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Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken Hits PSN This October, Meet the Birds

Sian Yue Tan's Avatar + Posted by Sian Yue Tan on Sep 22, 2011 // Producer and Studio Head

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In July I had the pleasure of announcing that our game, Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken, was coming exclusively to PSN. We’ve gone and polished the heck out of it and will be shipping these fine feathered friends to you soon!

The game was in production for the PS3 for just over a year, but the Rocketbirds have been with me much longer. It started in the 80s with those anthropomorphic animal comics, such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Using only birds gave the stories a satirical edge I could play with.

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken for PS3 (PSN) --genesis-(the-Pilot-episode-released-in-1999)

It wasn’t until 2000, when I’d co-founded Ratloop Inc., and had decided to go back to complete my studies that I started to use the birds as a way to vent my creative energy.

I spent a week putting together a clip called “Pilot.” It had sneaky penguins infiltrating a chicken base on what looked like the North Pole. It got good attention at the time, so the simple formula stuck with me.

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken for PS3 (PSN) -- artist-workshop-in-Austria

Eventually I spent a week at an art event called Trustus. Artists had seen and liked “Pilot,” that year a bunch of us created a movie (with Penguins and Chickens) during the week- it played non-stop, projected as background visuals to music the DJs were playing. Music plays an important part in Rocketbirds – I’d also met Herwig Maurer of New World Revolution that week, and he remembered the birds and let us use his awesome music for Rocketbirds!

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken for PS3 (PSN) -- early-prototype-of-the-game

The more mainstream my life became, the more these birds started pecking at my psyche. I had to make another game. In October 2009, we released “Rocketbirds: Revolution,” which was nominated for three awards at the 2010 Independent Games Festival: Excellence in Audio, Excellence in Visual Art and the Seumas McNally grand prize.

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken for PS3 (PSN) -- Hardboiled-design

The protagonist, Hardboiled Chicken, is a mild-mannered, stone-cold Penguin killer. He’d always been a light grey colour, like a hard-boiled egg. He started out (D1) looking like the prototype Hardboiled Chicken (C1) with no real neck, stocky body and a single wattle. I tried going Earthworm Jim-like (D2), but I thought a chicken soldier needed a bandana to cover his comb. I also gave him two wattles and sideburns, and removed the bottom beak to simplify his talking animation. I saw Behind Enemy Lines, so hooked him up in a track suit – then a biker suit (D3). Something still wasn’t right. An executioner look (D4) did the trick for Hardboiled Chicken (D5).

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken for PS3 (PSN) --Penguins

I could never get the Penguins (E1 – E4) right until we were well into production of Rocketbirds: Revolution! These were soldiers of the evil Penguin empire, but when designing them (E5), they were more like soldiers in the wrong place at the wrong time. I wanted the Penguin’s black and white pattern to be black over the eyes, appearing bandit-like and disobedient.

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken for PS3 (PSN) -- Budgies

For the game’s two-player couch co-op mode, we needed six more Budgie designs to form the “Dirty Half-Dozen.” I’d given this task to one of the level artists, Xinru, to create designs based on the original budgie protestor template. The design I liked (F3) prompted me to theme the others based on Vietnam War movies and TV shows (F4). Ang, our other level artist, painted the Dirty Half-Dozen (F5 / F6). One of the Budgies had a last-minute sex change and became Hilga.

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken will be coming to exclusively to PSN this October and we couldn’t be more excited!

//Add Your Own

29 Comments

1

+ xxThe_Fuhrer-xx on September 22nd, 2011 at 10:37 am said:

That chicken looks badass.


2

+ KidCommando on September 22nd, 2011 at 10:38 am said:

Chicken + Lunchtime = I’m Hongry!


3

+ zech678 on September 22nd, 2011 at 10:42 am said:

love kool


4

+ PremiumPencil on September 22nd, 2011 at 10:50 am said:

Nice chicken.


5

+ mcbuttz78 on September 22nd, 2011 at 10:55 am said:

man u need to do psn avi’s.. i would buy the whole pack. this looks very funny as well as fun..


6

+ AguilarX on September 22nd, 2011 at 11:00 am said:

I definitely can’t wait to pick this one up!!! hopefully its only 9.99 :(


7

+ lisatsunami on September 22nd, 2011 at 11:01 am said:

Thanks for all the pictures and narrative. Did I miss where you said what genre this is? Shooter? Action platformer?


8

+ omegasc on September 22nd, 2011 at 11:08 am said:

C1 to C4 reminds me of Flashback. Even the colors are similar. Flashback’s awesome!


9

+ JLP_M on September 22nd, 2011 at 11:09 am said:

Oh my god I love the art style of the game! Please tell me you guys are going to be releasing PSN Avatars! I would love to be able to get avatars of the game, and I just checked out some gameplay for this game and it looks awesome!


10

+ Mobius2525 on September 22nd, 2011 at 11:28 am said:

Does KFC knows about this??


11

+ nYcFrEeWiLL82 on September 22nd, 2011 at 11:46 am said:

this looks like a game worth purchasing..i was actually getttin alil tired of the same ol same ol angry birds..but this game is like angry birds on steroids with guns..lol – first day purchase..i hope there online co-op though..i doint mind having couch co-op but im married with a child and i cant have people over at the midnight hours i get to play :/


12

+ Gekko87 on September 22nd, 2011 at 11:59 am said:

It seriously looks really cool. I love how cartoony it is!


13

+ Berae on September 22nd, 2011 at 2:15 pm said:

loll it looks nice


14

+ plaztiksyke on September 22nd, 2011 at 3:26 pm said:

@11, you should get your significant other to play games with you like I do, then ;)

Art style and overall attitude is interesting, but reserving judgement until I see some gameplay videos.


15

+ D-Squad3 on September 22nd, 2011 at 3:29 pm said:

PSN Exclusive?!! I’m definitely getting then, please don’t change your minds!


16

+ elias820 on September 22nd, 2011 at 3:52 pm said:

im getting this , looks awsome


17

+ luisfqv21 on September 22nd, 2011 at 3:59 pm said:

this is how a game is done awsome!!!!!! Can’t wait till October hahahahahahaha


18

+ wolfzero1 on September 22nd, 2011 at 4:05 pm said:

game looks fun, looking forward to it


19

+ sciroccopsn on September 22nd, 2011 at 4:12 pm said:

good times, good times


20

+ Psicocrusher on September 22nd, 2011 at 4:38 pm said:

This look really amazing, definitely looking forward to it…


21

+ Psicocrusher on September 22nd, 2011 at 4:44 pm said:

Plus: Will be a story mode or only puzzles/co-op puzzles?


22

+ blackghost826 on September 22nd, 2011 at 5:02 pm said:

Thanks for the info! Looks clever and fun!


23

+ sytanic on September 23rd, 2011 at 2:46 am said:

Thanks for the kind words!

There was a lot of digging involved to find some of those early sketches. C1-C4 are from a really early prototype I made. For those of you interested in the original pilot (A1 – A5), you can dig it up in the media section on the ratloop web site.

@mcbuttz78 + JLP_M: avatars hmmmm… Gettin’ a bit tired of the chicken I’m usin’… would be cool
@lisatsunami: It’s a cinematic platforming game – check out my previous post (link at the top)
@Psicocrusher: Coop and single player modes both sport stories with puzzles in them


24

+ BOSTONJOHN32 on September 23rd, 2011 at 4:11 am said:

looks like a good time, but we will be getting our hands on a bunch of new games soon, anyway to release this say… tomorrow? lol..
anyways looks fun..


25

+ BOSTONJOHN32 on September 23rd, 2011 at 4:21 am said:

@ lisatsunami

thanks again for the thing w/ the other post..
saw what you wrote to noobalicious about spam..

and 2nd look at rocketbirds art made me l.o.l.
good stuff.

and i see is slated for oct, you know oct will be SWAMPED FRONT TO BACK w/ releases from psn store and of course from anyone who’s anyone in game distribution.. so anyway to get this in in sept? or is there too much going on ( contracts already signed, floating oct date and few touch ups etc) . maybe its finalized, if not maybe an early peek at this ?


26

+ BOSTONJOHN32 on September 23rd, 2011 at 4:25 am said:

@ lisatsunami

thanks again
saw the comment from noobalicious and then saw what you wrote about the spam thing.. thnx 4 lookin out.
and just had to l.o.l. after looking at the rocketbirds art , looks funny.. well oct it is..


27

+ Airwalkinman17 on September 23rd, 2011 at 7:53 am said:

Wow this game looks so awesome. I love the art style. Can’t wait to see more


28

+ Psicocrusher on September 23rd, 2011 at 6:11 pm said:

This game will be in my collection for sure!


29

+ ABTR on September 23rd, 2011 at 9:12 pm said:

The birds is popular on this days ha ha ha lol


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