Wednesday, November 19, 2008
By: Matthew Doucette
A quick response to some frequently asked questions (xbox.com discussion, shmups forum discussion, etc.) about our upcoming dual play Xbox 360 2D shooter, Duality ZF.
Duality ZF: 4x multiplayer; dual play (each player controls two fighters)
- The November 19th, 2008 launch date has not been met. DUALITY ZF is not finished. The current launch date is set for the end of November, 2008. Update: The current launch date is set for Summer 2009.
- DUAL PLAY lets you control both fighters with the left and right thumbsticks. The d-Pad also controls the "left" fighter.
- DUAL PLAY is optional. Use it only if you want. Solo play is default.
- DUAL PLAY is for beginners and experts alike. Beginners should dual play in the easy modes. Our weakest beta tester, who never plays video games, beat level one with dual play.
- DUAL PLAY is not difficult to grasp in gameplay. All our beta testers managed it within a few game plays. Most Xbox gamers are already used to controlling each thumb independently fo separate purposes.
- DUALITY ZF is not an expert-only bullet hell (danmaku, bullet curtain) shoot'em up. Anyone can play it. A four year old beat level one in the easiest mode, including the intimidating boss you see in the YouTube videos.
- DUALITY ZF grows to match the skill of every player on the planet with unlimited unlockable difficulty modes. Elite players will have a "bullet hell" style experience, but this is out of the ordinary. We are excited to see gameplay captures of these most elite players.
- DUALITY ZF allows eight independently controlled fighters on the screen at once. This is possible via four players each playing dual play. The impact of eight times the firepower blew us away, and forced us to offer additional unlockable difficulty modes to challenge such extreme gameplay.
- The DUALITY ZF scoring system awards points proportional to the enemy strength and attack. The same scoring formula used for all difficulty modes. If the enemy is twice as hard to kill, you get twice the points. The scoring system does not "care" about the difficulty mode, only how tough the enemies are. It was important to make scores from all difficulty modes compatible, and we acheived this.
- DUALITY ZF will sell for 200 Microsoft points, unless we cannot meet the (difficult) 50MB size limit and are forced to sell for 400 points. We will do everything we can to meet that limit. Please understand the game is still in development. Update: DUALITY ZF will sell for 400 Microsoft Points (MP). Duality ZF has turned into a 6 month, $20,000 development effort. It has approached what was originally planned to be the 400 MP Dualilty: ZF sequel. With our extended efforts, we have skipped by our simplistic 200 MP version of Duality ZF, and have headed directly to our feature-rich 400 MP version. We feel this move is justified, and will be understood by gamers once they play the finished game. Releasing a simple 200 MP version would have been fun, but would have deminished our first impression on the gaming community. These type of decisions are not easy to make. We hope gamers understand.
Please understand the game is still in development. Thank you all for your interest. We hope to offer one of the more exciting and fun shooters on the Xbox 360, not just counting Community Games.
Please visit the official Duality ZF website for the most up-to-date information.
About the Author:
I am Matthew Doucette of Xona Games, an award-winning indie game studio that I founded with my twin brother. We make intensified arcade-style retro games. Our business, our games, our technology, and we as competitive gamers have won prestigious awards and received worldwide press. Our business has won $180,000 in contests. Our games have ranked from #1 in Canada to #1 in Japan, have become #1 best sellers in multiple countries, have won game contests, and have held 3 of the top 5 rated spots in Japan of all Xbox LIVE indie games. Our game engines have been awarded for technical excellence. And we, the developers, have placed #1 in competitive gaming competitions -- relating to the games we make. Read about our story, our awards, our games, and view our blog.