Monday, 28 May 2012

FIST OF AWESOME - Naming The Lumberdude

When I found out that the lovely chaps over at Owlchemy Labs are making a game called Jack Lumber, I was simultaneously happy and sad. Happy that the game looked ace and a lot of fun, but sad that it meant I had to change the name for the main character of FIST OF AWESOME, who I'd proudly been telling everyone would be called Jack Lumber.

Thus was born a Twitter competition to come up with a new name, the winner getting entry to the uber-elite beta team. It was a bit popular. Here are the entries so far:

John Forest
Ax McMahon
Dave Forrester
Jim Splinter
John Flannel
Bear Woods

Tom Braider

Woody Harasserson

Quentin McHipster

Captain Wood
Woody L.N
Sam'n Maxe
Edge Cutting

Max Woodman
Chopper McChop
Choppy Choperson

Hugh Jass
Norma Stitz
Hugh G. Rection
Biggus Dikkus

Battle-axe Nelson
Billie the Bow
Bill the Dangler
Bill the Moocher
Black Dan
Blueberry Bob
Bug-house   Lynch
Bull-cook Ole
Caribou Bill
Car-stake Smith
Charley the Logger
Clothespin Ole
Cordwood Johnson
Crosshaul Paddy
Dead-Eye Dick
Dick the Dancer
Dirty Bill
Dirty Dan
Double-breasted Corrigan
Dutch Bill
Eight-day Bill
Farmer Dan
Gin-Pole Smith
Gypo Jack
Ham-bone Smith
Hungry Dan Shea
Jack the Ripper
Jessie James
Jimmie on the Trail
Larry the Kicker
Lousy Dan
Moonlight Bob
Moonlight Pike
Moonshine Jimmie
Old Hickory
Old Rampike
Pancake Billie
Pastime Petey
Poker Peter
Protestant Jack
Prune-Juice Doyle
Rattlesnake Pete
Runaway Shea
Smutty John
Squeaky George
Stuttering Ed
The Cleaver
The Hemlock Bull
The Pope
Three-fingered Ole
Tin-Can Murphy
Walking Daily
Whispering Bill
Wicked Dan
Winnipeg Blackie
(all from here)

Geoff Punch
Edward "Dead" Wood
Axe McAllister
Beef Hardcastle
Slab O'Man
Crack Thunderhand
Biff Hardcheese

Keith. He's obviously called Keith.

Charles Norse
Paul Sansouci
Henri Bunyan
Chainsaw Joe
Carl Stomper.



Chet Beardly
Woody Chipper
Reggie Flannel
Nathaniel Light
Crazy ol' Jim Hatchet
Emmerson Axeworth III

Bobby Valdez

Nuck Chorris III

Clint Thompson

Sawyer Redwood
Bjorn Flanders

My mate Daniel <not on Twitter>
Hank Plank
Chip Cutter
Jim Redwood III

So yeah, quite a few entries. I've been promising for ages now to decide on a winner, but as you can see the standard is unrelentingly high and my brain keeps flip flopping around the list like some kind of dying fish. I promise I'll decide soon.

I've decided to make a top 3 as a way of building the tension, and as an excuse to give away more free stuff. Because I love you all so frikkin much.


GaME 12 @ Imperial College - Work, Sweat, Achieve

I was lucky enough to be asked to speak at the GaME 12 conference this year, alongside the likes of David Braben, Peter Molyneux and Demis Hassabis. I guess they asked me because they needed a big name to draw in the crowds.

I decided to call my talk "Work, Sweat, Achieve" after I ran out of time to think of a name and just picked the first motivational quote I saw on Pintrest. The talk itself is largely about how to get good at something if you're not blessed with infinite prodigious talent (which almost no one is, it's all about hard work and practice).

Here's the talk in all its glory, unedited, save for bumping up the sound levels and adding a laughter track.

Monday, 14 May 2012


So, I decided today would be the day I'd announce FIST OF AWESOME to the world. Here's the executive summary:

FIST OF AWESOME (always displayed IN CAPS) is an iOS title which updates the mechanics of scrolling beat em ups such as Double Dragon, Streets of Rage and Final Fight for a modern audience, along with a healthy dose of humour, retro sensibilities and grandiose ambition.

It's a game that I've wanted to make for a long time, so long I'd actually completely forgotten about it. After the success of my little Valentines Day game though I was inspired to make something a bit "punchy" and FIST OF AWESOME came flying to the front of my mind.

I've been working on it since then, so what you see in these screenshots and the trailer is roughly 3 months work. There's more stuff that's not been released of course, stuff like storyline, level settings, and the stupidly catchy theme song my girlfriend has written, but you've got to hold something back right?

I knew I had to get a build ready for the 14th May because that's the deadline for the Indie Showcase at Develop 2012 in Brighton, so decided that would also be the date I'd announce it.

Thanks to that genius decision the last few weeks have been pretty frantic, especially when I realised the huge amount of bits and pieces I'd been putting off. Stuff like animation, sound effects, music playback, level layout, any kind of UI at all. Y'know the "filler" stuff. Or "absolutely essential" stuff as other people tend to refer to it.

It was all a bit hairy, but this morning I sent off a build then repurposed it in the afternoon to make the teaser trailer:

The feedback so far has been pretty phenomenal. I've always had a huge amount of faith in the project but it's such an amazing feeling when you see people complimenting something you've created.

There's also been nothing but unanimous praise for Brendan Ratliff (aka Syphus aka @echolevel)'s music in the trailer. I heard his work on a little iPhone game called Gun Runner and instantly knew this was the man to soundtrack FIST. He's an absolute star and the endless praise for his work is well deserved.

So after a reasonably rubbish start to the year from a game dev point of view, I feel absolutely renewed and reinvigorated. I've set a tentative release data for FIST OF AWESOME of "Winter 2012" and I've no idea if it'll even be done by then, like I say it's a bit ambitious. It's going to be a hell of a lot of fun trying though!

N x