Broforce: Road to Freedom

Documentary, super friendship arcade, Video

Oh hai old blog.
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I’ve been straight up terrible at this. NMJM was meant to be my platform for sharing the exciting game-related adventures I’ve been having. Instead, I’ve posted next to nothing, despite adventures over the past months having been been plentiful and incredibly awesome.

There’ve been no less than 3 Super Friendship Arcades thrown and a score of jams jammed. Several weird little games have been started. Snow Cones has been (kinda) completed and has been shown off at events in Cape Town, Johannesburg and London. There’s been some exciting bits of progress on Mecha Mews, our kitten/ mech, music fighting game. At A MAZE Johannesburg I presented “The Shape of Punk to Come”, my long planned talk on the future of alternative games.

I hate that I’ve done such a shitty job of documenting or sharing any of these adventures. I guess the plus side is I’ve been living them, but what good does that do you, Dear Reader?

As I type this, more adventures are being lived this very moment. Over the past weeks I’ve been busy on artwork for a project with my friends at Clockwork Acorn. It’s an incredibly exciting game to be a part of, and well deserving of posts of it’s own. Look out for those in the future.
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Alongside that, I’ve been spending most of my waking hours at the Free Lives House, where I’ve been “documenting” my friends as they finish off their game Broforce. 3 years in the making, the action platformer will be officially released an hour from my writing of these words. I’m so greatful to have been asked to document these last days of the game’s development. Seeing a project like this (the result of so very many hours of incredible creative energy and collective passion) coming to fruition, has been amazing. What’s more, every day I’m getting to hang out with some of my dearest friends, and I get to call it work.
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The actual work itself has been a total joy as well. What I’m getting to do with these Broforce webisodes is a something I’ve wanted to do for years, and dabbled in a little here and there, but actually getting to make something that references shitty magazine programs and bad South African TV is just a dream come true. Somehow, thankfully, the Free Lives gang seem to approve of the absurd twist I’ve put on these documents of the last days of their game. As has been the story of most of my game-dev-related adventures, I see this as a sign I’ve finally found my tribe.
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There are another 3 episodes of Road to Freedom in the works. With the game not going live in 52 minutes, you can be sure there’ll be more hi-jinx ahead. For now, here are the first 5 episodes of the long Road to Freedom.

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UPDATE! BROFORCE IS LIVE!

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MGSA CT MAR 2015 Meet

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This past week I have the pleasure of attending another MGSA meetup. After announcing the meetup, the community received the sad news that we’d need to find a new home, with our old venue of City Varsity no longer available to us. Luckily a great Plan B was easy to devise as we relocated to Miao, already the Wednesday night home of Cape Town maker-gang, The Modern Alchemists.

With the amount of time I seem to to be spending in Miao, I should consider remaining this blog “No magic, Just Miao”. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine a more excellent space to be frequenting, and the unique venue was a great new home for The Make Games meetup. Quite a change from the serious environment we were used to at City Varsity, the playful venue found itself over-run by game devs. We were possibly a little too spread out for my liking (for future nights setting up more consolidated seating could be good), but past that I thought our new home was an awesome one.

Nic gets things going with Community News. Our touring friends are welcomed back from GDC. Nic provides some much needed clarity on the troubling policy document that the Film and Publication Board published. Then there’s a bit of MGSA housekeeping to do before Nic hands over to the night’s first speaker.

Next month Formula D‘s Marco Rosa will next month be flying to New York to speak at the Annual Games for Change Festival. With the awesome work he and Formula D have been doing, we really couldn’t ask for a better person to be representing South Africa in this setting.

Still formulating his speech for the festival, Marco takes the opportunity to chat to the rest of the community about games for change in South Africa, if people have any suggestions for points he should bring up or messages they’d like to see carried across. I find this subject one of the most fascinating aspects of the potential games hold. I’m personally coming into game design with some quite ambitious long-term plans for making The World a better place through games. After he gets back from the festival, I’d love to see Marco give a report back on the event, what he landed up speaking about, and what he learned from others.

Next up Retro Epic’s Megan takes the stage. Observant readers would note this is the third meetup in a row where the studio has had something to share. It really seems they’re one of the most constantly busy and driven collectives within the community.

This month Megan is showing off the completed trailer for their upcoming iOS puzzler, A Day In The Woods. As I mentioned in last month’s post, this game looks beautiful and I’m dead keen to try it out. With the title launching this Thursday, I’ll be able to do that very soon!


As the last feature of the evening, Peter of Made With Monster Love steps up. I wrote previously about our involvement in the duo launching a Kickstarter campaign for Cadence. Sadly, despite mountains of hard work by Peter and Rodain, amazing support from the local community and great buy in from some publications, the campaign was not a success.

Peter gives a pretty long talk about the whole thing. How they prepared for it and how things played out. It’s pretty heartbreaking that a game as beautiful and special as Cadence couldn’t gather the attention it needed to reach the goals set on The Kickstarter. That said, it’s amazing to see how Peter’s turning that around into a positive, providing the community with a priceless insight into running a Kickstarter campaign. (If anyone’s interested, bits of the talk have been rehashed and discussed on the Cadence thread on the forum.)

Peter ends the talk with a tweet that launches the next step. Pulling out his phone while he speaks, he unveils that Made With Monster Love will be launching a new campaign, The World’s first Noodle Starter.

As you might guess from the above image, I was in on the plan, contributing some art for the campaign. Designed as a way to still harness the support shown during the Kickstarter campaign, The Noodle Starter allows fans to pre-order the game right now, gain access to the beta and help Peter and Rodain not starve to death as they finish Cadence. I see it as rolling with the punches in the coolest way possible and I’m so very proud of the guys for bouncing straight back into the fight.

Click here to show them your support!

After Peter steps down, the social bit of the night starts. I get to play a bit more of the Alien Infestation campaign of Broforce. It’s great. There are lols.

IMG_5812Then someone asks about my cats and I remember that Earthling had been away from home all day. I check my phone and discover he didn’t come home for dinner, so I’m now all panicked. I try racing home, but have a few pressing conversations to conduct. One is about a mega exciting future Cool Your Jets projects. The other is all Super Friendship Arcade. Both great chats, but I’m constantly worried about the missing feline. I race home to discover a familiar pair of faces on my couch. And with that, all is well in Kittenville.

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