Official Thimbleweed Park Forums

SkateBIRD - in development game

SkateBIRD is a skater game… with birds:

It’s currently on Kickstarter and already funded:

There will be DRM-free and Mac+Linux versions, demo is already available for those systems:

You may have heard of the developer Megan Fox from Glass Bottom Games because they have made some kind of adventure game in the past:
Hot Tin Roof: The Cat That Wore A Fedora (currently cheap on GOG).

Also her name rhymes with David Fox. And Ron Gilbert backed the game. And she previously backed Thimbleweed Park plus other great (adventure) games on Kickstarter.

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Here’s a great candidate for the game soundtrack:

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I wonder what the big deal is with birds? Ace Attorney + birds = Aviary Attorney. Tony Hawk + birds = SkateBIRD. :slight_smile:

  • I’m surprised the game’ll need only $17,000 to make.
  • Added to my Steam wishlist. They say it somehow helps.
  • The Kickstarter page explicitly addresses many of the things that were wrong with Tony Hawk 5. That’s good.
  • At first try I’m not entirely fond of some of the demo controls & mechanics. In particular, I don’t like the fact that you have to press forward to accelerate. But luckily you don’t need to keep it pressed forward like I thought at first.
  • Screm seems to be some kind of meme based around misspelling scream?
  • The $50 value sounds pretty decent. You also get a bunch of old games and their soundtracks.
  • Luckily the soundtrack does not include Bird is the word. :wink:

Some of the bugs are pretty cool. You can grind up the wall, all the way to the top. Also, I fell out of bounds.

There’s also Session, something I didn’t know about:

:notes: He was a SkaterBIRD, she said see you later BIRD :notes:

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At least all of them are birds :bird:, a skater with wings would be cheating otherwise.
It also explains a lot of “bugs” like getting up a wall :slight_smile:.

It’s not a lot but the KS says she is the only one working full time on it, not a whole team full time.

WTH!

I’ve never played such kind of game before so I wouldn’t know any better.

I like than you can press buttons and something happens while your ankles stay intact. :+1:

THPS 1, 2, 3 and 4 are genre defining classics. The later installments less so, but up to American Wasteland there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with them.

Then this decade we got Tony Hawk HD and Tony Hawk 5.

Tony Hawk HD sounds pretty cool, right. Just allow it to render in (U)HD out of the box and make sure it works properly with modern controllers. You know, something like this (that’s a Tony Hawk 2 level rendered in UHD thanks to THUGPro):

But it was remade in Unreal Engine instead. I suppose it makes sense from a certain point of view, but the end result was lackluster.

However, anyone familiar with the series will quickly learn that everything about it feels off. The control of the skateboard, the available levels, and the soundtrack are not what you want from a game called Pro Skater in any way. It’s an astounding disappointment.

PS One of the funniest things is that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD needs ini editing to force the game to run in HD instead of 720p. HD is in the beeping name!

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Well sure, but even so I imagine there are a lot more costs to it than just yourself full time for half a year. I realize it’s the absolute minimum, but still. /shrugs

For a Skating game, a punk cover is probably better suited:

Bonus: one with the first line-up

BTW, @Frenzie, did you recognize the guy in the video Nor posted?

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The Kickstarter page says they’re avoiding The Ramones on purpose. :wink:

If you want The Ramones, play THPS3.

I didn’t watch it fully since I know the song. I was ready to say who’d recognize that blurry mess until I realized you meant from about 1:09, which was rather obvious although he’s a bit younger than I know him. :wink:

And in isolation:

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sorry; I didn’t read the KS page

no need - I saw them live

They’re going fully original:

We knew music choice would be key, so our composer Nathan Madsen went into a cool, bird-filled cave, and came out bearing this. Think of it as low-fi birb-hop to skateboard to.

Rather than trying for pop-punk/skate-punk (but not having That One Song everyone expects), we wanted something fresh, built for birbs trying their best.

Technically 720p is standard HD (vs. Full HD) so their marketing didn’t mess up completely.

It’s basically a single developer so her cost isn’t really included at all (i.e. she will need to live from love and others feeding her). The money is mostly needed to pay physical rewards (+ handling and shipping) and pay others (additional programmer and artists…).

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I’ve never played these sort of games which is mostly due to the reason they were console games. But the current ones aren’t on GOG either so I’m out of luck.

At least Megan restrained herself from calling the game Tiny Hawks Pro Skater. :slight_smile:

I see, so in the case of minimal funding post-release sales would be a necessity to recoup the costs. I guess I thought of the Kickstarter-type business plan as more or less breaking around release, since many of your potential customers might have already “bought” the game.

Except for the first game they all have decent PC ports. You can even run all the games in HD (and possibly UHD) using fan-made patches: https://thirteenag.github.io/wfp

Getting modern controllers to work can be a little more challenging or perhaps impossible in the older games. In the newer games it’s not especially challenging, but the onscreen prompts can be very cryptic.

I actually got into Pro Skater with THPS 2 & 3 on PC, although it’s on PS2 that the game truly shines because of the Dual Shock 2. Everything else is probably better on PC. Even back in the day when I was forced to play it in 640 x 480 on my TNT2 (or 800 x 600 with lower quality/distance) that was basically no worse than the PS2.

Now that I think about it, some of the Devil May Cry 5 controls that seem a bit annoying on the Xbox One controller may be better with the Dual Shock 4.

The secret is in the pressure sensitive d-pad. The tl;dr is that it’s much easier to do something like a quick up/down action in a d-pad context than it is with a stick. But if you do it on a keyboard or a regular d-pad then you don’t have the analog pressure sensitivity, so you can’t just press it a little. This makes it harder to balance, while sticking manuals in between your tricks is key to reach the really high scores required in later levels. You probably can’t even reach a million points if you don’t make it into one or two giant tricks.

Alternatively you could argue the PS2 makes it too simple, I suppose. On PC you absolutely need a certain amount of balance stats if you play by keyboard, but on PS2 once you get good you can afford to ignore those completely. Mind you, you probably won’t be that good until you can finish the game in an under an hour or so.

None of them are on anything. It’s pretty sad.

It’s like being unable to play the original Tomb Raider or something, except even worse because the Tomb Raider 1-3 controls are outdated & awkward while THPS feels as good as ever. Perhaps one of the old Mario games would be a better comparison.

I’m pretty sure THPS2 was on PC too. I spent like half of my waking hours on that game :stuck_out_tongue:

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Also note that when we played THPS2 on PC we actually got a bunch of THPS1 levels with it. But I hear Tony Hawk 2X (for the Xbox) was better still. The original PSX THPS2 held back the game with limited drawing distance and minor framerate issues, and the Dual Shock 1 didn’t have pressure sensitive buttons so it had no advantage there either. It was genuinely better on PC.

PS THPS2 as well as some of the others are major candidates for possibly playing better in Wine than on Windows, mainly due to better old controller API support than Windows. (They keep changing it every few years for no apparent reason; it’s not as if the things actually work any differently than 2 decades ago.)

Screenshot_2019-06-17_15-33-34

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That would be very sad. Most people and gamers haven’t even heard of Kickstarter.
More than 15,000 backers have backed TWP, the vast majority were already existing KS users.

If TWP wouldn’t have sold a lot more than those initial 15,000 it would have been very sad indeed.

Interesting, even the DualShock 2 already had pressure sensitive buttons.

But then on the other hand maybe this is also the reason why non of my original PS2 controllers have a full set of working buttons anymore…

I’m sure I’d heard of KS back then. What I hadn’t heard of was the TWP campaign.

I just made an account the other day for this one. The closest thing to a proper modern THPS game I’m aware of is DMC5.

I think you misunderstood me slightly. I just mean I didn’t realize that needing to sell at least, say, 2 500 copies to break even was part of the business proposition, but surely the goal isn’t to just break even from the get-go. :wink:

Of course it also doesn’t help a campaign if you know of the platform but don’t use it, or don’t find news about a particular campaign.

I haven’t heard from this series except from posts from you. It seems to be an action hack and slash game so I’m surprised it’s comparable with THPS!?

Well, it’s called Kickstarter so it basicially means to get a project going. Of course it would be better if the actual campaign result would pay everything and you don’t need additional money sources.

But there is also a difference between something like campaigns for mainly physical products (every backing means you have to create a physical item) and something like video games where you want to put more and more money in it to improve it, make it a reasonable length etc.

In software development estimates are never right but especially in game development scope changes all the time.

  • For single-developers this often result in years of development while eating mostly ramen (they may do contract work to pay their rent or live in their parents house etc.).

  • If development takes longer at bigger game studios they may recoup additional costs with income of other projects, or connections to publishers etc…

  • Most problematic are middle-sized ones which have to keep paying their people, office environment etc. without much leeway. If they run out of money it’s likely they have to abandon the project or even close the studio etc.