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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Reinvent the Brawler

    - staff

  • Andrew Alfonso, Localization Director at Capcom Japan, Pub Crawl

    Story: Four university students retrace their night after waking up hung-over to find their dorm wrecked.

    Gameplay: Pub Crawl is a co-op 2D side-scrolling brawler that features procedurally generated levels. These levels are generated based on four criteria: current number of players, amount of total depleted health, the lowest character level, and the character that dealt the most damage in the previous stage. The controls feature a simple layout with two attack buttons and two ways for movement.

    The theme of the first level is dictated by the host player's character. The dynamic that comes into play after the first level is that the character that dealt the most damage in the current stage takes over the narrative and theme for the next stage. If you've ever been out on a pub crawl, you'll know that it's natural for friends to argue about the previous night when no one can recall what happened. One character swears they were fighting android cops outside the bar, while another character claims they were being attacked by alien cowboys while riding on machine-gun equipped dinosaurs. The dynamic changes with every level!

    Players battle through swarms of enemies as they recount their night. Every enemy defeated gives you experience points. As the characters level up, they acquire new fighting techniques, ranging from simple punch strings to the classic lariat found in Street Fighter to a screen clearing dance-off a la Moonwalker. Each character has a number of slots to equip techniques out of their acquired pool. Some techniques take up more slots than others; the above-mentioned Moonwalker move may take up 3 slots while the lariat only takes up one.

    When enemies are defeated, there's a chance that they'll also drop items that can be used to craft equipment to make them stronger. Hey, you need good equipment to fight alien cowboys! As a player progresses and the enemies get stronger, better equipment can be crafted. Equipment can contain innate skills on top of simple attack/defense stats, so a weapon that does 100 points of damage may be worse than another weapon with 75 points of damage but with a defensive buff.

    To make the equipment aspect of the game more interesting, crafted equipment can be merged together, and this equipment can inherit some of its "parent's" skills. Inherited skills depend on the character being used; using one character may increase the chances of getting a skill want inherited.

    Adding a bit of social media flavor to the game is the ability to register your Twitter account. Once registered, the game will not only send out tweets describing your progress ("Whoa... dynamite throwing monkeys! #PubCrawl"), but give you access to new fighting techniques and skills based on your number of tweets or followers.

    No in-app purchases though, I promise! You'll need that money to buy a round for your friends at the pub!


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