I’m Pascal Bestebroer, the indie developer known as Orangepixel. I’ve been developing games since 2004, which have appeared on older mobile platforms like J2ME, as well as newer ones like Android and iOS. That said, it’s likely you don’t know Orangepixel… yet!
With the help of the guys at Abstraction games, I hope to change that and make my games more known to new audiences, starting with PlayStation gamers. So, Gunslugs will be the first of the Orangepixel titles to hopefully land a spot on your PS Vita this month!
As I mentioned above, I’ve been creating games since 2004, and all the Orangepixel games have a few key elements in common:
First, they feel, look and sound “retro.” This is a very commonly used term these days, but don’t judge the games because they looks retro — I also try to imbue my games with newer tricks, gameplay concepts and even some triple-A ideas, bringing old-school style games to a more modern audience.
The final element that all Orangepixel games share, is that they are hard. Not brutal, and always fair… but they are really hard. Lucky for all you PS Vita players, you’ll get to experience them with actual sticks and buttons! It will be interesting to see if people actually manage to reach the Hell world and survive in Gunslugs.
But what IS Gunslugs? Well, it’s a chaotic run-n-gun style game — some might yell “Metal Slug” when they first see it, but that’s not it. Gunslugs is more chaotic, with a huge collection of weird and wonderful upgrades, bonus stages, unlockables, and an extremely satisfying soundtrack.
Originally, Gunslugs started as a single sentence that I had in my mind: “Extremely chaotic shooting action.” So, the first version of the game looked like this:
Just you and a bunch of enemies running around on a single screen, shooting each other. Not much to look at, but it did have a very pleasing core gameplay element that eventually became the basis for Gunslugs as it exists now.
The single screen got replaced with bigger, randomly generated levels. This means every game will be different (adding to the chaotic gameplay I wanted to achieve). It also makes a game much more fun for the developer if the levels are generated in this way — I get to play my own game without getting bored of the same levels over and over! It’s a win-win.
Creating Gunslugs, from this first prototype to the final product, took about 7 or 8 months with me doing all the programming, graphics and sound effects by myself. But you can’t have an action game like this without a good soundtrack! And since my musical talents are non-existing, I had to find a partner in crime.
So I contacted the talented Gavin Harrison, who did music for most of my other games, and together we decided to get some “80’s hero movie” music going. Make sure you play Gunslugs with headphones on… it’s really worth it!
Gunslugs is comprised of six worlds, not counting the various bonus worlds spread all over the place, and six unlockable characters. Each world has two levels — and an old-school end boss to deal with. On top of that, there are over 50 mission objectives to try and complete.
Let’s meet on the leaderboards… show me what you’ve got!