Welcome to this super special (super delayed) update! I have so much new content to reveal today, so let’s get salutations out of the way so we can just jump right into it.
First off, I hope everyone is enjoying Global Warming 2017™ Summer Special. I’ve been staying nice and crispy inside my desert pueblo, basking in 90 degree weather -- and that’s with the swamp cooler running at Mach 4 -- as I work on Pocket Neon City RUMBLE and Before the Earth Explodes (I’ll talk about this upcoming board game by Green Couch Games at the end of this update). The Global Warming Summer 2017 special comes with a heat wave of hot new fashion trends, including the all-new look by yours truly: taping portable pocket fans all over my sweaty half-nude body.
Let that image sink into your brain meat for a while… good?
OK, so all goofs aside, I hope you are doing well this summer and playing tons of games. Let me know in the comments section which board games you’ve taken off the shelf this month. I’ve been having fun playing Pathfinder: the Adventure Card Game. My friend and I beat Mummy’s Mask and now we’re spanking demons in their heretical heinies in “Wrath of the Righteous-ness” (I usually say this using a botched Keanu Reeves impersonation). I’m playing as Seela the Paladin, while my buddy is breaking the game with his elfish Alchemist prankster, Damiel.
Seela is pretty straightforward, opting to bash stuff with her holier-than-thou swords and righteousness ("whoa"), rather than get all thinky with spells. Damiel, on the other hand, is like a one-man army that can go through an entire location deck in a single turn! I sheet you not, I’ve witnessed this creepy slime-loving hentai elf close TWO locations in a single turn. Damiel is the most gangster elf I have ever seen in a game, bar none. He would F up Drizzt any day.
Damiel really likes Slime monsters.
Anyway, apart from work and Pathfinder, I recently went to the movie house to watch Spiderman: Homecoming. My favorite part was that the Vulture looked uncannily like my dad. There’s a certain awkward scene in a car that reminded me of a “pep talk” Pop gave me on the way to a certain event in high school. I busted up at that part. Then I went back to feeling the cringe… that was one of the best, most unsettling moments I’ve seen in a comic movie in a while.
Are you seeing this, Dad? You totally look like Michael Keaton. Please tell me you're not slinging illegal alien weapons across the Big Apple in your spare time.
Tomorrow, I’m gonna be going again to the movies with my boy Damiel to check out Luc Besson’s new sci-fi blockbuster, Valerian. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a few months now. It looks really fun, and, hey, it's from the director that brought us The Fifth Element, one of my all-time favorite movies ever! If you haven’t seen the trailer for Valerian, do yourself a favor and remedy that. I think you’ll like what you see.
OK, ok, ok! Let’s move on to the unveils! First up, I am super excited to finally be able to show you some pages from “Booyah Gaming Monthly”, formerly known as the Strategy Guide. It comes with the Deluxe set of Pocket Neon City RUMBLE. So without further ado:
Here’s the cover!
For inspiration on the graphic design, Rudy and I referred to old Nintendo Power and EGM magazines from the late 80s and 90s for inspiration. Instead of adding "aged" textures like on the box cover for The Battle and Kemble's Cascade (awesome board game btw), we decided to leave it pure, to make it feel like you ordered a mint copy of an old mag from eBay for hundred's of dollars.
Now to annouce the "Booyah Broadcast" initiative!
For all you youngsters out there who may not get the "joke", videogame companies in the late 80s to mid-90s used to offer customer support hotlines;1-800 numbers that you could call and spend hard-earned cash to get "winning tips" to help you get past a difficult or puzzling part in a videogame. There's a really great video on YouTube where MetalJesusRocks talks about his days as a cutsomer service rep for Sierra. Imagine if Game FAQS charged you per minute to peruse their walk-throughs. Gamers had it rough before Al Gore invented the internet.
The "00"s are placeholders for page numbers. I shuffle content around on a whim, so I won't be filling in the blanks until we've finished all the assets for the magazine.
I've been having almost too much fun writing these Character Bios. I love the addition of a character's favorite "videogame" and "tabletop" game. If you ever had any doubts about which games inspired the concept for our main roster, now you (and Nintendo's lawyers) can put that all to rest.
I've overhaulled Ash's backstory to be something more "original" and seperate him from other muscular blond brawlers like Axel Stone (Streets of Rage) and Cody Travers (Final Fight). Now he's a parody of Crono and JRPG protagonists at large. I think you'll enjoy his origin that is revealed later in his own short story titled: "The Time Traveller's Tale: a Krono Kombat Story". You'll get a chance to read the first two pages of this epic yarn here in a few, but before that, let's check out some more character bios!
I may have gone a little overboard with Simone's backstory...
And now, it with great pleasure that I announce to you the "greatest adventure game (n)ever made", Krono Kombat:
Square Enix stole the idea for Chrono Trigger from us! Break out the pens! Sign the petitions! MUSTER THE HORDES!
In case some of you couldn't tell, this is utter nonsense. It's just for fun, dudes!
As Rudy and I were designing the Kickstarter campaign for Pocket Neon City RUMBLE, we threw around a couple of ideas for future expansions. One of the three ideas we tinkered with was "Krono Kombat", which has become sort of a running gag between the two of us. It was such a blatant rip-off of one of the (if not THE) greatest J-RPGs of all time, it's almost "cute" that it thinks it could even compete.
Our other two ideas not covered in Booyah Gaming Magazine were for a sentai/Power Ranger spoof and a Sim City (SNES version) style city-building / tile-flipping extravaganza that would have players building property and then fighting over said turf in a huge gang-real-estate war for up to six players. It was for the kids.
All three of our pitches were built around the components found in the Pocket NCR Core Set, so if you had a copy, you could pick up and play any one of these three expansions. In the end, we decided to scrap all of these concepts in favor of, you know, just focusing on the main game. Anyway, I hope you got a couple laughs outta this, or at the very least, nodded in approval at Rudy's awesome character sketches for Krono Kombat.
So, with Krono Kombat in mind, do you remember those little comic shots that used to Ninteno Power used to publish in their mags? I LOVED them as a kid. Like seriously, I recall sitting down for hours on end copying artwork from the Secret of Mana: "Days of Mana" journal series. I'll always keep those magical little stories in a very special dungeon in my heart.
Which is why Rudy and I just had to make one for Pocket NCR!
I have the next few pages and finale written and ready to be Rudy-fied. He and I decided that it would be fun to release these slowly throughout the next couple of updates, just to give you something to look forward to in the coming weeks/months leading up to production.
By now, you must be wondering what Beat Them All (BTA) s even about. Once called "Final Boss Mode", BTA goes beyond its predocessor by operating as a stand-alone game that uses some of the components, namely gems, from the Pocket Neon City RUMBLE Core Set.
Out of fear of being beholden to what I write here, I am going to refrain from talking about the mechanics of the game until Update 26. For now, feel free to take a look over Rudy's concepts and ideas to get a feel for what we have in store for you Deluxe backers.
Time for some BTA CHARACTER REVEALS:
From left to right: Dues Ex-Mayor, Miss, and Asher Blitzer. All the punks facing our heroes are Bots, some of whom, should look familiar.
ASHER BLITZER: Ash and Ashley's li'l brother who puts the "tude" in attitude. Asher tries to be everything his siblings are not; instead of joining a gang or running with vigilante gang busters, Asher decided to try his hand in law enforcement. Under the command of Dues Ex-Mayor, the acting chief of Neon City Police Department (NCPD) and the careful guidence of the beautuful dispacher, Miss, Asher wages war against criminals and vigilantes alike. Using brute force and his wily, barfighting combat style, Asher aims to clean up the streets of Neon City once and for all, even if it means taking down his own family!
DUES EX-MAYOR: The cozy life of a retiree didn't rest well with the former mayor of Neon City. After Mayor Merciless waged a one-man assault against Precinct-J, killing the police chief and half the entire police force, Dues Ex-Mayor offered his full-time assistance to the restoration of the NCPD. Now he commands teams of riot squads and streetsweepers in a counter-war on crime and terrorism. Dues sees promise in his young captain, Asher, who's become like a second son to him. Dues believes that Miss has a crush on Asher and constantly tries to play matchmaker with the two, even going as far as to stage a wedding inside the police headquarters, which ended horribly...
MISS: She is the eyes, ears, and voice of the NCPD, commanding regiments of police officers, riot squads, and streetsweepers through the dangerous streets and alleyways of Neon City. During conflict, Miss relays intelligence and commands to and from Precinct-J. Miss spends 16 hours a day inside the hallowed walls of the police headquarters, but on quiet days when she can go home, she likes to watch K-Drama and read gossip articles about Korean idols. She's thought about paging Asher for dinner and a movie, but she's too shy and hangs up every time. Besides, she doesn't have the time to for "off-duty interaction". So for now, she's content with fighting crime and getting her romance from K-Dramas.
Let's take a look at one of the "play areas" for Beat Them All. We've decided to use spiral binding for the "Booyah Gaming Monthly" magazine, so players can fold out the play areas inside for use with BTA:
Again, I'm not going to comment much on the mechanics, but it should be pretty obvious once you see the next few images that the game has a 3D pop up effect going on. BTA implements standees and the back of the deluxe box is used to create a 3D diorama of Asher, Dues, and Miss fighting bots against a towering backdrop of skyscrapers:
Some more notes and sketches by Rudy:
Asher standee. The direction your character is facing is pivotal to the gameplay.
Some details about each of the 3 main characters.
Fighter / Boss card size comparison.
Like River City Ransom, you can purchase Items from the RUMBLER PAK at special Shop locations on the play areas.
And that's all for now, folks! I don't want to seed too many expectations in your heads, before Rudy and I have the chance to playtest all of these ideas. We'll definitely have more info and art for you in the next update, though, so stay tuned!
I'd love to hear your thoughts about everything we discussed in the update in the comments section! I'll be stalking -- er, checking -- them on the daily!
Before I let you go, I'd like to chat just for a moment about a very special board game I've had the priveledge of working on as artist and graphic designer:
In Before The Earth Explodes (this link will take you to the Dice Tower preview) two players face off with the use of simultaneous action selection, clever tactics, and intuition to be the first player to advance to the top of the technology track, colonize seven new planets, destroy the opposing faction, or meet one of the ship victory conditions.
Working alongside Jason Kotarski of Green Couch Games has been nothing short of rivitalizing. He gave me a blank canvas to work with and I hope that gamers appreciate the old school sci-fi vibes I tried to instill into the setting. I was responsible for ALL of the art and graphic design for the game, marketing, and even the Kickstarter, so, uh... no pressure, right? Anyway, the Kickstarter campaign for BtEE launches on August 1st, so if interested, be sure to become a fan of his BGG page to stay in the loop.
OK, that about wraps things up for this update. Thank you so much, guys, for all your patience and support over the past year-and-a-half-and-some-change. Rudy and I are working our heretical heinies off to get BTA playable within the next month. You can be sure I'll be dropping that update like a hot plate!
Take care, everyone! See you in the comments(?)!