Cyanide & Happiness: Freakpocalypse devs on designing the game & its humor

Working to find the right balance between comedy and narrative, and between challenge and frustration, were regular parts of the game's design.


Cyanide & Happiness is a pretty beloved franchise as far as dark and crude humor go. It’s very cheeky, sometimes gross, and often outlandish. So how do you distill that mood down into a point-and-click adventure game? It’s not an easy balance to strike but the team at Explosm managed to figure it out with Cyanide & Happiness: Freakpocalypse and we spoke to them about how in a recent interview.

Cyanide & Happiness Creator Kris Wilson and Freakpocalypse Assistant Director and Lead Game Designer Roger Barr expanded on some of the philosophy that went into meeting a balance for players on both gameplay and humor. On the design side, a big part of it was ensuring the game has enough clear leads to move you forward. Being able to talk to everyone and the clues they give is part of that, but Freakpocalypse’s hint system also plays into that, not necessarily hand-holding the player, but giving meaningful direction if they get stuck.

As for the humor, though Cyanide & Happinesss: Freakpocalypse was published by Serenity Forge and released on the Nintendo Switch, Wilson and Barr claim they actually didn’t come up against much in the way of barriers when it came to how they designed the game’s comedic content. That means Freakpocalypse was pretty much mostly designed exactly the way they wanted when it came to the game’s narrative, environments, and all of the story and jokes therein. In fact, the team went all out to a hefty degree, recording over 8,000 voice lines for the main character in the game alone.

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Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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