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Treachery in Beatdown City – Returning to Kickstarter on April 7th + PAX EAST demos!

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Hello everyone, after a long and stressful month doing crowdfunding, our first ever, we will be bringing Treachery in Beatdown City BACK to Kickstarter.

Details here, but the long and short of it is we learned a great deal about communication, and had a lot of articles written about the game during the campaign. We also had a lot of good things said about it at GDC, the Game Developers Conference, this past week.

Also, at PAX East we will be demoing the game, to not only get exposure for the awesome brawler mechanics, but also the diverse & socially conscious dialog and characters. I will also be speaking on a Panel. Details are below.

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Press Reset: A new direction for Nuchallenger

Filed under: About,Treachery in Beatdown City — Shawn

The last few months have been the busiest I have experienced, and the last year has been a colossally hectic and productive year.Over the last two months we have been gearing up to finish the first title being made under Nuchallenger, Treachery in Beatdown City: Episode 1, for Playstation Mobile.

On top of that there have been a few events that I have attended. PAX Prime in Seattle was one, where I was able to show off TiBC to my friends at Devolver Digital, Mike McWhertor from Polygon (who wrote this preview here) and Patrick Klepek from Giant Bomb.

In the past Nuchallenger.com has been a host to critical analysis of games along with some harsh, rant heavy negative criticism of games and actions taken in the games scene in New York City as well as the games industry at large.

Nuchallenger, as a company has several key goals. First and foremost is to create great games that combine our passions of game design and understanding play throughout the decades, from physical to digital, while interweaving a bit of social commentary with well written narrative into the experience without necessarily taking over the title with text, cutscenes, or the like.

Our second key goal is to build on each success and work to create a company of many from current singular ownership and freelance work that fuels game creation. This means finding funding to produce each new game project while also finding innovative ways to market and make sure our titles do not disappear into the ever growing digital games sphere.

The third, just as important on many levels, is to be actively involved in advocacy for New Yorkers who do not have voices in the games industry to be able to gain experience and become empowered to create games themselves, with us or on their own. This of course features a heavy slant on women and minorities, but the ultimate goal is to be able to help as many people as possible on their way to success and creative freedom making games.

With those points in mind, I have found that rant heavy, negative criticism at its base just has no place here anymore. Constructive criticism that will of course include negatives will continue to be posted, though possibly in a different manner than before.

Currently I spoke about the importance of diversity in the games “industry” in New York at the New York Games Conference and spoke more closely about including cultures other than the status quo in the independent games movement at Indiecade 2013.

I also announced an initiative that I will be rolling out in the coming year aimed at encouraging games consumers to become creators themselves.

More on that will be announced soon.

Thanks,
Shawn Alexander Allen
CEO & Game Designer/Artist/Writer/etc. at Nuchallenger

Treachery in Beatdown City, now on Kickstarter.

Filed under: Treachery in Beatdown City — Shawn

Hello everyone. After a long year of promoting, reworking, fine tuning and demoing Treachery in Beatdown City, we are now kickstarting!

We are just two days in, and have a lot of work to do. On that page you can find a load of new media from art, music, and other in game assets.

We are still working on the Playstation Mobile Episode 1 release, which will be the 1st level of the game, and priced accordingly. We actually have a great set of features that will make that release alone be infinitely replayable. That should be done and out within the next couple of months.

Now we are also targeting PC/Mac for a full length campaign with additions that will be made possible by this kickstarter. We will hopefully be able to release on consoles/native handheld platforms as well.

So please, if you can, back us and tell your friends/family/enemies/congressman/corrupt billionaire mayor/cyborg ninjas. I can guarantee they will all love Treachery in Beatdown City.

Nuchallenger “favorite games of the year” #1 – Dragon’s Crown

Filed under: Your Opinion May Vary — Shawn

I’m going to be doing this whole favorite games of the year thing in reverse, starting with my number one and counting down. Each post will be an exploration of the games I have played this year and why they are remarkable in my eyes. Most of them will not be talked about on any end of year lists by the mainstream, but heavily influence my creation process. Also be prepared to dive into some history leading up to my enjoyment of each game as well as I do not believe at looking at games in a void.

It’s 2013 and the beat ‘em up genre is on life support. There are a number of reasons why that it is, far too many for me to list here. A key problem with the genre is that at best, it is usually misunderstood for what makes it great, both in people’s gap filled recollections of the games of old and overly simplistic comparisons between those games and others that bare basic resemblances. In many ways people don’t really know why they like the genre, they just knew they liked it at one time, and when some of them go out to create a new one, they fail on fundamental levels.

The independent games uprising of the last decade has seen the resurgence of the brawler to some extent. At least a few games have come out and were lauded almost simply for being new brawlers that people could play with their friends. The two biggest titles, recognition wise, were Scott Pilgrim, a game that was positioned as being a lot like the legendary title River City Ransom and Castle Crashers.

When we look at side scrolling brawlers for what makes them great at a deeper level, the classic River City Ransom holds up quite well while most newer releases, of which Castle Crashers & Scott Pilgrim are included, don’t, mostly because they seem to leave out things that made the genre great in the first place without infusing enough new ideas that actually add, and not detract from the overall experience. That isn’t surprising to me though, as RCR was created by Technos, the team that pretty much set the standards for beat ‘em ups. (more…)

E3 2013 has come and gone, and I still don’t know who it’s for

Filed under: E3 — Shawn

This site, like the site for the game I am working on Beatdowncity.com hasn’t been updated in a while, perhaps for good reason, perhaps because of poor planning, whatever.

I just posted about the stressful lead up to us showing at E3, here.

Having attended 4 E3s prior, in 2003, then in 2010,2011 and 2012, I was asking myself, who is E3 for?

It was a question I asked friends from my old work parent company Take Two as we got ready to take an early flight to LA for a crazy week that would probably end up a blur.

I had seen that there were going to be signings at the Atlus booth, one of the most niche companies around, and I knew who it was trying to attract, but I didn’t know why that niche would be at E3.

E3 is supposedly a trade show. One that is stacked with signings, gifts of varying quality and expensive booths dedicated to allowing people to play your games. But who would be playing these games?
(more…)

GDC 2013 is here!

Welcome to my humble personal Dev blog site. I am Shawn, the founder, owner, lead artist, designer, blah blah blah from NuChallenger LLC. So if you arrived here from nuchallenger.com, I’m sorry this isn’t a single splash page with my giant logo directing you to visit other links for more info yet.

For now you can dig into this site to find game deconstructions, personal projects, and the humble beginnings of my current project, Treachery in Beatdown City. There is actually a dedicated site for that now, beatdowncity.com and will be the future go to place for all further info!

Developing Treachery in Beatdown City – 1st developer diary of sorts

First I wanted to show off this amazing art that my wife created for the female lead, Lisa. After initially designing her my wife went in and painstakingly created a beautiful color pencil & ink drawing of Lisa akin to the one of Brad, one of the two male leads, back in June.

I then went in and reduced her work to simplified pixel art for use in game for wherever it might go (thinking Character Select screen for now). That process was fairly tricky and required a lot of interpretation of the original art and ultimately picking what looked best in the harshness of 5 color pixels.

At this moment a lot of the game’s art is done, but there is a ton more to do. There are a lot of locales and characters in TiBC and we really don’t want the game to feel too “samey” so we’re trying to avoid simple palette swaps and the like.

Development of the game has been going well, especially in the last month or two. We had a prototype build running in Game Maker in October that gave us a lot of great feedback on what we needed to change, add, etc. from playtesting it a bunch. Thankfully the game was fun! (more…)

GG Jamsterfuck 2013 NYC Hyper Edition Pt 2. The Aftermath Vol. 1

Filed under: ...but I love gatherings,Game Jammin' — Shawn

Last weekend was the Global Game Jam 2013. After much bemoaning and debating on my part during the week leading up to it I eventually had to relegate myself to the side lines. Despite my want to take part, a lot of key factors made me have to walk away and just sit it out. This first post is about the personal and professional factors with the next post centered around the more ideological reasons.

Waking up on Friday I felt the now all too familiar feeling of excessive sleep deprivation from the week of work prior. Working on my game project as a profession instead of an after work hobby has extended most of my days well into the night, far longer than before. It was upon awakening that I began to realize that the weekend before me would not include game jammin’.

It was more than a straight lack of sleep, of course, that was on my mind. The reality was that I’m just too busy with my job working on my game project as is. It’s become my life, and much like any game project, big or small, it keeps me from being with my family as much as I would like. That’s definitely a choice that I have made and it is a sacrifice that everyone around me has to deal with, but at the same time, am I seriously supposed to expect them to be fine with me actively choosing to engross myself even further in game development, this time as an aside from my current project? Doing so would be thoughtless and immature even if my family would have supported me, as they always do. (more…)

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