Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Recent Developments - Zeboyd Games

This week's Recent Developments gets devoted to a developer responsible for a game that not only knocked G4ME W1TH Z0MBI35 IN1T off the number one spot for a short amount of time but also solidified itself as my favorite RPG on the 360. And it was a dollar. On the XBLIG Marketplace. I'm talking about none other than Zeboyd Games, creator of Breath of Death VII: The Beginning and the upcoming Cthulhu Saves The World.

Zeboyd Games debuted on XBLIG with Robert Boyd's interactive novels "Epiphany In Spaaaace" and "Molly the Were-Zompire." After those were released, Robert joined up with William Stiernberg and, through the combination of Robert's code and William's art, RPG parody Breath of Death VII was born. Since its April release, it's sold over 20,000 copies of the game and has a staggering conversion rate of over 66%. That means that two out of every three people that try the demo end up buying the game, and considering the normal conversion rate of a game is less than TEN percent, this is phenomenal.

After Breath of Death VII released, Zeboyd Games got hard at work on a second RPG, Cthulhu Saves The World, due out at the beginning of Autumn. For any of you that wondered if a story about undead heroes in a post-apocalyptic world with a ton of goofy humor is the weirdest they'll go, then you'll be pleasantly surprised. Cthulhu Saves The World has everyone's favorite insanity-inducing tentacle monster joining a band of heroes trying to, as the title goes, save the world. Why would Cthulhu, destroyer of worlds, do that? So he can regain his powers and then ultimately plunge everything into insanity and chaos, of course. So yeah, keeping with the weirdness trend, and I can't wait. In addition to that, the game looks like it's taken a huge leap forward in the visual department, and everything seems to be shaping up nicely.

I did have a chance to ask Robert Boyd a couple questions recently. First I asked him how the release date and development was looking for CSTW.

"We both were fairly busy in August with real life responsibilities, but now, we're focused on getting Cthulhu Saves the World ready for playtesting by the end of the month, with a release sometime in September. My partner, William Stiernberg, just ordered a nice video capture device which should arrive later this week, so our Cthulhu trailer ought to be of noticeably better quality than our Breath of Death VII trailers. I'm hoping to finish up inserting the dialogue this week as well as get all of the player abilities programmed in along with some other additions (like the code to support targeting groups of enemies & some equipment code touch-ups), while Bill is working on getting all of the dungeons finished up and polished. On the music side of things, most of the songs are done, although a few of them need to be touched up a bit before they go into the game."

And then to wrap it up I asked my favorite question that I always ask developers, "whaddya playin'?"

"Most of my gaming of late has been on the PSP on my lunch break since when I'm home, I'm usually working on Cthulhu Saves the World or doing family stuff. I finished replaying Castlevania: Symphony of the Night a few days ago and have started playing Hexyz Force (which I picked up several weeks ago, but didn't get far into due to being distracted by a replay of FF9). Last weekend, I had a rare chance to go see a movie with my wife (babies usually preventing us from going out) and we went and saw Scott Pilgrim which I thought was highly amusing (can't wait to try out the game when it hits XBLA). Oh and when I get a chance, I mess around with my current Titan Quest character - a Fire/Earth warrior/mage hybrid that's based on the heroes from the anime, Full Metal Alchemist (the core dweller filling in quite well for the possessed suit of armor brother). I'm looking forward to catching up on some games I've missed in the near future like DQ9, Deathsmiles, BlazBlue, Sin & Punishment 2, Ys 7, and some of the Summer of Arcade titles, but I'm holding off until we get Cthulhu finished."

And so, there you have it. Hard working, a family man, and likes good games. Be sure to keep an eye out for Cthulhu Saves The World in September. If you want to know more about how Robert and William are doing with the game's development or just want to read what Robert thinks about a lot of XBLIG titles, hit up Zeboyd Games' blog at zeboyd.com.

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