Silver Dollar Games answer some of our questions about the upcoming beat ’em up.
When One Finger Death Punch first came out over three years ago, it immediately endeared itself to a lot of fans. While its simplistic controls and fast action kept things accessible and enjoyable, it had depth behind those simple mechanics, while its visual design also helped the game set itself apart from the crowd. Naturally then, One Finger Death Punch 2 seems like an exciting prospect, a game that can build upon the strengths of its predecessor and remove its flaws from the equation to deliver a more well-rounded experience. Recently, we got the chance to send some of our questions about the upcoming beat ’em up across to the Jon Flook, founder of Silver Dollar Games, about how they plan on improving upon the first game, about the challenges they have faced during development, their views on microtransactions, and a lot more. Scroll downward and be sure to give it a read.
"We don’t mess with the winning formula. OFDP2 will feel familiar to players who have played the first game. However, that’s not to say the sequel has no new surprised."
The original game brought a very unique concept to players. How does this sequel build upon this foundation?
We don’t mess with the winning formula. OFDP2 will feel familiar to players who have played the first game. However, that’s not to say the sequel has no new surprised.
There is now dodging, catching and deflecting projectiles. You can have 26 skills active at once. There are new boss type enemies. There are several different struggle moments that occur during combat. New dual color enemy types will be in the later levels. 13 different stage types that mix up the combat throughout the game. A series of survival towers give a better sense of progression through the endless mode. A couple of new game modes that will be discussed later. A polish to the game mechanics that make OFDP2 unquestionable better than the first game or any other similar game. Our goal is to deliver a product that’s of great value at its price point, whatever that’s going to end up being. I think we’ve achieved that goal.
Were there any particular improvements you knew you wanted to have in this sequel from the start?
Nothing in particular. The first game had many rough edges, all of which was due to lack of time and money to complete it. With OFDP2 we just wanted a better overall experience. We wanted to make the game we knew OFDP1 could have been if given the proper attention.
The first game was unforgiving to players who simply mashed buttons. Does this sequel continue that tradition?
Due to the core nature of how the game mechanics work if you button mash in OFDP2 you will lose. In my opinion, it’s that very mechanic that makes OFDP unique from all other brawling games out there.
What stage of development are you currently at with this game?
We’re nearing the end of development, but there’s still a lot of finishing touches to complete. It’s been a long five years. We’re planning on releasing sometime in the spring of 2019.
"There’s technically 640 levels, but most of those are skippable or optional. You can complete the game by playing as little as 147 levels. We know we made way too many levels and we don’t expect anyone to play them all. The game isn’t about completing it, it’s more about enjoying playing it."
Will there be any changes in the visual department of the game? If so, what inspired these changes?
There will be no big changes visually. Maybe a few minor tweaks in response to some feedback we’re getting on our trailers. I fear we’re in for a rough ride with OFDP2 because it plays much better than it looks. We’re always looking for little ways to make the game look more appealing. I think we’ve done everything we’re capable of doing.
Can you tell us about some of the new game modes that will be in this sequel?
We have regular levels and blind levels where we take away the attack bars below the player and the enemies. We have a survival tower where you’ll compete for a top score as well as a blind survival tower. We have a gauntlet where the player has only ten life to complete a series of random levels. There’s also a blind gauntlet. There’s a couch co-op survival tower where you tag/swap in with a friend. The co-op is a limited experience and the game should be purchased on its single player merits alone.
What are some of the new skills we will be seeing here?
There’s a throwing projectile minigame skill that’s kind of like the dagger rounds from OFDP1. There’s a neat little horse minigame skill where you mount a horse and take out some bad guys. There’s a weapon rack skill that gives you a series of different weapons.
How many stages will there be this time around?
There’s technically 640 levels, but most of those are skippable or optional. You can complete the game by playing as little as 147 levels. We know we made way too many levels and we don’t expect anyone to play them all. The game isn’t about completing it, it’s more about enjoying playing it.
How exactly will couch co-op work and how many levels will be available for this?
The co-op mode is a survival tower where you and a friend take turns fighting to get a high score. Like other tag fighting games, when your life’s low, you tag out with your friend and they take over. While you’re waiting, your health regenerates. There’s also a blind co-op survival tower for those who want a bigger challenge. Again it’s a limited experience and OFDP2 should be purchased on its single player merits since that’s the bulk of the game.
"The game was extremely difficult to develop. We’re still struggling with finishing it up. We’re very worried about the challenges that await us when we start to port it over to consoles."
Are there any particular challenges you’ve faced in developing the game?
The game was extremely difficult to develop. We’re still struggling with finishing it up. We’re very worried about the challenges that await us when we start to port it over to consoles. We had to rebuild the entire game from scratch using Unity 3D. It’s been a long and expensive endeavour. When only 0.5% of all Steam games make up 50% of all the sales, I know as well as anyone that our chances of being that 0.5% is extremely unlikely. If this game fails, and the odds are against us, I fear this may be the last video game we make.
The game will feature Xbox One X specific enhancements. What can players expect if they are playing the game on Xbox One X? Is 4K/60fps on the cards?
The game uses a lot of 2D illustrated graphics that aren’t drawn in 4K. If they were, the textures would be huge and that’s not efficient. The game will run at 60fps on Xbox One but from our preliminary tests, we believe it will be much smoother on the Xbox One X.
And how will the PS4 Pro version turn out in terms of resolution and frame rate?
We haven’t been able to dive into the PS4 version of OFDP2 yet. That’s something we’re going to do in the next few months, but don’t have the time at the moment. It’s difficult for us to look at porting until all the components of the game are completed and we’re just not there yet.
From a development perspective, how do you find the Xbox One X to be and how do you compare it with the PS4 Pro?
We don’t know yet, but we’re looking forward to seeing what those consoles can do.
How is the game running on the original Xbox One and PS4, frame rate and resolution wise?
We believe we can get a steady 60fps in Xbox One and PS4.
What is the resolution and frame rate of the Switch version in docked and undocked modes?
Our first tests show the Switch version running at 45fps to 60fps undocked. That’s with no optimization done. I know there are a few things we can do and I bet we can get it running at a consistent 60fps undocked.
"Porting games to consoles is always a difficult process with little documentation to help. I’m hoping the next generation of consoles makes it easier for indies. We spend hours sifting through forum posts looking for help with often little results. A comprehensive porting document at launch would be great for developers like us."
Next gen is coming sooner or later. From a development perspective, what is your biggest expectation from PS5 and Xbox Scarlett?
Porting games to consoles is always a difficult process with little documentation to help. I’m hoping the next generation of consoles makes it easier for indies. We spend hours sifting through forum posts looking for help with often little results. A comprehensive porting document at launch would be great for developers like us.
What is your take on the ongoing drama of loot boxes and microtransactions?
I don’t see the big deal with loot boxes. I loved buying Magic the Gathering booster packs when I was a kid. Also, I’m looking forward to buying a bunch of Keyforge decks when that card game comes out. However, it does suck when you buy a game for $80 and you have unlocked a whole bunch of stuff by either playing or microtransactions. It’s like I paid you $80, that should unlock all that. When a game hoses players with loot boxes I feel that’s more of a problem from the game developers and less about loot boxes themselves.