Inside the Evo 2014 Indie Showcase, Part 1: Lethal League, Yatagarasu, Advent Saga, and More!

By on June 16, 2014 at 12:10 pm
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For three years now, Evolution has hosted independent game developers looking to both win over and learn from some of the most rigorous, competitive gamers out there–fighting game enthusiasts. We’re excited to announce that this year’s Evo Indie Showcase will include Lethal League, Advent Saga, Yatagarasu, Aztez, and VIDEOBALL! Read on to learn more about the games and the devs behind them, and make sure to check back in later in the week as we reveal the rest of this year’s showcased games.

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Advent Saga

Who are you?

Pro-Gen Studios is comprised of a number of competitive gamers, including a number of fighting game players. Our lead developer (Jordan Joyner) and lead designer (Paul LaCen, that’s me) were active competitive Smash players from 2008-2010 and actually met because of Smash, and maintained that friendship while attending school for game development and game design. Our Network and UI developers also play Project M, Marvel, and Street Fighter (they’ve since focused their practice on SF after Ultra Street Fighter IV launched) and will be attending Evo 2014 as competitors.

When did you start making games, and how’d you get into it?

I got into making games after years of addictive gaming (both FFXI and Smash) caused me to lose my home. (I wrote more about that here, if you’re interested.)

A friend of mine (the woman who would later become my wife, actually) convinced me to take the critical eye and incredibly focused nature of my play and turn it to something productive. She suggested that I go to school for game design, and I’ve been doing that ever since. Last year our producer put together a meeting to discuss projects that we could work on collectively and that’s when Advent Saga was created.

Why Evo?

We want to bring Advent Saga to Evo because we created Advent Saga to appeal to the competitively-minded individual. Advent Saga utilizes the spacing, setups, and mindgame fundamentals you would find in a fighting game, and features a diverse cast that allows the player to form a deck around the personalities and fighting styles they prefer. We’ve brought Advent Saga to Apex 2014 and UFGT10, and we’re always pleased at the type of combos and over-the-top plays that the players come up with when they play to win; Evo is the exemplification of the play-to-win mindset that we love to be surrounded by.

Who’s your favorite fighting game player?

Due to his strong fundamentals and long-running legacy, JWong has to be my personal favorite fighting game player.

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Lethal League

Who are you?

I’m Dion Koster, co-founder of Team Reptile, and we’re making a projectile fighting game called Lethal League. We have been creating games since 2011, and we released our first proper game, Megabyte Punch, on Steam last year. We’re a small team — Megabyte Punch was made by just the two of us (Tim Remmers and I). But for this game we’re working together with a dedicated netcoder and lots of musicians and even voice actors. My personal fighting game influence is mostly from the Super Smash Bros. series and the Sega Genesis game Eternal Champions.

When did you start making games, and how’d you get into it?

I started out making basic games in a program called Gamemaker when I was about 14, and later moved to making homebrew games for the Nintendo DS. Aside from becoming more adept and experienced, not a whole lot has changed since then. I’m still juggling doing both graphics and gameplay programming, it’s just that I’m now more sure of what I want to create.

Why Evo?

I think Evo is the best place for us to be showing Lethal League. The way Lethal League is designed is to be simple to pick up and play and still get that ball up to extreme speeds, but then also having the depth allowing players to get really good at it. Because of this, we see fighting game fans having a lot of fun with it, bringing the hype every time. What better place to show this than the biggest fighting game community gathering of the year? So we’re hoping we can reach lots of players during the event and show them what we’ve been working on.

Who’s your favorite fighting game player?

Being a fan of competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee, I have favorites like Liquid|KDJ, EMP|Armada and EMP|Mew2King, and the Japanese Yoshi player VGBC|aMSa. I think I can settle on Axe for now. I’m really enjoying his fast and aggressive Pikachu play, getting world-class results with a character you don’t normally see near the top.

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VIDEOBALL

Who are you?

I’m Tim Rogers, founder and director of Action Button Entertainment and game designer of VIDEOBALL.

When did you start making games, and how’d you get into it?

I always wanted to make games. In the late 1990s, as an effort to better understand the mechanical particulars of games, I started taking extensive notes on every game I played. When the internet became a big thing, I started turning my weird notes into game reviews. I ended up writing for publications like Kotaku and EDGE and consulting on various games.

I started working in the game industry in the early 2000s. I worked for Sony Computer Entertainment Japan. Later I worked for Grasshopper Manufacture. In 2011 I founded Action Button Entertainment with Brent Porter, Michael Kerwin, and Nicholas Wasilewski. We’ve made a few little games, all the while planning bigger games. VIDEOBALL is the first “big” game we’re going to release.

Why Evo?

I often say that the best singleplayer action games have characters whose movements and actions are nuanced enough that a deathmatch between that character and its equally capable identical twin (controlled by another player) is infinitely interesting. In other words, I’ve always believed that all good action games could be fighting games. (I also believe that most action games aren’t good. Castlevania Dracula X Rondo of Blood, for example, is a good action game which would make a good fighting game.)

In other words, I believe that fighting games are the best video games, and the realest, truest video games. Evo is the best presentation of such games. Making VIDEOBALL worthy of Evo has been near the top of our design priorities from the very beginning. The only way to judge its worthiness is to take it there.

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Aztez

Who are you?

We’re Ben Ruiz and Matthew Wegner, and we’ve been making games together for a long time. Matthew used to be a world ranked Puzzle Fighter player, and Ben used to compete globally in online 3rd Strike communities.

When did you start making games, and how’d you get into it?

We got into the development of a beat-’em-up because we really like technical action games (Matthew is a Ninja Gaiden man and Ben is a Devil May Cry man) and wanted to mess with the formula a bit and push these things forward.

Why Evo?

We love showcasing at Evo because the typical attendee picks up our game and intuitively knows what to do, and then we got to watch them get crushed, turn on the vim, and then successfully fight back. And all in a very brief window; a window which takes the average gamer much longer to get through. It’s just very insightful for us and and generally very enjoyable.

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Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm

Who are you?

The Yatagarasu development team is a Japanese indie game development circle made up of three former SNK / King of the Fighters developers: Shiza, Kotani, and Umezono.

Shiza heads up overall progress and programming. Specifically, he handles everything programming-related, manages progress, and handles odd jobs that come up. He takes care of all programming-related matters, including the game engine, main program, character programming, server programming, and the network engine.

Kotani is in charge of design and graphics. He creates all of the character-related graphics by himself, as well as the character design, artwork, menus, etc. He also creates the character pixel art by himself, which is a rare thing to find these days. He works extremely hard to produce graphics of consistently high quality.

Kotani is also active on other projects and work, including many commercial products, such as character design for the shooting games Mushihimesama and Ibara, card games, and pixel art for various commercial titles.

Umezono is responsible for gameplay and balancing. He is in charge of all things related to the gameplay and overall tuning of the game system design, character roster, animation, collision detection, etc. Umezono also has a track record as a fighting game player and is active in game tournaments.

When did you start making games, and how’d you get into it?

As mentioned above, the team worked on KoF games, but Yatagarasu started about 6 years ago when Shiza, Umezono and Kotani discussing what kind of fighting game they would like to make. Kotani and Shiza wanted a game that used their favorite lo-res pixel art style, while Umezono wanted to buck the trend of heavy combo-intensive fighting games. Their collective vision was a classical style 2D fighting game which would allow players to play to their own particular strength. The upshot of the discussion was that there was no way a game company would approve that kind of game, so they decided to make it themselves.

Why Evo?

Only because it’s the biggest and best fighting game event in the world! With our presence at Evo, we’re hoping to raise the awareness, support, and excitement for Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm.

Who’s your favorite fighting game player?

Justin Wong: His Marvel series play is wonderful.
Inbe: The most interesting Guy player in Japan.
Hayao: A 3S Hugo player. All of his matches are exciting.

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Evo 2014 is scheduled for July 11-13 at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. Be sure to check out the event’s official website for more information, and stay tuned for further looks at the indie games that will be on display.

  • caiooa

    really cool to see Yatagarasu guys taking this opportunity!

  • wamerk

    Anyone know the name of the song on this Yatagarasu trailer?

    • Gasarocky

      The title and artist are at 1:36. It’s called “kataware” which means “fragment”

  • Raymond

    Lethal league looks sooo damn fun.

  • I_made_this_account_to_post_th

    Yatagarasu is the only decent looking one

    • ReddChief78

      Of course, i wouldn’t mind trying out that Aztec game & Lethal League tho.

    • Videoball is damn, damn, DAMN good.

  • TheBlackRabbit

    Yatagarasu trailer feels like they just ran the song by that clip an that was it…..

  • Hexodious

    Yatagarasu looks like a typical 2D Fighter, not really interested at the moment. Looking forward for more Aztez.

    • Edwin Obando Chacon

      Typical 2d fighter in a major fighter event, makes no sense, right??

      • Hexodious

        I’m talking about the game, not the event. Couldn’t care less about the event ’cause i’m mostly looking forward to the new games that’s being shown off.

  • Zeroroute

    Does this mean yata will be on steam before evo?

  • Procrastination Queen

    I’m really hoping for The Chainsaw Incident to be one of the games being showcased! <3 Hope it's revealed later! (:

  • Can’t wait for Lethal League.