Many great films and television shows are set against the backdrop of a revenge tale. PD Design Studio is now looking to craft a great revenge tale for games, but seek to center theirs in a Steampunk version of the Wild West.
Oh, and it’s also going to center around an anthropomorphic bad-ass warrior rabbit, looking to avenge his love, who was killed in a robbery involving arson. This is the vengeful tale called Dusty’s Revenge, a 2D action platformer blended with old-school beat-em up and modern hack-and-slash mechanics.
“Dusty’s Revenge was initially conceived to be a cutesy sort of game,” confesses PD Design Studio co-founded KJ Poh. “Dusty was supposed to be a lovable, huggable, and wackier bunny. It’s so different from what we have now. We had so many versions of Dusty and his enemies, and when we finally nailed them down, the whole art direction had changed. What hadn’t changed was the core mechanics of the game. The story had a part to play, the artists’ creativity during the conceptualization, and the kind of game we really want to make deep in our hearts.”
Poh talks about the inspirations of Dusty’s tale, going back to the influence of classic revenge stories before giving it a unique context. “We love how Kung Fu movies made their hero fall in the beginning, have to climb out of the darkest pit of their lives after training with a master, and then a sweet old-school revenge takes place. That, to us, is a basis of a good revenge tale. You begin confident and somewhat cocky, and then someone comes along the way and defeats you, but in the face of the darkest hour, you brace yourself and become stronger. You out-win yourself and sort out vengeance in the end, but Dusty’s Revenge is a bit different. In a Steampunk fantasy animal world, the context would be quite different. So we have to rethink the storyline from a fresh sheet of paper. Plus, we wanted to introduce companions Dusty could rely on during gameplay, and we have to give his companions purpose within Dusty’s personal revenge.”
Dusty’s path will be laden with enemies. In addition to standard foes coming at him in large numbers, Dusty will also face off against a relentless rampaging bull, moles that will burrow underground and reappear for an ambush, and agile felines. There will also be several boss characters, including a gorilla that dwarfs Dusty, both in terms of size and speed.
There’s a lot in his way, but Dusty is more than capable of holding his own. “Dusty’s weaponry went through several rounds of changes internally, but the essence of it remains the same,” explained Poh. “In the end, we settled for a scythe which helps to balance out the game better. Dusty also has to rely on his punches, kicks and two pistols. It’s really the combos that count. You probably won’t go very far is you throw one or two punches here and there, but if you execute the combos rightly, that when you feel the prowess of Dusty.”
Of course, there’s also the matter of Dusty’s friends lending a helping hand. “Dusty’s allies, Rondel and McCoy, are pretty powerful if left unchecked,” Poh added. “There is a gameplay element to prevent players from exploiting them. How the players strategize is really up to them. But whenever you see a big cluster of enemies or some rooftop sniper, it’s generally a good idea to ask for help than to fight alone. There are also simple puzzle elements in term of platforming that you need to call upon your allies. Their involvement can be huge or minimal depending on the players’ style. Yet you can’t complete the game by totally ignoring them.”
Poh hopes that Rondel and McCoy will add a new dimension to a tried-and-true formula. “Our modern military would not function well if there are no supporting elements such as artillery, sniper, scout,” said Poh. “We adapted this idea to a 2D brawler. There will be times when you want to call for artillery to weaken your enemies or snipe the dangerous enemies first. And we also want to introduce different perspectives to the players and new gameplay elements. I would think the introduction of three different vantage points makes the mechanics unique in itself as we have not seen any similar 2D brawler yet.”
Dusty’s Revenge is set to release on PC, with a possible release coming for Mac later. Poh also says that the team is looking into laying the groundwork for a PS3 and Vita version. Look for Dusty’s Revenge to hit in Q4 2012. Those interested in supporting the game can check out the Steam Greenlight page.
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