Narita Boy -The retro futuristic pixel game

Created by Studio Koba, Narita Boy

Explore and fight in a retro futuristic world. Swim deep into an oneiric, poetic and unique experience across dimensional planes

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Update October, 2018
4 days ago – Fri, Oct 12, 2018 at 01:42:17 AM

Dear Backers,     

First of all, let us apologize for not giving you news for long. We would like to explain to you what happened these last months.   

We are very motivated by the evolution of the game, the way it is looking and the objectives that we are reaching.   

Since the last update, many things have happened.     

Studio Koba´s reborn    

Since the Kickstarter campaign, we have been working remotely from different cities in Spain, up to four people programming, animating and designing.   

We were able to prototype many events, develop lots of game mechanics and work on the game. Yet we were ineffective in gathering all these elements and give cohesion to the game.   

We realized that working remotely was less efficient than we thought in these first stages of the production.   

As a consequence, we suffered on the production side, with some bottlenecks that prevented us to advance as planned. We had animations, programmed scenes but we were not able to connect all these elements together. Anxiety and stress increasing. We entered into a spiral of pessimism and uncertainty.   

All this added to delays in reaching our goals and even fears of not completing the project lead us to set a new plan.   

We decided to create a studio where we could work together and where distance would not affect communication. We needed to speak a lot in person.     

Thus, at the end of May Eduardo, the director of Narita Boy decided to move from the center of Spain to the town near Barcelona, where our lead programmer Manu lives.   

He moved to a new apartment located at only 5 minutes of walk from the programmer's home. Luckily Manu has a huge space filled with many retro games, classic consoles, old computers, and an arcade machine. We set up the computer side by side at there. The physical version of Studio Koba was born in the middle of June.  

We continued to work with some external providers remotely but the key production members "the director and the lead programmer" were finally together.   

We are working like a beast day and night, surrounded by retro consoles and classic games. Because of the location, now we can work with our music composer Salvinsky easily in person as well.    

Good & bad news     

Now we have to tell you good news and bad news. We’ll start with the good ones.   

From June to mid-October we have hugely increased the production speed of Narita Boy. 25% of the game is bug-free and above our expectations, both in the programming and aesthetics. We firmly and honestly believe in the potential and the depth of the game. We are highly motivated to create a game that we expect to become a cult game in the years to come.   

During these four months working together, we have reached objectives that were impossible to reach when working remotely. Production times have been reduced by half. We are learning every day to work better. We are working at the speed of light. Our motivation and conviction were back. However, we have made some mistakes that explain in the bad news.    

The bad news are....  

...that we will be delaying one year the release date. We have re-done our forecast and we are deeply sorry that this is happening.  

We thought we could be able to develop the game remotely but we were wrong. But even after correcting all the problems deriving from working remotely, we still enter this new paradigm of being delayed.  

We understand your frustration and disappointment. We are very sorry that we couldn't keep our promise of the release day.  

We must be ambitious and a perfectionist for Narita Boy. We don't want to release the game because of rushing the deadline. We will release the game when we are sure about it and happy with what you will get to play. We believe our promise with backers is not only about the time, but also and more importantly, the quality of the game.  

Now, taking into account our current workflow and how the development has been progressing these past months, we are almost 99.99% sure (because nothing is 100% sure) that the project will be completed by December 2019.  

Once we will produce what we have in mind, we can assure you that the waiting will be worth it. We are hardcore gamers, we play a lot with lots of games. And we believe that Narita Boy is something very original and unique at many levels.  

Thank you for your patience

We are sorry that we have to ask you to be patient with us. We also ask you to have faith in us. We are working very hard to reach our objectives and we are very confident in the project.  

Some might be worried about our finance because of the delay. We will be fine. Narita Boy is made by our blood and meat. We invest our private savings in our project. Luckily our families are very supportive as well.  

Then most probably we will work with a publisher. And thankfully we have some extra budget from add-ons from the BackerKit (where you send the survey's answer). Thanks for your support.  

We are here to share the creation of something very special, that will be remembered for years to come. We are talking about Narita Boy, our son, your son. Thanks a lot to all our backers who are very supportive and patient.  

Now, enjoy a new gameplay video. We share this trailer with our backers only, not with social networks. You can only watch it here.  

TRAILER  

Next update

We are sorry that we are not good at posting updates regularly. It is easy to tell our progress with new visual materials but we want to keep the mystery of Narita Boy. 

We think that unveiling parts of the game will spoil the final experience and surprise of enjoying the game. Showing periodical updates on new developments will affect the final surprise to watch the game with the freshness that it deserves. 

Our next update will be several months later. But we promise you that we are making progress every day. 

Thank you for your understanding, being patient and supporting Narita Boy!!

Where we are
6 months ago – Sat, Apr 14, 2018 at 01:29:18 AM

Dear backers,

We haven’t written you for a while and we’re very sorry about it.

These last months have been full of hard work, of frustrations, of trying new things and verifying that some of these did not work as expected and we had to start over.

The year started well, we focused on the fighting mechanics of both Narita Boy and the enemies. It was relatively simple: we designed the movements and integrated them into the unity. The result has been very good and the feel of the fighting is great. We believe that we have a very good base to achieve excellent playability and fighting mechanics.

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In parallel, we started to assemble all the ideas we had written and prototyped in both the GDD and the Unity ... At this point, we realized that the game was going well but that it lacked the originality and the author's hand that I want it to have. So we went back to add a deeper exploration component and a progression in the game to make it more focused on the narrative.

We think that moving linearly across platforms and killing enemies can be very entertaining but we want to distance ourselves from this way of understanding the game. We want to focus on achieving goals in the game that result in a better understanding of the story.

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That way, the more you progress, the more you learn from the Narita Boy universe and the more knowledge you have to move forward. Moving forward becomes the way to learn and to create a story that reveals itself in stages. The difficulty increases gradually and the most surprising parts of the story are unveiled.

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For the exploration part of the game, there were many days of thinking and some headaches too. We wanted to find original ways to progress and set aside the classic key that opens the door. We are finding our own code and originals way to unlock new levels of the game.

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This part has to lead us to several crunches. We had to redo a lot of work and spent blank nights thinking how to achieve a unique experience. We think we have found it. In Narita Boy, you can progress walking, linearly, or you can transcend through computer monoliths. The problem is that these monoliths have a code. Thus, you must find your way using clues and learn how to transcend and what patterns to use. 

That adds a deeper exploration component where you not only kill but you also learn to use your own language or game code. It is very important to listen to what the NPCs says because although they speak in the form of riddles and with a very Neuromancy tone, they are releasing clues of where to look.

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We are very pleased to have something to be proud of. We are satisfied because we have gone through a lot of stress and several crunches. But now we are on the right track, every time I think of Narita Boy I am very proud to know that we have something different, something that we wanted to have from the beginning, a game that leaves its mark, a deep and bizarre experience and I'm glad to see that we are achieving it.

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Making a game is very difficult, but to create an original, author, experimental and narrative game, we think it is even more so.

It is true that we could have chosen to do something much more conventional but for that, every day there are dozens of games that you can find on any platform. We are trying to make art, to make our game an experience to enjoy with all the senses. Achieving emotion is our goal. We want to shake your heart, to ruffle your skin and to excite your senses with the digital landscapes of the NB world. All this added to the arpeggio synth sounds will make the killing of an enemy an experience of great satisfaction.

Thank you for supporting us. I assure you that we are working to offer you something different. 

New trailer "80s gameplay"
11 months ago – Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 12:40:52 AM

Dear backers

First at all, sorry for the delay to come up with more updates. These last months have been frantic. We have few hands, lots of work and we feel pressured to make something superb.

Our philosophy is to limit the spoilers of what we are doing because we trust in the power of surprise. That´s why we ask you patience and trustiness. We are not wasting our time nor your money. And we sincerely seek to satisfy your expectations.

Sleepless nights....Bug Bug Bug....
Sleepless nights....Bug Bug Bug....

80's gameplay

Ok! What you are about to watch is our alpha 80s gameplay trailer. The 80s gameplay of the game is about 30% of it. We bring a big surprise, a new game mechanic, the beat em up! Now you’ll see what we meant when we said we were inspired by Double Dragon.

The stages in the 80s are a fresh break to enjoy some arcade experience and release huge amounts of adrenaline. There are less storytelling and character interaction and more hand to hand combat. We learn the connection between the Digital Kingdom and the mysterious role of Lionel pearl, creator of the Narita One. We are putting tons of love to make animations for every instance of the game. Enemies react in a different way depending on where you hit them and props on the map are fully breakable. You can throw enemies, use barrels to hit them and beat them with your knees. All our animation and fx are done frame by frame in pixel art, which is a really handcrafted and time-consuming way to design. Yet the final result deserves it.

Narita Boy Sukajan!
Narita Boy Sukajan!

Where we are

Now, where are we in the game design planning. The full game design is almost done. The Digital Kingdom has 4 big maps and inside every map, there are around 3-4 sub-maps full of enemies, weird characters and unique backgrounds. Every map has specifically-designed vehicles, items and single events. In order to complete each big map, you need to travel to the 80s through different spots. Thes game design includes the NPC´s design and the background design. The scripts have been already written (who says what, where and when). 75% DONE

-Code

And what about the code? Good news! The game core is done, Narita Boy is fully operative in the Digital Kingdom and in the 80s. It was a big challenge to come up with two different mechanics, hack and slash in a vertical path and beat em up in a vertical/horizontal scrolling. In fact is like making two games in one.

A.I. enemies in the 80s are done! We have written tons of code to polish the experience and get close to what we expect a great beat em up should be. Thanks to our coder Manu, a guy who barely needs to sleep...

The code to connect scenes is almost done as well. Cinematics videos are being a key element to connect scenes and support the storytelling.

Performing the game? 60fps forever and ever.

After the next summer we will know if we gonna need extra muscle for coding but right now we are meeting our target. 40% DONE

-Website

In terms of design, we are moving our web page server and redesigning it. It is still working on some parts but it looks much more simple and clean. Thanks Chie for that!

-Logos

We also redesigned the Narita Boy logo and Studio Koba logo. We have drawn much more material for the art, the manual book and the encyclopedia.

 

Studio Koba New Logo
Studio Koba New Logo

 

Carita Boy New Logo
Carita Boy New Logo

-Music

Music? Yep! We have 6 new songs. Since we have the overall design of the Digital Kingdom, it is much easier to inspire the musician. Thanks, Salva! We are making tons of arpeggios, dark ambiences and sound fx. The music will be connected with the code to emphasize the oneiric and emotional part of the gaming experience.

Finally Trailer! Enjoy!

 

Thanks to all backers!

Well, I think that’s all by now. Sorry again for taking time to update. Your patience and trustiness are key to our success. We will continue with the hard work to bring to you the game you deserve. Pray for us backers, time to back to work!

BackerKit surveys are coming!
about 1 year ago – Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 01:23:54 AM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.

Summer update
about 1 year ago – Tue, Sep 05, 2017 at 01:00:15 AM

Thank you for waiting long. Updating our progress in this summer.

Mainly we have been working the mechanics and the backgrounds. And designing enemies, NPCs and items.

We are pretty close to achieving a prototype version where you can walk from the Digital kingdom to the 80s streets. Thousands of bug comes every day.... We have been fighting against them.

The mechanics

We are at 75% so far. We have many character events depending on the dimension, where Narita Boy is crossing. Naria boy character events will radically switch between two universes. We wanna keep the surprise but we promise that it gonna rocks!

Designing enemies, NPCs and items

We have designed many enemies. We have been trying to deliver many different enemies with different combos, behaviours and moods. We are putting many efforts into the animation to make something fluid with high-quality details.

Working as well on NPCs and items you will cross in the 80s stages. We have been making tonnes of props and breakable items with particles and awesome effects. You will have fun with them.

The background

We are very close to finishing one big 80s background with lots of details such as a neon advertising, graffiti and etc. Pretty fun to watch it. We hope tonnes of little detail to make an awesome experience for the player.

We are working hard with a passion to deliver the best experience possible. After the core mechanics are done we will focus on the overall world designing.

Thanks for your support!!