The graphically impressive 2D side-scrolling brawler, Shank, hits PSN on August 24 and August 25 on XBLA. We caught up with Jeff Agala, Creative Director at Klei Entertainment, to find out what inspired such a game and the art style the dev team adopted.
Q: Could you tell us a bit about the game and how you got started on the project?
Jeff Agala: Shank is our take in the classic 2D beat'em up. We focused on the cinematic presentation with a graphic novel inspired style. I created the concept with Jamie in late 2008 when we were trying to plan the next game for Klei.
Q: Could you describe what the process has been like to develop an indie game? I had read you had lost your publisher while Shank was still in development.
JA: Before Shank we were developing another game for Nexon Publishing in Vancouver. In early 2009 that studio went under and that is when we started development on Shank. Developing Shank as an indie game was liberating. Being indie has allowed us to have no limits to what we wanted to do, from the rating, to the content and the level of violence. We were able to make the game we wanted to make.
Q: Shank has a real nostalgic throwback feel. What games influenced the making of it?
JA: For me Shank is our update on the classic beat'em up. As a kid I played a lot of Double Dragon and Final Fight, these had the most influence on our approach to Shank.
Q: Why do you think the genre lacks the kind of presence it had back in the day?
JA: For a while I felt the industry looked at 2D as old technology and it was avoided by most of the major developers. With the recent popularity of indie games (Braid, Castle Crashers) and the success of 3D games with 2D gameplay (Street Fighter 4, Super Smash Bros) I'm seeing that 2D game development is coming back.