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The Rogue Wolf

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On one hand it entirely makes sense to shift bandwidth costs to YouTube, especially if your in-house media player doesn't do anything different, but with how often this site seems to be changing hands and losing support staff, I'm feeling a twinge of worry.
 

BrawlMan

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Soooo.. in practice... it means no ZP this week, and the series resumes next wednesday with diablo ?
I posted this earlier in the gaming news thread. I don't really bother with Yahtzee's video reviews anymore, so this is not that big of a deal for me.

On one hand it entirely makes sense to shift bandwidth costs to YouTube, especially if your in-house media player doesn't do anything different, but with how often this site seems to be changing hands and losing support staff, I'm feeling a twinge of worry.
I'm not even not that worried at this point. I would still miss most you, if that were to happen. Seems like a lot of places are dropping their gaming forum sites, or they're just forums a lot of us don't want to be on. If the worst case scenario happens, then I'm going to space battles. A lot of the people are good there from what I've seen.
 
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BrawlMan

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They've been working on this game 3.5 years!

Many developers have “gotten their hands” on Double Dragon over the years. We’ve seen entries from Arc System Works, Gravity, Million, Technos, and WayForward. Now Secret Base is stepping up as the creator of the upcoming game Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons with a whole new vision. To learn more about how the game will work ahead of its July debut, Siliconera spoke with Founder Raymond Teo about the title.

Jenni Lada: How long have you been working on Double Dragon Gaiden, and what led to the team working on a new Double Dragon game?

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Raymond Teo: I have been working on Double Dragon Gaiden for more than 3.5 years now, but if we’re talking about how this all happened, then that’s a much longer story.

I released a parody beat ’em up called Devil’s Dare on Steam in 2014/2015. It was a time when the genre was considered dead. It didn’t sell very well, but it was really well received by our players and critics. That caught the attention of Arc System Works, who I believe was scouting for interesting titles to bring to Japan. He liked the game, but I already had a publisher for the console version, so we couldn’t work together at that time. Bummer.

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Unfortunately, things weren’t smooth, and it took 4 years of struggle and a change of publisher to finally launched the console version of Devil’s Dare, renamed Streets of Red: Devil’s Dare Deluxe. Thanks to the new Nintendo Switch, it did much better and allowed me to continue making games again. During this time, I learned that Arc System Works had acquired the Double Dragon IP and released Double Dragon IV in 2017. It was a homage to the classic games, but I wondered if Arc System Works would be open to a new direction and a fresh start, so I contacted Arc System Works again and pitched my idea for a new Double Dragon game, with a mock-up video of the game design and art style.

I like to think that the team at Arc System Works was impressed by my pitch, but it wasn’t easy to convince Arc System Works to trust me with such a legendary IP. And it took almost another year of on-and-off discussion and familiarizing, until they finally gave me the green light in late 2019, just before the pandemic hit. Talk about timing.

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I’m very grateful to Arc System Works for giving me this opportunity. It’s a rare and amazing story in this industry, and I’m honored to be part of it. And yes, I still pinch myself every morning to make sure this is real.

WayForward and Abstraction, Arc System Works, and many other developers have worked on Double Dragon games before. What do you hope to accomplish to help set your entry apart?

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Teo: The main feature that sets our game apart would be the Tag Team mechanic, which adds more depth and strategy to the combat. We also wanted to create a feeling of fighting against a huge horde of enemies without losing control or clarity.

But beyond the combat, my personal goal is to recreate the arcade-like experience of short, intense and memorable gameplay sessions that make you want to play again and again. We have implemented many systems to achieve that, such as randomization, unlockables, different routes and more. I hope that even single-player gamers, or even non-fans of the franchise, will enjoy replaying the game multiple times.

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Interview: What Went into Designing Double Dragon Gaiden
Image via Secret Base and Modus

Which past Double Dragon games did you find most influential?


Teo:
I studied all the previous Double Dragon games, as well as other media like movies, comics and the animated series, so they all influenced the choices I made for this game.

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But I would say that I was especially inspired by the three Double Dragon games on NES, because they were some of the few beat ’em ups that were redesigned for a console experience and not just a direct arcade port.

They made the terrain a lot more interesting and painful, they let you to learn new moves as you progress and they even had additional characters to join you in your journey. We look at all these and ask how we can bring them in and make this a game that players can enjoy at home.

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When creating Double Dragon Gaiden, what returning elements from past games did you feel were most important to preserve?

Teo:
Unlike some other classic beat ’em ups, I think the Double Dragon franchise has already gone through quite a few iterations of “preserving the classic elements while updating it with modern design.” In fact, I’d say that many of the later beat ’em ups in the 1990s arcades were pretty much trying to do that, building on top of Double Dragon.

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My approach this time was to look at Double Dragon and try to reinterpret it. For example, the idea to create the Tag Mechanic was simply looking at the title Double Dragon, and thinking… well, what would make this a DOUBLE Dragon game? What about controlling two characters? Or what do we expect from a beat ‘em up? Well, it should be about fighting lots of enemies and having the ability to manage the crowd.

Interview: What Went into Designing Double Dragon Gaiden
Image via Secret Base and Modus

How do Double Dragon Gaiden characters differ from each other in terms of movesets? How did you handle balancing as a result of them being individual characters?


Teo:
The goal was that no two characters are the same, so although everyone had their regular combo, jump attack, run attack and special moves, in truth, they all do different things. For example, Billy would perform a dive kick and knocks down his target, but Jimmy would do a ground pound that pushes all nearby targets away.

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And because of how different they are, and how many of them there are, it was quite a massive workload balancing the characters. Of course, the usual trick is to categorize them in size and archetype. But we also wanted to showcase some of the well-known characters, and they don’t always fit well into the archetype we wanted, so we needed to look at the character’s lore or other spin-off titles to draw inspiration from to give them new moves. Not only that, but there were also many moves that were created, tested and thrown away because they weren’t as fun as originally imagined.

Beyond that, it’s back to good old playtesting, rebalancing, and playtesting again.

How did you decide which characters would be playable in Double Dragon Gaiden, and how far back in the game series’ lore did you go when picking unlockable characters?

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Teo: The idea back then was to create a “Double Dragon All-Star” game, so I naturally looked at all the most well-known and memorable characters of the franchise and studied them all. For the longest time, my solution would be to make this a prequel to justify why these characters would come together again. However, there were complications with the storyline that were hard to resolve.

In the end, Arc System Works suggested that we should make this a Gaiden side story. This allowed us to bring all these characters together in sort of an alternate timeline and retell the franchise in a new way. This would appeal to both new gamers, who could get into the series easily, and older fans, who could enjoy a fresh take on a classic adventure.

Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons will appear on the PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC on July 27, 2023.
 

hanselthecaretaker2

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While I’m not following Starfield at all and realize the above is satire, it’s kinda funny the game webs were legit joking about it too -
 

Absent

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That's quite an interesting take because replayabAND NOW FOR OUR NEW P2W LOOK IT HAS TANKS AND YOU HAVE A DISCOUNT FOR THAT SHIT PERSONALLY I LIKE WHEN THE PLANE SHOOTS AT THE BOAT SO PAY YOUR SUBSCRIPTION NOWility wait what were we talking about ? Bah never mind.
 

BrawlMan

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That's quite an interesting take because replayabAND NOW FOR OUR NEW P2W LOOK IT HAS TANKS AND YOU HAVE A DISCOUNT FOR THAT SHIT PERSONALLY I LIKE WHEN THE PLANE SHOOTS AT THE BOAT SO PAY YOUR SUBSCRIPTION NOWility wait what were we talking about ? Bah never mind.
That is not a good sign, and I prefer having the ad at the beginning or end of the video.
 
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Dalisclock

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That is not a good sign, and I prefer having the ad at the beginning or end of the video.
Yeah, it's bad enough ads were all over the front page but now we're getting adds in the middle of the videos too, because I guess they were uncontaminated for way too long.