Refresing a Classic Genre

Thursday, June 11, 2009
By: Matthew Doucette

Quagmire’s Kingdom's preview of Duality ZF.

I have to share an amazing piece of video game journalism.  It's not often you read a review, preview in this case, where the reviewer just "gets it" and understands where the game developer is coming from and heading.  David Collins breaks the mold when he "gets" what we at Xona Games have done with Duality ZF, our upcoming Xbox LIVE shoot'em up.  I am amazed at his effort to understand who we are and what we are about.

Some clips from the article:

So, how do you take a classic genre that’s been pretty much beat to death & refresh it so it feels like new again? I wouldn’t have been able to tell you a until about 2 months ago when I ran across Jason & Matthew Doucette, creators of Duality ZF.

...these guys have done a lot under the hood that doesn’t happen with a lot of the mainstream titles. Their philosophy [...] is “Give the power to the player. The game’s difficulty should arise from enemy strength, not player weakness.” With that approach to the game right from the start, the twin brothers have worked very hard at making the ship controls perfect. The fighter speed is optimized to within .1 pixels per frame. Basically, instead of punishing the player by changing speeds & such to adjust the difficulty, they made the ship controls perfect throughout that game. To crank the difficulty, they made the adjustments to the enemies. This way, the win/lose scenario falls directly on the players skill, not due to poor controls.

(Bolding by me.)  Read the full article at Quagmire’s Kingdom.


Like To Preview Duality ZF?

If you would like to preview Duality ZF, make use of our newly available promotional materials and contact us for anything else you need.  We are also taking pre- and post-release interviews on a variety of topics including: Duality ZF development, XNA and XBLCG development, indie game development, shoot'em up (shmup) development and genre choice, XBLA efforts, and more...


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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 $190,000 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.