The newsLOS ANGELES - The South Park kids will again be invading video-game consoles.
And the character that players take the role of, The New Kid, will eventually find his way onto the Comedy Central TV series.
The crossover between the game and TV show "is a cool way for fans to interact with the show and the characters," series co-creator Matt Stone told USA TODAY. He and fellow South Park creator Trey Parker talked about the project before taking the stage at Ubisoft's press preview event Monday on the eve of the Electronic Entertainment Expo here.
The duo have been working with publisher Ubisoft on the game, entitled South Park: The Fractured but Whole (for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PCs).
Although there's no release date yet for the game, Stone said that "It's not something we are announcing and going to start working on it tomorrow. We have been working on it for a year. We are really into it."
In the previous game 2014's The Stick of Truth, the South Park gang were playing Dungeons & Dragons. Now they have moved on to playing superheroes with Cartman as The Coon, a hero that is half man, half raccoon.
"We really liked creating this new character," says Parker. We loved the idea of talking about the kid as a new character in South Park and (that kid being) you. We wanted to get more into that back story."
Here, our Q&A with the duo:
Q: Was there anything you wanted to do on the last game that the publishers said, 'No you can't do that?'
Stone: There was definitely a few (Entertainment Software Rating Board) notes (about a scene in an) abortion clinic. When you do a show you are very much in control, for better or worse, of the timing and what you are trying to say. You can put together something that is pretty nuanced. When you have an interactive level, it changes the meaning and everyone's comfort level with that.
Parker: It's always different (depending on the medium). In The Book of Mormon (the team's Broadway musical) you are dealing with a real stage and people sitting this far away and it's a whole other thing when someone is actually in the space and working with it. You figure it out.
Q: You must have had a good experience with The Stick of Truth because you are game for a sequel.
Stone: You would think. No. It was weird, we really had a horrible experience with parts of Stick of Truth. We learned we were beginners. We kind of had a little bit of an attitude that we know how to write a movie, we'll write a game - it'll work out and it will be a sweet game. And it was really hard. Throughout, we would say we are never doing this again. And then just at the end we felt like we hit a groove. Then the game came out and it was well received and we took a step back and took a breath.
Parker: We had a blueprint and now we know how to make a sweet game. I think we cracked the code.
Q: How did you do that?
Parker: One of the biggest lessons was realizing it's not a matter of us writing a script and then handing it off to some other company and saying, "OK, where's our game?" So many of the jokes had to be inherent to the gameplay. Finally towards the back half of Stick of Truth we were all in a room together and designing levels and talking through things. (It was) everyone who did every kind of job on the game all figuring it out in the room together. That was the most critical thing.
Q: What do you think the strengths are of games compared to other arenas?
Stone: Doing Stick of Truth and going through that made me realize how hard doing a video game is. I like video games more because I appreciate how hard it is. There's all this underneath architecture that I think we see now.
Parker: What's really fun in writing a game like this is trying to create a thing where your mind is filling in all the "What is he thinking right now." That is what I used to like about the Zelda games because Link didn't talk. It let me do the thinking for him.
Q: You've done TV, movies, games and Broadway. What's left to conquer?
Parker: We will have a ride at Universal that actually fractures your butt.
Stone: We have a new season of South Park this fall. That's our life. It's so funny. We're so dumb. Every week we say we should quit, this is lame. Then the show comes on and (we say), "That show was pretty good."
The video game is like a movie or any other creative venture where it never ever adds up to what you had in your mind. It just doesn't. Part of doing a big project like that is emotionally going through the stages of denial and acceptance and anger during it, and then you get a little distance and can appreciate it from the outside. But during it we are the worst.
Parker: Whether it's an episode of the show or a movie or whatever, you are always going to get to that point where it all sucks and none of it is working and there's no way you are going to pull it off and you want to kill yourself. Whether that's Tuesday night before South Park or two months before this game comes out, it's going to happen.
Q: South Park remains one of the linchpins of Comedy Central.
Stone: We are the last people at the club. We are going to stay until 4:15 a.m. looking for a dance. (The Daily Show's) John (Stewart) is gone. (The Colbert Report's) Stephen (Colbert) is gone. We are still there. We are still in the club.