OMG! Gunslugs is coming to PS Vita this month, and that’s damn exciting!
But let me introduce myself first, I’m Pascal Bestebroer, the indie developer known as Orangepixel (www.orangepixel.net). I’ve been developing games since 2004 and that’s been on mobile platforms from J2ME (old buggy devices) to Android and iOS (new buggy devices). So it’s very likely you don’t even know Orangepixel… yet!
With the help from the guys at Abstraction games, I hope to change that fact and make my games more known to new audiences, starting with the PlayStation gamers. So that’s how Gunslugs will be the first of the Orangepixel titles to hopefully land a spot on your PS Vita this month!
As mentioned, I’ve been creating games since 2004, and all the Orangepixel games really have a few key elements in common. First they feel, look and sound “retro”. Now, this is a very commonly used term these days, but don’t just judge them by the fact that they look retro. Because the other key element I put in my games is a lot of newer tricks, gameplay concepts and even triple-A ideas, bringing the old school style games into the present day.
The final element all Orangepixel games share, is that they are HARD. Not brutal; always fair; but they are really hard. Good thing for you guys you get to experience them with analogue sticks and buttons, instead of virtual touch-screen controls ;)
It will be interesting to see if people actually manage to reach the Hell world and survive in Gunslugs!
But what is Gunslugs? Well, it’s a chaotic horizontal run ‘n’ gun-style game. Many people will first shout “Metal Slug!” but it honestly isn’t. It’s more chaotic, it comes with a huge collection of weird and wonderful upgrades, bonus stages, unlockables, and an extremely satisfying soundtrack. I guess you could just buy this for the soundtrack alone and it would still be well worth your money ;)
Originally the game started with just a single sentence that I had in my mind: “extremely chaotic shooting action”. So the first version of the game looked like this.
Just you and a bunch of enemies running on a single screen, shooting each other. Not much to look at, but it did have very pleasing core gameplay that eventually became the basis for the Gunslugs game as it is now.
The single screen got replaced with bigger, randomly-generated, levels. Meaning every gameplay would be different adding to the chaotic gameplay I was trying to achieve. Also it makes a game much more fun for the developer if the levels are generated in this way, because I also get to play my own game without getting bored of the same levels over and over! It’s a win-win.
Creating Gunslugs from this first prototype to the final product, took about seven or eight months with me doing all the programming, graphics and sound effects by myself. But you can’t have an action game like this without a good soundtrack! And since my musical talents are non-existing, I had to find a partner in crime.
So I contacted the talented Mr Gavin Harrison who did music for most of my other games, and together we decided to get some “80s hero movie” music going. Gavin came up with the most awesome soundtrack a game like Gunslugs could hope for. So make sure to play the game with headphones and music on – it’s really worth it!
The game comes with six worlds, not counting the various bonus worlds spread all over the place, including six unlockable characters (find and unlock them to start your next game sessions in one of the other worlds). Each world has two levels and a nice old school boss to deal with.
On top of that, there are over 50 mission objectives to try and complete, so it’s really a huge game that should get you a couple of hours of enjoyment if you want to experience it all.
Abstraction games did a great job recreating the game for PS Vita, and you should really have an advantage playing the game with sticks and buttons.
So let’s just agree to meet each other on the leaderboards and show me what you got!