Heads up! Fist Puncher and the Minibosses, everyone’s favorite NES-loving, headbanging metal band, will team up this weekend at a live show in Cupertino, California. Rock out to the Minibosses and then come play some Fist Puncher. What the hell else could make for a better weekend or a more romantic date? Also playing will the Hard Girls, Gnarboots, and The Blast!. Yes, it will be amazing. The whole thing is being put together by the good people at Grand Fanali Presents and will go down on October 20th (this Saturday) at Homestead Lanes in Cupertino. More details on location, pricing, and the rest can be found here. Stop by and enjoy some great tunes and great games!
2012 has been fucking insane. I consider myself an articulate fellow, but I can’t really think of any other way to put it more elegantly or succinctly. Where do I start? Earlier this year Jake and I appeared on this IGN reality show called The Next Game Boss. Our main goal was to make some new friends and use the show as a tool to promote Fist Puncher, our retro-styled, local co-op brawler for Xbox and PC. But, hell, somehow we actually won the show with a game about a dog wearing a wig, and suddenly we had a lot of buzz and press surrounding our tiny, 2-man studio set in the mountains of Santa Cruz. So we took Fist Puncher to GDC where we demoed with GameSpy and all of these other kickass indie games from IGN’s Indie Open House program (Overgrowth, A Virus Named TOM, Super Comboman, and like 50 games from uber-prolific Cryptic Sea). The same week, the final episode of The Next Game Boss aired. The ball was rolling. We decided to dive into the world of crowdfunding, set up a Kickstarter campaign, and see if we could springboard off of our Game Boss success and get some funding for our throwback brawler Fist Puncher.
So we spent the good part of a month making ridiculous videos, sending out press releases, and doing everything in our power to reach our funding goal. And I’ll be damned, we reached our funding goal. That was 5 months ago. Since then my life has been tossed around, turned inside out, and then, just for good measure, shaken and stirred. I’ll spare everyone the gory details and just summarize the highlights. I was planning to marry my partner later this year, but instead she walked out on me. Yeah, that sucked. In a fit of screw-you-world retaliation I pulled an Office Space and walked out on my job of almost 10 years (two can play that game). I moved out of my place (and in the process rented it to heroin addicts that had to be evicted). I won’t lie – at times I’ve felt totally underwater and completely lost this year. Everything I had 6 months ago is 100% gone: relationship, job, home. All I’ve had left to cling to was this whole I’m-now-an-indie-videogame-developer thing. And for much of this process it’s been the only thing keeping me afloat.
So what about that game Fist Puncher? We MADE that game. Yup, we spent the greater part of half a year building the game that fans from all over the world so generously backed (2 games actually – we also spent about a month polishing and completing Washington’s Wig). When you’re developing a game 7 days a week you start to lose the ability to see the big picture. Am I getting anything done? Are we making any progress? I’ve had a few days now to step back from the development process and survey the end result of our crowdfunded work (some of this self-imposed as I attended IndieCade, some of this externally imposed as I had to deal with the whole heroin addict thing from above). To be blunt, I’m pretty happy. The game is by no means done yet (that’s why we’re calling it an Alpha) – we plan on spending the rest of the year fixing glitches, adding some more levels, cleaning up some of the rough edges, balancing the player progression, and getting feedback from our Kickstarter backers about how we can improve Fist Puncher. Nonetheless, we now have a game that boasts 14 playable characters, over 40 levels (including many new level concepts like a timed subway gas attack and a sidescrolling bike chase), a full level up and perk system, 99 unlockable card achievements, fully revamped bosses (fear Psycho Hans), a new map and level organization system, completely redone sound design and controller vibration feedback, collectible items, game statistics, Kickstarter enemies and NPCs, new in-game signage, and tons more. We’ve played the hell out of the game, and we’re both confident that it’s a damn fun experience.
We’re planning on a wide release at the end of the year. For now, the Fist Puncher Kickstarter can be purchased on Desura.
Moving forward, we also want to work on improving the distribution of Fist Puncher. Making a great game is only half the battle – without marketing and distribution, you’re dead in the water. For starters, we’ve put Fist Puncher up on Steam Greenlight. If you like Fist Puncher and would like to see it get a wide release on Steam, then give us an upvote. We will be working on other avenues for distribution in the upcoming months, so stay tuned.
Thanks again to everyone who helped us get this far. It’s been a crazy journey, and my life has been turned upside down this year. I’m not really sure what comes next, but at least I’ll always be able to say that my brother and I made the first fighting game with a nude beach level, the first fighting game where you can throw cows in a slaughterhouse battle, and the first fighting game where you can bring a gun or a Taser to a wrestling tournament to save an orphanage. Yup, something for my epithet.
Anyway, if you want to hear us ramble on for a bit or if you want to see our scruffy mugs one more time, check out the YouTube update video. And, again, THANK YOU! And to every person that sent us a positive message or gave us props at GDC, PAX or wherever, I’m telling you now from the bottom of my heart that it meant more to me than you can ever imagine.
We came out of development hibernation and took a little time earlier this week to appear on It Came From Xbox Live. We gave a preview of Fist Puncher, played Diehard Dungeon, and rapped with Maxwell about the XBLIG Uprising, bike churches, fencestronauts, and videogame literature. Enjoy!
We’re wrapping up another long, eventful day here at PAX and have another big announcement. Fist Puncher is now up on Steam Greenlight. With Greenlight, fans can vote on which games they would like to see sold through the popular Steam website. Steam is the number 1 PC distribution system, so getting on their site would be a tremendous boon for us. Now more than ever is the time for our fans to mobilize. If you’re a Steam member, please take a few moments and upvote and favorite Fist Puncher on Steam Greenlight. This could be an amazing chance to bring our games to a wide audience and ensure our continued success in the world of videogames. So if you have some spare cycles, please give us an upvote and spread the word. Let’s bring Fist Puncher to Steam!
Day 1 of PAX is almost over and we’re excited to announce that we’ve started taking pre-orders for the PC version of FIST PUNCHER on Desura. In fact, not only is the pre-order ON SALE, but if you pre-order Fist Puncher now, you can download the alpha version TODAY! Pre-ordering will give you access to the alpha release and ALL future PC versions of Fist Puncher. We’re aiming for a wide release of the final version later this year, but if you get the alpha now you can give us valuable feedback to help improve the final version and support our humble indie studio as we dive into the final leg of development. The alpha is far from complete (20 levels, 6 playable characters – most of the content is locked until the main release later this year), but it should give you a nice taste of the kind of pixel bashing joy that Fist Puncher is known for. Power up your beard and head on over to Desura.
We have more information about our upcoming appearance at PAX Prime. Kickstarter has officially announced details about the Kickstarter Arcade, a showcase of unique and creative Kickstarter campaigns. The Kickstarter Arcade will include Fist Puncher and some other amazing titles including Octodad 2, Organ Trail, Cards Against Humanity, and much, much more. For complete information on the Kickstarter Arcade, check out their blog post. The Kickstarter Arcade will be located in the Grand Hyatt (where the registration is). Check out the PAX Prime map for a complete overview of venues. Since our last major showing at PAX East, we’ve added quite a bit to Fist Puncher including more levels, more playable characters, new bosses, fully functional RPG features (level up, assign attribute points, purchase character perks), new cut scenes, and a much improved overhead map and level layout. If you’ve never played the game, if you want to see what we’ve added and improved over the last few months, or if you’re just aching to bash some pixel faces in, stop by the Kickstarter Arcade and play some Fist Puncher.
PAX Prime is just around the corner in game-friendly Seattle. We’re excited to announce that we’ll be there demoing Fist Puncher as part of the Kickstarter Arcade. We’ll be joined by several other successful Kickstarter alums (more details later about who will be joining us) as we show off our projects and talk about our Kickstarter campaigns. Huge thanks to Kickstarter for selecting Fist Puncher for exhibition. Even bigger thanks go out to our many generous backers. The money we raised through Kickstarter will directly support the costs of attending one of the highest profile videogame shows of the year. None of this would be possible without our backers’ help! We’ll be spending the next few weeks getting a PAX build of Fist Puncher ready, and we’ll have more information about the Kickstarter Arcade in the upcoming days before the show. Seattle, we’ll see you soon.
Our favorite part of California Extreme was playing with and getting feedback from the many gamers that stopped to try out Fist Puncher and Washington’s Wig. Some of the best and silliest thoughts came from the unfiltered minds of little kids.
Thanks again to everyone that took time to play our games. Even bigger thanks to our Kickstarter backers. Events like this would not be possible without your generous funding!
We’re back from California Extreme, and without a doubt it was the best CAX we’ve ever attended (although demoing for 14 hours on Saturday was physically brutal). Not as much Solar Fox or Bump ‘n’ Jump as usual, but hanging out and playing our games with countless attendees was priceless. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and checked out Fist Puncher and Washington’s Wig. We received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback, and some great suggestions (yes, there will be a Grave Digger unlockable card). Don’t forget that Washington’s Wig is available in the Xbox LIVE Marketplace and Fist Puncher will be out later this year. We also want to give a shout out to some of our many great friends that attended including: Cryptic Sea, Interabang, MagicalTimeBean,Bean, Design 3, Press Pause Radio, and Gamer Talk TV. Great to see all of you! And to our new friends, Hello The Future, Gayme Bar, Pixel Sunrise, and many others, it was a pleasure to meet you all, and we hope to hear from you in the future!
Oh, and special thanks to Ethan and Jack for all of their testing help. Check out your credits here.
California Extreme 2012 is fast approaching. We got our arcade marquees back from the printers, and we’ll be setting up tomorrow. There’s still plenty of time to get tickets and attend one of the coolest arcade shows on the planet. And, of course, you can join Team2Bit in a 4-player game of Fist Puncher or challenge us in the vs. mode on Washington’s Wig. Who knows, you might even see a celebrity or two.