Plenty of people have asked about my game project – what is it really about?
I’ve always let them know, that it’s a 2D shooting game set within a cyberpunk universe, with anime/manga influences.
Response has been mostly positive. After all, shooting stuff, cyberpunk worlds and big eyes with speed lines are things of great interest to game fans. Of course one could also add anime, manga and sci-fi enthusiasts in there too.
The beauty of anime and manga is the sheer amount steeped in cyberpunk lore. At a drop of a hat I can think of several titles: Akira, Angel Cop, Appleseed, Battle Angel Alita, Black Magic M-66, Bubblegum Crisis, Cyber City Oedo 808, Cybernetics Guardian, Dirty Pair, Genocyber, Ghost In the Shell, M.D. Geist, Megazone 23, Roujin Z, Serial Experiments Lain and Silent Möbius. And that’s just the short list.
I would recommend, anyone who has even a passing interest in cyberpunk, anime and manga to check out some of the above. If you’ve been playing video games for the past 20+ years, it should not surprise you how much of an influence these have been on your favourite medium.
It’s quite harrowing to pick just one or two titles that have had the biggest influence on me, personally. However, the Appleseed manga just clicked with me two decades ago when I picked up my first copy. Likewise, Akira and Cyber City Oedo 808 both had a profound impact, visually stunning masterpieces that they were and still are.
When I commenced with development of my game, I opted for a cyberpunk theme. Due to the fact that there weren’t too many traditional shooting games based in such a universe. Most tend to be space shooters, which is perfectly fine but didn’t inspire me much to follow suit. It’s not that the concept of a cyberpunk shooting game is terribly original but far less common.
Nevertheless, still a window of opportunity to indulge and create a cyberpunk world with interesting characters that fit the bill. This presented a challenge on how to best depict all this within the boundaries of a two dimensional, top-down viewpoint. How the rich tapestry of manga-infused hyperreality would be brought to life as a shooting game, regardless of confines.
Fortunately pixel art lends itself beautifully in helping formulate such a world within a retro game format. The tinny, metallic sound of FM synthesis provide the ideal, aural backdrop of a future make-believe dystopia. Cataclysmic electropunk, new wave, synthwave or industrial beats for ersatz cyborgs. All angles are covered.
Sticking feverishly to 80’s neon-noir and anime aesthetics. This was always meant to be a brightly coloured dystopia. The dour mood brought about by modern grey/brown first person shooters have no place in a 16-BIT Shock production. As cheesy and trite as this may sound – I wear shades because the future is bright.