It's not often that you see fan games actually go anywhere beyond the initial gimmick. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the developers at Tales of Games spent the last year and a half hard at work creating the sequel to their cult hit, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden. The announcement of Barkley 2 took many by surprise, especially coming from such humble beginnings. Speaking with Liam Raum, President of Tales of Games, he spoke honestly about how the development has progressed, and why they chose to switch things up for more action oriented gameplay.
At GDC's Indie Mega Booth, Tales of Games, along with several other developers, showed off a playable build of their title. While Barkley 2 is a sequel, this title also works as a stand alone game. Because of this, the developers wanted to make something that set itself apart from the original. "The concept of Barkley 2 actually predated the original game. We always wanted to make a game in this fashion," Liam Raum said. This time around, players take on the role of an amnesiac Cyborg by the name of X114JAM9, who must explore the Cyberpocalyptic Wasteland in search of answers about his past.
Combat now takes place in real time. X114JAM9 can amass an arsenal of guns that all have unique properties and special attacks. For instance, during my brief period of play, I acquired a 3D printed machine gun that fired bullets that returned to me after hitting its mark for health recovery bonuses. In addition to that, an enemy dropped a flintlock pistol that fired shots in a short 360 degree radius. The developers claim that the game features procedurally generated weapons, and players can even customize and create their own weapons after finding the necessary parts.
With the scale and structure of the game already ironed out, Raum expressed they have the course of development set and will progress steadily. While they talked about how feature-creeping became an issue, and that this title is made in their own free time, they seemed pleased with what they nailed down thus far. Moreover, they're confident that they'll have Barkley 2 ready for release on Steam and GOG by the end of this year.