Bunny Brawler: Wolfire Talk Overgrowth

By Alec Meer on March 18th, 2010 at 3:39 pm.

A RABBIT. But also A MAN

It’s a Thursday afternoon, and that means it’s time to talk about cute animals kicking each other to death. We haven’t covered upcoming indie action game Overgrowth much on RPS, which is a sad side-effect of its much-adored precursor Lugaru arriving before the Hivemind had coalesced into being. Let’s correct that now, as it’s hard to imagine you lot wouldn’t be interested in a videogame about a rabbit roundhouse-kicking wolves. I had a quick natter with Aubrey Serr, Wolfire’s lead artist and John Graham, Wolfire’s self-proclaimed coffee operations officer, about what Overgrowth is, where it’s at and the highs and low of self-funded development. It’s entirely possible that some, all or none of these were dressed as kung-fu rabbits at the time.

Before we begin, here’s a sense of what Overgrowth is/will be:

And now, words.

RPS: As we’ve been a little lax in covering Overgrowth to date, some of our delightful readers may not be aware of it. Please, tell ‘em why they should care and what this strange and hopefully wonderful animal cruelty-based action game is…

Aubrey: PC games are seeing fewer and fewer big releases, especially from American developers. I miss games made for the mouse and games that are easy to mod. I don’t want to see PC games become marginalized. People who care about these things will probably like Overgrowth.

John: Overgrowth is what happens when you mix one cup of Assassin’s Creed with a seasoning of Redwall, add a pinch of Donnie Darko and stir it around with a broadsword. Following the tradition from Lugaru, our goal is to really force players to come up with their own survival combat strategies and tap into their primal kill or be killed instincts.

Aubrey: Overgrowth is not going to have gameplay oriented around hiding behind boxes while your health regenerates. It is not going to have brainless AI that waits for your overpowered character to easily dispatch them. It is not going to make you walk down narrow pre-determined paths while the game pretends to be a movie.

RPS: What are the key changes/improvements from Lugaru?

Aubrey: One of the things we are interested in is improving gameplay ideas from older games that were never fully explored. Oni was one of the core inspirations for Lugaru, and we are planning to experiment and refine things even more with Overgrowth. Blocking and grabbing will be added, as well as a totally revised set of moves which should result in a more balanced and tactical gameplay experience.

John: Remember, Lugaru was made 6 years ago by our fearless leader David Rosen as a lone high schooler. David has since graduated from college and now leads a 4-man team. We have spent that past year building ourselves a brand new, cutting edge engine that will allow us to revisit the Lugaru universe in much greater detail. Additionally, all the editor tools we’ve built over the past year to enhance our level creation process are getting bundled directly with the game and some fans have already started using the weekly alphas to make their own custom models (like the whale man), construct their own cities and create their own custom animations.

RPS: How technical a fighting game will it be? If you’re someone who struggles at (or can’t be bothered to learn), say, Street Fighter IV, are you going to get on with this?

Aubrey: If you like games with a lot of complex controller motions and 100 hit combo chains then Overgrowth is probably not the game for you. Like the Lugaru interface, Overgrowth is designed around the mouse, and it only uses a few buttons. The moves are context sensitive, and so there are still many attack options but they don’t require you to memorize a list of moves.

John: Like Aubrey says, rather than allowing players to button mash or memorize arbitrary combos, we want them to be able to think their way through their fights. I recommend trying the free Lugaru demo and giving it a whirl to get a feel for the basic foundation that Overgrowth is inheriting.

RPS: Textbook question, but always interesting: was Lugaru made with an expectancy to go big and ultimately commercial, or is it a strange and wonderful surprise to be in this situation?

John: Even though Lugaru was only one of David’s high school hobby-projects, its organic success was not a complete surprise considering the care and effort he put into it. After all, Lugaru was one of the first indie titles to really celebrate ragdoll physics and integrate them into a melee combat system as a core game mechanic. After Lugaru’s successful launch, David began receiving recruitment offers from big companies like Crytek and Blizzard but turned them down to go to college. He came extremely close to releasing a sequel to Lugaru complete with realistic lighting, grass shading and procedural animations but just didn’t have time to complete it with his demanding course load. Upon graduating however, he decided it was time to assemble a team and bootstrap his own company with the proceeds. It is nice to be self-funded because we are free to make a game we actually want to make and can prioritize fun gameplay over profit maximization.

RPS: Where exactly are you at, in terms of the development cycle? That release date remains ever-mysterious… And what have been the major obstacles to date?

Aubrey: We are working on core gameplay and engine technology still. Some bits are mostly complete, like our built-in level editor and our totally integrated rigging and animation tools. One of the greatest things about having the alpha available to people is that we get early feedback on our art and tools, but this also means that we spend more time fixing and improving things we may otherwise not have been aware of.

John: We recently put in our new scripting system so now we actually have a rabbit that can kick another rabbit in-engine and send him radgolling down a hill. We still want to layer on tons of polish but the base technologies needed for Overgrowth’s gameplay are now in place.

RPS: You’re one of several big-name indie games who seem to depend on preorders for funding. It’s the inverse, obviously of traditional retail games – but how’s it working out so far? Terrifying, thrilling, super-successful? From a distance, there’s a concern that if you don’t get enough preorders the game doesn’t get made, but presumably you’ve planned for that eventuality?

John: Early preorders are an extension of our open development process. You won’t see us claiming to have a perfectly finished game ready yet, but when we have a new feature, we’ll post about it, make a video about it and explain how it works. If people like what they see and want to help us, they can preorder and get early access to our editor tools. We’ve been super psyched about how much early support we’ve gotten. We were prepared to start and finish Overgrowth without any preorders, but the fact that a significant amount of people (about 3000) have preordered is incredible. We have spent some of it on better computers, tablets, and other odd jobs (fixing up phpbb, pretty icons, etc.) to help the game. However, more important than anything tangible, it is extremely motivating to know that there are a lot of people who believe in us.

RPS: Another indie-specific thing is the kind of hyper-enthusiastic community you’ve built up. What defines them – are these guys comparable to the fanbase of a mainstream game, or is there more a crusader element to them, given they remain dedicated to a sequel to a five-year-old break-out hit that’s potentially still a long way off release?

Aubrey: I think a lot of companies don’t understand how important fans are to their own success. The game for us is more of a team effort with our fans than it is something we are doing for them. Instead of some big publisher we have fans helping fund us. Instead of a localization department we have fans translating the website into dozens of languages. Instead of a QA department we have fans who test and file bugs every week. I think it works better this way, and I think everyone who is part of the community sees that. In return we try to give back as much as we can. In addition to working hard on the game, we update our blog, make videos and have a comic. The solidarity we have with our fans seems totally natural to us given the circumstances.

John: I’d say the Wolfire Community is more hardcore and technically skilled than your average mainstream fan. When Lugaru was first released, David hardly put any mod support into it at all. However, the fans ended up reverse engineering his code to unlock the level editor. At this point there have been quite a few total conversions of Lugaru which rival the quality of the original game. For Overgrowth it seemed quite clear that we shouldn’t try to hide our tools and development process from the community but instead open up as much as possible.

RPS: Rabbits, wolves – what else? And why do the fluffy animals hate each other so?

Aubrey: We are adding cats, rats and dogs to the rabbits and wolves. One of the best things about using animal characters is that people already understand them pretty well. Wolves eat rabbits because they are hungry, which is more insight into the motivations of the “bad guys” than you will get in most AAA games even after sitting through hours of cut-scenes.

John: It’s really fun to have species-based stereotypes that we can reinforce and contradict. It’s also worth noting, that although we’ve only been working on Overgrowth officially for just over a year, David and Aubrey had actually been brainstorming ideas for the game for over two years before that. The end result is that this brutal brawler should have surprising amounts of depth.

RPS: Does knowing you’re making a videogame about a kung-fu rabbit ever stop being really bloody weird to you?

John: Let’s face it, we’re not going to win an arms race against the mainstream companies and their warehouses full of developers by making a conventional game about space marines or barbarians. They’ve been done so many times already. Ninja rabbits are a great way for us to explore a path less traveled.

John: Also, there were a few factors David considered when choosing the setting for Lugaru. Non-human characters completely avoid the uncanny valley because people don’t really have preconceived notions of what a humanoid rabbit is supposed to look like. Additionally, he wanted a setting where he could play off strong species-related stereotypes. There’s something wonderfully hardcore about a rabbit who transcends the normal meek attitude of his species and fearlessly engages in battle with wolves. David also wanted to include violent attack moves but not have the violence actually portrayed against humans. Finally, I think he wanted to immortalize his dog Wolfie within the context of a video game.

So back to your original question, “really bloody”… yup; “weird”… yup, but is there a method to the madness? Most definitely!

Thanks for your time.

Overgrowth will be ready when it’s damn well ready. You can preorder it here, which as well as helping to fund and improve the game’s development, nets you instant access to regularly updated alpha builds and the impressive-looking modkit.

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88 Comments »

  1. Dominic White says:

    In before the ‘OMG FURRY I VOMIT WITH RAGE’ angry internet manfolks: Lugaru was more like Watership Down spliced with Conan the Barbarian. It’s actually pretty cool.

    • Lord_Mordja says:

      Yeah I lugaru when it was free and had a blast. As for the whole “furry” thing, from what I understand it went like this:

      1) Make game about rabbits critters each other, just like in that book!

      2) Discover internet.

      3) Look on in horror.

    • Lord_Mordja says:

      Augh no edit! What I meant was “Make a game about critters kicking the blood out of each other”

    • l1ddl3monkey says:

      Lugaru has awesome, awesome jumping but I struggled with the combat and completed it pretty much with an endless Leg Sweep to Front Kick combo and the occasional lucky “Heavy Impact” (surely a precursor to Hard Surface) kill or “stab him while he’s down” finishing move.

      Still; well up for some Overgrowth.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      The important difference is that anthropomorphic animals behave like animals that happen to talk (and maybe be bipedal, and maybe have opposing thumbs), whereas furries behave like human beings that happen to have the physical traits of animals but none of the mental traits.
      Anthropomorphic animals aren’t furry; everyone knows that. It’s what makes Redwall and Mouse Guard so awesome.
      (In case anyone needs reminding, this is why Mouse Guard is awesome.)

    • Wulf says:

      @Alexander Norris

      Totally wrong, sorry.

      Furry can have as wide of a representation as ethics or spirituality, and really it’s a very subjective thing, one which is impossible to make an objective construct out of. This is something that long-time furries have come to accept as a given, but it’s always fun to have a chuckle at those who’ll try to lay down the “Furry is this!” rulebook, when the actual case is more “I know what furry is to me,” rather than “I know what furry is.”

      http://www.nordguard.com/comicdex.htm – This is Nordguard.
      http://www.nordguard.com/nordguard.htm – This is the Nordguard character design page.

      This is by Blotch, a duo of artists which are both self-professed furries, and those characters really don’t look at all that much different to the ones in Lugaru, they don’t at all look like humans with animal elements, but they’re simply what furries look like to one artist. Furries can be cat-girls, if you like, but to say that furry is exclusively this or that is totally incorrect, funny, but incorrect.

      And to be honest, almost all of the preconceived notions that people have about what a furry must be are incorrect, when people start thinking in form of can be rather than must be they’ll understand furry more. ‘sides, there are even Dragon fans who consider themselves as part of the furry fandom, and I really can’t see how that could be a human with some animal attributes.

      As to other elements: A furry can be a spiritualist, a furry can be an artist, a furry can be a coder, a furry can be a geek, a furry can be an imaginative self-recreation, a furry can be one’s characters in one’s own world, a furry can be an animal guide, an extension of oneself, a furry can simply be a character on a sheet of paper and a furry-fan can simply be someone who enjoys viewing that, a furry can be a total pervert, too.

      Why?

      Humans are humans, no matter what they like. And furry fans are simply people who like animal-folks, Dragons, and similar topics, and every furry fan/furry out there is going to have a completely different take on what it means from the next.

      And that’s why you can’t handle furry in an objective sense.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      they don’t at all look like humans with animal elements

      Except for the part where they clearly look like humans with animal heads, fur and wearing clothing. They even have human expressions (smiles etc.). Compare that to Redwall or Mouse Guard where the animals look and act like animals, wearing clothing that fits their animal shape rather than just looking like sexualised male/female bodies with animal heads on them, and you’ll see what I mean.

      In fact, the only character who isn’t “furry” on that page is the boar-man, because that fur coat obscures his body.

      Also, myself and the rest of the Internet would greatly appreciate if you and your self-confessed “furry” fan pals would stop acting like you’re being personally persecuted by everyone just because we object to having a particular type of fetish rubbed in our faces. We have the same reaction to people who spam gay porn or scat. The whole “boohoo I am a victim because of my alternative lifestyle choices!” crap gets very old, very fast and is probably responsible for more of the hatred against “furries” than any sexual fetish they might have.

      And why the bloody hell is the edit function gone again? :(

  2. Mr. Reality says:

    I can not wait for the hundreds of fur fanfiction that involves the rabbits having violent anal sex. Oh and lest I forget the fan art…oh God the fan art.

    Rejoice fur brethren, our filthy and disturbed fetish is now becoming mainstream!

    • geldonyetich says:

      The concept art and world building tools look a whole lot better than the gameplay itself, which looks very crudely rendered and executed.

      I can not wait for the hundreds of fur fanfiction that involves the rabbits having violent anal sex. Oh and lest I forget the fan art…oh God the fan art.

      Given the active endeavors of decades of furries past, I doubt you’ll need to wait.

    • Mark O'Brien says:

      @geldonyetich

      I think you might have been referring to the clip of Lugaru (the previous game from years ago) at the beginning of the movie.

      They didn’t show any gameplay footage of Overgrowth in that video.

      Probably a mistake to include footage of Lugaru like that without making it more obvious what it was.

    • Wulf says:

      In regards to what I wrote above…

      Addendum: And then you have idiots, whether they’re furry or not, an idiot is an idiot. And what we have here is, indeed, an idiot. Or at least someone who considers misinformation to be a worthy bedfellow.

  3. Mr Labbes says:

    Preordered it together with Natural Selection 2. Haven’t tried either much, but it looks pretty damn cool and I feel good about supporting guys who seem nice.
    I kind of suck at Lugaru, but it’s an absolutely stunning game. Especially the jumping.

    • Crozon says:

      Yeah me to. Looks really promising. Looking forward to the full game.

  4. AndrewC says:

    If I wasn’t a well adjusted human being I would totally be a furry. Furries are awesome.

    • Rich says:

      I knew a furry once. His animal spirit, soul, alter ego… thing he’d like to do unpleasant things to etc. was a dragon.

      I maintain that it makes him a scaly.

    • kalidanthepalidan says:

      @Rich

      Hahaha…a scaly. Amazing.

    • Cpt. Sqweky says:

      @ Rich
      I have a friend who isn’t a furry, but he says he wants to go to a furry convention without wearing any costume and claim that his animal persona is an animal that wants to be a human.

    • A-Scale says:

      I have nothing to do with the furry/scaly/creepy movement.

    • Wulf says:

      @Rich

      Your friend wouldn’t be the first to do this, or the tenth, and they wouldn’t be the first to be accepted by furries as a friend, either. From all I’ve seen, con furries are a pretty open group and they love a bit of good humour as much as anyone else.

      Most ideas aren’t as original as they seem at first. >.>

      @A-Scale

      More’s the pity, they’re an incredibly creative bunch. I think that’s generally why they’re damned more than anything else, it’s hard not to be envious of such a condensed amount of talent and creativity. See: Nordguard, linked above.

    • Psychopomp says:

      “I knew a furry once. His animal spirit, soul, alter ego… thing he’d like to do unpleasant things to etc. was a dragon.

      I maintain that it makes him a scaly.”

      That’s, uh, that actually is the term for reptilian furries >_>

  5. Dain says:

    The editing tools they’ve got for this engine are pretty impressive looking!

  6. jsutcliffe says:

    I’ve been eagerly following their development blog for a while. I’m not sure if I’m interested in the game, exactly, but the dev blog is fascinating, especially when they’re talking about their terrain tools.

    There seems to be some messed-up formatting in the post that’s screwing up the forum version of this topic, by the way.

  7. Tom OBedlam says:

    Thats looks brilliant :) I’m downloading the lugaru demo now. Nice.

  8. Resin says:

    Wolfire = Awesome , though John’s beard could use some pink.
    Ubisoft should take notes from this company. The meek/indie shall inherit the PC.

    • Wulf says:

      Precisely what I’ve been saying.

      And no matter where you’re nosing, their forums, their dev blog, they always have such interesting things to share, and they’re so friendly to boot. Can’t fault ‘em. Plus, Lugaru was a great game, so I have high hopes for Overgrowth.

  9. Sporknight says:

    The rabbits and badgers were my favorite in Redwall. This is awesome.

  10. Malibu Stacey says:

    Sounds like it could be quite fun multiplayer. Sort of Savage meets Team Fortress.
    I fear that too many people will get put off by the visual style though & think it’s a “kids” game because it doesn’t subscribe to ‘modern-battlefield-warfare’ or ‘space-marines-vs-aliens’ stereotypes (I have no faith in the average gamer & judging by the top selling games these days it’s not misplaced).

    • Resin says:

      I don’t think Overgrowth will be competeing with games like Call of Duty, what they will have is a small but strong following that will attract PC gamers, particularly the type that like mods. It’s a different market share, but I think it will be plenty to fund OG II the fast and furryious.

    • AndrewC says:

      I don’t actually believe this about those awful ‘normal’ people, and believe this to be a self-defeating us vs them attitude.

      It is not that mainstream or more casual gamers only want the same space-marines over and over again, it is that they ‘get’ space-marines – through films like Aliens seeping into the general pop culture – and so can understand what you are supposed to do in a game featuring them straight away.

      They won’t immediately get games full of weird stuff and so will shy away from it, staying in their comfort zone. This is not about ‘not wanting it’, but just not getting it. It is a tiny proportion of any population that will be attracted to something *because* it is different. It is not that they are too dumb or too grey in their tastes to play it, but that they need to have it explained to them a bit before they are comfortable with it.

      The attitude of dismissing anyone who does not ‘get’ it straight away and just refusing to explain it to anyone who does not ‘get’ it simply reduces the potential audience for that game and, as a byproduct, makes you a tedious elitist – which, if the game’s community exists of mostly people like you, will also reduce the audience of that game.

      This need to want to stay within comfort zones is not limited to those poor benighted mainstream gamers, but to indie developers sticking with platform puzzlers and 16bit aesthetics, or hardcore gamers throwing a hissy fit when some gun is rebalanced in a game. it’s natural, and it happens with all of us.

      So if you bemoan the small community of a game while spitting venom at anyone who doesn’t play it, you are being a big numpty. So there.

    • Resin says:

      @ AndrewC – I think you are responding to my reply –
      It is not that I am trying to be elitist or have anything against mainstream/casual/console etc. – rather I am saying that the initial appeal of a game like this – whose marketing system is almost entirely viral rather than bought for media saturation- will follow the same type of trend as cult movies that have had a small but strong following. That is not to say that it won’t go larger – like so many ‘cult movies’ that are now anything but, think of how Evil Dead II became such a hit.
      My statement is merely that they will have a different initial consumer base, supporters who are interested in the creation process as opposed to pure consumers interested primarily in the finished product. I would consider how well they transition from one type of audience to the other to be one measure of success for the game once it is released.

    • AndrewC says:

      Hello Resin: my reply was actually aimed at Malibu Stacey, and also actually a shade more aggressive than I intended. I think I find any ‘us vs them’ rhetoric really poisonous and push back against a post that even suggests it, even if that post is basically quite reasonable. Oh well, apologies, and biscuits and hugs and Evil Dead 2 for everyone.

  11. Mario Figueiredo says:

    One of the best things about using animal characters is that people already understand them pretty well. Wolves eat rabbits because they are hungry, which is more insight into the motivations of the “bad guys” than you will get in most AAA games even after sitting through hours of cut-scenes.

    I just want everyone to notice.

  12. Sagan says:

    I think I would love this game if it wasn’t about rabbits. When this comes out, someone should release a mod that replaces all the animal characters in the game with humans, and then I will play it.
    I’m sorry, but I just don’t see any appeal whatsoever to playing a rabbit.

    • Mr Labbes says:

      Read Watership Down, then. Trust me, afterwards you will love kicking the crap out of other animals in a righteous fury.

    • James G says:

      Y’see, I find that a bit odd, not because I think everyone should want to play a rabbit, but because as I’ve always seen games as part escapism, and playing a rabbit could be just part of that. Hell, in my early gaming days on the spectrum and Amiga I played plenty of non-human entities, and just the other day I was playing a chicken in Toki Tori.

      Out of curiosity, what is the problem it poses?

    • Resin says:

      I like the rabbits Usagi Yojimbo FTW, even so I would be extremely surprised if mods like this don’t come out. That and mods to add large breasted female rabbits.

    • Nick says:

      Yeah but Watership Down was allegorical.

    • Dominic White says:

      Yeah, I’ve played games where I’m controlling amorphous blobs, wolf-goddesses, fifty foot tall sentient robots, disembodied godlike presences and little burlap toy-folk, just to scrape the surface. Why would I *not* want to play as a kung-fu rabbit?

    • James G says:

      Allegorical? I admit I read it when I was 12, so may have easily missed the allegory, but aside from the usual applicability of any book to other situations it didn’t strike me as particularly allegorical. Indeed, the wikipedia entry does mention any overbearing allegory, and even quotes Adams as saying that none was intended.

      Are you sure you’re not getting things confused with Animal Farm?

    • Sagan says:

      @ James G:

      I can’t say exactly, what the problem is. Let me try to explain this from the another side: Usually when I play a game that is not first-person, there is some reason why I would want to play the character that I play. In order to enjoy the game I have to like the character. If, for example someone did that mod that I asked for, but he replaced every animal in the game with really bland humans, then I would still not want to play the game. And for some reason the rabbits in this game are like really boring humans to me.
      When I look at the concept art for the game, I don’t feel like I would want to play or even meet these characters. It’s like looking at the cast of a “Tales of …” JRPG, and you instantly know that you do not want to play that game.

    • Clovis says:

      @Nick: So?

      Why does it matter if something is allegorical? Watership Down includes awesome scenes with rabbits and dogs fighting. When you read “Animal Farm” do you not picture the actual animals doing the stuff or something? Isn’t 99% of literature allegorical to some degree? I really have idea what you meant.

    • James G says:

      @Sagan

      I can sort of see that I suppose, although I always tend to find myself more interested in the world, and other characters, than my character specifically. (Although obviously it helps, Mass Effect wouldn’t be Mass Effect without my Shepard. ) That said, I’d imagine I’d have no interest in playing ‘Nick Griffin’s Underground Adventure’ even if the game didn’t specifically require the player to be a racist numpty. Although obviously there is some degree of difference between finding a character repugnant, and just finding them dull. (Not that I find the idea of playing a rabbit dull. I actually wish more games would break away from offering us the same few characters, even more so if they actually aren’t just simple re-skinning.)

    • Dominic White says:

      It’s interesting to play as a repugnant character from time to time as well. Kane & Lynch was pretty flawed, gameplay-wise, but the main characters were fantastically written and horribly flawed, terrible people. Really interesting to see their story.

      If you ever have to come up with a lengthy rationalization as to why you can’t play as a rabbity thing in a game, you’re probably getting a little too straight-laced and grumpy for videogames. Reassess things.

    • Mark O'Brien says:

      @Sagan

      Admit it, you’re just disappointed the protagonist isn’t a sheep.

    • Saul says:

      I’m the exact opposite. To me the appeal of playing something as different as a kung fu rabbit will probably help me put up with gameplay flaws that would drive me away from a more cliched, generic game.

    • Wulf says:

      I was going to make the point about escapism but others have made that, so um…

      Hm.

      Now I need to find a reason to write something here, because I know I want to but I want to try to avoid retreating what’s already been covered. It’s hard though since I want to say the same thing with a slightly different take on it. The thing is: I crave escapism. Giant robots? Sure! Little robots? Also fine! Sapient shrubberies? Why the hell not? Pyrite parrots? Perhaps! Werewolves? Yay! Weredolphins? I’m exceedingly amused by this concept, so I’d have to offer a vehement yes. People made entirely out of geometric shapes? Sounds fun! Picotech clouds or clouds of magical dust? That could be interesting! Constructs made of mud that can imprint on things and simulate them? That sounds fascinating, I bet it’d have some great gameplay concepts, too! A ball of goo? I was always curious as to what life would be like as a ball of goo. A Dragon? Flight via big, flappy, leathery wings! Yes please. How about a bug? It’d be interesting to see the world from such small eyes, so yes! And so on.

      But humans I see every day, they aren’t escapism for me no matter what I’m doing, the thing is is that I also see humans on telly, in games, in books, in any kind of work of fiction, like people are far too attached to the notion that we’d only ever be able to read emotion off of a human face, and that we’d only be able to relate to humans. That’s bullsnot! Why? Well, could anyone honestly tell me that they couldn’t relate to and tell what Wall-E was feeling? How about Johnny 5? What about Simba? How about Gish? I mean, it’s pretty easy to convey emotions on anything, and to create a charming, endearing character which one could relate to and become attached to.

      The thing is though is that there are some male gamers who’re afraid to do that, possibly because they feel it might make them look gay, but claiming to like MANLY MAN OF MANLINESS carrying phallic guns around doesn’t make them look gay? >.> I rest my case on that point. So there you have it, and I just wish that we could have more of this escapism, and convince others to give it a go, because it’s bloody marvellous to walk a mile in the shoes (or nearest equivalent) of something that isn’t human for a while, to see entire worlds through different perspectives!

      So I’m immediately drawn to anything that doesn’t have human characters, or characters which share such verisimilitude with humans that they might as well be human (Avatar, Star Trek, and so on, I’m looking at you), but if something does have human characters… well, I’ve been there and done that, so where’s the fun, where’s the entertainment, and where’s the discovery?

  13. Ian says:

    “a videogame about a rabbit roundhouse-kicking wolves”

    Sold.

  14. Taillefer says:

    I’ve enjoyed rabbit combat since Usagi Yojimbo.

    • Hodge says:

      Gah! That takes me back. That game was awesome.

    • Wulf says:

      Usage Yojimbo has also been a cartoon and a comic book.

      The comic books were really par excellence as far as comic books go.

    • Psychopomp says:

      …there was an Usagi Yojimbo game? AND cartoon?

    • Spacewalk says:

      The cartoon was a crossover with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to boot.

  15. Tei says:

    Is like that image on the end of Doom, with the severed rabbit head

    video not related:

  16. Shazbut says:

    No mention of BRUTAL: Paws of Fury? I wonder if they’ve played it.

  17. Samuel Bass says:

    Or Tai Fu? Not that anybody should remember Tai Fu, but still…

    On topic, this looks pretty interesting. I love me a brawler , and will overcome my hatred of all things rabbit related – they’re evil little biting bastards – and give this a look when it hits the nets.

    • Hodge says:

      my hatred of all things rabbit related – they’re evil little biting bastards

      These are surely the words of someone who’s never encountered a ferret – the true Towering Bastards of the small furry pet world.

    • Samuel Bass says:

      Agreed, Ferrets are very high on the “bastard field mammal” list…and yet, in California, people are suing to be allowed to have Ferrets as pets.

    • Wulf says:

      Brutal was actually pretty good, as I recall, too. Played it a few years back as a MUGEN clone as well, so that might be tampering with my perceptions with that version being perhaps better than the original was. Ah, Home of the Underdogs, I miss you.

      As for Tai Fu, I remember that, and it reminded me of something else… something incredible, for the PS3 maybe? PS2? It was something that I had a great deal of love for, and it had these exquisite comic book panels which told its story, it was sort of cel-shaded as well, and it had the best fur on critters that I’d ever seen. It also allowed me to ride a boar, and I can’t really say anything bad about a game that lets me ride a boar. I think it was European developed, too. Great little game. But for the love of all that’s Tiger Kung-Fu-ish… what was it called? D:

      *runs off to Google!*

      Did I dream it?

      *searches more.*

      LEGEND OF KAY!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legend_of_Kay

    • ohnoabear says:

      Pah, I say, to ferret haters! They do kinda smell, but as pets you can’t beat them for the energy and entertainment value from their insane antics. It’s like having a puppy, except it never grows out of being a puppy and gets huge.

      Plus, they’re adorable.

  18. Lambchops says:

    As much as animal combat has me happily remembering reading the Redwall books as a kid I can’t see I’m excited for this.

    Lugaru looked like a nice idea, but I didn’t find it particularly fun to play. Maybe with a more polished game and refined combat system that will change; I could definitely see myself being a bit more interested if it played like Zeno Clash but with a tad more emphasis on physics.

  19. Clovis says:

    So, is this kinda’ like Mount & Blade, but with rabbits? I get that there is rabbits and other animals beating each other up. Is the game just an arena? Is there a linear story you follow, or do you sort of lead a group of rabbits against a group of other animals in, like, a sandbox or something?

    • Davie says:

      There will apparently be a story mode, and according to the blog, they’re working pretty hard on making it pretty nonlinear. Should be interesting. There was talk of multiplayer waaaay back when they first announced it, but we’ve heard very little about it since then, so I’m not sure how that will work. Should be excellent though.

  20. the wiseass says:

    Nobody event mentioned that brilliant editor yet? Well, consider it mentioned now.

    • Resin says:

      This =D

    • Dominic White says:

      On a broader mention, the editor is just part of the package – anyone who preordered Overgrowth (I did back when it was cheaper.. and ended up getting a copy of Natural Selection 2 thrown in for free – score!) gets access to weekly internal alpha builds of the game, and can provide feedback right into the development process.

      It’s the most openly developed game I’ve ever seen, and it’s a fantastic approach to take. It’d never happen, but I’d love to see some major studios offer it as an option – it’d klil the notion of marketing hype stone dead, and let players actually understand the processes behind building a game.

      I think that if people had been able to see the actual development process of, say, Fable, then it would have been infinitely better recieved when it launched, rather than universally loathed by angry internet men expecting something that never existed anywhere but dreams and design docs.

    • s1ckd0nk says:

      I am also in love with your editors and I want to spend some private time with them tools. I just might have to preorder this next month (this months gaming budget has been exceeded and I still need to get BC2 somehow).

  21. RagingLion says:

    Assassin’s Creed crossed with Redwall – that sounds awesome. Having been an avid Redwall reader when younger it strikes me that a few more epic animal-based fantasy worlds could really fit into the gaming world.

    • HermitUK says:

      Redwall, and to a lesser extent the Deptford Mice/Histories, were some of the best books I read growing up.

      Got this on preorder in the Natrual Selection 2/Overgrowth bundle, greatly looking forward to playing it.

  22. Player2 says:

    @Clovis – Really should just pick up the Lugaru demo. It’ll give you what you need to know.

  23. Clavus says:

    Pre-ordered this game with Natural Selection 2. Truth be told, I never played Lugaru or Natural Selection, I only know them from trailers. However, both games look fantastic for an indie product. Couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

    NS2 is also transferring the pre-orders to Steam at some point I’ve read. Would be cool if Overgrowth did the same thing, but I don’t know if any of the devs object.

  24. Nexxus9 says:

    Looks interesting. If they’re trying to emulate the fun of Oni, then I’ll be keeping an eye on this one.

    But I’ve always liked ninja rabbits since Usagi Yojimbo was on the comic racks ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usagi_Yojimbo )

  25. Jacques says:

    No interest in the game, the editor, on the other hand, looks awesome.

  26. deadpan says:

    I remember playing Lugaru back when it came out and was impressed with how deep the combat was despite the simple interface. If Bungie’s Oni hadn’t languished in development hell before being shoved out the door half-finished it could have started a whole new genre of 3D PC beat’em ups. Lugaru shows just a bit of what can be done in that vein.

    Overgrowth looks great. I just hope they don’t get sidetracked implementing fan suggestions, and are able to eventually lock down features and get the game done.

  27. Klik Klak says:

    I really loved the first lugaru. The combat is pretty deep. If you give lugaru 1 a go you will notice the amount of possibillities are huge! Not only that you can use the surroundings to your advantage jumping against walls and all that kind of stuff you can also make really cool combo’s. It feels like a oldschool beat em up in a way but with far more options. Ontop of that the stealth aspect is really cool. If you get good at the game you really feel like a Uber Matrix ninja rabbit! :D

  28. rocode says:

    This may be the very first game that I am more excited about *touching* some of the tools they are using than when I am going to be able to play it.

    • Dominic White says:

      Slap down a preorder, and you get access to the tools *now*. The editor is seriously slick stuff. Makes a lot of major retail studios look bad, and pretty much ensures that there’ll be a good amount of mods and levels for this from now until the end of time.

  29. laikapants says:

    I saw this back in the ModDB Awards and was intrigued. This has officially put me in the *So Getting This* camp. It also caused me to buy the hardback volumes of Mouse Guard (which someone mentioned somewhere but now I can’t find it) and bust out my copy of Watership Down. I shall be following this one with great interest.

  30. 12kill4 says:

    Is it just me or is there a strange kind of cultish vibe to the way they talk about they ‘leader’ David…?

    • Wulf says:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furry_fandom

      Far, far more obligatory.

      That’s only a basic refresher course and it’ll take more than that to actually understand what it’s all about, whether you want to bother to understand something a little better though or run off half-cocked and looking like a layman talking about quantum physics is up to you. But that’s a start.

      Of course, the half-cocked people are amusing to watch, especially when they try to convince random furry fans to have public sex just so they can get their fix, which results in “What the hell is wrong with you?” looks from the vast majority of the fandom.

      To be honest, it’s no different than running up to a muslim and asking them if they wear ‘that thing on their head’ to cover up their grossly exposed brains, just like their friend had told them. But you get people like that, it can’t be helped.

  31. JimmyJames says:

    I was put off by the concept art (I think anthropomorphic animals have been ruined for me–indelibly linked to furries thanks to the internet) but I was really impressed with a video demonstrating the blood effects on YouTube. It might be the best video game blood I’ve ever seen.

    I liked the Redwall books and all that, but if I could travel back in time, I’d go back to the mid 90s and explain to my teenage self that Furcadia wasn’t really a game and should be avoided at all costs.

  32. PHeMoX says:

    This spiritual sequel seems to come along nicely! I totally like how the graphics have improved along the way.

    This could very well become quiet perfect! Best of luck to the devs!

    • PHeMoX says:

      *quite

      heck, no, not ‘quiet’. This game is going to roar loud at it’s launch!

  33. nate says:

    Lugaru was great. The difficulty was tuned perfectly to me. I remember doing anything I could to separate multiple opponents. The motion felt fluid. It felt as if fighting games grew up in another world, one where every arcade machine had a mouse and keyboard. It’s clear they want to capitalize on Lugaru, and I hope they end up making a game in a very similar vein. Too many cooks, and such. We’ll see.

    Lugaru presented the protagonist’s species really nicely. It’s one thing for a cop, possibly accustomed to violence, to pursue a vendetta. The game used the fact that you were a rabbit to make this thirst for revenge actually stick out, to mean something. It’s a shame that this is seen as having anything to do with furriness. Furriness, for either side, is just internet tribalism.

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