Friday, May 22, 2009

New Script Being Written

Ok so that storyline I wrote about before, completely erase that from your memory. Now I know why real developers don't reveal details until the game's almost done haha! The story I originally wanted to do is too deep and complicated for the new style of the game, so I started rewriting the game script. The new plot is simple, yet opens the door for some potentially funny moments:

"Kail's girlfriend leaves him one day and starts dating the toughest dude in Mushroom Hill, NJ: Joe Bonas, leader of the Bonas Gang. A week after the break up Kail receives a letter from the Bonas Gang telling him that his girl is with Joe now and the Bonases want Kail and his friend Spade out of town, and if they see them they're gonna rough them up. Kail decides to go take on the whole gang by himself, but Spade interjects and tells him he's coming too, saying he's been waiting for something fun to happen for a while. The two then set out to take on the Bonas Gang."

You can spot some subtle (or not subtle) pop culture references in there, and if you can't, I'm not gonna point them out. The opening cutscene for the game is also gonna start a sub-plot about Kail's father, which is itself a parody of something else.

Trust me, this game is gonna be crazy good.

Friday, May 1, 2009

An engine has been found! Programmers need not apply any more!

So after working on the music for the past few weeks I've been playing a lot of other games for references. A few of them, namely TMNT arcade and Final Fight, inspired me greatly, but not for the music.

Falling Down is now going to be a side-scrolling beat 'em up.

You heard right, Falling Down is now an arcade beat 'em up in the style of TMNT, Final Fight, X-Men arcade, Streets of Rage, and countless others. I have the engine already, it's just a matter of getting the artwork and music done now.

Also, the storyline is going to change drastically as well to fit the new style.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Comic Series Tie-In - Package Deal and Kail's Chaotix

Alright so the game is still on track, but me and Bill have been working on side projects while we do Falling Down, one of them was a reboot of Spade's comic series Package Deal which takes place 5 years after the original Package Deal and sports Kail and Spade 5 years older, now going by their real names of Chris and Bill rather than their nicknames, and now with more realistic hairstyles. Bill came up with the idea of the Package Deal reboot around the same time as I came up with Falling Down, which was originally going to use the designs from the new Package Deal series, but I got so into the whole nostalgia for the old comics thing that I decided to use the old designs, which is where the idea to have Falling Down take place AFTER the old Package Deal, and BEFORE the new Package Deal. If this sounds confusing, it's about to get worse.

Now Package Deal was inexplicably "cancelled" after about 7 random strips, not enough to get any real character or plot development into the picture, so I decided I would write and draw a comic series that will tie everything together into one big canon. This series, Kail's Chaotix, is going to parody video games, nerd culture, pop culture, real life, anything funny, etc, and is going to tell the story of what happened after the first Package Deal, up until Falling Down, and then after Falling Down up until the new Package Deal.

The original Package Deal took place in 2004, while the new one takes place in 2009, thats a whole 5 year gap in which to fill with numerous misadventures. The formula to Kail's Chaotix is going to consist of single-page strips that are about 6 panels each that continue the story from the last strip and also deliver a quick joke. Me and Bill are going to work together, yet seperately, to make sure our two comics interconnect nicely, as in the ending of my comic takes place directly before his begins.

Above is a drawing of the new design for Spade that Bill did for the new Package Deal, it's similar to the original design but now looks more realistic rather than cartoony.

Here's another sketch of Spade and Kail, now Bill and Chris, from the new Package Deal. Like I said, this one is going to be a more realistic approach to the original Package Deal concept. Bill's been sending me scripts and it's a more polished and refined version of the comedy from the original.

As short lived as Package Deal was, five years later it inspired us to continue the story, in both comics and video games as our chosen mediums. I have no control over what Bill does with his series, and he doesn't have much control over mine, but we'll both be working together on this to ensure we're making AWESOME and FUCKING HILARIOUS comics that everyone will love.

Expect to see the first Kail's Chaotix strips soon, as I've already scripted the first 5 comics and drew the first one.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Sorry I've been so busy!

Hey everyone, I just wanted to drop an update to apologize for not updating the blog! I know I usually post at least twice a week, even if I don't have much to say, but I've been so busy with other things in my life that I haven't had much time to work on the game, but that's okay because during the bits of free time I had I've been coming up with various ideas for the game and I've been writing some of the songs.
Next time I update I promise I'll have something relevant to say, but for now I gotta hit the sack!


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Falling Down Poster

Check it out I made a poster for the game that's totally a homage to Final Fight, one of the best, and irrelevant to the topic, games of all time. After I did the drawing, I got really lazy, so like this week I might actually shade it, or maybe not, I think I like it like this. Whatever. I've been sick all week, so I did absolutely nothing regarding the game. Did I mention it was spring break? SPRING BREAK BRAH PARTY TIME! Noice. Anyhoo, I'll start working more on the game this week. Maybe I won't be a lazy asscrack and I'll get some actual work done. Whatev. Still need a programmer to really get this shit off the ground, but I'll talk to Bill and see if we can get some for real art for the game.


Friday, March 13, 2009

New Concept Art, New Character, and New Facebook Page

Check it out! New concept art! Also... SPADE JOINS THE FALL! Yeah, that's right, Spade's a character. Me and Bill have been working on the game together for a while, and the other day he asked me who the three characters were, and I said "I don't know, you wanna be in it?" and he said "Sure" so now he's one of the three main characters! I'll let you know what his move set will be like after I talk to him about it.

Check out the new Falling Down Facebook page! Become a fan of it, and tell all your friends to become fans! We need this game to become the biggest it could possibly be so we can make it a reality! Here's the link:

That's about all the news I can drop right now, tomorrow I'm gonna redo that concept art image I showed the world earlier and I'm gonna put more work into it and make it look cooler. Just you wait!


Thursday, March 12, 2009


Now that you've stopped laughing, we're currently hiring here at Noise Tanks! Let me first begin that while, yes, you will get paid, you won't get paid much because this game is going to be mostly a labor of love rather than an actual job. When the game goes on sale, you'll receive a share of the profits, and if you want you can stay on the team to work on future games.

-Game Programmer - If you can make a game on the level of Sonic 3 or Knuckles Chaotix, you're in.

-Level Designer - If you're an amazing pixel artist and have some work to show, then you're in.

Give me an e-mail over at muscletower (at) yahoo . com (omit the spaces and change (at) to @, just to avoid spam) or catch me on AIM, my screen name is Teh Balladeer, and we can discuss you joining the team!


Why Sega is My Main Influence

So I've been using Sega as my main influence for the style and attitude of this game, along with how the game plays being based on games I played during my childhood (most specifically, Sonic games, and other Sega platformers like Toe Jam and Earl), so now I decided to tell you all why Sega is my main influence when producing Falling Down.

Growing up I had an older brother (while, yes I still have him, he's not THAT much older these days considering we're both adults) who was always the cool guy. I looked up to him because he had this cool "slacker bro" type attitude, and whenever someone mentioned Nintendo he'd say "GENESIS DOES WHAT NINTENDON'T!" (he was 7 or 8 when he did this btw, I was like 4 or 5) so like he made it seem like Sega was so much better than Nintendo, even though technically speaking the Super Nintendo was more powerful than the Genesis, the Genesis still had that cool additude going for it. And the 32X didn't help it. As you can tell, we had Sega at our house, not a Nintendo.

The Sega Genesis 32X was an add-on that turned your 16-bit system into a 32-pit powerhouse. PLUS IT HAD "X" IN THE NAME! Nothing was cooler back then than the letter X. Put X in anything and it'll be cool: Mega Man X, X-Men, ...thats about it, but you know what I mean!

I had a 32X and Knuckles Chaotix, and I was one of those kids who never got it to work! I've played Knuckles Chaotix, and that game, though clunky in nature, is one of the inspirations for Falling Down because of how it kept the true-to-it's-roots 2D genesis feel, but threw in some cool graphics here and there.

So yeah, since I had nothing else going on regarding the game, I decided to write about this. WORD UP SPRING BREAK Y'ALL KICKIN IT OLD SCHOOL!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Game Soundtrack

Ok, so as many of you may know, I'm also a musician. And as a lot of you recently heard, I gave up making comedy music to pursue other projects, both musically and artistically. One of the projects I'm working on, besides Falling Down, is a new alternative rock band, and that band is going to be doing the music for Falling Down.

What is the soundtrack going to sound like? Well, these days music is just so generic in games, like it's all hip-hop bullshit that's been done to death, bad rock, or just like generic video game music. The soundtrack for Falling Down is going to appeal to the time period the game takes place in, which is the early 2000's, so the soundtrack is gonna be alternative hard rock sorta like Staind, P.O.D., Sum 41, Lit, Linkin Park, Papa Roach, Saliva, Breaking Point, Finger Eleven, etc. Basically, get the compilation album Buzz Cuts, and that's what the soundtrack will sound like.

Now you're probably thinking the whole game is gonna be vocal songs, not true, very not true. My plan is to write every song as a vocal song, but in the game they'll be instrumentals, and there will be a soundtrack that has the vocal versions. The main theme song is gonna be way past rockin, and there will be like 2 or 3 other key songs. This week I've been focusing on the music for the game rather than the gameplay, though gameplay has been on my mind, and I have a few new ideas to make the game awesomer.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Multiplayer Madness

Any game worth playing is worth playing with your buddies, am I right? Who plays games alone these days? Well, a lot of people, but the thing I hate most about life is not being able to beat the crap out of my friends, so I turn to video games. Out of my group of friends, here so referred to as The C Warriors, I kick the most ass in Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo (I have the high score at Burger King) and the Dragon Ball Z Budokai series (thanks to my brother). I'm also skilled in Bomberman and Smash Bros, which are some of my favorites because they're challenging when I'm playing with my bros.

What does this have to do with a mostly single player platformer such as Falling Down? Well name one great platformer that had an ALMOST FUN multiplayer mode! That's right, you can't, cause they all sucked. Sonic 3 and Knuckles and Super Mario World, the two greatest platformers of all time, had terrible multiplayer modes. Honestly, they weren't fun at all. So wouldn't it be great if my game had an AMAZING multiplayer mode?! Yes, yes it would. So I hereby declare my idea to put an awesome multiplayer mode in this game. Num num num.

Right now I don't know how the multiplayer will play out. Think a playing field like Bomberman, four players, and every secondary good guy in the game is playable beyond the three main characters. This would be a great added bonus if we can get it into the game, who's with me?!


Friday, February 27, 2009

Level Ideas

I'm sorry for always using Sonic 3 and Knuckles as an example, but c'mon, it's the greatest platformer of all time, who can forget chasing the giant Robotnik robot through space as Super Sonic? This level is what inspired me to talk about some of the levels in the game.

Anyways, I'm gonna lay down some level ideas for y'all. The game is mostly going to take place in two cities: Rutherford, NJ and New York City. The Rutherford levels comprise the first half of the game, and they're gonna be based on streets and parks in Rutherford. Now if you've ever been there, which the majority of you reading this probably haven't, you'd know it's a pretty plain town, but that's what's gonna make this interesting. Name one platformer you've played that takes place in like... a normal looking environment. That's right, you can't. Here's a couple of ideas for levels that I was thinking up:

Rutherford Levels:

Carmita Ave - first level, a long straight through street, similar to the one pictured in the concept art, there's gonna be cracks in the side walk you can break through to go down into the sewer and there will be trees you can climb into, because Rutherford is known as the Borough of Trees.

West Passaic - An up-hill level, haven't really thought of anything cool for this level.

Memorial Field - A big field level, gonna kinda look like a grassy level from any generic platformer.

Park Ave - The main street in Rutherford, it's a down-hill slope that leads to the first huge boss battle.

And then the New York City levels:

St. Marks - Same as it is in real life, the grimey, but awesome street with $1 Pizza, you can climb up to the rooftop of one of the buildings for a Roof Top level

Union Square - Fight through monsters at Union Square! Idk I don't got any real ideas for this level yet

Uptown R Train - Take the subway uptown, what's gonna be cool about this level is it moves around you, so it feels like you're actually on the subway. Go through the cars to get to the normal end of the level or climb up on top of the cars to get to another level, or get off at one of the early stops for another level.

Times Square - This is where another huge boss battle will be (obviously, I mean c'mon)

Those were just some basic ideas I had for levels, nothing's set in stone yet, but you can see from the list of levels that you start off in Rutherford and move on to eventually getting to New York. Eight levels isn't bad for a platformer, considering Sonic 3 only had 6 levels. If these were the final levels, these would be the straight through levels, none of the alternate path levels were really touched upon (some were mentioned though).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gameplay Concept Artwork

Oh hey wow is this an actually relevant post?! I felt kinda bad for making every image I post either Sonic related or Package Deal related, so I went and made some concept art of how the game SHOULD look!


This took me a while to make, I used a lot of Spade's Package Deal comics as the inspiration for this, to the point where I actually stole the grass because the grass I made was dull and lifeless. At first the buildings were all red, like red brick buildings, but that proved to be too... unattractive, as it clashed with Kail's red hair and the Health Bar.


Ok since I showed you the health bar, here's how the health system works in the game. Each character has a set number of bars, Kail has four, someone else might have five, the other guy might have three, but for now since I barely begun to work on the other characters, I'll just talk about Kail. When you get hit by an enemy you lose one bar, once you lose all four you die. To gain your health back, you need to find energy drinks! The in-game energy drink is called "Getting Up" which, if you hadn't noticed, is a funny little in-joke poking fun at the game's title. One energy drink will give you one bar, one turbo-fueled energy drink will fill you up completely.

Next post I'll talk about the battle system... maybe, idk lol.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Story Details

So I told you about the gameplay, now you wanna know about the story?! Alright alright, but before I do, the above picture doesn't show characters actually in the game (except Kail, left, and maybe Spade, right, Squadman, unfortunately, isn't in the game).

The story focuses on Kail, a slacker trudging through his post high school years. He's been going on a downward slope since he graduated high school, he was kicked out of his house, he barely gets any hours at work, and he's late on his rent. One day though, all of that changes. He wakes up around 2 in the afternoon one day to find out his small New Jersey town of Rutherford has been overcome by monsters! To make matters worse, there's no food in the fridge, so Kail has to fight through dozens of monsters to get a bite to eat. Kail and his friends then decide to go out and fight the monsters to keep the town safe, but discover something strange. A long time ago Kail concentrated all of his negative vibes into another being, Laik, who's essentially the bad side of Kail in one human form. Laik's discovered a way to bend reality to his will, so he created all the monsters that have been laid out over the town, and he has a helper: a giant 40 foot monster called the Destroyer. Now Kail and his friends need to clean up the town and take out Laik and the Destroyer!

How's that for a story? Name one platformer that takes place in a small town covered in monsters, actually, nevermind, because you'll probably name some games I never heard of and they'll turn out to be amazing games everyone knows of but me.

Anyways, thats not even the beginning of the story, it gets a lot more wild from there, and Rutherford isn't the only place you explore, you also get to explore New York City! Yayy!!!

It's gonna be a wild game, once I figure out who the characters in the game are I'll let you know!


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Package Deal

Here's a little history lesson on my past with sprites and comics and sprite comics. My friend Bill Sweet, also known as Spade, and I used to make sprite comics based on Sonic the Hedgehog and our lives, more of them based on our lives. In 2003 we did one called Sonic Advance 3 which was a comic about Sonic and friends after Sonic Advance 2 came out, and then the actual Sonic Advance 3 game came out. Well after that we did a lot of random one shot comics, then I started drawing comics and Spade stuck with sprites and he did a series that still sticks out above all the rest: Package Deal.

Package Deal was a comic series about Spade moving into a new apartment in a new city, and not expecting his buddies tagging along with him. It starred Spade, Kail, Dazz, Joel, Squadman, JJ, and other random characters I don't remember at the moment getting into wacky situations, usually hilarious ones.

What was great about Package Deal was the use of custom sprites based on Trionic's Sonic sprite sheet, so it gave the series it's own unique feel because at the time no one was really using these sprites.
You're probably asking "Kail, what does this have to do with Falling Down?" Well, Little Jimmy, it has everything to do with Falling Down! Since Bill now joined the Noise Tanks team, he's gonna be making the sprites for the game, so expect it to have a very PD feel to it. The game isn't gonna be as bright and colorful as PD, because the hell it's called Falling Down, not Happy Time Adventure, but it'll look similar to it, just a little darker.
Alright well I gave y'all enough to laugh about for now, I'm going to bed.


Different Paths to Different Levels

Super Mario World and Sonic 3 and Knuckles are the two examples I use for this game the most often because they're probably the two greatest classic platformers of all time. This game will not be a rip off of those, quite the opposite, this game is going to be able to stand on it's own two feet without having to be compared to anything else.

The idea to the game is that you don't have to just go right and make it to the end of the level. I liked the Warp Zone pipes in the second level of Super Mario Bros. on the NES, that was a cool idea. My idea for the game is that like in real life, you don't have to go in one direction, you can explore the area and end up going to different areas, and still end up at the same place. In New York City to get to Port Authority you don't have to walk down 42nd Street until you get to 8th ave, you can take a number of paths, like the subway or the bus, and that's the idea with this game.

Think Star Fox 64, there were like 3 paths I think in that game, depending on what you did and where you went in a level you would be sent to another level, and it didn't matter which way you went. That's the same idea with Falling Down, you go in one direction, you wind up at this level, you go in the other direction, you wind up at that level.

Maybe later I'll post some of the move sets I have for the characters and I'll get into detail on the battle system, which there really isn't much of because this game is about exploration and platforming and figuring out how to get past obstacles more than fighting.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

A lesson on sprites

Yeah so if you didn't understand what a sprite was in the last post, let me explain. In the world of video games, these days there are two ways to do things: sprites and 3D models and polygons.

Sprites are character animations made using pixel art and stuff, like MS Paint I guess would be a good example for people who've used it. It's like animating cartoonies, each pose is it's own sprite.

Here's a sprite sheet from Sonic the Hedgehog 3, the first section are all the poses used in the game, the rest are custom made by fans. In Falling Down there's probably gonna be less poses than in Sonic 3, but that depends. My friend Bill Sweet, who did the sprite I posted early, is gonna be the sprite artist on Falling Down. He's improved significantly since then, as that was 5 years ago, so get ready for some great art in this game!

Hopefully this week I'll cook up some mock-up screen shots of what I envision the game to look like, and I'll post some information on the story and stuff.


Kail Sprite Concept

This is a concept sprite, it's not the final one. Bill Sweet made this back in 2004 for our old sprite comics, he based it on a custom sprite sheet by Tri, I can't seem to find the original sheet anywhere, so the new one is gonna be based loosely on this. This is also a nostalgic look at the old Kail, I don't know if the Kail in Falling Down will sport this look, but there's a possibility. If anything this might be a hidden character haha, who knows?
Keep checking back for more updates! Now I gotta run to work before I'm late! YIKES!!

Falling Down

Hey everyone! Welcome to my new blog, where I'm gonna be detailing the creation of the upcoming video game Falling Down!
Falling Down is a classic 16-bit styled platformer in the same vein as Super Mario World and Sonic and Knuckles, I've been working on it by myself for the past month and so far I have the storyline down and the move set for one of the characters done, along with a lot of concept art I've been doodling. I hope to have this game finished by next year, with an October 2010 release date, to coincide with the next New York Comic Con, which I hope to have a booth at, but nothing is confirmed yet.
Hopefully I'll have some concept art to share by the end of this week, but I'm making this game at the same time as my next album AND I have a job, so it'll be a slow process.
I CAN tell you this much about the game though:

*Classic 2D side-scrolling platformer

*Fully animated intro and ending, maybe even fully animated cutscenes

*3 characters to play as, each one with different abilities

*Different paths in each level, similar to Star Fox 64, if you go down one path you'll go on to the next level, if you go down another path you'll go on to a different next level.

*A kickin' hard rock soundtrack!


Yeah, this game is gonna rock, I've been playing a lot of similar old-school games trying to cook up with some good ideas, so this game will definitely be something to look out for!