Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Vince Cutting Room Floor #2: The Skeeterhawk

Of all the stuff from the Voodoo Vince cutting room floor, this is probably the cuttingest roomy flooriest. You see, once a project gets underway and the tires of software production meet the asphalt of reality in the great rally race of gaming excellence, a lot gets changed, rearranged and just plain hacked off.

The Skeeterhawk is a good example. I originally planned a sizeable riverboat level between Brusque Manor and The Bayou. The Skeeterhawk (ol' Southern slang for a dragonfly) had some ambitious ideas, including the illusion that the whole thing was steaming up the Mississippi. Vince would be trapped aboard until it reached its destination, which would naturally happen after he fought a bunch of monsters, solved some thorny puzzles and a emerged victorious from a climactic riverboat race.

Kids just love them zombie riverboats.

The whole game was ambitious. It's always good to aim high so there is still something decent left after the inevitable cuts occur. There were things I really liked in this level, but some of the puzzles and characters didn't quite come together the way they should have. Given more time I'm sure it would have shaped up, but there was a schedule to keep and everybody felt it made more sense to focus on the quality of other levels instead of just churning out some potentially shakey real estate for Vince to explore. It was a sad day, but the Skeeterhawk was sacrificed on the altar of expedience and common sense.

Man, I hate that altar sometimes.

Supersweet concept art by Doug Williams (again)

In retrospect, I have to admit I wish I'd nuked Roachfort instead (more on that later), but you know what they say about hindsight: It can really suck.



Old Lady said...

I just love all the recent additions here. I'm awestruck at much of it, and got some good giggles at other parts. (Wargasm button? A gigantic pixel named Chet? lol!)

The Skeeterhawk level would have been a blast; I'll never give up hope that it'll be in Voodoo Vince: The Sequel. But at least we got a taste of it on Jean Lafitte's Ship.

I'll be looking forward to what you have to say about nuking Roachfort. I thoroughly enjoyed most of that level, although parts of it made me say bad words.

From reading earlier posts, it sounds like there are other Beepers here. If so, has Clayton shown you the picture of some of the members of G3 (Geriatric Gaming Goddesses) wearing our custom-made Vince T-shirts on our 1st annual get-together a couple of months ago? Just want you all to know that you have a very loyal band of fearless girl gamers who appreciate your work tremendously!

Edward said...

Wow Clayton! This Voodoo Vince concept stuff is really interesting. I agree about Roachfort however, and the turtle lady seemed a bit too "Banjo-Kazooeish" for Vince's world. Anyways, hopefully we'll see much more of Vince on these pages!

Clayton Kauzlaric said...

Thanks, Edward. I plan to share plenty of Vince joy in the months (years?) ahead.

That's an interesting comment about Ethel (the turtle lady). I like her personality, but she was a "late game replacement" for a very different theme and story for that level. I'll get into that pretty soon.

Clayton Kauzlaric said...

...and as always, props to the ladies of the G3!

Old Lady said...

Guess this old lady's memory is worse than I thought -- I don't remember a turtle lady! Or anyone named Ethel, for that matter. Where was she? What was the deal with her?

Edward said...

She was the scientist in the main hub of Roachfort. Vince had to fetch a fuel canister and a propeller to help her build a balloon, which she didn't pay you back too kindly for. :)

Matt said...

I just discovered this blog, and I'm adding it to my favorites...

I really loved Voodoo Vince, and have been hoping some time for a sequel. The level design and humor were really great. The only thing I'd change would be maybe the level of interaction I felt with the NPCs/enemies, which felt a bit like soap bubbles, heh.

A DS incarnation with stylus-executed... erm... executions would be fantastic.

-Matt Young

Clayton Kauzlaric said...

Thanks Matt.

The DS would certainly be an interesting platform for a Vince game, though my heart is really set on the Xbox 360. Live has some really interesting possibilities for team play and other cool stuff.

Although to be fair, I'd settle for a version of Vince on the Neo Geo at this point.