Bullet Bros is a throwback to classic games like Contra, Super Mario 3, Bionic Commando and Blaster Master. It started out as an exercise to combine some of my favorite game mechanics together to see if they could co-exist. From there I switched everything over to a physics-based environment, and some really fun and unexpected things started to take shape. Bullet Bros was born.
At the very minimum, Bullet Bros will be equivalent in size to the old Contra games; 10 levels, each with a unique, bad ass boss, and local co-op. I say minimum because I would love to take the scope much bigger if possible, and that’s where I really need the help of the Kickstarter community. The following categories break down what I would love to include in Bullet Bros with your support.
I want to have a huge world map with 90-plus levels, and game progression similar to Mario 3. I want to add tons of secret objectives, mini-games, and stores to upgrade your gear. I always enjoyed games with cool world maps, because it gives you a break from the chaos. Oh, and did somebody say impossible airships? No? Okay, well I guess I'm saying it.
The Vehicles in Bullet Bros will play a large role in the overall design of the game.They will be unlocked throughout the missions, and can be upgraded and linked with other vehicles to create wacky new machines. You will be able to visit the Bullet Bros hangar and test out vehicle combinations without the stress of combat. If you figure out a cool combo, you can have it airdropped to your mission location to test it in combat. I want to shoot for 50 -100 playable vehicles throughout the game, so the player is constantly trying out new combinations.
Vehicle linking was something I'd already been thinking about for a while, when a friend of mine suggested extending the same concept to the characters themselves. The Bros can now perform "Bro Links" which, if timed perfectly, attach the two bros in completely non-sexual positions. These strategic entanglements will definitely benefit you in combat while also intimidating the enemy. Who wouldn't want to run around the jungle on the shoulders of their best bro as they slaughter rebel forces?
In addition to the vehicles, the Bros will have multiple utility items at their disposal. Here are a few examples that are already implemented, and I plan to add even more.
grappling hook: attaches to just about everything, uses include:
swinging over large gaps
attaching to a boss so you can get a better shot
linking to your bro's vehicle
linking to your bro as you're falling to your death
hooking them into enemies and detonating at your convenience (dangle it from a ledge and go grunt fishing!)
upgrade your vehicle with one and repeat all of the above!
parachute: allows the Bros to glide when falling, uses include:
gliding over large gaps
dodging bullets by changing your falling speed
if used just before a double jump, allows you to drift upward
sand bags: block enemy bullets until destroyed, uses include:
fortifying an area or specific side
stacking up to reach higher areas
launching or droping them on enemies
stacking them to weigh down an enemy or flying vehicle
grenades: a grenade-like device that explodes like a grenade, uses include:
lobbing them over shields to destroy hard-to-hit enemies
taking out giant hoards quickly
slowing your old computer down with 1000+ gibs in the air
His name is Fernando Carabajal, and he has dozens of insanely good video game cover songs. I contacted him the next day and told him about Bullet Bros and he agreed to compose a completely original soundtrack for the game. I seriously can't listen to these without an ear to ear grin.
The look and feel of the Bullet Bros world is something I've been developing for over 2 years. It originally started as an exercise in creating a fully realized game environment to reinforce the curriculum I teach at FuturePoly. The more I fleshed it out I realized I wanted to create an actual game for the world I had built. Around the same time I started getting back into programming so I was able to use all of the pre-production work and concept art for Bullet Bros. This has helped the project move along very quickly and I still have plenty of existing concept art to work from and implement.
To achieve a game of this scope, I can't do it alone. I will need to hire a senior network programmer to handle setting up online co-op play, and another programmer capable of porting the game over to multiple consoles. I will also need to bring on an additional game designer to help with level creation and boss battles. Last, but not least, I'll need a community manager to ensure that your suggestions are heard and that you are able to influence the game in a positive way.
I've been self-funding this project for the last year, and now I need your help to put together a kick-ass team capable of realizing Bullet Bros' full potential.
$80,000- Initial Funding Goal. PC release, 10 levels, 10 bosses, 10 unique vehicles. 10 level songs. Local multi-player.
$90,000- 5 more levels, 1 new boss and 1 new song.
$100,000- 5 more vehicles, 5 more levels and add the world map.
$120,000- Hire a network programmer and add online co-op!!! 10 more levels, 1 new boss and 1 new song. *added Linux and Mac release!
$160,000- Hire a junior designer to help with additional levels and more refined boss battles. 10 more levels, 5 more vehicles and 2 new bosses.
$180,000- Add comic book style cut scenes between chapters to flesh out the Bros' back-story. 10 more levels, 5 more vehicles and 1 new song.
$200,000- Horde mode. 10 more levels, 5 more vehicles and 2 more Bro links!
$250,000- Vehicle challenge mode. 10 more levels, 5 more vehicles and 1 new boss.
$280,000- Hire another programmer and release on Xbox 360 and PS3.
$320,000- Hire an animator for more player and enemy animations. 2 more Bro Link positions and 2 more bosses!
$380,000- Xbox One and PS4 release!!! Crank the physics up to the max and 2 new bosses.
$420,000- 4-player campaign and various death-match modes. Think Contra meets Smash Brothers.
$490,000- 4 vs 4 team death match. Crazy impromtu mech-on-mech action!!!
Risks and challenges
With Bullet Bros the biggest obstacle I foresee is managing the scope of the project. The game was born out of love and over the past year the scope has ballooned from a simple programming exercise into a full scale game. To help overcome this, I've waited and developed the prototype to a point where I feel it can be easily scaled up or down based on the interest of the community.
Another huge obstacle is budgeting the project and delivering it on a deadline. I feel very confident in this because I have owned and operated my own business (FuturePoly) for the last 4 years. With FuturePoly I am able to utilize the office space, workstations, and software, meaning all contributions to Bullet Bros will go directly towards production rather than start-up costs. This obviously takes a huge financial burden away from the project and also makes it much easier to budget.
----ART BRO---- Receive a digital art pdf including high res copies of all the concept art and sketches done for Bullet Bros and a face melting digital soundtrack composed by Fernando Carabajal. All previous standard rewards included.
----BRO-ARD OF DIRECTORS ---- Join us once a month for a three hour webinar where we discuss the state of the game and brain storm ways to make it better. This would begin once funded and it will not be included in any other reward tiers. Your name will also appear in the Bro-ard of directors list in the credits. All previous standard rewards included.
----BRO BOOK---- Receive a soft cover printed version of the art book. Each book includes an original signed sketch. The art book will feature many guest artists including Kekai Kotaki, Levi Hopkins, Richard Anderson, Thomas Scholes, Horia Dociu Ryan Demita and more. All previous standard rewards included.
----Bro Launch---- Two Invitations to the Bullet Bros launch party in Seattle, Wa. Food and drinks included. Must be over 21 to attend and travel and lodging not included. All previous standard rewards included.
----BRO SCREAM---- Submit a recording of yourself screaming and we will add it as one of the random Bro screams in the game! No profanities, just raw emotion. Your name will appear as a guest voice-over artist in the credits. This will not be included in any other reward tiers. All previous standard rewards included.
---- COME ON BRO---- Submit a recording of yourself yelling "Come on BRO"! and we will add it as one of the random "Come on Bro"s in the game! Your name will appear as a guest voice-actor in the credits. This will not be included in any other reward tiers All previous standard rewards included.
----GENERAL BROTORS---- Help the design team come up with a new vehicle to be included within the linking system. Your name will appear as a guest vehicle designer in the credits! This will not be included in any other reward tiers. All previous standard rewards included.
----BAD BRO---- Help design an enemy and attack pattern for the game. Choose which region it should reside in and help tune its difficulty. Your name will appear in the credits under guest enemy designer. This will not be included in any other reward tiers. All previous standard rewards included.
----BRO BOSS---- Work closely with the design team to create the game-play mechanics for a mini-boss. Your name will appear as a guest boss designer in the credits! This will not be included in any other reward tiers. All previous standard rewards included.
----BRO-CATION---- Come stay with us in lovely Seattle for a work week. Shadow the devs and help with suggestions and play testing. Travel, food, and lodging included! Receive all other rewards including exclusive ones!!
*Travel limited to within the US.