Independent game studio Interabang Entertainment’s four-person team has been hard at work developing the colorful, combo-filled fighting adventure Super Comboman for the last six months as part of the first Indie Open House, an IGN-sponsored residency program in which a select group of indies are given free office space and development support.
Having worked among fellow Indie Open House selectees like Cryptic Sea, Team Ethereal, and Runt during Super Comboman’s early stages of development, Interabang is now roughly two months away from having a vertical-slice completed. (That’s a section of gameplay that includes all sound, art, and mechanics.)
Interabang has also launched fundraising page on site Indie GoGo, trying to drum up some funds so that they can properly finish Super Comboman and release it to the world. With just sixteen days left at the time of this article, Interabang has achieved roughly a fourth of their projected $8,000 goal.
I recently reached out to Interabang’s co-founder, CEO, and Creative Director, Justin Woodward and artist Evan Washington to ask some questions about what Super Comboman, Interabang, and the process of developing a game in the Indie Open House environment are all about.
Indie Games Channel: Can you tell us a bit about Interabang? How did the studio come about? How would you describe your studio’s design philosophy, overall?
Interabang Entertainment: All the members on the team went to the same game development college, and have kept in touch over the years. After graduating, we all gained experience in the game industry working in various studios (Sony, THQ, etc.). We began to work on small projects on our own and realized that with all of our combined experience we could form a team and produce our own games.
With inspiration from classic game experiences and our fascination with the design choices of current titles, we experiment and explore new ideas, implementing our own sense of humor and personality in order to come up with concepts that are fun and unique!
Indie Games Channel: Just who is Super Comboman? Can you tell us what the game is like and what inspired it?
Interabang Entertainment: Super Comboman is a comic book superhero that our main character (Struggles) idolizes. All the moves and combos that Struggles performs within the game are based off of moves he has read from the Super Comboman comic series.
As Struggles, you are on a quest to get a job so that Struggles can afford to maintain his fabulous Comboman comic collection and memorabilia. The problem is that he’s constantly getting fired because he keeps trying to emulate his hero on the job.
Super Comboman is a mix between Final Fight and Super Smash Brothers. Players use combos, special moves and other advanced techniques to navigate through destructible environments causing as much damage as possible.
The original idea of Struggles came from a character that Justin created whilst in high school dubbed “Struggleman.” In short, Struggleman was basically a super hero that as his named implies, struggled in everything he tried to do. Although he meant well, he essentially solved crimes accidently under the pretense that he did so on purpose. Basing our main character off that theme Struggleman was reborn as Struggles!
Indie Games Channel: Given your obvious love of combos, what are examples of some games that you feel really nail combo-based combat?
Interabang Entertainment: Killer Instinct, Marvel vs Capcom series, Devil May Cry series, [and the] Ninja Gaiden series, just to name a few.
Killer Instinct and the Marvel vs Capcom series, just for the overall insanity and sheer ridiculous amount of fun that’s had performing combos.
The Devil May Cry series for how the well the system allows the user to create their own combos.
Indie Games Channel: Have you played anything recently (indie or otherwise) that you find particularly great or inspiring?
Interabang Entertainment: Recently the team has been really impressed with the XBLA/PSN game Outland. The game has great atmosphere, art direction and interesting platforming gameplay.
Hockey and the New Zero game from Cryptic Sea founder Alex Austin are also inspiring to us as developers, the originality and though put into those games is phenomenal and really put a new spin on two very different genres.
Indie Games Channel: What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve encountered while developing Super Comboman, and how did you overcome it?
Interabang Entertainment: The biggest challenge creating Super Comboman was the pressure of having such a small team and trying to create a game of this magnitude in a short amount of time while getting our name out there and staying afloat. We all have to wear multiple hats, so to speak, to get things finished. It keeps us here in the office pretty much 24/7, but we think it is all worth it!
Indie Games Channel: Can you talk some about your experience applying (and being selected) for the Indie Open House?
Interabang Entertainment: It was an interesting experience, we applied and Justin went up to San Francisco to take a tour of the offices, shortly after we had a team interview and were selected.
We were all surprised when we were accepted but it was a hard decision to make. Since there were no financial resources attached to the program we had to map out the risks and rewards and basically figure out how we were going to make the move. A few of us were already working within the games industry and we all had to give up our regular lives and move outside of our comfort zone to participate. Our living situations and relationships definitely were transformed during the process. The friendships that we cultivated, the adventures we had as well as the reward of putting together a unique and fun title that we can call our own was well worth it.
Indie Games Channel: Describe the work environment at IOH. Is the experience something you’d recommend to other indie game makers? What’s the biggest advantage of developing in the Indie Open House environment? Biggest disadvantage?
Interabang Entertainment: We would definitely recommend applying for the Indie Open House. Speaking with other indie developers, IGN editors and Gamespy techs are just some of the advantages of being here. We were able to network like crazy here, show off our game at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) get interviewed multiple times by the media and get experience presenting our game to outsiders.
The biggest disadvantage in our situation was we had to relocate to SF, finding a place to stay and get situated. Our team is from San Diego and while it may not seem like a big move we all had to sacrifice a lot to take advantage of this great opportunity.
Indie Games Channel: Obviously, being a part of the Indie Open House helps to raise awareness about your game, but getting the word out about a new game is one of the biggest challenges for independent developers. Is there any advice you’d give to other indies about marketing their games?
Interabang Entertainment: Do everything you possibly can to market yourself. Facebook, twitter, blog, anything possible! Make sure to stay visible and friendly with everyone you meet as well, talk shop, share ideas and exchange contacts, be generous. If you are in the IOH make sure to get out of your comfort zone and talk to everyone in the office, you never know what info you can learn from them and vice versa. Contact people in the industry. It’s all about who you know in this field.
Indie Games Channel: When will gamers be able to get their hands on Super Comboman, and what platforms will be supported?
Interabang Entertainment: Players will be able to download a demo on PC sometime late this summer!
Indie Games Channel: Is there any other information you’d like to share with fans of Interabang?
Thanks very much to the guys from Interabang for their time! We’ll be keeping an eye on Super Comboman as it moves towards completion and release.
- « Humble Indie Bundle 3 adds Humble Indie Bundle 2 titles
- » Mommy’s Best Games’ Nathan Fouts on Serious Sam Double D, 2D Combat & Future Titles
blog comments powered by Disqus