CO: Once the feedback started rolling in, you switched to a more realistic visual style. Can you tell us about bringing Nicholas Lee onboard?
Nick is an experienced artist who does a lot of old fighting game-inspired art. When he shared his DeviantArt portfolio, we really dug his take on Capcom's Street Fighter characters. He has also done some excellent pixel art with a very nineties arcade vibe to it.
Soon he sent us a piece of concept art for his vision of the art style for Bad Dudes 2, followed by some in-game sprites. The look he's crafted will make our game feel like the 16-bit sequel Bad Dudes always deserved.
CO: The Bad Dudes in your game will be middle-aged and out of shape. Why not keep them closer to their original appearance?
These guys have been gone for 23 years, both in the story and in real life, making this a comeback story. It’s like they've been in retirement. We really liked the idea of everyone telling them, “You’re too old and washed up. You’re a piece of history.” The players would then help them prove themselves, coming back, and swing with the best of the modern boys.
The only big change we made was making Striker gain a little weight. When you look at the original characters, they look identical except for pants color. From a design perspective, with numerous enemies on screen at once, as well as two player characters, we thought that it would just be easier if the two characters had very unique silhouettes. We don't want players to lose track of who is who during the heat of battle. That sort of formed into the story idea that Striker had put on a few pound over the years. Besides, he still kicks as high as ever!
All that said, we will include legacy skins of the characters that unlock when you finish the campaign. You’ll be able to play as classic Blade and Striker in arcade mode and the new wave defense modes!
CO: How closely will Bad Dudes 2 play to the original?
Bad Dudes 2 will draw from and incorporate everything Bad Dudes had. We will add to it, but the original stuff will all be there. You will have levels with two, and now sometimes three different planes of platforming.
We will also bring back the fan-favorite traveling stages. We like to call those ‘speeding something’ levels. The players fight on top of a speeding train, truck, airplane, whatever! There are six of those in the new game, and we plan for them to be the most over-the-top, testosterone fueled, exciting and hilarious parts of the game.
We will be using a new combo system that allows you to link together ninjas in a combo, and we will be bringing back the charge up flaming punch attack. Grapples will be there for sure, but it's still something we will be doing trial and error with for the blocking/dodging and co-op attacks. We are pretty firm on no more than four inputs.
CO: You’ve mentioned the new game will feature a humorous tone. Can you give us an example or two of its less serious aspects?
The humor will mostly come from the manly, over-the-top action scenarios that the Dudes find themselves in. For example, our plot only starts with the president getting kidnapped by ninjas. What follows is a story riddled with government cover-ups, secret assassination plots, and a global conspiracy that hearkens all the way back to the Dudes’ original adventures. It's a ridiculous action ride, and yet every character in game takes it very seriously.
CO: Bad Dudes 2 will feature co-op multiplayer like the original. Do you have plans for any co-op specific mechanics à la the high-five moves and player-reviving in Double Dragon: Neon?
We do have plans for co-op-oriented attacks. We have this idea for grapple moves where two players can gang up on one enemy to gain extra points and power, and then use that power for a devastating fist-bump attack. It's all going to be something we fine tune through playtesting. Being able to grapple an enemy and then throw him to your buddy who can perform an extra juggle attack on him, stuff like that.
CO: Finally, the Kickstarter campaign’s got about three weeks left to go. What are your plans to draw in pledges during that time?
First off, we're trying to make up for our lack of assets at the launch of our Kickstarter. We're going to be showing off new art, assets, and gameplay by the end of the week. We're hoping that we will be able to convince some of those on the fence that we are taking this very seriously. We have the talent and hardware to make this game the sequel that Bad Dudes deserves.
We're also going to do more live Q and A sessions - we want to talk with you guys! We're appearing on the Mind of the Geek podcast this week. You can also get in touch with us via email, Facebook, and Twitter.