Love it or hate it, we as gamers all troll (or get trolled by) other players to an extent.
We usually do this in games where there can only be one winner and one loser...
Especially if the loser keeps hoping to win and challenging us to a rematch.
Normally a feature of fighting games, and sometimes seen even in the most seemingly light-hearted games like Mario Kart, trolling is just a part of every-day existence, yet it still often evokes the phrase, "Really?" At the end of the day when you get slammed with a red turtle shell for the third time by a guy who's already lapped you once... It's pretty obvious you're being trolled by that point, yet we still may push on in hopes of just completing the match.
We know that winners love to win and rub it in the loser's face.
And we know that losers love to be able to challenge the winner to a rematch.
By simply adding a "rematch" button at the end of every stage you, too, (as the loser) can demand to play through the same level again and try to prove you can beat that winning jerk to a pulp... You (as the winner) of course can also try to prove your dominance over a level by beating your opponent a second, third, fourth time etc... and rub it in his/her face.
We've found during playtests, without any motivation or score board at all, players started saying things like "BEST OUT OF 3... Darnit! OK Best out of 5!... No! Wait! Best out of 7!"
All your wins and losses are recorded and shared amongst your friends, as well as the top 5 items you've used to hurt your opponent's chances of winning, your fastest time, etc...
The beauty of a game like this is it, for the first time ever, gives you the chance to try to beat your friend at a platforming game while sharing the same screen and playing side-by-side. Gone are the days of just checking your time trial records against your friends (or the world's stats) to see who is the fastest puzzle-solver/platformer in the land, now you and a friend can go head-to-head and we've added some items and power-ups into the game which allow you to try to directly effect your opponent's experience during the game. If you want a more strictly tournament-style mode then you can turn these items off, as well.
In any case, Rush Brothers is doing something nobody else has done by combining the awesome platforming of games like "Knytt" and even "I wanna be the guy" with challenging physics puzzles and it emphasizes an online and local "Vs." mode which lets you play against a friend in a head-to-head race!
If you're starting to get excited about Rush Bros. then I also have some good news:
You don't have to wait much longer for its debut on Steam.
We're aiming for a release date this January (assuming we can pull everything off without a hitch).
:: Coming up with the characters for Rush Bros. (Our First Foray Onto Steam) seemed easy.
"So they're brother's right? What else do we need?"
"I guess... Let's put it in a generic fantasy setting."
"Yes. They're adventurer brothers!"
"Wait. How do you explain that one of them falling into spikes is OK with the other?"
"Well they're competing to see who is the best!"
"But they're BROTHERS. That's beyond mean."
"Well... They can't die because it's a video game and they understand this."
"How? They broke the fourth wall?"
The motivators weren't enough.
The characters didn't have enough back story.
We were originally going with the "Nonchalant Back-story That Won't be Explained" style solution:
"Man! Good thing we're indestructible!"
"I know right!"
Then later during a boss fight:
"OH NO! Dad's indestructibility serum isn't working around this guy!"
"What do you figure?"
"Well best estimate is we have about 10 lives between the two of us."
"10 huh? That's a nice round number."
"I bet we can kick this guy's butt in just ONE EACH!"
Was it too much information? Too little? Just right? Everybody was in disagreement.
We won't lie. There were shouting matches...
But then we started thinking about the musical score, how it was all chip-tunes...
Then the idea came to us: What if we threw in some dub step and other DJ-ish songs?
Then it came to us: An all dub-step/chip-tune soundtrack, and we'll have the brothers be DJs.
DJs existing inside a computerized world.
All at once the visual aesthetic fell into place.
No longer were floating platforms something hard to explain.
The fact that dying wasn't really a problem to them any more made sense.
We could use more bright colors and less nature-ish colors (and WAY less brown) and get away with it.
And we could simplify the character designs to include Goggles (because Goggles are cool).
As an added bonus: Bosses and achievements based on Internet Memes suddenly made WAY more sense...
Here's an example of the original character designs we were leaning toward so you can see how dramatic the change was:
Obviously they've gone through a massive change here to something that's more stream-lined, more line-arty, more usable all-around as video game characters and less generic.
We aren't done yet. There's a lot more art to do (about 9000 frames of animation in all) but we promise our lead (and right now our only) artist (Ian Boswell) is on the case!
The programming team is going to get things moving in October and the art and code should be finalized IN-TANDEM thanks to Ian's awesome 2D games experience & technical art skills (as well as our programming team's awesome abilities to follow an artists orders to the T) to have the game Steam Ready sometime in December 2011 or July 2012!
Are you excited yet? Because we sure are!
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