Shoot 'em Up Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Shoot 'em Up RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Interview: 2Awesome Studio's David Jimenez discusses Dimension Drive and it's sabotaged Kickstarter campaign Wed, 15 Jul 2015 06:35:47 -0400 Anne-Marie Coyle

The initial Kickstarter attempt for Dimension Drive, the first game by Dutch developer 2Awesome Studio, fell victim to a troll who saw fit to 'donate' enough to see the game reach its pledge goal. After the bogus donation was revoked, the project was rendered unsuccessful. However, with a second campaign resulting in $36,996 pledged by 1,194 backers, Dimension Drive was finally successfully funded on Kickstarter. We caught up with the game's designer, David Jimenez, to discuss the game, the studio's experience with crowdfunding and what the future holds for Dimension Drive.

In today’s games industry, with open development platforms and self-publishing tools readily available to everyone, games need to have a hook and an original angle in order to stand out in this highly competitive market. Taking the essence of old-school top-down space shooters, Dimension Drive aims to do that with its dual-battlefield mechanic. This is a split-screen set-up with two dimensions running side by side that a single player must warp between in order to defeat enemies, solve puzzles and generally progress through its colorful comic book-style world. When asked how the team came up with the concept for Dimension Drive Jimenez said:

“Like most ideas it came in a moment where we were having fun. One evening, Alejandro and myself (David) were playing shoot'em ups from our childhood together and having some pizza and beers. At some point we ended up also watching some YouTube videos of hardcore players playing these kind of games, "superplays" they are called. We saw one guy playing 2 player mode, with 2 controllers just by himself. He managed to somehow dodge all bullets, kill enemies, and finish the level with the players single-handedly!!! We looked to each other and said … “let’s make a game like that”. We did, and it was almost impossible to play for an average player, but we have been iterating from that original idea together with our community till the solid concept we have today.”

Fending off an alien invasion across two dimensions simultaneously sounds rather frantic, and the ability strike a balance between a chaotic concept and rewarding gameplay is crucial to this type of game.

When asked about how the team are approaching the games difficulty Jimenez explains that they are aiming to create an experience that will satisfy shooter veterans, but won’t alienate those less familiar with the stereotypically punishing genre.

“We are trying to strike some middle ground with Dimension Drive. The shoot'em up genre has become a hardcore niche especially when you consider 'bullet hells' from Japanese devs. We want to make Dimension Drive a challenging experience and bring some of that old-school difficulty without resorting to just fill your screen with bullets. On the other hand, we are implementing some game modes catered towards beginners. There's a resurgence now of the genre and we want to bring something new and innovative to the table.”

As already mentioned, Dimension Drive almost wasn’t funded.

The team had a second shot at Kickstarter after the first attempt was sabotaged. In the final hours of the first campaign, 2Awesome Studio received a pledge of €7,000 from a mysterious savior, leaving Dimension Drive just €200 shy of its €30,000 goal. Much to the delight of the team the project was funded, but disaster struck when Kickstarter informed them that the generous donation was, in fact, fraudulent - dashing the spirit of a company that was  unfairly conned into believing their dreams had just come true. Addressing the team’s reaction to the failed campaign, Jimenez said;

“It was devastating as you can imagine. It was hard. It could have been the end of Dimension Drive. The day after we didn’t know what to do, and we were mentally broken after an exhausting campaign ending with that incident to be honest.”

But 2Awesome Studio and the gaming community believed too much in the potential of Dimension Drive to let it end like that, and leading lady Jack came back fighting fit with a second Kickstarter campaign.

“Our second Kickstarter was not only about funding Dimension Drive, but also about not throwing the towel. We had people from all over the world sending messages of support and encouragement. They were asking us not to give up. We discussed with the team members and we decided to fight back. We really happy we took that decision. In the end, it's thanks to the community that we will be able to make this game. It was really tough, in the end we run two Kickstarter campaigns without a break and that is a huge amount of work.”

And after the gruelling business of running two Kickstarter campaigns there’s no rest in sight for the team.

The game has also reached many of its stretch goals that now need to be fulfilled. These will add a boss mode, horde mode and also the chance to share dimensions with a friend via two player local co-op, or blast them away in PvP. Curious as to how two player mode will be incorporated into the dual dimension set-up we quizzed Jimenez about it.

“We are still discussing how 2 player mode will be but one thing is clear for us, it has to be something new. We don't want just to slap another ship in there and call it a day. We would like that the two players have to really interact and play together to beat the levels in two player mode. For example, we are considering having them sharing the Dimension Energy, that way teamwork will be essential. Also, as Dimension Drive has been funded through Kickstarter we plan to gather the feedback of our backers and see what they would like this mode to be.”

Unfortunately, Dimension Drive missed out on the stretch goal that would have seen it reach the console market via PS4. But the team hasn't ruled out the possibility of bringing the game to other platforms.

“In the end it all boils down to time, funding and agreements with platform owners. We want to concentrate on the PC version first but we are open to port it to other platforms.”

With Dimension Drive expected to launch at the end of 2015 for Windows, Mac and Linux, we asked Jimenez what the future holds and whether we’ll see any more space shifting antics from the studio.

“We will, of course, support the players in case bugs or issues arise. If people want more of Dimension Drive and Jackelyne we will obviously work on expansions and sequels. It really depends on what people would like to see from us.”

Special thanks go to David Jimenez for this interview. More information about Dimension Drive can be found on the game's website or by following 2Awesome Studio on Facebook and Twitter.

Dimension Drive Kickstarter Finally Funded Thu, 04 Jun 2015 20:33:12 -0400 K.W. Colyard

Three weeks after a troll sunk their Kickstarter campaign, 2Awesome Studio has secured full funding for Dimension Drive. On May 13th, with only a few hours left in its crowdfunding effort, 2Awesome Studio received a single donation of the €7,000 needed to reach its €30,000 goal. Kickstarter discovered the generous offer was fraudulent with only 31 minutes to go. Dimension Drive failed to make up for the troll in time, and the development crew received nothing but heartache.

At the time, it seemed possible that 2Awesome Studio would abandon the project. The team persevered, however, and the Dimension Drive Kickstarter relaunched on May 18th, less than a week after its first incarnation was derailed. In under 24 hours, the campaign was halfway towards meeting its goal.

At the time of this writing, Dimension Drive has over one thousand backers and has exceeded its financial goal by over €3,400. If given €2,500 more, 2Awesome Studio promises Dimension Drive will have two-player co-op and PvP. Given the outpouring of support the developer has received so far, we're pretty sure that won't be a difficult goal to reach. The Dimension Drive Kickstarter ends on June 17th.

Troll Pretends to Fund Kickstarter; Devastates Developer Wed, 13 May 2015 16:12:14 -0400 Amanda Wallace

Running a successful Kickstarter as a developer is hard work. Some people have likened it to a full-time job, where you have to constantly keep your game in the public eye. It's stressful, especially in the final days of running the Kickstarter when you're just a little bit shy of making your goal (and your dreams) a reality. 

2Awesome Studios were in the final day of their Kickstarter with their goal in site, $7K needed to make their $30k Euro goal when suddenly they were there. Right under the wire, they hit their goal with one large benefactor. Dimension Drive was successfully funded. 

Except it wasn't. 

Around the time their Kickstarter clock hit midnight, 2Awesome Studios was informed that the donation was fraudulent, and therefore they hadn't made their $30K goal. 

All the official word has been from 2Awesome Studios right now, who are currently dealing with the devastation that comes from almost making their Kickstarter goal just to have it taken away. The user is apparently a confirmed troll: 

There's been no official word yet on what 2Awesome Studio is going to do after their Kickstarter. If you want to learn more Dimension Drive you can check out their Kickstarter page; unfortunately, the funding window has passed.