If Mighty No. 9 has done any good, it’s kicked (for lack of a better phrase) Kickstarter developers with long overdue games into gear. More and more developers are referencing the ill-fated game, promising not to fail into the same trap, or worse. Who knows how many of them really mean it, but plenty try, including Shawn Alexander Allen and his studio Nuchallenger.
His game, Treachery in Beatdown City, was successfully funded on Kickstarter in May 2014, netting over $50,000. After blowing past the original February 2015 release date, Allen went quiet for long stretches of time. For the first time since late May, there’s finally a new update, invoking the spirit of Mighty No. 9 and promising the world, but little else.
Every update for Treachery is backer only, but Cliqist managed to obtain a not-at-all exclusive look at this latest update.
“After the debacle that was (is?) Mighty No. 9,” it beings, “and a very personal kickstarter project that failed to deliver, (and also WOW it’s been a while since the last update, time flies) I felt I should speak up.
“This Kickstarter was set up with a lot of Best Case Scenarios. Nothing best case happened, and everything got delayed. 2015, in a lot of ways, was a wash. But again, even if I don’t update a lot HERE, I’m updating at the twitter page, and sometimes RTing it on my personal.”
Considering the game, and indeed you yourself disappeared for most of the year, yes, it could easily be considered a wash. As well as infrequent updates on the Kickstarter page, Nuchallenger’s website stopped updating in June 2015.
“I have personally invested a lot of my time, my life, etc. into this,” Allen continues. “Manny has [sic] as well. We continue to work on days when we’d really like to be doing something else, because we believe in this project. It’s slow going at times, but it’s still very much our passion.
“Also, I could NEVER cancel this. I have some very close friends, and industry peers/mentors/etc. who have invested close to $10K in the project alone.”
It’s good to have that assurance at least, but it’s hard to think of that statement as little more than an empty promise at this point for backers. With no release in sight, and now over a year delayed, there’s no telling when Treachery in Beatdown City will ever come out, if it comes out.
Allen doesn’t have much to say in this update because, as he states it, “because development is really boring.” I’m sure backers feel differently, and anyone not interested in the development can just ignore it.
The update is closed with some painstaking lines.
“There’s also the aspirations of being a couple of marginalized people making a game. We want to finish it so that it can be a victory for our communities.”
Allen is African-American, and before you run for the comment section yelling about something or another, know that this article isn’t going to suddenly turn into another hot take about recent events or the game industry.
Not frequently updating backers and passing it off by saying development is boring doesn’t send a great message, but that does. Hearing that gives us hope that at the very least, development will at least continue on, and we may see the game one day. Everything else, at least from this update, feels like an empty promise and somebody jumping on the latest hate-fueled bandwagon.
I’m not sure if TiBC will be good, or that it’ll ever come out, but I hope it does. Backer comments are all positive, telling Allen to take as much time as he needs to finish the game. Sometimes if the backers are happy, and the developers are doing their jobs, that’s all that really matters.