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Eye For Games is about game design and development • • www.eyeforgames.com

april 2015

SHOVEL KNIGHT yacht club games


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NEW VIDCAST COMING SOON!

W H E R E W E TA L K A B O U T G A M E S I N T H E I R A L P H A O R B E TA S TA G E .

episode one

Onikira: Demon Killer Hosts: Rai Sewgobind, Chad Fust, Tim Mitchell, Phillip Ash

EFG magazine April 2015 ART DIRECTOR

COVER DESIGN

EDITION SUPPORT

No part of this publication

Rai Sewgobind

Game: Shovel Knight

Capcom

may be reproduced in any

Developer: Yacht Club Games

COPY EDITOR

Jerry Kline WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS

Tom Schoen

Creative Uncut Digi Croc

Grimm Bros. Eye For Games is a platform about game design and development where students, young professionals and developers can network and connect. By looking from different perspectives we provide inspiring, motivating and educative content.

Lavaboots Studio

Nine Dots Canada Stoic

Yacht Club Games

form by print, photo print, microfilm or any other means without

written

permission

from the publisher/author.

www.eyeforgames.com For more information you can contact us at: contact@eyeforgames.com


14

DRAGON FIN SOUP IN DEVELOPMENT

18

THE BANNER SAGA IN-DEPTH - CHARACTER DESIGN


8

12

Shovel Knight

Brock Crocodile

in depth - character design

in development

24

34

Salt

Street Fighter IV

in development

then & now

OUTWARD

Kickst ar ter highlight

38

BLOODBORNE

Featured by Creative Uncut

38


into EFG

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All of our digital magazines are currently free. We plan on keeping them free for the time being, but we would greatly appreciate your support via Patreon.

You will be supporting EFG’s digital magazines, published 5x a year. The magazine is full of content about game design and development, from interviews with creators, in-depth articles, and in-development updates. We help bring you closer to the developer and their game. EFG’s goal is not only to educate our readers, but to also inspire and motivate them.

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in depth

CHARACTER DESIGN

Shovel Knight We’re talking to Yacht Club Games about character design and development in Shovel Knight , a 2D side-scrolling platformer.


in depth

I’m David D’Angelo. My main role was programming. GUIDELINES The guidelines mainly revolved around the characters being unique and fitting into gameplay, but we definitely had freedom to create whatever we wanted! We initially decided on stage themes, and the kind of characters that could fit in each theme. Each stage’s theme provided a pretty strong guideline for what the character could look like or be. For example, the ice stage, Stranded Ship, meant we were looking for a character that could stand the bitter cold. This fed into his personality, making him big, solid, brooding, strong, and generally led to types of characters that typically are found in cold climates. Then making sure their names, silhouettes, abilities, designs, etc. all felt interesting and diverse was key to their creation. Generally we worked on them together, talking through various design ideas and sketches. Usually we’d find a name, sketch, or something that would stick with everyone. After that point, we’d have a pretty good idea of what we wanted to create, so it was a matter of execution.

UNIQUE DESIGN Absolutely every part of the design has to feel unique inside of the group, besides feeling unique in general. Making sure color schemes, shapes, outlines, silhouettes, personalities, clothing, sizes, names, and more all felt different among each character was something we considered very heavily on the outset of each character’s design. Also, thinking through what kind of combat or gameplay options a design could lead to was really important. If one character held a sword and another held a bat, those might visually seem different, but could feel similar gameplay-wise.

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CHANGES DURING DEVELOPMENT The large changes occurred during a character’s creation process. Initial sketches of characters could be vastly different, but once we narrowed down the general idea we wanted no big changes were created. That said, lots of smaller changes could happen once a design went to be pixeled. Our standard process was creating a sketch that was then modeled in pixel form. Once the pixel form was finalized, the fully rendered version of the character would be created based on the pixel model. So likely clothing, attributes, shape, color, form, etc. might be changed or simplified to account for the pixel transition or needs of gameplay.

SCRAPPED IDEAS On this project, not much was scrapped! The biggest change probably was Shield Knight who originally started off as a princess. But she didn’t get very far in her princess form before we decided her design should be changed to something equal to Shovel Knight’s character. We felt you would be more emotionally invested in the journey if Shield Knight was a trusted companion, equal to Shovel Knight’s abilities and skills, rather than an “object” you were saving.

CHALLENGE Getting the designs to work in pixel form was always a challenge. An elaborate outfit or design might seem cool at the outset, but be tricky to represent in 8-bit form. Striking the right balance between something too detailed and too simple was very challenging.


in depth

“Striking the right balance between something too detailed and too simple was very challenging.�


in development

Brock Crocodile in-development

Developer: Digi Croc

Hello! My name is Javed Miah and I am the creator of Brock Crocodile. I’m a major platformer fan and my first video game console was the SEGA Mega Drive. From an early age I’ve always wanted to make video games and Brock happens to be an idea from early childhood. I’ve been dabbling in game design since around 2000 when Clickteam released one of it’s most successful products, The Games Factory.

At the time I was part of the fangaming scene that was emerging but oddly enough it never did cross my mind to make Brock (probably thanks to the ease of assets taken from already produced games that existed). I finally picked up the idea of making my own game in 2009 and have been working on Brock ever since then.


in development

In a few words, what is Brock Crocodile? Brock Crocodile is a action adventure platformer that takes heavy inspiration from a host of classic SEGA titles of the 16 bit era. Whether it be the colorful worlds you found in Monster World, the complex level designs of Sonic the Hedgehog or the structure of titles like Quackshot, it draws a lot from that era in both art direction and feel. However the game isn’t meant to just emulate. More crucially, it’s meant to feel like a title that had just come out alongside other 16 bit classics.

What are the primary goals of the game? The game follows a linear storyline as the players take control of the titular hero and journey from his hometown in chase of the Fearsome Four and their employer. The game is currently divided up into two game modes, the hubtown (of which there are 3 locales) and the levels themselves (planned 10 levels with 20 stages in total). Players can access both via the map screen to either continue the story, stock up on items, or replay completed stages for more gems to purchase items and find the treasures hidden in each stage. Treasures are part of exploration aspect for Brock Crocodile and we’re hoping it provides plenty of replayability for platforming fans!

In terms of both traversal and combat, what are some of the moves that Brock will have in the final game? With Brock I’ve decided to give him a set move set. My goal has been to give the players the only moves they need to complete the game with. So you have the basic movement and jump, but then you can toggle between using Brock’s fruitgun or his whip. The fruitgun is used for long distance attacks, perfect for players who like to play a bit on the safe side. The whip is used for both combat and helping Brock deal with certain gimmicks such as hooks to swing across or pull up crates to open new paths. Both weapons have additional power ups you can purchase in town, such as explosive nuts or a vine whip. When it comes to powerups, I’m very much keeping them fruity; it just adds a bit of extra personality to the game. I should say though that players will be able to access this items from the get go with the only additional items able to be purchased later on being lives and invincibility. For me a core principle is that if you somehow jumped from level 1 to level 10, outside of the increased difficulty, players should have no trouble completing the stage with what they have on hand.

Brock Crocodile has a look that’s heavily reminiscent of 16 bit SEGA Genesis/ Mega Drive games. Can you talk about what sources inspired the art and color palette used in the game? The art direction is a mixture of everything and not solely just SEGA, growing up I loved watching cartoons like DuckTales and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so they played an

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in development

influence one way or another. But then you got worlds in Ristar and Sonic that had no bearing in reality but looked amazing to run through and explore. I wanted to strike a line between “These guys live here,” and “Well this really doesn’t make sense either.” Massive, multi-story museums? Sure why not? A giant bee air fortress? Go for it! Another important part for the art was to make sure that while it was consistent, it also remained fresh. When I look at say, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, it always amazed me how distinct each level was. Ditto with another one of my favorite games Shinobi III, in that each level had a completely different theme and color palette compared to the last. That’s one thing I learned researching these games is that most areas try to be different from one another. While the art itself may not have been influenced by Shinobi, the overall direction has been. The palette itself is mostly inspired by the Sonic the Hedgehog games; we’re actually restricting ourselves to whatever colors the Sonic games used. And this leads back to my previous point, coming up with a working color scheme that felt fresh every stage. You’d go from a level that is predominantly orange, to brown, to blue, to green.

What about the gameplay? What were your sources of inspiration? First, an obvious one is the Sonic franchise but mostly in design rather than core mechanics. Prior to the move to 3D, most Sonic games had these huge complicated and intricate level designs with its own set pieces that was full of secrets to find or faster routes to uncover. Brock’s speed is definitely influenced by my love of faster paced platformers like Rayman and Sonic. The structure of Brock and the world is greatly influenced from the likes of

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Quackshot and Monster World. You have a safe hub where Brock can interact with NPCs and then you have the ability to select and revisit stages. Both titles had a hand in influencing Brock’s gameplay as rather than turning into a near invincible ball of doom, Brock relies on his melee combat to take out the baddies. When it came to Brock’s abilities the idea to saddle him with a whip came from the idea of wanting him to be able to explore temples and jungles. What better adventurer item than a whip? Swinging across chasms is so iconic for adventurers like Indiana Jones too, and it definitely played its part. Giving Brock a fruitgun has less to do with other games and me thinking up a crazy and light hearted means of attack for Brock so people know what the tone is like right away!

What are some of the tricks and techniques you’re using to ensure the game is reminiscent of a retro game? It mostly just comes down to studying how artists shaded older games and the use of color palettes. I tend to use The Spriters Resource and check titles like Sonic, Rister, Monster World, and so on to see how the art was designed and see how many frames per animation a character would use. Trying to ensure the animation was great to look at but not too fluid that it would seem too advance for 16 bit titles. Certain other bits of the art, like the mugshots, were inspired from some of SEGA’s classic RPGs such as Shining Force or Phantasy Star. In terms of gameplay, I’m just sticking to basic elements that you could find in most 16 bit titles; what you see in the classics is what you mostly get.

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“The learning experience has been invaluable and I sorely doubt that whatever game I produce next it would take even half the time to develop as this one.”

Were there any design ideas that you had to scrap? If so what were they and why? A core idea that was scraped was giving Brock the ability to haul himself upwards from a horizontal pole. This unfortunately was scrapped because of time constraints, but it’s an idea I’d like to revisit in future if Brock is successful. It would have allow for better and more varied levels because instead of the player simply having to chose a lower path or higher path he could go directly above himself/herself! Likewise, some gimmicks, like Brock being able to pull out platforms from walls, were cut due to the difficulty in implementing them and the time required to test it out.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? Definitely the beginning part! I’m not a programmer by profession so getting used to and needing to plan ahead did hinder the development at the early stage. Thankfully the engine I’m using to produce the game, Multimedia Fusion 2, has a host of libraries and a great community of willing people to help with any question you might have. Looking back at it, the learning experience has been invaluable and I sorely doubt that whatever game I produce next it would take even half the time to develop as this one.

What is the current status of the game? We’ve completed 9 stages and finished work on the base engine for both the levels and hubtowns. I’d say we’re about 50% complete. Originally I began development of the game by myself, since then I’ve added a great group of individuals to help with the game. Last August we had Steve Lakawicz join and helping produce the music, and towards the end of last year I added a level artist (Matthew Weekes), and sprite artist (Molly Heady Carroll) to ensure we can speed up development!

Is there a release date set? And what platforms will you be focusing on? No release date has been set but we’re aiming for sometime late 2015. Currently the game is only being released on Windows PC.

Thanks for your time. We wish you good luck with the game! Thank you and please be excited for Brock Crocodile!


into EFG

Participate

in our June edition!

Send us your in-game particles! You can participate in the July edition by sending us your own design. What do I need to send? This issue will be about in-game particles, meaning that we are looking for designs used for animation. Think about the fire, clouds, water effects, electricity effects, etc. Though you are not limited to how much you send of each particle, we will set a basic guideline of: • 3-8 different particles • 1-8 versions of the particle

Please note that we have limited placements available!

Deadline: May 11th Send this to: submit@eyeforgames.com State your name, developer, game, and the website.

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in depth

THE ART AND DESIGN OF VIDEO GAMES - ART BOOK SPECIAL

THE BANNER SAGA Stoic

TOPIC:

CHARACTER DESIGN


in depth

Alex Thomas Creative Director

I’m Alex Thomas, the creative director at Stoic. Really though, titles don’t mean a whole lot for an indie developer. There are three of us at Stoic: myself, Arnie Jorgensen (the art director), and John Watson (the technical director). What it usually ends up meaning is that we all end up doing a little bit of everything, or rather, a lot of everything. While John has a definite stranglehold on the programming side of things, we all have a lot of influence on the design and the production decisions involved in making a game of this scope.

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in depth

CONCEPT Rook and Alette were characters who we designed the

This was always something we intended to do from

whole world around. We were really interested in a

the beginning. For one, I've been interested in two-

fantasy world that wasn't about heroes; it was about

dimensional animation from a young age. I went to

normal people. Rook is a middle-aged father with a

college as a 2D animation major but got a job in

teenage daughter. He's not out to save the world; he's

games development before I was able to work on any

out to protect his family. In a lot of ways, our keystone

animated features, so this is something of a personal

that we come back to over and over is that these are

goal for me. On a pragmatic level, we worked out a

normal people. They don't command armies and have

method of rotoscoping (which involves standing on a

royal blood. Rook is a hunter with a woodman's axe.

ladder with a camcorder) which lets us capture exactly

His daughter learned to hunt from him. We created

what we want before we turn it into traditional 2D

them with the idea that we wanted the player to feel

animation, creating each frame of the action by hand.

what they did: confusion, frustration, and the will to survive in the face of insurmountable odds. All feelings you wouldn't usually try to hang on your audience.

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in depth


in depth

Just like our choice to go with a nordic theme, we

The Varl are the giants in The Banner Saga. They're

wanted enemies who weren't just generic copies from

our take on the jotun from Norse mythology. If you

other genres. We rejected the giants as mankind's

know much Norse mythology, you know that the frost

enemy from the beginning. We wanted a race that

giants, mankind, and the Aesir gods were constantly

looked original and even more imposing than the Varl,

fighting each other. And our Varl did clash with men

yet not wild monsters who roar and spit. Ultimately,

in the past. Now they have an uneasy alliance with

we were really inspired by the quiet but imposing

each other as they work together to keep the Dredge

feeling that you get from the creatures in Shadow

held back. Overall there's an interesting relationship

of the Colossus, and we didn't want it to be obvious

between them: the enormous, powerful Varl can't

exactly what they are. Are they made of stone? Just

have children, and each one was hand-made by a god

wearing stone armor? Maybe not even living? These

who is dead. When they're gone that's it, and those

are things that get revealed throughout the first game.

times seem to be happening now.


in depth

“We were really interested in a fantasy world that wasn’t about heroes; it was about normal people.”


in development

Salt

in-development Developer: Lavaboots Studio

My name is Will Sterling. I handle the audio and marketing side of the game, as well as game design.

In a few words, what is Salt? Salt

is

a

game

based

almost

entirely

on

exploration

and

adventure.

It involves you sailing across an ocean and exploring all the different islands you come across. All of the islands are procedurally generated so the world is potentially infinite, allowing you to explore as long as you like.

What are the primary goals of the game? Our main goal with Salt is to give players a massive world that they can get lost in, all the while creating their own adventure. We really want players to be able to play the game the way they want, and have a memorable experience doing so. Freedom is key in Salt.

Open world survival games have become increasingly more common, especially on PC. Did you do any into research into other games of the genre before working on Salt? Salt often gets referred to as a survival game, probably because of the setting and the hunger bar in the game, but at its core it really isn’t. The survival aspects of Salt are very soft and most of the emphasis is put on adventure, exploration, and RPG aspects. Because of this, we took most of our inspiration from games of that nature. Particularly open world games with more RPG and exploration elements.

Why did you decide to go with a mechanic of sailing and traveling to different islands, as opposed to having one or two large land masses? This was really just the first idea we came up with. It seemed to be a natural fit for a procedurally generated world. Plus it adds all the fun that can come from life at sea, such as upgrading ships, sailing on huge waves, fishing, and so forth. It felt like it hadn’t been done too much as well and so we wanted to do something unique.

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“I think the key to balancing this story line in an open world is to keep it optional.”

Why did you choose to go with a procedurally generated world? There a couple reasons we chose to go with a procedurally generated world. One of the main reasons is that it seemed to fit quite naturally in our design goals for the game. We want there to be a feeling of freedom and vastness to the game and procedural generation fit very well with this goal. It was also a way for us a small team to create a large amount of content, without having to design every single island from the ground up. Instead we can give islands certain parameters and let them create themselves.

Salt is also going to have a main quest line, is that correct? How do you balance implementing a story with an open world game? Yes! Salt will have a main quest line. This is something we are very excited about. This basically allows us to add a tremendous amount of depth and lore into the game, as well a sense of objective. I think the key to balancing this story line in an open world is to keep it optional. As we’ve said before, we really want players to be free to play the way they want. This means you won’t be forced to partake in the main story. You’ll be free to go along your way and fight bosses, upgrade ships, hunt wildlife, and all of the other features without having to partake in the story. However, if you want to explore the story behind Salt, then it will always be there for you.

How do you balance the realism part of a survival game with the entertainment factor? How do you decide when a mechanic is fun but needs tweaked, versus a mechanic that needs removed from the game? This balance mainly just comes from testing. There’s been quite a lot of mechanics we have started to implement, only to realize they aren’t fun. I think our main goal is immersion and not realism. If approaching a mechanic from a realistic approach helps with immersion and is fun, then we will do so. However, if it isn’t fun and doesn’t help with immersion, then we won’t implement it just for the sake of realism. We also try to make sure everything fits within our setting and culture of the game. The setting of Salt allows for both fantasy and realism, which gives us a great deal of freedom.

Were there any design ideas that you had to scrap? If so what were they and why? Yes, there’s been quite a few things we’ve had to scrap. I think one feature that comes to mind is cutting down trees. We originally had thought about allowing the player to cut down trees. It seemed natural. Then we realized just how many trees are actually on our islands. It’s a very large number. We

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in development

realized that cutting down trees would largely cripple

game has a good deal of content currently but we’ve

the exploration side of the game and discourage

still got a good bit to go. We are about to release

players from exploring other islands. Furthermore,

an update with the first portion of the main quest

we realized it would require a complete rebalance of

implemented. After that we’ll be working on a GUI

resources, how many trees spawn, how much wood

overhaul. We’ll also be working on implementing

things cost to make, etc. Overall, we realized it didn’t

an expansion of the current content (more island

fit in with our design goals and so we scrapped the

types, npcs, wildlife) and adding in a weather system.

idea.

Once we get the complete story implemented and all of the single player content fleshed out, we’ll

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

then move on to implementing multiplayer which will be one of the last things we do before release.

I think one the biggest challenges we face while developing Salt is restricting ourselves to only

Is there a release date set?

working on certain content. With a game like

We don’t have a definite release date yet. It’s

Salt, there are a ton of different directions you

hard

can go and things you can work on. We have to

longer or shorter than we anticipate, such as

be intentional with making sure that each and

multiplayer. We are currently shooting to have the

every update we release pushes us closer to a

game ready for release by early 2016, possibly sooner

complete state of the game and falls within our vision

depending on how smoothly certain elements get

for Salt. This means there are a lot of great ideas and

implemented. The closer we get to release the more

things we’d like to do that we have to put on the back

accurate of a timeframe we’ll be able to give as well.

burner to ensure the game has a cohesive feel and

So we’ll definitely be keeping our players and others

gets released in a timely manner.

updated with our progress and when they can expect

to

tell

because

Salt to be finished.

What is the current status of the game? We’ve come a long way since we originally released Salt into Early Access about six months ago. The

some

things

may

take


in development

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funfact

Released in 1976, the Fairchild Channel F was the first console with programmable cartridges. It was also the first console with a microprocessor. ••

FunFact


into EFG

Don’t miss this episode! episode #3 • Observe: Kickstarter • In-development: Risks and Rewards becoming a game developer • In-depth: Improving quality of life within the game industry LISTEN NOW

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feature | creative uncut

BLOODBORNE concept art

FEATURED BY

www. creativeuncut. com


feature

| creative uncut


feature | creative uncut


feature

| creative uncut


feature | creative uncut


feature

| creative uncut


in development


in development

Dragon Fin Soup inspired by the games played as kid

We are following the development process of Dragon Fin Soup, an action role-playing game, created by Grimm Bros.

Hi! My name is Ash Monif, I am the CEO and Co-Founder of Grimm Bros. Grimm Bros is a small five-person indie game studio with a deep passion for RPGs. My role in the company is to do everything possible to ensure that the team is happy and has everything they need to be successful. I take care of PR, marketing, biz dev, QA testing, playtesting, finances, ops, you name it! And if I have a little spare time, I help out on production and design.

I N S P I R AT I O N Randis (our co-Founder and COO) and I have been in the games industry for quite a while. We both worked on many games, and while it was fun, it wasn’t ever truly satisfying. When we started Grimm Bros. we asked ourselves “What kind of games do we want to make?” And the answer we found was that we wanted to make the kinds of games we played as kids. Dragon Fin Soup is a combination of many of the elements we loved in RPGs, JRPGs, and Roguelikes. We first started out with the goal of making an accessible, modern, roguelike experience. As development continued, we began to add in a balance of different elements such as a classic console RPG story mode and some twisted fairy tales. We at Grimm Bros. are big fans of the old school classic fairy tales - not the Disney white-washed stuff!

CONCEPT The concept of Dragon Fin Soup evolved through development. We were probably most excited to have been able to include Morgiana, our second playable hero! She also has a dark back story, and a unique fighting style different from Red Robin’s. Morgiana is from the Fairy Tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves from 1001 Arabian Nights. She’s a dual-wielding assassin with some sweet new abilities!

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in development

Thanks to our Kickstarter, we were able to realize a much greater vision of Dragon Fin Soup than before. Our third playable character would’ve been Geppetto, from Pinocchio, but a much more dark and twisted version of him where Geppetto’s son dies, and Geppetto uses dark magic to resurrect him as a golem. Due to our limited resources and time, we decided to make Red Robin our main protagonist, with a complete badass story mode, and Morgiana as an alternative player character with unique abilities. However, there are still tons of great and exciting ideas that we would love to add to our universe.

PRIMARY GOAL Sorry, no spoilers! But just to give you a hint…Dragon Fin Soup has three distinct game modes. You can choose to unravel the tale of your chosen character in Story Mode, embark on a journey to discover the wilds of Asura in Survival Mode, or boldly enter the deadly endless Labyrinth Mode for high scores and achievements! In Dragon Fin Soup there are no lame stereotypical heroes. Instead, we feature flawed characters, each with their own unique abilities and motivations. Our main protagonist is Red Robin, whose dark bloody past has come back to haunt her with a vengeance.

C O M P L I C AT I O N S A N D C H A L L E N G E S D U R I N G D E V E L O P M E N T Of course! All game projects have their own unique challenges and problems. In Dragon Fin Soup the main challenge we faced was managing our scope and making sure we could offer a high-quality experience with a small team. Despite all of our collective experience, it’s still a constant challenge to contain scope and make sure we deliver a high quality game. Randis leads development, and constantly monitors the progress of the team. We prioritize tasks as needed to make sure we’re doing the most important tasks throughout development. I’ve been making games for fifteen years, my partner Randis for eighteen; we’ve worked all over the industry from AAA to mobile titles. We know what we’re doing and are able to execute on what we promise. We were a bit worried that we were getting carried away in all the excitement of the Kickstarter, but we’re happy to say that we’re on track to deliver everything that we promised!

W H AT C A N A P L A Y E R D O A N D D O E S T H I S E X P A N D W H I L E A P L AY E R P R O G R E S S E S I N T H E G A M E ? Depending on the game mode the player selects you will have different goals. As far as what a player can do, you’re just gonna have to play the game. But I can tell you that exploration, murder, mayhem, quests, puzzles, minigames, and all sorts of fun wait in store for you!


in development

“We know what we’re doing and are able to execute on what we promise.”

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THEN & NOW

Street Fighter IV “Eventually I was given a small budget to create a prototype. That wasn’t really down to me pestering my superiors so much as all of the journalists and fans started making a lot of noise and pressuring Capcom. This was a strategic plot on my part. I had been asking all the journalists to make noise about the series when out and about. I would always tell them that it was their responsibility to tell Capcom, not me as I don’t have the power. Journalists and fans have the power to move Capcom not producers. With so many voices crying out for a Street Fighter game Capcom could no longer ignore it any more and so they gave the green light for a prototype and they asked me to create it. It’s a miracle that happened after a decade...” - Yoshinori Ono on Street Fighter IV, in an interview with Eurogamer “The only thing that doesn’t change is the excitement of the fight.” - Cody Travers


then and now

Street Fighter IV In 2008, Capcom and Dimps released the long awaited Street THEN

Fighter IV. The first numbered Street Fighter game in nine years,

SFIV quickly became a staple of the fighting game community. Bright, colorful characters and silky smooth animations continued

only Arcade version, (February 12,

to be a trademark of the Street Fighter series. In recent years players

2009 in Japan, February 17 in NA,

would see the release of fighting games as Marvel vs. Capcom

February 20 in EU) Playstation 3 /

3, Skullgirls, Injustice: Gods Among Us, and Mortal Kombat. But

Xbox 360 , (July 2, 2009 in Japan,

Street Fighter IV did it first, and with gameplay reminiscient of Street Fighter II. The 2008 release of Street Fighter IV spurred fighting games to

Released: (July 18, 2008 ) Japan

July 3 in EU, July 7 in NA) Windows •

Developer: Capcom, Dimps

Platform: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, iOS, Arcade (Japan only)

newfound popularity, and made a new generation of players a fan of the genre.

Super Street Fighter IV Despite its name, Super Street Fighter IV was less of a mass revision and more of an expansion to the original game. The base gameplay remained the same, but ten new fighters and five new stages were added. New characters to this interation included Dee

NOW •

released? (April 27, 2010 in North

Jay, Adon, Dudley, Guy, Cody, Hakan, Juri, Ibuki, Makoto, and T.

America, April 28, 2010 in Japan,

Hawk.

April 30, 2011 in EU) Playstation 3 / Xbox 360, (February 26, 2011 in

Every returning character also got a new ultra move, which could

Japan, March 25, 2011 in EU, March

be selected prior to the beginning of each fight. This meant there

27, 2011 in North America, March 31,

were now two ultra moves for each character. Another important addition was a new Replay Channel, which allowed players to save replays and watch other players’ replays from worldwide matches. Other modes included a team battle mode, where 1-4 players could play versus matches online with a team of characters, and an endless battle mode, where players challenge a queue of fighters to become the “King of the Hill.” Its handheld equivalent, Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition was

When did the new content get

2011 in Australia) Nintendo 3DS •

What was this new content about? Adding new stages, characters, ultra moves, and play modes

What more did the new content bring to the audience? Super Street Fighter IV was a launch title for Nintendo’s new 3DS handheld

a Nintendo 3DS launch title in both Japan and the West, where it launched alongside such titles as The Sims 3, Madden NFL Football, Super Monkey Ball 3D, and Pilotwings Resort. Despite the limitations of a handheld, Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition was well received, selling over a million copies.

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then and now


then and now


then and now

Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition The arcade edition introduced Yun and Yang, characters from Street Fighter III, and made them playable characters. In addition, Evil Ryu and Oni were also made playable characters. Previously they were in the game, but only as hidden bosses. This brought

NOW •

released? (December 16, 2010 in

the current SFIV roster to a whopping 39 characters.

Japan and North America, January 25, 2011 in EU) Arcade, (June 7,

Each character had moves that were re-worked and tweaked for

2011) console download, (June 30,

balancing. Some characters had their health increased, some had

2011 in Japan, June 28, 2011 in

hit boxes tweaked, others had specific moves’ damages reduced.

North America, June 24, 2011 in EU)

For example, Oni had his health raised slightly from 950 to 1,000

Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 physical

points. Guy had his throw range increased, allowing him to throw characters similarly to Ryu. Guile had damage from his flash kick reduced. Tons of changes were made, although most of them

copies, (July 5, 2011) Windows •

a lot of gameplay and balancing tweaks, further refining the Street Fighter IV formula.

Ultra Street Fighter IV The final installment of Street Fighter IV, released in 2014, saw a total roster count of 44 playable characters, compared to the 2008’s release of 25 characters. New characters included Elena, Decapre, Poison, Hugo Andore, and Rolento Schugerg. Six stages were added. Both new characters and new stages were featured in a previous crossover game Street Fighter X Tekken. Being the final iteration of the series, Capcom included an Edition Select feature.

What was this new content about? Bringing the improvements of the

would only be noticed by experienced players. More than anything, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition made

When did the new content get

Japanese arcade version to home consoles •

What more did the new content bring to the audience? New playable characters


then and now

This allowed players to choose what version of a Street Fighter IV character they would want to play as in the game’s different modes. Now there were not only 44 different characters, but different versions of the characters since Street Fighter IV’s 2008

NOW •

released? (June 3, 2014 digital

debut.

upgrade) Xbox 360 and PS3, (August 5, 2014) detail and retail versions

New modes included an online training mode and a team battle

for PS3 and Xbox 360, (August 8,

mode. The online training mode allows players to train online

2014 digital upgrade and digital

with their friends. Team battle is a 3-on-3 online versus mode that allows players to fight in an elimination mode in which the health bar carries over from one match to another.

download) PC •

were previously featured in Street Fighter X Tekken, as well as new

added red focus, delayed standing, and the ultra combo double. attacks from opponents. Delayed standing or delayed wakeup allows players to temporarily delay their character from standing up when knocked down, allowing them to potentially avoid an immediate follow up attack from an opponent. Ultra Double Combo allows players to select both ultra combos of a character

What was this new content about? New characters and stages that

In addition to more balance changes, Ultra Street Fighter IV also Red focus allows players to use their super meter to absorb multiple

When did the new content get

game modes •

What more did the new content bring to the audience? More character balancing changes, as well as major changes to the game’s core mechanics

before entering a match, allowing either one to be usuable in play against an opponent. However, the damage reduction for each combo is reduced as a result, which means raw power has been traded for strategy and utility. The final major iteration ensured the game’s longevity, with a massive roster, new modes, balance tweaks and major changes to the fighting mechanics. Ultra Street Fighter IV is an entirely different beast from vanilla Street Fighter IV.

AUTHOR’S PERSPECTIVE

Street Fighter IV has been iterated upon and revised as much as it famous predecessor, Street Fighter II. What started out as a cautious revitalization of a major Capcom franchise turned into an expansive, balanced fighting game. What started out as an internal Capcom pipe dream became a reality. Street Fighter IV has sold over six million copies, helped kickstart a new generation of fighting games, and created a newfound love for the series. Much like Street Fighter II, Street Fighter IV is going to be around for a long time. by Jerry Kline


eye for...

K I C K S TA R T E R H I G H L I G H T

BACK THIS PROJECT

OUTWARD THE ADVENTURER LIFE SIM

An open world RPG with co-op and survival elements. To be released on PC and consoles.

Kickstarter project will end on: Sunday, May 10 2015 9:01 PM CEST

Game: Outward - The Adventurer Life Sim

Goal: $150,000 (CAD) - $120,000

Developer Nine Dots Canada

Outward is an open world RPG with a focus on simulating the life of an adventurer -- not a legendary hero.

Outward started with a simple question:

"What would it really be like to live the life of an adventurer?"

From

simulating

the

day-to-day

lifestyle

of living alone in a vast world filled with creatures of fantasy to retiring and passing on your knowledge and skills to your next of kin, Outward is about creating a complete adventuring

experience.

It's

not

just

combat, it's not just survival, it's both and more.

46

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eye for...

Cooperative survival and adventure

An open world filled with handcrafted regions

A complete adventuring experience

Fully envisioned survival mechanics

Legacy system to pass down items and skills

Dynamic player defeat

and more...

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47


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Eye For Games magazine April 2015 issue