I present you with screenshots (!) for Treachery in Beatdown City!

Now, bear in mind, this is all very early. The HUD is nowhere near complete and there’s a bunch of debug text and back end stuff present for tracking how things are working… but right now the fight is playable, and you can beat up a couple of guys… if they don’t kick your ass first.

First screen, showing Brad pounding John’s face in. Right now we’re just playtesting using a single enemy sprite, but we will avoid having the same enemies together in fights, or if an enemy does repeat, one will be carrying a weapon.

Second screen shows Brad on the opposite end of the beatdown stick. Continue reading

Sprite animation: 2 badass women showing off their fighting skills

First up is an enemy character, a blond haired, leopard print wearing scrapper… I don’t have a name for her yet. As with most of the enemy designs, she’s loosely based on a quick sketch I made of a person I saw walking down the street one day. I added some purple here and there and BOOM, new character. I went back and forth with the hair between keeping the wavy fro vs. a flat top (which seems all the rage these days, where are we, 1991?), but I think it came out pretty well.

Her one-two attack is a nail scratch attack that can cause a bleeding type status effect, influenced almost completely by my brief stint with Marvel Avenger’s Alliance. Status effects are going to play heavily in the pacing of battles in Treachery in Beatdown City.

Next is a character you’ve already seen, Lisa Santiago.

Here she’s showing off her boxing/MMA roots with boxing style jabs followed by an uppercut plus some MMA style leg kicks to slow her opponent down and a clinch grab followed by some face punches to that no good punk (who also doesn’t have a name yet).

Hope you like the animations, let me know what you think in the comments or on twitter!

My thoughts on Indie Game the Movie.

It has been close to two months since I saw Indie Game the Movie for my second time. I had previously seen the movie four months prior during the Game Developers Conference 2012 at a screening in the Moscone Center but I wanted to see it a second time before making any full judgment on it. This time it was on my home turf at the IFC Center in NYC. Now it’s been a hectic time since I saw it, what with E3 and whole lot of other things, but now I finally have some time to dedicate to writing my thoughts on it.

So what do I, Shawn Allen, a gaming aficionado who also really loves film think of Indie Game the Movie? Well when I first saw the movie I thought it was great. Well told, well shot, great music, meaningful and without any glaring flaws. I felt inspiration, happiness, relief, empathy and a whole lot of relatedness with the people featured in the film. I see a lot of these sentiments mirrored by so many people online as well, which is good, for the most part, I guess.

After my initial reaction had time to simmer and the wow of just simply being at my first GDC wore off (days after returning from it, even) my initial feelings began to change and I started to think about the movie on a deeper level. Then after seeing the movie for a second time, this time with my wife, I was able to formulate a much more complex analysis of the movie and everything surrounding it. Continue reading

The spark of genius that is traversing the world of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the NES

TMNT on the NES is an infamous title featuring obtuse jumps, oddball enemy design & an immense level of difficulty. It was one of the first titles to get eviscerated by the newly minted Angry Video Game Nerd, who pretty much shit on everything about the game.

I can sympathize, because when you put a nerd on camera with the title of “Mad”, “Angry”, “Jaded”, etc. by his name, venom will spew, especially if it’s one of his or her first times on said camera to show the internet who’s boss when it comes to decades old NES games. He later came back to admit it was probably a harsher criticism than the game deserved and I would agree. I never thought any of the anger was all that warranted, especially without at least praising some of the unique aspects of the game.

I played TMNT on my friend’s NES and I read the manual back and forth, obsessing over every nuance of the bizarre character designs, the terrible jumps and immense difficulty to the point where I couldn’t help but come back for more. Hell I liked the game more than Turtles 2, an admittedly superior game (in some respects) despite spending one Saturday at a friend’s house finishing it with my best friend at the time.

So needless to say, I like TMNT on the NES. Continue reading

Bittersweet E3 2012

I feel strangely about E3 this year. I think it’s hard not to with the state of everything in the game industry as we know it. There is certainly not a lack of things to worry about.

The industry is in a massive state of flux. A lot of the old guard is being usurped by a large amount of new trends. Big boxed retail is hurting, bad. We’ve got two new handhelds on the market, and neither is really lighting the world on fire, not as much as the other mobile devices that seem like blood diamond mines. It’s all so unsettling to me and many others, all stalwart supporters of the status quo. The only things saving my sanity are that my tastes have been gearing closer to that of the downloadable indie craze of late and finding at least one facebook game of note (damn you Marvel Avenger’s Alliance!). Both of those factors tell me that things can’t be all bad.

But then there are the less nebulous and more specific things going on, like the recent closure of 38 Studios because of terrible management (and supposedly the fact that over a million units is not good enough for a mid tier game). Or how about the facts and rumors surround Sega’s misfortunes, a company that has been working to bounce back for over a decade with a focus on western games and fostering Platinum games’ creativity? And then there’s THQ, which last year stood strong on a throne made of a thinly cobbled together array of tablets, fake breasts and games, now finding itself teetering on a cliff with a lance to its throat, and will be backed up off that cliff unless its next games are all successes.

I have hope though, along with a mixture of excitement and nervousness for this show. I hope this show feels more like the mob working on legitimizing its business within the growing constraints of society instead of sounding like a bunch of old men still clinging to knocking over cigarette trucks for their income while cops have their room bugged. In two days, we’ll all find out together.

“the universe within…” is now available on the iPad app store!

I’ve been working in a relative closed box these days trying to finish a bunch of stuff, and had to put any and all blog posts on hold, but I am proud to say the Global Game Jam game I worked on, the universe within… is now up for FREE on the iPad app store. Check it out here.

And we submitted it to indiecade… who knows, someone might like it there too!

Next post to come the weekend before E3, stay tuned!

A closer look at the game creation process for Glorious Ending Cinematic – Molyjam 2012

You may have seen this image before (hell it’s 2 posts down) as a part of my thoughts on the MolyJam 2012. After creating the header image I realized it was better suited for a post that was about the game itself and how I went from a vague tweet to a strangely twisted game concept, and finally, a “finished” thing all in a weekend, with only 2 guys with one computer working on it. Continue reading