Nuchallenger – From 2014 – 2015

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2014 for Nuchallenger was a great year! Our Kickstarter was supported by the industry and fans alike and with our kickstarter funded we were able to continue development for the rest of 2014 and into 2015 and we have to thank all of our backers again.

In the past year we have moved Treachery in Beatdown City out of the now defunct Playstation Mobile development platform into Unity and it already has more bells and whistles. Our new bigger, better and more refined build for Unity will be out for backers and previews within the next month. This includes creating kickstarter reward characters, tweaking the game’s UI and basic design, and getting the game running at 60FPS with current gen controller support so it already plays much better. We are looking to get community feedback to help us make the game the best it can be.

Shawn Alexander Allen, the head of Nuchallenger, has also continued to promote race and gender diversity in the games industry while discussing game design and inclusivity.

Preview + Interview Treachery in Beatdown City on Gamasutra by Leigh Alexander

Discussion of need for my diverse speakers Indie Games Soapbox with Shawn Alexander Allen

Treachery in Beatdown City Write up PAX Prime preview on Two Dash Stash

Most recent talk session Building Better Beat ‘Em Ups at SXSW

Manuel Marcano, programmer on Treachery in Beatdown City was featured on US Gamer

American Indians and Game Development

We are looking forward to sharing the game, previews, and the like with everyone as soon as we can.

Thanks again!

 

Thanks to Kickstarter, the future of Nuchallenger is bright!

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Just a few weeks ago Treachery in Beatdown City was funded on Kickstarter, thanks to a warm outpouring of support by the industry and an incredible rally by people wanted to see the game get made. I am very thankful for all of the support that was shown during that time, and we are working toward getting into the full swing of things.

In other news, I (Shawn) am still working toward spreading the word about getting more black and Latino people (and hopefully even more underrepresented people) into the games space, or at least encouraging them that it is a thing they can do.

In April I spoke at NYU GameCenter about the topic, and will continue visiting other events such as NXNE & GaymerX to spread the word among as many people as possible.  Continue reading

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.

paxtalk

Treachery in Beatdown City, now on Kickstarter.

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.

Press Reset: A new direction for Nuchallenger

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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

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! Continue reading

A new enemy: Evolution of the Prepster

A while back I had an idea for this kinda generic preppy looking enemy. Kinda like the epitome of the vacuous dude-bro bar hopping gentrification machine represented by Bradley Cooper’s character in a lot of movies. A pink polo and khakis seemed appropriate along with his hands up covering his face. So one day I spat out this terrible sketch you see and afterward that sketch turned into a piece of sprite art that I liked the idea of but wasn’t really happy with.

A couple of weeks ago I took another stab at the art while walking around Macy’s:

I think I did a much better job at expressing how I wanted him to look, adding examples, etc. and that new sketch in turn helped me re-envision how the prepster should look. I wanted him to look like a guy you wanted to hit, and I think the end result was fairly successful. Just shows that even if you have an existing style, creating sprite art from bad or no actual art can lead to creating something you won’t be happy with.