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Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch March Update

Hello beautiful Chronic Blunt Punch supporters!

We have been still cranking on the combat, with the goal of having a playable alpha before E3. At that point, we will be able to share gameplay footage, fun TESTgifs and have a fun sandbox playable shortly afterward.

Environment Art Update:

We have an extensive amount of background elements still being illustrated. We are getting into the look and feel of how the game will be lit and set the tone for each area.

Park Entrance Concept Iterations

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 Park Playground Concept Iterations

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World Building with our Friend David Hellman

Coming up with creative ideas on how we move forward with environment design is critical and to do this, we often talk to our fellow game developer friends, kicking around ideas and pushing forward on design. Since we are super blessed with the opportunity to work in the Double Fine Productions studio, we have amazing creative minds in our midst that we can tap into. One of those awesome people is a friend David Hellman who is an amazing artist, animator and all around person. You may know him from his crowdfunded graphic novel Second Quest or the super unheard of indie game, Braid. We are working with him on some world building ideas to capture the surreal and absurd universe that we are putting together.  Below is an example of some storyboarded ideas.

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Background characters

While working on the background environments, it is important that we have background characters that can match the idea and themes of the level. Below, we have the incredible Douche bro; Mike Manfriend, the inexplicably Happy Brotha Jermaine Jibbles and impatient commuter Sally Smothers. We love us some alliteration.

Combat Breakdown Stuff

The areas of combat that we feel are important to consider are; Impact, Flow, and Control. There are other factors but in this update that is what we will focus on. These areas are comprised of animations audio and control feedback. We are adjusting the timing of the animations, screen shake and hit recovery/hit stun to add to the feel of fighting as well as the working on the mechanics when it comes to the enemy AI.

 

Animation tuning comes down to increasing or dropping frames from each animation and speeding up or slowing down the timing of particular frames to add states of vulnerability and anticipation to give each attack weight. When working on enemy attacks, anticipation and telegraphing are imperative because enemies need to be challenging, yet not cheap. Each enemy should have a pattern and even if they have a huge attack that takes a lot of damage, we want the player to be able to learn their animations, anticipate their attack and be able to have the skill to dodge the attack or counter in a meaningful way.
When playing a good action game, the “feel” of the combat is the driving force for the game enjoyable. Although players may not be able to express what makes the game feel tight and responsive, it is the developer’s responsibility to deliver the controls and impact that garner a positive response from the player.
Often when games have less than stellar combat, the player still can not express themselves on why but they just stop playing and have negative things to say about the game. We have run into issues in the past while making other games, where we had to take an in-depth look at why things needed to adjustment after letting the audience playtest the game.
Below are examples of games that have simple AI combat and gifs to accompany them.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Arcade Game – Rocksteady’s boot to the chest.

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Xmen: Arcade Game -Pyro’s Flame to the dome.
Avengers – Whirlwind anticipation and then human tornado maneuver.Interestingly enough games that aren’t even focused on combat as a core mechanic understand the importance of timing and impact when it comes to the limited combat in their game. For instance, Super Mario Galaxy is a platformer, with action elements. When you jump and do a butt stomp, the Mario booty bust has hang time, the hit stun and pause after hitting the enemy, the enemy flattening and then exploding into a puff along with the coin nugget that pops out. These were all design decisions taken into account to make every booty bump smash feel juicy and have weight.Super Mario Galaxy: Booty Stomp!

Layering Combat Design

1. We make construction based concepts of the attack that we are going to have the character perform. By construction I am talking about a wireframe of the character without detail, blocking out the idea in shapes.
2. We create keyframes of the most extreme poses in an attack.
3. We play around with the timing so the animation feels right.
4. Keyframes go in the game.
5. We add particle effects, camera shake and adjust the timing.
6. We add an enemy in the game to prototype the move and adjust until if feels extra tasty. Environment Art and Level Design Michelle has put together another set of images in animated gif form that demonstrates the progression of background art in the game. We have more to come and will have a video update soon!
Antegods on Fig
Our friends at Codeglue are running Antegods campaign as well and are at 40% there.  If you are a fan of frantic shooters like Bangai-0 with destructible environments mixed with mechs and multiplayer couch co-op, check it out and support their campaign.https://www.fig.co/campaigns/antegodsIf you have any questions or comments, or just want to communicate with us,  feel free to hit us up on Twitter @interabangent or Facebook @interabangent.Thanks,

Justin

December Update *Iteration*

Hey Everyone,

Happy holidays! Here is a quick update to let you know what we have been up to with Chronic Blunt Pizunch!  While building out our combat systems, we have been focusing on enemy design and animation as well as story and level progression. The title of this update is called iteration.

Update Vid

Since we are in the prototype building phase, we have been testing out enemy AI and level progression. There is a lot of testing and iteration that comes into play when we are laying out levels and determining the flow of enemies, the placement of buildings and interactive objects.  Some of the concepts and iteration are broken down below.

Combat

We have experience developing combat from our previous games and are inspired by classic and new school beat em up mechanics alike. We are looking to simplify combat in Chronic Blunt Punch with a fresh approach. Some of our favorite action brawlers such as the Devil May Cry 1-25 and Bayonetta come to mind during brainstorming sessions. We want combos to flow freely and allow the player to improvise tag team attacks with heavy attack finishers.

Here is a quick diagram of how we organize combat during development:

 More world building stuff! YAY!

While designing the combat system and characters/character animation we have been working on level design and progression.  Below is another glimpse into the progress of an area in the first level we are building out.

Jersey Streets!

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We have many of the levels built out in diagrams and workflow. As far as progression and style we are finishing up the paint overs and going into how the player will traverse the world and encounter enemies. In these early stages, there are still backend ideas we are developing while we tweak combat, animations, and story, which are fundamental to the game. Once we decide which areas are the most complete we will jump into further production and iteration of each zone. We want to make sure that the environments play a role in the characterization and atmosphere adding nuance to the storyline.

Level Progression Development Diagram

 Level Progression Visual Mockup

Mapping out and testing ideas is the best way to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Ideas come a dime a dozen, but only the tested ideas make it to the end. Your cousin Ray Ray may think he has a good idea about what might be cool in a video game but often what may seem cool in someone’s mind or on paper ends up being boring as hell when you pick up your Atari joystick. We must, iterate, iterate,  iterate, baby!

 Character Design and Animation

*SPOILERS* Below are examples of the Hipster character that we will introduce in the first level. We created a hyperbole of how an annoying, Kale munching, 80 gauge bowl earring wearing hipster with a man bun might look and fight. In this case, we gave this dude a self-aware, combat ready, neck beard. Note: These images are keyframes and do not reflect the final in-game animations.

 Manbun Hipster

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 Neckbeard Attack

 

Since we are talking about animation, we thought it would be cool to share an almost complete animation of Jay getting his socks blown back. With this animation, we wanted to add some silliness and exaggeration to the poses as well as his overall look and feel.

Jay Death Animation

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If you have any direct questions for us, hit us up on Twitter @interabangent or Facebook also @interabangent. We do our best to keep communication flowing quickly and efficiently. Our website should be up shortly, and we will be opening up a forum for our backers.

Happy Holidays!

-ICJMAN

More to come soon! Thanks again for your support.

New Years Update!

Super Comboman Port Update

Hey all you combo fanatics! Hope you have been enjoying the holidays! While we most certainly have been, we are still feverishly grinding on making updates to the console port/pc update of Super Comboman. Today we thought we’d give you a quick peak at some of the changes that we’ve made to one of the more tougher enemies in the game!

Reintroducing GG!!

Remember this tough sonuvabisquit?!?! Well in this new update we took the time to reanimate some of his attacks and make him a bit harder to fight! Even through in a new animation or two! Check it out below (click to view animations)

New Taunt animation:

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Revised Groundpound Attack:

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And last but not least check out the small adjustments to his SockedUP Attack:

Old Version:

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Slightly Revised version:

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And that’s gonna do it for this update! Stay tuned to the next update as we show off some of the level changes!

More to come.

Holler at us! Blammo!

The Yerba Mate Factor

If you don’t know me by now my name is ICJ or Justin Woodward for long . I am an entrepreneur who started  our game company a few years back with the mission of building my team and business while creating opportunities that benefit my industry along the way. We have been through ups and downs, using different techniques for game development,  participated in a company incubator and relocated to different offices a few times. There  has never been a sense of certainty while forging a start up.
During our journey my health and quality of life has taken a few hits. We have worked on staying healthy which is a challenge when you work ridankulous hours and often don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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While experimenting with different ways to stay fresh and energized during double digit hour work days I would indulge in the usual coffee, energy drinks and do my best to exercise regularly. One day a friend who was working in the same incubator space brought me a tall can of this new elixir that I never heard of called Yerba Mate. I didn’t know what it was but remember always seeing him gallivanting around the office sipping hot brewed mate out of a Gourd  with a metallic straw looking device (Bombilla). In my ignorance I would tease him about drinking out of his “coconut”. I did not know the significance until I took a sip from the can he delivered. After a few minutes I felt clarity and an uplifting sense of focus. It was as if momentum washed over my brain and I just started getting things done. It was an intense yet satisfying feeling. After that day I began purchasing  Guayaki on a daily basis and my friend and I would take turns buying cases.  I was done with energy drinks that made me feel like garbo(garbage) soon afterwards.

When I started to drink mate I didn’t realize that Guayaki had a larger mission than just supplying an organic refreshment to the masses.  Their mission was in plain site slapped on the can.  After reading and further research, I found out that they were actually saving the forests where the organic Yerba Mate was harvested. Each sale went into the restoration of the South American Atlantic rain forests as well as create jobs for the local people with an interesting business model that they call Market-Driven-Restoration. Once I found out about this I became more of an advocate.

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Living the life of an independent game developer for the past 5 years and having worked with and talked to a variety of game developers I began to realize that we need to take more care of our bodies through sleep, eating healthy

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and finding healthy sources of energy. I believe that the future of the tech industry and game development will be conscientious of what we are putting into our body and start sharing knowledge about health while grinding on our dreams, this will help with productivity as well as making the process enjoyable. Guayaki is one of those companies that will become integrated within the culture and bring on some of this positive change.

Happy New Years!

2013 has been an exciting and busy year for Interabang.  We hope that everyone has a safe and happy new year.

Super Comboman

Our primary focus this year has been Super Comboman. Our team has been working around the clock on everything from art design, levels, gameplay mechanics, abilities, perks, cinematic cut scenes and in game combo store where you can purchase items via in game currency.

We were able to show off some of our progress off at a number of events including PAX East, PAX Prime, The Mix LA,  and The Mix San Francisco IGN. Super Comboman was featured on the Twitch main stage at PAX Prime and Justin aka “ICJ” was interviewed with Jonathan Holmes on Sup Homes via Destructoid.com. Finally,we partnered with Adult Swim Games for publishing and announced that we will be releasing on Steam. All in all, we are heading in the right direction.

Interabang/Mugen booth! Twitch2

The Mix

The MIX

We hosted The Mix in San Fransicso and in LA, teaming up with Spencer and Trish Yip from Siliconera fame and his studio YummyYummyTummy and John Polson. During the event the press demoed indie games and spoke with their developers prior to release. Over 30 developers from all over the world participated in The MIX.  The roster included award winning and experimental games that were later released and featured on Steam, XBLA, PSN, iOS and other platforms.

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Freekeyfridays

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Freeekeyfridays was started 20 weeks ago as a platform for indie developers to give away copies of their game to lucky winners via raffle and twitter contest. We  have since partnered with Indiegames.com and Desura Games. Freekeyfridays has featured over 40 Indie developers and titles and we have given away sets of keys to over 100 people. To join in the fun follow @Freekeyfridays.

2014 Super Comboman and beyond:

Super Comboman will be released early 2014, we will continue to make adjustments as necessary and show off the game any chance we get. What is after Super Comboman? Besides a break?!  Our team is talented and eager to whip something else up, stay tuned to find out!

We will host The Mix  in San Francisco again with the help of our fellow devs the week of GDC. Will continue to develop Freekeyfridays  with any more  wacky ideas we think  in order to help support our indie friends and the indie culture.

We hope that 2013 has treated you with justice and kindness. Looking forward  2014 and beyond…

THE MIX Media Indie Exchange

The MIX

The MIX SF

Since being involved with the IGN/Gamespy Indie Open House, we have been working with indies and creating ways to advance the culture. At this year’s GDC we teamed up with Todd Northcutt from IGN and indie evangelist, John Polson to put together an event called THE MIX which stands for Media Indie Exchange.

The event consisted of 30 indies from all over the world that ranged in talent and were producing games in a variety of genres. Curated games were close to completion or under wraps. Individuals from the press were invited to play refreshing, high quality games exclusive to the event.

The press had new games to play and report on if they wished and Developers had chance to share their projects and mingle with press without too many distractions. Another perk was that devs could talk shop among their peers and create new allies.

The MIX LA

With this year’s first GDC Next popping up in SoCal we created the opportunity to throw another MIX showcase. Thanks to Spencer Yip from Siliconera and his wonderful wife Trish who run a start-up mobile game studio called yummyyummytummy we nabbed a dope spot. This time instead of being in SF the setting was beautiful downtown Los Angeles on the roof of the live work lofts at Tenten 1010 Wilshire.

We had around 25 devs including Interabang Entertainment, sponsors, food, dranks and press. It was a great time, location and we got a chance to meet with some new devs and press. It took a lot of work to put together but was worth the effort.

Devs that showed up at MIX LA included:

Doublefine with Broken Age
Magical Time Bean with Escape Goat 2
Lab Zero with Skullgirls
Heart Machine Games with Hyper Light Drifter

More details about the event:

www.mediaindieexchange.com

We will putting together another event for GDC in March and will have in depth postmortem with details about our mistakes, successes and planning events like this in the near future.

 

Meet Biscuit?!

 

Week 1 Character Reveal: Biscuit

Fan Art contest. Post your art interpretations of Biscuit, next Monday we will pick a winner and you could win a cool Super Comboman Poster.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzPvoG8Wz9o&feature=youtu.be

 

Check out our facebook page for more info!

 

Smashing the Game Development Wall

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Pretty T watching the peeps play SCMI have been meeting with some great developers over the past few years since I decided to move up to the bay. Many of the devs are in the same game boat and have a similar psychological makeup, crazy. In reality when we jump into this racket and become “indies” (I use that term loosely) many of us are following a dream which ends up becoming the biggest challenge of a lifetime. You are not only an a.) Game developer, you are also a b.) Marketing Pimp c.) Janky Attorney d.) creative director e.) Marketing Whore and this list can go past Z. Chief, Chef and Bottle Washer is the name of the game. This not only applies for one individual but for the whole team if you are lucky enough to have a few loyal people to burn their bridges of certainty to work on a game.

The last few months have been hectic with PAX, development and funding prep. Things that pop up on a regular basis. Figuring out which events to go to, when to go and when to work is tricky and a challenge in itself. Sometimes when we get into the swing of things and are blindly focused on our projects we tend to forget about the journey and what we went through. We start to gather arms in order to meet the next challenge. This is a mistake that I intend to fix, the path taken should be documented so we can be ready for the next trip or share our journey with others.

Interabang/Mugen booth!

In the next couple of months I will be writing a series of blogs that speak on my experiences with marketing, game development, production with a team and working with Publishers all through my eyes. Some will be video blogs and some will be written, whatever I feel at the moment. Lets Go!

Soundtrack Update with Super Comboman Composer Sam Billen

Super Comboman OST

Composer Sam Billen, joined the Super Comboman Team early on in development soon after our first Kickstarter campaign. He has been putting together some unique themes that are reminiscent of classic games that were staples on consoles when we were growing up. Similar in the sense that they are original and not just bites from popular riffs or contemporary pop songs.

With the music we wanted themes that were iconic and fit with the tropical theme and unorthodox characters of our game. We went through many iterations of the theme and we now have a great balance of ominous boss themes and energetic title tracks that really set the tone for the game.

Super Comboman OST Samples:

Hope you enjoy the and the music as much as we do. We will be releasing the OST with the game and leak tracks as they are available. We have also busted out some interesting sound design ideas which we will be sharing soon as well.

Early OST Reward

Full Song Downloads

We will be sending keys to download the full length versions of the songs demonstrated above to Kickstarter Backers and those who Pre-order Super Comboman at the $15 level or above through. If you haven’t pre-ordered yet you can bust it open through the website. www.supercomboman.com

We will have some up and coming changes to the SCM site soon.

If you want to check out more of Sam’s amazing music visit: www.primarycolormusic.com

Thanks for your support!

New Years Update and Artbook process!

Hey everyone! Bye now you’ve taken a look at the latest video update! Hopefully you enjoyed the video as much as I did making it. More vids will be coming in the future but in the meantime I wanted to show just a rough that I didn’t use for the final but may use in the future!

Here is the Original pose that I was working with prior to switching it to the one seen in video. and below it the image that you see in the video that I decided to go with for the final. While I do still like the original pose, it just wasn’t going the way I wanted it to and I eventually decided to start over again.  As you scroll down I eventually went from inking the piece to what would eventually be a final attempt at colors and shading. While trying to decide how well things were coming along,  I realized I wasn’t the biggest fan of how I depicted her face and made a few edits that you can see in the bottom image. Thanks again for checking out the blog, be sure to keep a look out for more updates!