About a year and a half ago I formed an indie dev studio with another artist and long time friend. That studio is Rumblecade and our first game is Rockabilly Beatdown. I want to tell you about it, but not make this a hard sell (which I know is frowned upon in C-Blogs). So below is some insight into how we made the game and one small developer’s journey to the App Store.
WHAT IS THIS GAME?
You’ve heard of endless runners? Rockabilly Beatdown is an endless puncher. You punch things. Everything can be punched, and everything punches back. Until you die. It’s pretty simple and kind of addicting, and we’ve been told a good stress reliever. If you enjoy games like Canabalt, Slayin’, Monster Dash, or Jetpack Joyride, that’s where we are coming from. Except with all the punching, of course-- the more you can punch, the longer you can survive, each time trying to beat your last round. There’s special pick-ups, enemy modifiers, and bosses to keep things interesting across a bunch of different levels. The game was designed for short, quick but satisfying game sessions, very much designed for mobile gaming and we are hoping in our heart of hearts that you enjoy playing it as much as we enjoyed making it.
YOU MADE THIS HOW?
The game was developed in Unity, specifically Unity 2D. We have a programmer on the game who created much of the underlying engine and allowed my partner and I as artists to fill up that playground with all the things we could think of. One of the main reasons we struck out on our own was fatigue from working on other projects that put shipping a game ahead of creativity. So a main driver of our creativity was that if we ever found ourselves saying, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” or “Yea, that would be nice,” we HAD to put it in the game.
Originally the game was just one hero and one level, but it grew quickly as we realized the freedom allowed by developing in Unity. There was also the period where the game got too big for three people and we had to do a reality check and pare things back to the corest of the core features. Devving on your own is a learning process, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing it. All indie devs have to determine their abilities and the limits thereof. That was hard to come to terms with at times, especially with our “Wouldn’t it be cool if..” directive, though I believe we found our groove. Eventually all the stars aligned, the game was finished, and we were able to publish on the Apple App Store.
Why Apple and iOS? Just a quick note on that, it was something we had experience with and was the quickest pathway to publishing. No more, no less. As we grow we are going to branch out to other platforms that best suit our games, but one step at a time.
If pixel art ain’t your thing, that’s cool. I’ve read enough comments sections to know it’s not universal. We didn’t use it because it was “easy” (it’s not) or for “indie cred” (how do we get that, anyway?). We choose the pixel art aesthetic because we grew up with it and we LOVE it. I’ve been spriting and animating pixels since there was such a thing, watching it virtually disappear over my career in games only to watch it beautifully re-emerge over the past few years in this current indie game renaissance.
The game is wrapped with HD art, too, and we use that as a window into the pixel game world, as it were. We wanted an arcade feel, good looking to those who see it and some good ‘ol nostalgia for those who grew up with it like us. 8-Bit is cool, but our real influences came during the 16-bit era, during the golden age of SNES and Sega Genesis. (Speaking of Genesis, the three heroes that come with the game are my subtle homage to Streets of Rage.) The game is going to grow, so I’ve got a lot more pixel art ahead of me in support of future updates, and I can’t wait to get to it!
Yup, we got a game trailer. If you like what you’ve seen, head on over to the App Store and check it out. A copy of the game costs the mere pittance of $0.99 US, which in all honesty is kind of crazy considering how much work we’ve put into it, but I dare say you will get a cool game for your buck.
You wanna get social? Come on and follow Rumblecade wherever you like to hang your hat:
You read this far?? Thanks!! I’ve left some free download codes in the comments just for Destructoid readers. I’ll be happy to answer any questions down there, too.