Review: Henry Selick and Jordan Peele collaborate for rewarding and offbeat ‘Wendell & Wild’
With a name like Henry Selick, you can imagine his influences are few and far between. The California-native writer has been releasing music on his own for the last three decades. He’s not only a songwriter but a visual artist as well. That being said, the man known as Henry Selick is also responsible for some of the most notable music video game tie-ins.
One of the game industry’s most successful franchises, Call of Duty, used Selick’s work as an inspiration for the iconic cover art. He has also worked on titles like Sonic & the Movies, as well as the popular TV series How I Met Your Mother.
Now, he’s teaming up with Jordan Peele for a new game series called Wendell & Wild. The game is a side-scrolling, third-person action game (think Metal Gear Solid) set in the Old West and made by a pair of friends who had never made a game before.
Selick says the first thing he did after the meeting was bring a picture of himself on his desk and told the duo he was going to design their game. He wanted to work with people he knew and trusted, and that was definitely an advantage for a team of strangers.
“I’ve known Jordan for years and Jordan knew me for 10 years or so,” says Selick. “We’re pretty close friends and we’re both very intellectual, we’re both good writers and visual thinkers. I’ve been around the tech game business for 20 years. When I met the two guys, I was like, ‘Hey, we might get along.’ They were cool guys. We talked and worked on the project for several months before the first prototype was made.”
The initial prototype of the game showed them how to make an old-west town on a flat, two-dimensional canvas, but wanted to go past the level of the first game in the series. With a small budget, they set out to make the game more ambitious. They went to the source of inspiration and used a variety of historical elements, such as gunpowder, for the game.