The Journey of an Unstoppable Hero

On the eve of the impending release of Unstoppable Fist I  thought that I would dig way back in the archives and show a bit about the evolution of Fist.

Based on our experience in game development we new that we had to keep the scope of whatever game we were to make down so that we would be able to finish the project. This lead to our decision to make Unstoppable Fist.

Unstoppable Fist was originally inspired by the NES classic Kung Fu.  The cool thing about that game is that the player had to skillfully choose when to attack hi or low to defeat an enemy.  We decided it would be cool to create a game that focused on the directing attacks in desecrate directions stripping out all other distractions.

Hi kick or low kick? Hmmm...

Hi kick or low kick? Hmmm…

Here’s the original pitch image that Chris put together.  Its awesome how one image can convey so much. I had a pretty good idea from the start that I needed to make the art style for Fist accent the retro gameplay. Being a huge fan of 8-bit and 16 bit games I knew what direction I wanted to go in.

In writing this I almost forgot this awesome pic that was a huge inspiration for me. Its so Van Damme ridiculous.  I knew that this kind of ridiculous over-the-topness was going to be the heart and soul of Fist.

Unstoppable Ryu

Unstoppable Ryu

This is the first incarnation of Fist. Looks familiar huh? We needed some character art to start prototyping with and grabbing something already available seemed like a great choice.  I mashed a bunch of Ryu’s moves together to make everything we needed.

First Fist?

First Fist?

In this very early sketch you can see that the idea of making Fist a sort of redneck super hero had already latched onto my brain. Hey, one of them has a sword!  That’s pretty cool.

First Gameplay Mockup

First Gameplay Mockup

I whipped up this gameplay mockup image and put it on my phone.  I loaded it up in the image viewer and would touch the screen as if I was playing the game.  It was actually quite helpful in visualizing what the game would be like before the coding began.

Alchemy Sketch

A Sketch in Alchemy

This is a sketch that I made in a neat program called Alchemy.  Alchemy in many ways forces you to be more spontaneous with the way you work.  In this image you can really start to feel the attitude of Fist shining through.

A Major Departure

I made quite a few drawings of characters such as this one that pushed far outside what I had been thinking just so that I could be certain that the direction that I was heading in was a good one.  I really like this one but in the end his design didn’t seem to lend itself to the kind of animation and action I was going to have to do.

Here is a color test where you can see some of Fist’s most stand out elements starting to, well, stand out. :)  I really wanted him to have this obnoxious gold necklace but it proved to be too small of an element to work.  The floods are really coming into their own here but Fist is looking a bit too creapy. I love the the way the pink shirt and baby blue coat work so welI together.  Its so 80s and yet…I kept thinking Southbeach Guido as well, if there is such a thing…

Oh Yeah, There Is.

Oh Yeah, There Is.

Oh yeah, there is.

Fist Incarnate

Fist Incarnate

Here we see Fist in his final concept/model sheet form.  At this point in development I had decided that since I had no experience hand animating sprites and since my entire career I had been making 3D characters that Fist should be 3D. Sorta.