When a game like Fist Puncher finds its way on Steam Greenlight, we get as excited as we get curious. Thankfully, Matt Lewandowski of Team2Bit took the time to answer some of our pressing questions regarding their upcoming action title.
GLG: In 7 words or less, describe Fist Puncher.
Matt: Castle Crashers meets Double Dragon.
GLG: What inspired you to make a game like Fist Puncher?
Matt: We’ve always been huge fans of the beat ‘em up genre. Console games like River City Ransom and arcade classics like X-Men and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles created some of our favorite gaming memories growing up. When we started development, people told us that the brawler was dead. Personally, we felt there was still plenty of room for innovation and creativity within the genre. We wanted to make a game that had a throwback style that would transport people back to a time when brawlers were the rage, and then mix that with modern gameplay and twists. We also thought a beat ‘em up would be the perfect arena to stamp a game with tons of personality. For us, making sure our personal vision and voice comes across to the player is one of the most important parts of making a game.
GLG: What game modes are there in the game?
Matt: We’re still tweaking this for the final release, but at present Fist Puncher contains a Campaign/Story mode, Arcade mode, and Survival mode. The main game mode is the Campaign/Story where you unlock levels, characters, and items and level up and develop your party as you work through the game. We feel strongly that this is where the game is at its best and offers the richest and deepest gameplay experience.
GLG: How important to you was having local co-op multiplayer in the game?
Matt: Very important. One of the great things about videogames is their ability to bring people together through a shared play space. While online multi-player is awesome, it can’t capture the type of experiences and shared emotion that local co-op can. There’s something special about sitting down with some pals and busting through a co-op game. In fact, with things like Steam Big Picture and the huge success of the Ouya console, we’re starting to see a resurgance in popularity of the sort of console and couch gaming where local co-op is at its best.
GLG: How many playable characters are there, and how are they different from each other?
Matt: Fist Puncher starts with 4 main characters: Dr. Karate, Steroid Jackson, Hella Fistgerald, and the Beekeeper. However, you can unlock up to 15 playable characters as you progress through the game. Each character has unique movesets, different strengths and weaknesses, and their own backstory that is revealed in the game. We felt is was important to imbue each character with qualities that make them stand apart from the rest of the cast. This way playing a level with a new character would create a new gameplay experience. For example, Hella Fistgerald can kiss enemies and convert them to fight on your side. This can result in a much different strategy as you work through a level playing as her.
GLG: Can you explain how the RPG and leveling system works?
Matt: Each character in your party gains level up and perk points as they progress through the game. Level up points can be applied to attribute categories (strength, speed, defense, etc.) to sculpt characters to your liking. Perk points can be used to purchase new moves and powers for your characters.
GLG: What do you feel is the best feature in Fist Puncher… the one that makes it a must-play game?
Matt: There’s so many things that I love about Fist Puncher that it’s hard to point to a single feature. However, one thing that makes certain small studio indie games special is that they convey a distinct sense of authorship. They *feel* like someone’s personal vision rather than a game that was concocted in a boardroom by a bunch of marketing gurus all concerned with maximizing profits and targeting demographics. Look at Fez. That game *is* Phil Fish. I think the same is true of Fist Puncher. From the characters to the levels to the set pieces and story, it looks and feels a little different than anything else out there. And it is. We poured over 2 years into crafting a game that is everything that we love about and want to see in a videogame. Whether your tasing guys on a nude beach, crashing Hitler’s birthday party, throwing fireballs at stripper nuns, duking it out on a ninja golf course, solving item puzzles in a haunted crypt, or just taking a breather to hit some balls at the local batting cage, it all adds up to a world and an experience that you can only find in Fist Puncher.
GLG: When can we get our hands on it? I have a few right hooks I’d love to throw.
Matt: The game is nearing completion and we’re in talks with publishers now. We’re hoping to have Fist Puncher out in wide release in the first quarter of 2013. Stay tuned to our website, twitter, or facebook for more details and updates.