February 23, 2013 4:00 PM | Staff
Gunstar Heroes, Contra, Metal Slug, Metroid and Castlevania -- these are few of the much-loved side-scrolling action games that inspired Aleksey Abramenko and Vap Games' Intrusion 2, which is up for the Technical Excellence award at this year's Independent Games Festival.
Intrusion 2 (available for download now) is a more refined follow-up to the 2008 original Flash game. Though it is heavily influenced by some of the most well-regarded games of the classic 16-bit era, Intrusion 2 features modern, flowing visuals and a heavy emphasis on physics.
As part of Gamasutra's ongoing Road to the IGF series, Abramenko talked about his three-year quest to make his own statement on this classic genre.
What is your background in making games?
I started making games in school as a hobby. I was making different prototypes and engines, my first big project was Intrusion 1, i finished it while studying in university. And i was also working as a freelancer at the time. About a year after the first Intrusion i decided to continue the series, after graduating from university i decided to finish the project, and now it almost feels like a real job.
What development tools did you use?
For Intrusion 2 i used Flash, not the best solution for downloadable games, but it worked.
How long have you been working on the game?
I've been working on it for more than three years. Sometimes full-time, sometimes part-time.
How did you come up with the concept?
The main concept always was "action game with cool stuff." Most of the ideas come from surrounding noise - things i see every day or from movies, anime, random pictures on the internet and other games. Talking to people online can generate lots of ideas too.
Why did you go the "real physics" route?
Ever since Gish and Half Life 2 i was kinda obsessed with physics in games. I think detailed physics and animation conduct the game feel on the lowest level and are very important for creating visually believable game world. Also it's one of the unpredictable and hard to control areas of game development, and it makes it more interesting to work with.
What are some of your favorite 16-bit action games, and why?
I would like to point out Metroid and Castlevania series for GBA, each of these games is a whole huge adventure that could take weeks of playing during breaks. The Metal Slug series (1, 2, 3, X - the good parts) -- it's a visual overload and one of the best arcade games ever created. Contra (Hard Corps is my favorite) and the Gunstar series both have excellent action gameplay and boss sequences, and it's fascinating what these games achieve within the technical limitations of their platforms.
What's next for Intrusion 2, and what other game ideas do you have stirring around?
Now i'm working on new engine for future project (not named yet). I will continue Intrusion 2 story in the future, when i have enough ideas and technologies.
Have you played any of the other IGF finalists? Any games you've particularly enjoyed?
I really liked Hotline Miami, it's well designed and too addictive. I've also played Perspective, Dys4ia, Mirrormoon (too short, i want more!), Thirty Flights of Loving. I'm definitely going to play all finalist games that i can get access to.
What do you think of the current state of the indie scene?
It's huge, it's out of control, it's awesome. It's getting bigger, crazier and more awesome every year. The development tools and ways to promote your game (Kickstarter, Steam Greenlight, new distribution platforms and dedicated indie gaming hardware) are constantly evolving, and i have no idea what to expect next.
[Kris Graft wrote this article originally for sister site Gamasutra.]