Bunny Homicides: Grim Overgrowth Footage

By Craig Pearson on January 24th, 2012 at 10:25 am.

RPS: now in 3D!
I’ll be honest and say I had a slight prejudice against Wolfire’s bunny Overgrowth. Everytime I’ve looked in on it, I felt like the Arthur and his knights at the Cave of Caerbannog. But this morning the mists cleared, and Overgrowth tossed a Holy Hand Grenade of a video, tearing my cynical innards with the glorious sharpnel of truth. The video below of Alpha 166’s knife work is amazing.

It’s all about the calculations the, er, bunny has to make when tossing a knife so it sticks into the flesh of the target. The recent update means a tossed knife will cut an enemy when thrown, and stick if it lands at the perfect angle. The rotation equation, as a rapper might rap, results in some particularly impressive knife tosses, and demonstrating them again and again and again, watching for the knife point to catch the gamey flesh of the target, cracked me up. Especially the squeaks of the dying bunny at 47 seconds in.

Overgrowth doesn’t have a release date, which makes me a sad, sad bunny, but you can gain access to the alpha by pre-ordering at their website.

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95 Comments »

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  1. DickSocrates says:

    It’s Kyre Banorg, not Banrog.

  2. Ellie says:

    God I love this game, totally worth pre-ordering.

  3. Premium User Badge

    bear912 says:

    Yes, this week’s update video was particularly splendid.

    One might say that the game looks pretty sharp.

  4. Creaturemagic says:

    I bought it yesterday, but before I did I wanted some more information, and I was a very sad bunny when there wasn’t a recent post about it, and now, after pre-ordering, there is :)

  5. Davie says:

    Never enough Overgrowth.

    The attention to detail in the engine itself is already amazing, and the game is, what, maybe half done? This one is going to be huge when it comes out.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Huh. Slowly dying bunny-people are kind of disturbing. Apart from that, the game looks quite interesting though.

    • olemars says:

    • jon_hill987 says:

      I doubt it would get past the censors if they were not anthropomorphic animals.

    • Kollega says:

      I remember reading that it’s more self-censorship than anything else: the developers think it’s easier on them than if realistic animals or realistic humans were murdered.

    • IDtenT says:

      Furry murder simulator almost complete.

    • Premium User Badge

      bear912 says:

      Kollega is correct. As I recall, one the reasons they chose to use anthropomorphic critters was to make working with extraordinarily realistic blood and gore more tolerable for them, the developers. Another was that they wouldn’t have to cross the uncanny valley, since the characters would not be based on real-world entities.

    • Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      Actually, the blood and gore leaves me pretty much unfazed. I mean, there are countless games which contain buckets of blood. The animations are what disturbs me.

  7. AshEnke says:

    I bought it ages ago, played a little, but then realized that in this state I had absolutely no interest in playingthis game.
    But I enjoy the alpha updates videos so much that if this could go on forever I’d never feel like my money was lost.

    They’re making slow, but steady progress, and their game is quietly shaping into something magnificent.

  8. Spider Jerusalem says:

    man, :30bux: is steep.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      It’s half the price of the RRP of the latest Call of Duty game, I hardly call it steep.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      i’m not sure what point you’re making with that particular comparison, but yes, half of pants-on-head expensive is still steep.

    • jimjames says:

      It is a little more than your average indie game isn’t it?

      One could say mega bucks.

      Hahaha. Mega bucks, gettit? Like bucks, as in rabbit? As in a male rabbit? You know the score.

    • Icarus says:

      It is a higher price tag than normal for an indie game, but I think it’s a fair price considering the amount of work that’s already gone into Overgrowth and particularly it’s engine. I remember reading about Overgrowth several years ago, it’s clearly a massive labour of love for a small team.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      But why should being an indie game automatically equal under $10? This one has clearly had more time and effort put into it that the last two Call of Duty games combined and a lot of other games for that matter that people will happily pay over $40 for.

    • Williz says:

      I got it for free when I pre-ordered Natural Selection 2 anyway ;)

    • Mad Hamish says:

      Yeah steep my ass. You’d spend more than that on beer in the pub. With the amount of people working on it and the amount of work they’ve put in, I had no problem parting with my hard earned ill gotten gains. There’s enough in it now for them to start making levels and the game proper, but I would have said that a year ago too. They just keep adding really cool features and the community generated content will keep me happy til release.

    • IDtenT says:

      I’d argue that AAA games are overpriced. Hence, $30 is still steep. Then again I’m from an export country with a currency that’s heavily undervalued.

    • Kaira- says:

      30 bucks is nothing for a good, entertaining game with substantial length. Indie games are not an exception in this. Like Cliffski said, “Indie means ‘independent’. It means you dont’ work for a publisher that controls your output. It means self-funded, with total control. It does NOT mean *cheap* or *low budget* or *desperate* or *hobbyist*.” I think it’s a good thing to remember.

    • AshEnke says:

      “With the amount of people working on it”

      You mean one and a half ?

    • Muzman says:

      When the game is finished you might get it for ten on sale, minus some stuff. At the moment you’re more like a subscriber/ sponsor/ tester it seems. Which is intriguing.

    • Unaco says:

      So… People can judge the value of something differently? Is that such a terrible thing?

    • Premium User Badge

      Jackablade says:

      “You mean one and a half ? ”

      It probably costs a lot in painkillers to keep that half a person going.

    • Cim says:

      I agree with that 30 bucks is a bit steep… Not doubting the quality of the game, nor the talent behind it, but from what I’ve seen it’s a bunch of pretty looking systems at the moment. The actual game is not there yet.

      I’m pretty sure he’d get more money in the end of the price was lower, at least during the pre-order. For 15 bucks I would not even hesitate.

    • Muzman says:

      “Unaco says:
      So… People can judge the value of something differently? Is that such a terrible thing?”

      Who? Me?
      No, not at all.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      i maintain that, for an alpha pre-order, $30 is pretty steep (as the only entry point). look at xenonauts, or grim dawn, or starfarer, or minecraft, etc. the alpha price is usually a reduction (for a reason).

    • Shuck says:

      I really don’t get this whole “games are too expensive” complaint. Not so long ago, a game like this would have been a AAA, $50-$60 game. If the cost of games had simply kept up with inflation, a AAA game would cost about $120 these days*. If we’re talking “comparatively expensive,” compared to what? A $12, 90 minute movie? A $20 DVD of that 90 minute movie? A $5 Flash game that one developer made in a couple months (while also needing a day job to make ends meet)? A 90% off Steam sale of a AAA game (that’s been out for a few years, as the publisher seeks to eke a last few more bucks out of a “long-tail” sale)? Compared to some other indie game (with different costs, market strategy and sales expectations)? Rightly or wrongly, the sentiment ends up sounding like a sense of spoiled entitlement.

      *And none of this: “they sell more games now,” as if we scaled AAA game prices by the increase in development budgets and divided by the increased market size, they’d still be well over $240 apiece now.

    • Muzman says:

      “If the cost of games had simply kept up with inflation, a AAA game would cost about $120 these days”

      And in Australia they do! Yay us and our perfect fiscal parity! Now where’s that IP spoofer for overseas download ordering/Asian mail order website? …. Ah there it is.

    • Muzman says:

      Additionally: There’s loads of people who are early adopters of all sorts of junk. The latest gadget or attachment or computer part or funny shaped camera. Endless shit churned out by underpaid Chinese people working 16hr days, usually knocking off some slightly more expensive thing made in the same factory or just down the road. Or software of all kinds.
      People spend all their disposable income on this kind of thing.

      Some people like editors and engines, physics systems, animation systems and so on and want to play with all of them. So here’s one guy’s rather spiffy looking labor of love. Pay $30 and you can play with it all you like and he’ll update it for you every week or so, make little videos about it, keep you in the loop. I reckon that’d sound like a pretty interesting, and probably unique, prospect to quite a few people. And better that than the above.

    • Vinraith says:

      If it’s worth playing, it’s worth paying real money for. If it’s not worth playing, why are you buying it?

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      itt: we fail to understand the concept of an alpha pre-order.

    • Muzman says:

      Or grant it some flexibility you won’t, perhaps?

  9. Khemm says:

    It’s incredible that all of this has been done by one person. The animation alone beats what I’ve seen in many “AAA” titles with gigantic budgets.

    • Manburger says:

      Yeah, dude! I am continually amazed by David’s work, I’m fairly certain he is some sort of genius. He made the original Lugaru when he was still in high school, I think. He declined job offers from Crytek, among others, to do his indie thang.

      But there are other people on the team, though! His twin brother Jeff does UI-scripting and stuff of that nature (he might be officially working with Humble Bundle Inc. now, though), Aubrey does the Art, they’ve got the fellow who did the sounds for Amnesia and another chap who makes nice music.

    • iGark says:

      The original Lugaru was made by just David Rosen. Overgrowth has had as many as five people working on it, although I think the current count is four, or still five if you include Mikko Tarmia who is making the music. Overgrowth isn’t a one-man development.

    • Khemm says:

      I stand corrected, but I also stand by what I said – it’s unbelievable what just a few people managed to achieve here.

    • Silverfish says:

      There are two full time developers on the game, Aubrey Serr for all art and levels and David Rosen for all programming. When they need UI they talk to Jeff Rosen (evil twin brother), when they need music they talk to Mikko Tarmia and Anton Riehl (on the flute), Tapio Liukkonen creates the sound effects. John Graham takes care of anything not related to the actual game development, like company-related stuff and a bit of customer support.

      John and Jeff have also broken off a bit from Wolfire to do the Humble Indie bundles, but they still work for Wolfire as well.

    • Aradalf says:

      I would think the budget isn’t that small, considering how much they have made from the Humble Bundles.

    • wererogue says:

      As I understand it, they (Wolfire) have made nothing from Humble Bundles – at the least, not after the first one. Humble is a separate company now, and the tiny humble tip that goes to that company is used to pay server costs.

  10. Ralud says:

    Being a Watership Down survivor this rabbit on rabbit violence has my attention.

  11. frenz0rz says:

    I’m not sure why, but I think this is the only game I’ve ever seen that actually makes me cringe at the violence on offer. Perhaps the image of an anthropomorphic rabbit slowly dying reminds me of Watership Down a little too much, emitting a faint squeel of breath as its life blood gushes onto the snow from an open artery.

  12. SquareWheel says:

    I’ve been following this game for ages, it looks spectacular. The $30 is a bit more than most indie pre-orders, but it sure does look excellent.

  13. Lone Gunman says:

    They are Hares not Rabbits!

  14. JohnnyMaverik says:

    At this point they truly have made a great, flexible and fluid combat system. It’s an achievement. Now they really need to start concentrating on what kind of game they want to make using it, and get on with making it, because I can’t believe that this pace of development can be sustainable for much more than another year.

    • povu says:

      Yeah I really think they’re getting to the point where they need to start actually making the game soon, instead of all these (admittedly, very neat) combat and engine features.

    • Dominic White says:

      Making levels and events in-game before you’ve completed work on the core combat engine? Yeah, that’s going to end real well. And then you make a tweak to the AI that causes all the enemies placed previously to walk into walls, or throw their weapons with pinpoint accuracy, or worse.

      Nah, they’re going about this the right way. Engine first, core gameplay second, structure third.

  15. Flappybat says:

    It looks really good but $30 for a Indie game that has been in development for four years and is still just a tech demo? Looks another two years away from being a game.

  16. Tony M says:

    I’ve killed so many (digital) men. Why does this bunny slaughter make me feel all funny?

  17. Optimaximal says:

    I don’t like the ‘arms at the side’ jumping animation. Everything else is good.

  18. Excelle says:

    OW.

    Damn, I cut myself on the very sharp ‘sharpnel’ of truth. Cutting right to the crux of the matter I guess.

  19. mihor_fego says:

    Pre-order at this price is a bit steep, but if this turn out into what I imagine, I’ll gladly pay that for the finished project.

    This could be the spiritual successor of the Bushido Blade series, the best fighting games I’ve ever played. If they decide to make some large arenas, give different selection of skill sets for your character according to a preferred weapon or combat style, and online multiplayer, who cares for any campaign?

    Of course if they build a whole Usagi Yojimbo-like single player saga on top of this, it would qualify for best game ever.

  20. Monkey says:

    What actually is the game?

    • Dominic White says:

      Right now? Both armed and unarmed arena combat and parkour challenges. There’s going to be a proper story campaign once they’ve got all the basics down.

  21. BobsLawnService says:

    I personally think that they are biting off more than they can chew with a large, open world quest based game. I’d love to see them get then engine up and running in a Shank like 2D beat ‘em up. One of the reasons I’m not pre-ordering is because I think the premise as it stands is over-ambitious for a small team and they are just not going to be able to create a rich enough world to hold my interest even if they get it released.

    • Dominic White says:

      It’s not going to be an open-world game. It’ll be mission-based. Their engine can handle large environments, that’s all.

  22. illuminerdi says:

    So here’s the thing about Overgrowth that makes me hesitant: so far all I’ve seen is the most amazing tech demo ever. It was the same with Lugaru (which I own, thanks HIB!) – amazing combat and movement systems, eclipsing the robustness of every single other game in existence.

    But there’s no game there. You just kinda wander around and kill things. I’d love to see this combat/movement engine in a world with more restrictions. Like take the combat engine from Overgrowth and put it in a game like Assassin’s Creed, where you have sandbox-y cities, targets to locate, track, and eliminate. Buildings to climb that have several (but still limited) paths to reach the top. Right now it’s a game without enough limits. It feels odd (as a game designer) to say this, but it needs some framework and structure to give players more than just a sandbox to play inside.

    Sure a sandbox is fun, but I like missions, goals, challenges, and story. Having to make those things up feels like I have to do the designer’s work for them. And I already do that for 8 hours a day :P

    • Postal76 says:

      Yeah, the fighting mechanics are cool, but that’s all I’ve seen. I’m kind of amazed that people are already plopping money down for something that might not amount to more than a neat fighting tech demo.

    • N080D7 says:

      You have to think about marketing and modding of the engine. Even if the developers do not finish the actual game itself modders can flesh out and complete the game since the developers would have already finished the heavy lifting (programming of the game engine). Wolfire can also market the engine for use in other games since I am pretty sure there are plenty of combat games that could benefit from the WIP engine.

    • Tams80 says:

      The engine is far more valuable (and important) than the other parts. A lot of games that you see developed by large publishers either reuse and modify existing engines (with a large team) or create new ones with a large team. It;s not uncommon for those engines to have annoying flaws as well.

      As for Wolfire. All they need to do is make enough money and have enough money saved away to be able to pay the very small development team. They probably don’t pay themselves much either (enough to live fairly comfortably perhaps?).

      It sort of works out like this:
      -Big team, develops game quickly. This costs a lot of money, so the game has to be developed quickly to economically viable.
      -Small team, develops game slowly. This doesn’t cost too much money, so even though this team will probably have proportionally far less money they can afford to spend more time developing it. People on these development teams are also probably more likely to be willing to make sacrifices (far less pay perhaps) in order to make the game. This may in part be because they are more emotionally involved with it.

  23. wodin says:

    So far the fights look great but I’m still at a loss what the game is about and what else can you do?

    Is it more like Bunny Street fighter or is there more to it?

  24. BitterAlmond says:

    This game, man. Preordered.

  25. cassus says:

    Oh Jebus. This is the funniest footage I’ve seen in ages. The gameplay looks insanely smooth as well.

  26. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    The lack of a release date is great, that means these weekly videos keep coming :D

  27. Pheasant Plucker says:

    What’s the point?

    You are a bunny on two legs, reasonably well dressed (for a rabbit) and able to leap vast distances without breaking anything.

    So why model the twist-or-spin real life physics of a knife throw down to the n’th degree? Why focus on them in particular?

  28. Cryo says:

    So a knife to the throat “incapacitates”. Useful knowledge!

  29. DOLBYdigital says:

    Ahhh Wolfire… they never cease to amaze me! Truly one of my favorite devs and the team is so small its crazy. David is truly amazing! This engine is going to be (already) amazing and is a modder’s dream… I can’t wait to see how phenomenal this game and all the mods will be :)

    I would highly encourage anyone to read through their blog and watch some of the videos to get a real insight into how games are made. They do a great job of really discussing methods of doing various things in games that aren’t always seen.

  30. NamelessPFG says:

    Damn, that blood physics…puts Postal 2 and all those old Acclaim games to shame. Quite shockingly gruesome with the way it actually runs down the body like that. It’s come a long way since it was still called Lugaru 2 and they were first showing off the new animation system.

    You just have to love Wolfire’s attention to detail, if nothing else. Why else would they bother going through all the trouble of making sure that thrown blades don’t always land pointy-end in, among other things?

    Also, cue obligatory Watership Down references.