While Wasteland Bar Fight might be starting out as a stand-alone game, it’s developer, Norwegian Kybernesis, has great plans for it’s future.
A kick in the face can be the beginning of something beautiful. Broken teeth glimmering in the dim neon light of a wasteland bar carrying in them a promise of something bigger, as the spin towards the grimy floor, forever separated from the unshaven face they were once a part of. Does that sound weird? It makes perfect sense for Norwegian game developer Kybernesis, whose upcoming game for iOS, Android and Windows Phone, Wasteland Bar Fight, they see as only the first step into a whole series of games centered around the same post-apocalyptic barrens Wasteland (and it’s occasional bars).
Ronny Anderssen, CEO and Co-Founder af Kybernesis, explains to Nordic Game Bits that if things go according to plan, Wasteland Bar Fight is just a prelude to the much bigger concept that Kybernesis has dubbed Corp Wars. “Corp Wars will be a huge network of games gathered under the Umbrella-concept, Corp Wars,” Anderssen explains.
All these games are set in the post-apocalyptic cyberpunk setting that we have created. The innovation in our concept is that all these games will talk to each other, so actions done in one game will have consequences in the other games, both good and bad.
Kybernesis started with Wasteland Bar Fight as the first game in the Corp Wars concept not just because it was part of a business plan, but also because conditions limited their options somewhat. “We used to be a larger team of 6,” Anderssen says, “but during the fall of 2012 we lost 4 to other work, studies, etc. Because we now where only 2, we needed a smaller game that we could develop with only 1 programmer and 1 artist.”
The idea itself came from the companys ‘Idea Factory’ – a place where they store great ideas for later use. “We have a practice of adding all ideas that pop into our heads at any time into something I like to call The Idea Factory, which basically is a list where you can add your ideas with a short write-up and then continue on the task at hand, knowing the idea will be waiting there till later. And it was in The Idea Factory that we found this fun little idea that Ståle, our Art Director, had some time back which shouldn’t take too long to develop. And that was Wasteland Bar Fight.”
The inspiration for the striking graphical style the game uses came from both graphic novels and the universe the story takes place in. “We decided to exaggerate character’s features to emphasize the fiction behind the game and give it more life,” says Ståle Tevik, Art Director & Co-Founder.
“Sometimes that works better and usually costs less than photorealism and motion capture. The theme in Wasteland Bar Fight is rough and grimy – the wasteland backdrop calls for dirty environments. In the end the style is a consequence of the game’s scope and atmosphere.”
Fighting games on mobile platforms in not something you see every day, and Kybernesis is quite aware that they are aiming outside of the mainstream with their game, Anderssen tells Nordic Game Bits.
There’s so many of the more generalized games out there, like Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, etc that are so huge that it’s hard to compete with them. In a niche it’s easier to find a market and niche markets usually are more passionate about the games they play too.
Choosing to make a fighting game however, was also a result of personal preferences. “We’re both martial artists in real life and we both love fighting games,” Anderssen explains. “At the time we started developing Wasteland Bar Fight, there was next to none other mobile fighting games that used only touch controls.”
Putting out a title in a relatively untested genre also made Kybernesis use a business model that doesn’t interfere directly with the gameplay. “The monetization is free to play with ads exactly because it’s such an untested genre,” says Anderssen. “It’s much easier to get as many as possible to test the game and spread the word about it with a free to play model, which is what we think we need for the game to be successful.” However, a premium version of the game, without the ads, should be in the works.
The game is set to launch December 17th. At launch, the game will feature one bar level, but Kybernesis expects to add two more bars shortly after launch as well as a survival mode for the high-score hunters. After that, Kybernesis hopes that they will be able to move on the more games that tie into the Corp War universe. Currently they have a tower/castle defense game called The Siege and a still unnamed city builder on the drawing board.