Full disclosure: I am the Toasty Boy
According to legends, the original Mortal Kombat was made by just four people, not counting the actors who served as the game’s playable characters. That’s more people than you see on the development team of your average modern indie game. Though Mortal Kombat has gone on to become a cultural institution in gaming, it all started off with just a few friends goofing off, dreaming that if they were lucky, they might get Jean Claude Van Damme to star in their game.
While their hopes for Van-damage were never fully realized, I think it’s fair to say that the franchise did just fine without him. Despite it’s massive success, we haven’t seen many attempts to imitate the development plan of the original Mortal Kombat. My guess is that the idea of using “digitized live-action fighters” in a modern game feels too risky for most. As Richard Cook showed us in his films with Devolver, it takes real blood, sweat and tears to make a game from your own skin and bones.
Now Super Combat Fighter, the game in question, is on Kickstarter, and it’s following in Mortal Kombat‘s footsteps in more ways than one. It even promises an appearance from legendary Hollywood Action star Ernie Reyes Jr, as a playable fighter. There is also a tier that allows backers to become in-game combatants as well. While the game has a lot of rarely seen ideas going for it, like the ability to fight as a Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom-style giant, my guess is its fate will be determined largely by how much people actually love the original Kombat trilogy exactly as they are.
Guest characters could also make a big difference. I’ve already proposed to the developer that Sterdust and Kung-Fu Chicken Noodle make an appearance, but what about a clay-mation version of Meatboy, or an actor playing the crazed chef from Pizza Tower? I know indie crossovers are seen as played out by a lot of people these days, but just like FMV fueled fighting games, they can still be a great time if done the right way.