought we wanted to do that thing where we do a thing in a show and then like, it’s in the game two weeks later, or three weeks, or whatever it is. And with The Fractured But Whole and Stick of Truth, it’s hard to do.”

So Stone and the development team at Question came up with an entirely new adventure for the South Park gang to take on. Snow Day is a change of direction from the previous two South Park games of note, swapping the mechanics of big fantasy RPGs like Skyrim for chaotic co-op battles as you take the role of New Kid to dash through snowy parts of the town fighting off enemies and guzzling Cheesy Poofs health packs. The story is simple: it’s snowing in South Park and the kids have a day off to play fantasy war games, but the snow won’t stop, suggesting more than just climate could be at work.

“The previous games feel like you’re in a South Park movie,” says South Park: Snow Day writer Jameel Saleem, who also writes for the series and cameos as Token’s Dad in The Fractured but Whole. “You know, it’s very immersive. This is more of a visceral feeling of just like being able to run around in South Park and run around in the snow.”

“It starts with just the kids playing a game. And whenever we start there, that’s like the best. That’s the secret sauce.”

“We tried to make it kind of like a long episode of South Park narratively, where maybe there actually is a real threat and that emerges,” explains Stone. “But it starts with just the kids playing a game. And whenever we start there, that’s like the best. That’s the secret sauce. That’s what this game is: there’s a snow day, the kids are like, ‘Hell yeah, we get to go play!’ every single day, they just bust it out, they have this whole entire world and galaxy. And you know, it’s a lot of the same characters from Stick of Truth and the Dungeons & Dragons kind of themed stuff.”

So there are still all the references you’ll recognize from previous games – Wizard Cartman, the Chaos Minions, and Stan’s elvish warriors – but with the added spice of Bullshit cards to add OP abilities to your team, and different upgrades to deploy to make your next run the one that counts. While you might spot some of the adult characters, this is a game about the kids, which made having them kick the crap out of each other much more entertaining.

As you might have spotted in the trailer, everything has an added dimension for Snow Day. The characters and the town of South Park have gained a little weight with a full 3D makeover. It looks great, like Funko Pops possessed by some sort of murderous demon, but also opened up the gameplay possibilities for the team at Question.

“The 2D stuff – amazing as it was to make those games – it was really, really hard when you think about what you have to work with. It’s just very confined, how we even made those fights work. And it’s the freedom here to create, it’s just a lot easier in the 3D realm,” says Stone. “For me, I just accept that these are the South Park kids. I know it’s a new look, but to me that makes total sense. I think we’ve learned a lot about the animation. And I think now we could really go further.”

Stone notes that the pricing for Snow Day allowed the team to take a risk: “This game as a $29.99 game – that seemed like the right size for us to try 3D for the first time [and] make it work, make all those systems work without biting off too much and failing at it, you know.”

As you might have guessed from South Park episodes like Informative Murder Porn and Make Love, Not Warcraft, and the previous South Park RPGs, Stone and fellow South Park creator Trey Parker are gamers. Stone cited Hades as one of the games the team was playing when South Park: Snow Days was born, but also revealed that one of the keys to getting another South Park game made is getting he and Parker interested in something that appeals to both of their gaming sensibilities.

“Trey [Parker] and I have totally different tastes in games. I could basically just button mash.”

“Trey and I have totally different tastes in games. I could basically just button mash, I could just play fighting games all the time. I like strategy games a little bit.” “Trey likes RPGs and Dungeons and Dragons and real strategy games. He’s a total board game freak and [into] just kind of more cerebral and rules-based things. And again, I don’t [play those] at all so then how do we make a game? So we talked about replayability and playing with friends, and that was also a big reason to do the 3D is like, wow, that would be really cool to be able to be with your friends and do this.”

You can expect more from South Park the show later this year, and South Park: Snow Day will be released on March 26. Stone’s advice for getting good when the game comes out is simple. “Definitely have different characters, some with a little more melee, some with a little more range. Don’t have me on your team.”

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