By Sidney Butler
“Mean Girls” is now making fetch happen with So Much Drama’s iOS app. WSN Highlighter spoke with Jeff Meador, the president of So Much Drama Studios.
WSN: What made you want to create “Mean Girls: The Game” now?
JM: “Mean Girls” is such a fantastic, classic movie and a personal favorite of mine. How could I not want to work on that project? But honestly, it was a very daunting project because I know there are so many super fans out there, I did not want to disappoint. But I talked with the team and felt we had some really strong ideas for how to make this work. And we knew that if anyone was going to make a “Mean Girls” game, it had to be super fans like us. So we took it and ran with it!
WSN: How long did the programming and designing take?
JM: That really depends on how you measure it, but around a year or so is a good measure. There’s a lot of extra work that goes into working with properties like “Mean Girls.” We took a lot of care to make sure that every element of the game was tied into the movie somehow, so we spent a lot of time with each feature to figure out not only how it should function within the game but also how it relates to the overall “Mean Girls” story.
But in another sense, we’re still not done! There are some major updates and changes in the works, and we should have those out to everyone soon!
WSN: Why did you choose to format the game this way instead of a character-based game where one could choose to be one of the Plastics and go throughout the entire movie “Mean Girls,” similar to the Kim Kardashian game or “High School Stories?”
JM: We approach game design like this from the movie forward. That means that we really look at the movie itself and see what are the elements that we want to draw out. Then we ask ourselves, “How can we fit those elements in a game? What’s the fun element that we’re looking for that’s still very true to the spirit of the movie?” There’s a great energy to the film, so we wanted to do something that had some action to it. We kept coming back to the cliques and Janis’ map and everything all of a sudden started fitting together.
WSN: Did any other apps out there influence this app in any way?
JM: Yes and no. Certainly we looked at other tower defense mechanics that are out there, but we also wanted to use the characters from the movie in a unique way. That’s how we developed the quiz element of the game. We wanted to not only use some sort of hero character in the game with special powers, but we wanted to make sure that it tied back to the film. It’s really a great mechanic. And even if you haven’t seen the movie, the quiz ends up being a lot of fun.
WSN: Do you think your company So Much Drama will transform more teen classics into games? Should we expect a “Heathers” or “Clueless” game?
JM: We’d love to do something like that! We’ve certainly got a certain knack for transforming movies and TV shows into great games, and other people are really starting to take notice. I can’t say too much right now, but definitely keep an eye on us for some upcoming titles.
WSN: How do you think/hope fans will respond to the game?
JM: This is a game that was made by fans of the movie. Everyone here has such a love for that film, and it shows in the final product. We’ve packed a lot in the game for fans: we’ve got the characters and the cliques for sure, but so many details pop up all over. We’ve made unique game modes built around favorite lines such as “She doesn’t even go here!” and “You can’t sit with us!” There’s a quiz that rewards fans as you play. Sure, you know Karen was a mouse for Halloween (duh!), but can you pick out her hump day treat? We’ve also got a lot of stuff packed in the backgrounds and menus that fans should easily pick up on. It’s definitely a game built by super fans!
Beyond that, it’s a fun game. Even if you were to strip away the “Mean Girls” trappings, there’s a solid game to enjoy there, so really everyone should be able to enjoy the game.
Sidney Butler is a staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org