There’s a glut of excellent retro indie games being developed at the moment and Arcade Battlers from Sylph Arcade will continue this one its scheduled release mid-next year. To get the inside scoop Adrian and Anthony chatted to Hugo from Sylph Arcade about what will make Arcade Battlers stand out.
To keep an eye on the project you can follow Hugo on Twitter.
Can you give our readers a quick background of Sylph Arcade?
Our goal is to develop games as good as good old ones back in the NES/SNES/SEGA/NEOGEO days, especially in the japanese style.
What inspired you to create an indie development company Hugo? Was it always on your mind to do so?
I always wanted to do it since I was a child.
Is Arcade Battlers the first game you have worked on, and if not, which other titles have you created?
- Bad School Boy, a puzzle game on Steam, not that bad but not that good neither, don’t buy it, lol!
- Jar Battlers, a smash game, I’m going to remove it from Steam don’t buy it neither!! lol!
Actually, Arcade Battlers heroes was invented in Jar Battlers, but the mechanic is totally different.
Arcade Battlers looks incredibly fun and frantic. Can you explain what sort of game our readers can expect to see?
My goal here is to make a cool rythm’d arcade style game, that’s not a metroidvania or open world exploration game, but an action platformer full of action, very handy and intuitive. You should (be able to) master the gameplay within one minute, but always discovering new cool stuff & features.
It could look like a beat’em up and like a kind of platformish Double Dragon at moments, and then more like a Goemong Gambare/Mario-like action platformer in some other moments.
What features and game mechanics will help your game stand out?
The main special mechanic is the air combo bouncing system. What is cool too is that you can do several attacks with only one button, depending on the direction and the situation, in the air and on floor (only 2 attack buttons, the normal attack and the super attack).
I’m also happy with that new corner hanging feature, I prefer it than the usual wall jump.
You’ll be able to buy weapons and other stuff during the game, weapons will change the gameplay a bit, if you attack an enemy in the air with a saber for example, you’ll pass through him, instead of bouncing as usual with the air kick.
You’ve got 3 characters + 3 unlockable characters (unlockable during the game).
Finally, I do my best to capture that old Manga-ish Japanese style, used in so many old games, but so much used in neo retro indies. And note the kinda Japanese voices too, made on my own, I’m proud of them haha!
What classic retro titles helped inspire Arcade Battlers?
1- Goemon Gambare 2
2- Shinobi III
3- Sparkster, Strider, Blue’s journey…
all those mixed up with Toriyama style. My gameplay is kinda different from those, but I hope that’s for the best!
When do you hope to see Arcade Battlers released to the public and will it be available on modern or retro consoles?
Within 2020 it should be available, as the development is going pretty fast. I’m planning new consoles for sure, old consoles would be amazing too, hopefully I’ll be able to do it.
What are your plans for the future? Do you have any other games in the pipeline?
There is that metroidvania I started a long time ago but unfortunately never finished, called Dragoon, maybe I’ll go back to it.
I’m also dreaming of a versus game, inspired by Kizuna Encounters, I tried some sprites some months ago (below).
What advice would you give to anyone looking to develop their own indie game?
So if you wanna make retro style game, I have 3 golden rules (which I didn’t respect in my first attempts)
1 – Keep it simple & fun – means handy intuitive and not punitive.
2 – Attractive style – means heroes, enemies and world has got to look cool, and story too if there is one.
3- Good level design – this rule makes the other two come alive. Uou could have the best graphics and stylish characters in a cool world and it would be nothing without a good level design. And designing a good level is not that simple!
Then, still if you looking for retro style, better use Godot or GM at least for video display options, as Construct is limited for this. I’m currently porting all the game to Godot, learning it all.
What are your top 3 games of all time?
1- Goemon Gambare 2 (SNES)
2- Battle of Olympus (NES)
3- Kizuna Encounters (Neo-Geo)
If you had the opportunity to hire any iconic video game character to work with Sylph Arcade, who would that be and why?
Goemon!! Or Chrono but in a platformer game! (Enki looks a bit like Chrono lol…just a bit haha!)
If you could share a few drinks with a video game character, who would you choose and why?
Ryu Hayabusa, let’s learn some ninja techniques!
Adrian & Anthony
Now go check out Anthony’s Official Neo-Geo thread on Atariage!