Interview by Gemma @ Juicy Game Reviews / TheGebs24
So you liked Final Fight and Streets of Rage back in the 90's right? If the answer is "yes" then I think you're going to get a kick out of BitBeam Cannon's upcoming Beat 'em up. If the answer is "no", well you can keep reading because Daemon Claw just might be your cup of tea.
I reached out to Mike and Corey, BitBeam's masterminds, for exclusive access in to Metro Siege and Daemon Claw. What they gave me, far surpassed my expectations. They allowed me the following interview (which I hope you'll enjoy), a first access play of Metro Siege on my Amiga 500 Mini and exclusive commentary in to the games' development. Before we take a deep dive in to the interview here is an overview of what Metro Siege and Daemon Claw are about, from BitBeam's very own, Mike:
"For Metro Siege, BitBeamCannon is teaming up with PixelGlass and Enable Software to deliver a 2 player co-op beat em up for classic Amigas and many modern platforms.
The team's goal is not just to make the best beat em up game for classic Amiga, but to make a brawler that can stand its ground against all of the greats of the genre, whether they be in the arcade or on consoles.
Beat Em Up's have always been the favorite of Metro Siege's lead designer, and this results in one of the most sophisticated combat mechanics in any beat em up, with the most fun elements collected from many of the games he's played over the the decades.
Metro Siege provides a large assortment of basic attacks, aerial attacks, combo attacks, back-attacks, low attacks, dash-attacks, super-attacks, grabs and throws to let each player mix things up and play in the style they want to play in the moment. On top of this, Metro Siege ads even more combat options in the way of blocking and counter-attacks. Holding attack and back will block basic attacks. Blocking strong attacks like jump-kicks will reduce damage, but players will be knocked back a bit, requiring a second or two to recover.
Once skilled enough to initiate your block a split second before the moment of impact, you'll automatically parry the enemy attack and perform a special counter-strike, dealing bonus damage to the enemy wile also earning back a bit of health and special attack power.
On top of this already robust mix of fighting options Metro Siege let's you enjoy throwing enemies into each other and multiple ways to hit them while they're down. There's a risky knee or elbow drop to deal heavy damage to a fallen foe, but if they get up or roll out of the way, or you just miss your mark, you'll slam yourself into the pavement, taking damage yourself and leaving yourself temporarily vulnerable as you recover.
The final playable character is not yet revealed, but Metro Siege will offer three distinct character to play as, each offering a different move set and playing style to further add to the variety and replay value.
This demo includes the first 3 mostly complete levels and the first full boss fight scene, but behind the scenes many more levels are in varying degrees of partially implemented.
Metro Siege has been in development for over 3 years, but don't worry, that doesn't mean it will take the team a year to make each new level. Now that the games engine and tool set are fully developed progress on filling in the unfinished content is drastically faster. That said, because each member of the team has their own day job to deal with and fluctuating available hours on any given day, they can't yet give an estimated delivery date for the full game. The best thing to do in this regard is to follow BitBeamCannon on social media for all the latest updates so you can easily track their progress".
"The other project BitBeamCannon is currently working on is this fast paced side scrolling action game, DaemonClaw. The game design, code, and graphics are all being done by BitBeamCannon, with the original soundtrack being made by non other than Amiga music legend Allister Brimble.
Set in its own flavor of D&D or Tolkien type world, DaemonClaw let's you take control of a noble but brutal warrior who uses his magically augmented fists instead of a sword to try to save humanity from a sudden concerted assault from many of the mythical creatures of the world.
Despite the family resemblance, DaemonClaw is not a MetroidVania or a Platformer. The focus is purely on the high speed combat and learning to use magic abilities you build up which are unique to each level. The magical gauntlet our hero wields to bash his way towards world peace adapts and channels its power differently in each environment, adapting automatically to best deal with the type of enemy currently impeding his progress.
The big difference with DaemonClaw's development is it's being built and perfected first for modern platforms, then highly customized ports will be made for classic systems like Amiga and Megadrive, lovingly re-tooled to but best to each particular systems strengths. In fact, the Amiga version will actually be made using the same core code and tool set developed for Metro Siege. On that topic, BitBeamCannon has a question for you hard-core Amigan's out there: Assuming they can only make one Amiga version of DaemonClaw, would you rather it run on OCS/ECS Amigas like Metro Siege does, or would you prefer if they made it for AGA Amiga's so the Amiga version can rival the MegaDrive version without compromise?'
1/ Tell us a bit about yourselves and what inspired you to get in to video game development?
Corey got into art at a young age and started doing digital art in MS paint as a kid. He fell in love with games on the NES and into the 16 bit era. In his later teen years Corey started creating art for games as a hobby in events like game jams.
Mike's first passion as a kid was to be a comic book artist, but fell in love with games as they developed from the 8 bit era onward, and he fell in love with pixel art starting with the commodore 64. He developed most of the skills he'd later use as a professional pixel artist on the Amiga with Deluxe Paint and Brilliance.
2/ What are your personal histories with Amiga Home Computers? Or in fact, any genre of gaming?
Mike is the one who grew up with Amiga computers and it was a huge part of his development as a pixel artist and frustrated game designer who in his teens dreamed of someday proving that games could have been made for classic Amiga which could rival Mega Drive classics not only in overall quality but in gameplay design as well.
3/ How long has Metro Siege been in development?
It started a bit over 3 years ago. Momentum is only increasing but since each team member has their own day-jobs and families demanding their time, we can't estimate when it will be finished. This whole time we've also been building our Youtube channel, social media presence, and our other major game project, DaemonClaw, which will also end up with a classic Amiga version.
4/ Can we expect physical releases from any of your upcoming projects?
We want a physical release for every game we make, and so far it looks like that won't be a problem, as many established publishers have been contacting us with interest in being the ones to make the physical versions.
5/ It seems like Final Fight in particular and Streets of Rage influenced Metro Siege. How true is this statement?
Spot on. As far as games go, those were the two biggest influences, Streets of Rage 2 was the biggest influence regarding gameplay and Final fight was more of a visual influence. Beat Em Ups are Mike's favorite genre and he's played nearly all of them across consoles and arcades over the decades, and with Metro Siege, he's trying to take and improve on what he thought was the most fun elements from all of them. On the visual and story telling side, he's pulling more influence from the 80's Hollywood vigilante movies which had inspired the entire genre to begin with.
6/ What can you tell us about the Scorpion Engine and what issues have you had so far with the development?
The Scorpion Engine is developing at a remarkable rate and it's creator, Erik Hogan has been extremely helpful and responsive to feedback and feature requests. Every time Mike did run into any kind of limitation, he reported it and it was fixed within literally days (sometimes hours). Mike only just begun a Scorpion Engine made game project recently, and the progress he's been able to make and resulting quality is a testament to this amazing game dev tool.
7/ Along with Metro Siege, Daemon Claw and Cyberjack are also due on the Amiga. Have you got release dates in mind for these?
Due to the nature of our collaborations we can't currently give time estimates with any useful degree of certainty. This first (modern platform) version of DaemonClaw will certainly be the first game we finish. Then the second likely to be finished will be Metro Siege, and the Amiga version of DaemonClaw will then be made using the Metro Siege code base, which is called “Engine 9000”. While that is being done, we'll no doubt also be busy working on Cyberjack and we already have some other great games planned for the future.
We also plan to pursue ports of both DaemonClaw and Metro Siege to Megadrive and perhaps other retro systems.
8/ I’m a HUGE fan of pixel art. Have you got any inspirations for pixel artistry?
If you'd like some nerdy deep dive discussions on pixel art, including in some of the most iconic classic game we have a playlist on our Youtube channel ( BitBeamCannon ) called Forensic Pixology, and Corey plans to eventually make a series of pixel art tutorials. There are already some great time-lapses of Corey creating much of the art for DaemonClaw to check out as well.
Also, we're not in any way affiliated with his channel, but we've been watching the great videos by Brandon James Greer (that's also the name of his Youtube channel), which are fun and inspiring pixel art challenges he gives himself, typically based on some kind of current pop-culture theme.
9/ How would you both describe Metro Siege to someone who had never heard about it?
It's a fun game and we can't wait for people to be able to play it. It's all about keeping two players on their toes and pleasantly surprised with additions and twists to the tropes of the Bet Em Up genre. We're making sure to provide very different characters to play as with very different moves and attributes. The more the player masters their move set and the fighting mechanics the more they will realize the huge range of play styles they can choose in any given situation. Metro Siege has it all: blocking, counter-attacks, hitting enemies while they are down, and eating sweat, sweat trashcan turkey!
10/ Where can everyone find you on the internet?
Our website is www.bitbeamcannon.com and links to all of our social media can be found there. Our Youtube channel is BitBeamCannon.
Interview by Gemma @ Juicy Game Reviews / TheGebs24
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