Kickin’ It With Shawn A. Allen – Treachery in Beatdown City
Do you like beat-em-ups? Do you like turn-based RPGs? Then have I got the game for you! I got in touch with Shawn. A. Allen to talk about his new game, Treachery in Beatdown City. Enjoy!
4cr: Hi Shawn, and welcome to Kickin’ It With. Before we begin, can you let our audience know about your work?
Hey! I grew up drawing comics and the like. Eventually I went to the School of Visual Arts for college and studied graphic design and computer animation. My thesis was an HD 1:43 animated short with a frame by frame 2D animated character interacting with 3D environments/props. That thesis got me my job at Rockstar Games, where I worked on trailers, writing, and other things for a few years. I left in June 2012 and I’ve been working on Treachery in Beatdown City ever since!
4cr: Treachery in Beatdown City is on Kickstarter, and it is being promoted as a tactical brawler. So what exactly is Beatdown City?
Treachery in Beatdown City is our reaction to loving brawlers, and wanting to make something new in the genre. We love brawlers, but when we started making one something wasn’t clicking. I had the idea one day to make it a bit like Fallout’s VATS system with a combo based menu element.
It took a couple of months, but what Treachery in Beatdown City feels like is kind of like a hybrid beat ‘em up/fighting game/wrestling game/tactics game/RPG. It’s heavily focused on making cool combos out of whatever moves you have, using strikes and throws that have meaning behind them, like specifically slowing down an enemy, and creating interesting 1 on 1/2/3 matches that you won’t see in any other game.
It takes a little bit of getting used to, because of how new the concept is, but all types of players like it, from competitive fighting game players, to people who love RPGs and don’t play brawlers, which we feel is a gigantic success. It will only get better as we keep tooling the balancing and add in more and more distinct characters and things like environmental hazards.
4cr: You’re introducing a crazy level of enemy variety and trying to not fall into the trap of “fight Mike and his doppelgangers 500 times in the game.” With over 20 unique enemies just on the first level alone, why did you decide to support this level of variety?
I wanted to make sure every enemy mattered. I get frustrated in games where every enemy is the same, I like variety. I made 4+ class types that enemies can fit into, so that they are always mixing it up. I guess I just like enemy variety, it makes you think about how you go about attacking. Also fighting styles reflect a personality, too. And every enemy has their own unique back story and personality.
4cr: The game is currently set for a release on PC and Mac once the main goal has been reached. Have you also considered a release on consoles (Wii U, PS4, XBO) or portables (3DS, Vita)?
Definitely looking at our options in the future. PS4/Vita are my prime targets after PC/MAC. I’ve also gotten in touch with Nintendo, but nothing is final yet. It all depends on how the cards play out. If I can, I’ll get it on everything.
Something many people don’t realize is even though the process is simpler, it’s still time intensive and usually requires another company to work on your port for you, or else you’re stuck for years doing it all. It’s never as easy as just pushing a button.
4cr: Why focus on 3 main characters instead of going with just the one option?
I love games like Final Fight/Streets of Rage that feature multiple characters. The idea has always been to have 3+ characters, and we actually just announced that we are working on a 4th character who will be voted on by backers to see what her final appearance and fighting style will be like.
It just gives players more than one way to mix it up in the world, and the game is very much based on having enemies that are harder to fight against with one character than the others. Also identity and friendship between different characters are both important to me, and the player characters interact from time to time in dialog scenes to learn more about all of them, as well as the enemies.
4cr: Thanks for your time. Is there anything else you might want to add?
Thanks for having me!
We want to thank Shawn for his time, and hope to see Treachery in Beatdown City make it to its goal.