Hi there! I'm Chris, the 20XX guy. In early 2013, I quit a safe cybersecurity job to make the Megaman game I wanted to play. (Mighty No. 9 ran its Kickstarter a few months later - that was a rough time, but things seem to be working out.)

20XX has been on Steam Early Access for over a year now, and we've steadily released game updates every two weeks since. With Mighty No. 9 having launched this week, I've seen us mentioned a good deal outside of our own sub (/r/20xxgame), so I thought it'd be fun to do an AMA.

So, AMA about 20XX, Megaman, indie development, or whatever else! I'll start answering questions around 2pm EST.

Proof: https://twitter.com/batterystaple_g/status/746396455263408128

More proof: https://twitter.com/batterystaple_g/status/746437605277995009

also, shameless steam plug.

edit 3 (11:34 am, 6/25): We posted this yesterday, but folks're still asking questions, and I'm still answering them! Fire away.

edit 2: (6:08 PM EST): Time for Dad-dinner! As long as questions keep rolling in, I'll continue to answer them as best I can, but longer answers will probably have to wait. I'll have my laptop with me later in case there are stragglers! If you have further questions/if reddit goes away forever, feel free to email (chris AT batterystaplegames DOT com) or hit me up on twitter (@batterystaple_g). Thanks for the awesome questions, guys! Had a great time.

edit 1 (2:30 PM EST): since it looks like this thing is picking up some steam, I'll state outright that I have to leave at 6PM EST! It's Dad's birthday. (That's 3.5 hours from now, but I like to warn early.)

Comments: 459 • Responses: 80  • Date: 

superbear72 karma

I've never heard of this until now. Take my money?

fyeahcking70 karma

Yes, okay. During the summer sale, I'll even take 25% less of it! (Unless you buy two copies because it's on sale, in which case I'll take 50% more. Thank you.)

Adama00017 karma

Pedant in me just HAS to say "still 25%"

Developer in me responds "Stupid users. I know what I meant"

fyeahcking42 karma

Buy three copies, then.

byho7 karma

You can't tell me what to do! Time to buy four copies now.

fyeahcking8 karma

I respect your moxie.

Titsmcfury47 karma

Do you play melee?

fyeahcking29 karma

Hup-cha! I never played competitively or anything, but I still love Peach in melee.

Aonee18 karma

And will you add the shine to the game?

fyeahcking17 karma

No.

Reflex_Arc39 karma

So I assume you main Fox?

fyeahcking37 karma

no items tho

CyberToaster33 karma

oh man, who did your artwork? What a great and talented guy he must be!? ;P

fyeahcking20 karma

zzzzz

dejobaan29 karma

We actually met once! I think it was at PAX East. My question is about procedurally-generated levels: How do you structure them so that they balance challenge and fairness?

It seems like you could easily create either a level that was too simple or one that was impossible to finish.

fyeahcking27 karma

Here we go -- hey, Ichiro! (Assuming that's you, anyway.)

Level design's definitely been a tricky, iterative process for us - balancing what the generator spits out has been a challenge.

20XX's levels are built out of semi-defined "chunks." A chunk contains static info like "how wide/tall is this room?", as well as a skeleton of the intended platforming path through it, and a giant list of possible enemies/hazards that can spawn in that section.

When the level decides to make that chunk into a level segment, it populates the chunk with its skeleton, then, based on where in the game you are (is this a hard part or an easy part?) populates that chunk with more platforms, enemies, and hazards to fill it out. The fairness part, then, is in making sure that the potential range for any given difficulty setting feels fair. The skeleton has to be traversible with no upgrades (so it's always doable), and the hazard/enemy placements have to be enough to provide some level of resistance. (This is a super iterative process, and some of our first attempts at this really sucked.)

To make it all flow together, each chunk has a well-defined entry and exit point that's build to mesh well with whatever pieces come before/after it.

LegendaryNeurotoxin8 karma

But what about someone who gets the tank item that lowers speed below minimum, can they still make everything? :D

fyeahcking20 karma

We're actually adding a speed lower-end cap -- it's possible right this moment to get 4-5 tanks and just be f'd, but next patch it won't be. :)

Newtonip22 karma

How much did it cost to develop 20XX? If you are not comfortable revealing the price, could you at least say if it was much less than $4,000,000, around that or more than that?

fyeahcking41 karma

20XX's budget to date has been far, far less than $4,000,000. (It's even far, far less than $400,000.)

jrainer23410 karma

I don't know how much of their own personal money the developers have put into the game, but the game had a kickstarter in 2014 that raised $20,551 out of a goal of $20,000. I'd say they've done pretty well with their budget, all things considered.

fyeahcking23 karma

Yup! Pretty much no game these days runs a Kickstarter intending to provide 100% of the game's costs, and we were no exception.

Of course, when we ran our Kickstarter, 20XX was relatively garbage-y compared to its current form. We should have waited, but we didn't know we'd end up pushing it this far. (We really did intend to make this as a much smaller scope project, but every time we hit a milestone and got more and more attention, we realized there was really a market for this sort of thing. We leveled up, basically.)

pSyChO_aSyLuM15 karma

I heard about your game yesterday as I was complaining about MN9. Have you played Mighty No. 9? If so, what do you think of it?

I backed a higher tier for MN9 and got a couple of t-shirts and posters, I really love the artwork but the game is giving me a sad. Although the strategy guide is making it much more enjoyable now that I know about the extra moves they didn't teach me in the damn game.

I plan on giving 20XX a look, I saw it's part of the Steam sale just now, is that $9 price going to last until 7/4? I can't buy it now but will try to sometime this week.

fyeahcking34 karma

I haven't dug into the full release of MN9 yet, so I'm not super comfortable commenting on how it turned out. I loved their concept art, too, though! Beautiful stuff.

The $8.99 price will last through the end of the Steam Sale (which I think, yeah, is 7/4). If you don't pick it up by then and still want it, shoot me an email or a reddit pm or something and we'll sort it out.

buckethealien11 karma

Chris, is this game coming to game consoles? If so, when?

fyeahcking22 karma

Hi! We're not ready to 100% promise that 20XX will release on consoles yet.

However, I can say that we really, really want to bring 20XX to XB1/PS4, and we're in the process of getting ourselves some dev kits so we can see exactly what it'll take to port the game.

20XX is made in a custom C++ engine, which means porting it kind of sucks. That said, we really, really want to -- but until we're 100% sure of the effort required, we can't promise that it'll happen. (It'll probably happen! Just not a promise yet.)

yourhandsarecold11 karma

As an indie developer, what is your work/life balance like?

fyeahcking51 karma

It's great! I can work whichever 10 hours a day I want.

fyeahcking26 karma

More seriously - there's an ebb and flow to it.

My work quota isn't defined in tasks, it's defined in "how productive to I have to be to not feel like a piece of shit at the end of the day?" I can take off a day after a patch and play Overwatch all day if I want, but I'm probably going to feel like poop at the end because I wasted the day. I'm much more likely to work until I lose focus, play a little Hearthstone, and go back to work. Make some level chunks, play a little Diablo, go back to work.

I think I like Blizzard games.

Some weeks I work all day every day, especially coming up on big shows or submission deadlines -- some weeks it's a little more lax than that. Since I'm also the customer support guy, there are multiple variances that contribute to my workload -- when I break stuff or when we have big sale events, the rush of players with issues swells, and I spend more time setting them straight.

I can theoretically take vacation whenever I want, but I've canceled more than one over "it's a bad time."

In this job, I think it's always "a bad time," and it's just a matter of figuring out when it's least bad.

Sorry for the relatively stream-of-consciousness style response. Hope that answers it at least a bit.

sourcreamjunkie2 karma

Have you ever hit legend on Wizard Poker? What did you think of the recent nerf to the Sorry emote? And what decks do you play?

fyeahcking6 karma

My highest rank is 5, I think -- maybe 4. I plowed up there when Warsong/Patron was strong. I might've been able to push legend with that deck, but just couldn't play enough to get there.

I can't believe they got rid of sorry (potentially because of BM?) and replaced it with an even-more-BM emote. I play tempo mage in standard, and emoting "Amazing." after getting the perfect missiles/flamewaker proc makes me feel like a jerk (a happy jerk, though).

I play more Arena than anything else - think I've gone to 12 at least once with every class but Warrior.

CoolDude15648 karma

Is your studio's name an xkcd reference?

fyeahcking6 karma

Yup! We have /u/xkcd's blessing and everything. (I wonder if he remembers me asking on IRC!)

Python_l8 karma

Have the sales and the publicity of your games increased a lot of the less optimal launch of Mighty No. 9?

fyeahcking18 karma

It's hard to say - yes, this has definitely been a very good week for us, but I think it'd still be a very good week even if MN9's launch had gone smoothly. "What can I play next now that I'm jazzed about this genre because of this awesome game?" is also a very powerful question.

otherben8 karma

As a huge fan of Megaman and Megaman X, this game looks sweet, but I can't play it! Any plans for a macOS port?

fyeahcking5 karma

It's on the maybe list if our 1.0 launch goes really well!

LosDeedles7 karma

Hi, HUGE fan of your game! 90 hours in and still going strong!

Despite this game being one of the most polished early access titles i've played, and being just all around fun, most people don't seem to know about your game. Do you feel as though this was a result of the MN9 hype, or a marketing issue? Any big plans to promote the game when it leaves early access?

fyeahcking11 karma

It's hard to get noticed these days! We're not a particularly flashy game, nor are we anywhere near "indie darling" status since we're making a pretty straightforward action game. We're also not reputable or anything, since this is our first game. I think games like ours are best off building a slow roll like we've been doing for the past year and a half, and if it ever really blows up, great!

MN9 being in the media lately has definitely helped us out, though.

LosDeedles2 karma

Makes sense. I'll do my part by urging my friends to buy it to the point of borderline harassment. I can't wait to see what you put out next!

fyeahcking2 karma

:D Thanks!

jrainer2345 karma

It feels like this game is actually getting more attention because of Mighty no. 9. Lots of people are looking for a good Megaman-esque game now, and 20XX is getting mentioned as an alternative since many were disappointed by MN9.

This game also hasn't had much marketing at all since they're on a small budget, and marketing is expensive. =/

fyeahcking7 karma

Marketing is so expensive.

Epicwindow7 karma

when we will get final dungeon and final boss after defeating the 8 evil robot masters?if so will we get a refight with 8 of them at thier lv8 power?

(also how do i unlock the 2 locked skulls?)

(also also will you use the this game's title theme for the final boss if we have one?)

fyeahcking5 karma

Final level and boss(es?!) for sure. We're not currently planning on doing the boss re-fight -- we have a better idea.

Skulls in general will get a revamp before launch including how they're unlocked in the first place.

Game's title theme will not be the final boss theme. I hate it when games do that!

IndieHangover7 karma

What's been your most memorable "You might be an Indie Game Dev" moment during the past 3 years working on 20XX?

fyeahcking29 karma

Man! Too many to list. Let's try!

Our first showing at PAX East in 2014 behind the massive Twitch booth was one -- our location was so, so bad and I was so, so excited to have it. My army of friends helping me set up the booth -- the scrapped-together-ed-ness of the whole thing stands out to me as a "woo, indie dev!" moment. (Being across from the legendary Soda Drinker Pro.)

Being slightly starstruck meeting Rami.

Staying up until 5 AM or whatever ungodly time it was the first time MANvsGAME and Ezekiel_III co-op streamed the game last Spring.

The day we launched 20XX in Early Access, we sold 64 copies of the game. I was thrilled. In hindsight, that's obviously terrible.

two_off6 karma

What order would you rank the Megaman games from best to not worth playing?

fyeahcking16 karma

Yeesh. I'll only count X and the original series here, and I'll do them separately.

X series, best to worst: X4 > X1 > X2 > X3 > the other ones are all kind of the same level of not as great, but all for different reasons

MM series: 3 > 2 > 4 > 9 > 10 > 6 > 5 > 1 > 8 > 7

MikeKelehan13 karma

Really good answer. I'm actually going to buy your game based on it.

fyeahcking10 karma

Yessss. Thanks!

winterblink6 karma

As a point of comparison, what will your game make me cry like?

fyeahcking7 karma

Someone who really likes fun 2D action platformers when they find one they really like.

Matt0201006 karma

When I first read the title of this AMA, I thought it was referring to a very popular Super Smash Bros Melee mod, 20XX. Megaman is a very pleasant surprise. What are your plans in terms of new features or gameplay machanics by the time the beta ends?

fyeahcking4 karma

Most of the game's full-on features are the way they'll be on initial release, but we hope to add a ton more stuff (features and content) after 1.0 if we can justify it financially.

The really big things that are absolutely coming before 1.0 are Level 9 (a run's final level and set of battles), more level design stuff, the last of our recent boss reworks (rip, arach), netplay stability stuff, and then 5000 years of polish.

WowMyNameIsUnique5 karma

Hey Chris, do you ever plan to advance the storyline further than how it currently is portrayed in 20XX (occasional clues and hints towards something but nothing concrete)? I always loved the story in Megaman X, and I'm curious to learn if we're dealing with mavericks, being tested in some sort of digital arena, or something else?

Also, can you offer any hints towards the upcoming final boss? Is it going to take a more serious turn, or is it going to maintain around the same tone as the rest of the bosses?

fyeahcking6 karma

Yeah, more narrative stuff's coming! The game's final level is definitely more serious, but won't totally break tone from the rest of the game. (Probably.)

sharktoothman115 karma

Wanted to say, love the game and how interactive you guys are on the forums! I was wondering what your favorite megaman game(s) are? I've always been a huge fan of the original Megaman X and have played it numerous times. Keep up the good work!

fyeahcking7 karma

Thanks! Answered mostly above, but X4 (gameplay) and 2/3 (music).

honorable bonus mentions on music so this comment doesn't contain only old info: Storm Eagle from MMX, and a track from X5 that I think is called "X vs. Zero."

xuri875 karma

Wanna play some overwatch tomorrow?

fyeahcking4 karma

Yes.

ggKevin5 karma

I've never heard of this game before today, and I just may have to buy it!

I have two questions:

1: What does a typical work day look like as an indie developer?

2: Do you have a ballpark date for the full release?

fyeahcking7 karma

Hi! I answered the ballpark date question above (no, not that we're comfortable talking about yet), and I talked a bit about work/life balance above, but I can go over a typical day!

  • Wake up, sometime between 8-10AM (varies)
  • coffee (splash of milk)
  • usually dive right into coding, sometimes start the day answering emails/replying to players on the forums
  • stop for lunch at some point, usually eat it while reading reddit or playing a game of Hearthstone
  • do technical/code/design work until I lose focus, usually some time between 4 and 8 PM
  • play video games for a bit, have dinner
  • either continue working or continue playing games, depending on a combination of who's around to play games with, how much I have to get done for this patch cycle, and my general motivation level
  • go to bed around 11-12PM, but spend half an hour on reddit on my phone
  • sleep fitfully because I roll around a lot and I'm a light sleeper
  • repeat

ggKevin6 karma

That sounds like a mix of heaven and hell. How neat! As someone who is interested in coding, but hasn't started yet, how did you get into it? Did you go to school for it or learn on your own?

fyeahcking16 karma

I went to school for it. Comp Sci degree undergrad, then worked as a programmer for a telecom services company, then a cybersecurity company, then I took all of my savings, crammed the dollar bills into a barrel, and set it on fire.

I mean, uh, I started making 20XX.

GilletteSRK5 karma

As an "indie" developer, what are your thoughts on companies like G2A?

fyeahcking8 karma

I've been following the recent tinyBuild stuff recently, but not closely enough to have a strong or informed opinion. In general, I'm fine with someone being able to resell a Steam key (unused, ofc), even though it sucks that this gives rise to most of the spam in my Batterystaple email accounts.

If someone's able to buy mass keys then chargeback, though, there's got to be some resolution to that.

(I'd love more reading there if anyone's got it.)

That said: I'd love it if Valve would give us the ability to verify/cancel individual keys (or lists, formatted however). Being able to input a csv file with 1000 keys and for their system to tell me whether or not they've been used and whatever other data they're able to share would be fantastic, and I'm sure would be a much beloved feature for other devs.

Sairek5 karma

As being part of the 20XX community for around a year now, I know that you value the feedback that people give as I think you read every single post made in the steam forums. Did you and your team ever have a solid vision for 20XX? How much has the community feedback effected the game?

Also, if you play League of Legends and/or Hearthstone can I add you? :)

fyeahcking6 karma

Hey, Sai! Good to see you here.

I read every single post, and I'll almost always respond (unless another helpful user (hint hint)) does it adequately before I get to it. Sometimes it takes a few days for me to go through the backlog, but I read everything.

We've always had a solid vision for 20XX - Megaman you can play with your friends for as long as you want. How that's been implemented has certainly changed over the years -- it's come a looooong way since our initial design (which I'll save for another question!) -- but the vision has remained constant.

We'd be hot garbage without the feedback from our Early Access community. We've gotten SO MUCH help from you guys -- far more than the revenue we took in from those early sales, the supporters we've found along the way have been incredibly helpful. Community feedback hasn't altered the game's vision, but it's sure helped us do a better job of implementing it.

Dude! Yes. Email/pm me. I play both games.

Noahdeer4 karma

Spence from Twitter, When will your game get out of Early Access?

fyeahcking13 karma

tl;dr - when we're happy with where it is!

Really, though - there are a few big ticket items that are still actively being worked on; the game's final stage, its final boss rework, more level design work, and network robustness stuff, which we expect to take a few months. After that, though, we dig into the "second 90%" of the game's development cycle, and who knows how long that'll take?

Thankfully, we're doing well enough now that we can afford to make sure 20XX comes out of the oven just right. (We still plan to support the game post-1.0, but we want to make sure we're happy with 1.0.)

Sorry for the non-committal answer!

thegobe3 karma

Normally not the biggest fan of platformers, but your game is VERY FUN. Seriously enjoyable :)

Curious about the sound. Was the person who did the music/soundtrack also responsible for the sound effects?

fyeahcking3 karma

Wait. Are you the REAL Gobe?

fyeahcking1 karma

Nope! Two separate people. Thanks!

DraycosTFM3 karma

Hey Chris,

Just wanted to say that I LOVE 20XX. I've been telling everyone I know that if they like Megaman X games, they need to buy this. I found out the hard way that what I want is a Megaman X game, not a Megaman game. The gear upgrades with the run speed/jump/attack power really change the game.

I'm sure everyone has suggested it, but how about a double-buster attack like in Megaman X3?

I don't have any real problems with the game's difficulty, except some of those sky levels can be hard as shit. Especially the ones with the clockwise/counter-clockwise rotating platforms PLUS those on/off or just on electric barriers. Oof, the hard ones are rough.

Thanks for only taking off 1 health when we hit spikes or fall into pits. Makes the game MUCH less frustrating.

My main question is, how is the game pronounced? Is it just as it reads or is it 20 double-x?

fyeahcking3 karma

Thanks! Skytemple's eating a small nerf kinda soon, so that'll help.

There kind-of-is a double charge shot - Dracopent's Helm enables it.

"Twenty-ex-ex" and "twenty-extee-ex" are both correct!

zial3 karma

Loved the game so far and been trying to get my coworkers to buy it. My question is what language/framework was the game programed in?

edit: Reading down I see this was answered, so did you guys write the engine from scratch?

fyeahcking5 karma

C++/DX9, custom engine.

LegendaryNeurotoxin3 karma

When will the axe be retuned so it isn't a brutal joke? (specifically the uncontrollable air attack dropping straight down, ugh makes it worthless in Skytemple and much of Vaculab)

Any chance that the axe gets replaced with a shield that has a short-range swipe or absorbs projectiles while charging to release a line blast like the flail knight dudes?

What items will fill the gaps in the owned items lineup on the ship?

Will we see some way to fuse parts together rather than swapping them out, or non-armor items which give the same effect? I miss double jump with air dash. :( Heck I miss 6x jump too, freakin Skytemple!

What will final Skytemple look like? More teleporters to come back from challenging item boxes? Less lasers or more forgiving timing so players don't need double jump and two Mario hats just to clear stuff safely? More solid landing hardpoints so players going through a brutal platform section with no safety net have a few places they can snap back to if they fall?

Anything you care to share on boss location readjustment, like who we see where? You mentioned something at PAX but I wasn't sure if that plan is still the current direction.

Will we ever see a level 0 that is separate from the four main zones?

When will we see the Spark Engine track from the soundcloud in the game? Is the final level a giant moving train / landcrawler base zone?

Any chance that we'll see an more characters added to the game later on?

Any chance for modding or skins later on? I bet there's people who wanna remodel 20XX characters to look like MMX series :P

Any chance of a short duration summonable pal that turns into a trampoline, spaceship, or submarine? Maybe a... cat?

fyeahcking10 karma

goddamnit neuro this is too many questions

Axe'll probably get tuned so the downward aerial isn't mandatory - I love it, but enough of the community hates it, so I'm probably wrong.

Shield is cool, is actually on our list of post-1.0 Powers to add

Who knows?

No - super-combined mobility stuff was crazy OP.

Everything you just said about Skytemple is stuff we're working on!

You'll see a level 9, but no level 0. You'll see!

More music is coming in, yeah.

More playable characters are definitely post-release content -- if the game does well, we have some good ideas!

Hurry the Catbot has been postponed indefinitely.

NoReallyImFive3 karma

Is that really you Hax$?

fyeahcking2 karma

Who?

cruddyhoneybadger3 karma

My brother is a great artist (drawing) and loves video games. Any tips?

fyeahcking7 karma

Draw. Draw a lot. Draw things you like - just refine your craft.

After that: learn how to animate.

F3EDUSFETUSFAJITAS3 karma

Damn I totally mistook this for Megaman X:Corrupted- But this definitely still looks amazing :p

I recently replayed Megaman Zero 1 through 4(all on one DS pak) and I was AMAZED 2 things. 1)How tilted I got 2)How much fun I was still having irregardless

That being said- Would you say 20XX is More/Less Forgiving than a traditional Megaman X game?

fyeahcking9 karma

I think /u/jrainer234's reply adequately describes the difficulty level, but to add on:

Each individual piece of 20XX is more forgiving than each individual piece of an MMX level, but since we expect you to finish the whole game without losing a single life, the experience as a whole is much harder.

MMX:C is definitely amazing, and I've got my eye on it, too!

Newtonip3 karma

What is your favorite Mega-Man game?

fyeahcking10 karma

X4 (gameplay, since it let you play all the way through as Zero, and those PS1-era sprites were gorgeous).

2 & 3 (music).

brb, loading up spark man's tunes

Madman70892 karma

Have you played Azure Striker Gunvolt?

fyeahcking3 karma

Not enough - I have to admit I haven't finished it yet. It sits in my steam library, judging me.

jrainer2342 karma

I backed the game on kickstarter and just want to say it is fantastic so far - and it plays really well! I'm really enjoying the new changes made with the core augment pickups.

Are you guys going to be showcasing the game at any upcoming game shows?

Also, out of curiosity, how many people are in the dev team?

fyeahcking6 karma

Two fulltimers - myself (design/programming), and Zach (art).

Bunch of part time help - Eitan and the Fire Hose crew in Boston help us out with marketing/pm/feedback, the incredible Brandon Ellis (aka cityfires) does our music, Ethan Fenn's doing our sound, Juliana Chen did a bunch of our icons... I think that's it?

It takes a village to make us look dope.

Edit: I am an asshole. Clemens Scott was integral in helping us improve 20XX's visuals last year - I was only thinking about current project folks when I typed this.

csroyalty2 karma

Whats your next project ?

P.S> I will probably never play this but have my 9 eur you seem like nice dudedevs

fyeahcking3 karma

Much too early to say! Too much to do with 20XX to start talking about what comes next.

FrakkinPhoenix2 karma

What is your favorite sandwich?

fyeahcking7 karma

Reuben.

anthson2 karma

I bought this game based off your reddit post and man, it blew my expectations out of the water even though they were pretty high going in.

Permadeath isn't something I was expecting, but you've offset it brilliantly. Being able to pad my next run with currency gained from the last is nice, plus the random progression keeps things fresh. Even the bosses seem to change up tactics. Also no permakills from spikes or pits creates a lot of breathing room. My biggest praise comes from the hitboxes in this game. Holy shit, I can dodge incoming threats with a razor's margin. A lot of times, things I expect to hit me just glide right past. That's such a stark contrast to Megaman where the enemy particle hitboxes are huge and incidental damage is practically expected. Your game? I feel like every point of damage I take is my own stupid fault.

I feel like this project was you playing the games we all loved as a kid and going "Hey, this game would go from great to epic if I just tweaked this, this, and that." Was it? What problems with the platform genre did you try to address from a design perspective?

fyeahcking3 karma

Hey, thanks! This is a great question that deserves a proper answer when I'm not typing on a phone in bed. I'll try to remember to follow up in the morning!

fyeahcking2 karma

Morning followup:

Thanks! Yeah, bosses have different abilities based on when in the run you fight them, and the damage on spike/pit instead of death really felt right for this style of game.

Ever since I was a little boy, I've just wanted "more Megaman" -- having grown up with and played so much of them, I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted 20XX to feel -- and the roguelike fad over the last few years really seemed to give me the "more" I was looking for in the form of solid replayability.

Yeah, though, there are a few things other than just genre/systems we changed - I think the best example is from Mega Man 2, where we modified one of its mechanics because I felt the MM2 version was poorly implemented. (MM2's Heat Man stage phasing in-and-out blocks.) They were bullshit because they don't give you any indicator of where they're about to show up, which in many sections requires the player to memorize the section before completing it, instead of letting their natural skill guide them through.

It's a lot of little stuff like that, I think.

Drfpeas2 karma

Hello!

Proud of your determination and such! Bit of a different question but having a music related career, I'm curious what programs are in current use for scores and soundtracks? Especially in the indie scene?

fyeahcking2 karma

paging /u/cityfires

NeonJ822 karma

Can we get any more information on Level Nine? :V Kappa

fyeahcking6 karma

Shoo! (You and the SF gang will see soon enough.)

aethyrium2 karma

Man, I love your game so much, but my only issue is that the random level designs simply can't reach the quality of planned-out levels, like some of the tight designs of the earlier megaman x games, and it's really the only thing preventing the game from being 'fucking awesome' (it's currently just 'awesome'). Do you have any plans to maybe create a level editor so the community can design out levels that you could download through the steam workshop, and either select them for play, or even better, have them get mixed in with the random levels when you play?

fyeahcking3 karma

I'd love to do something like this. Pick around on the steam community front page for a sec and there should be a thread there where I describe how I'd like to make it work. (On my phone if someone wouldn't mind digging it up!)

apotheotika2 karma

Just bought your game, and it looks amazing. What tip would you give someone who is picking up the controller for the first time in your game? (Can't wait to get home and play it btw!)

fyeahcking6 karma

Thank you! Play carefully - the bonus timer's nice, but not dying's nicer. Spend your nuts carefully - buying health will keep you alive, but it's also super expensive. Learn boss patterns, and figure out the boss weakness cycle.

Really, the best way to get better at 20XX is to learn about it - so every time you die, just thinking about "what could I have done better?" will go a long way.

keepyourkeys2 karma

Awsome, Megaman X redefined sidescrollers. Can I get upgrades? Is there a zero-analogue in it?

fyeahcking2 karma

So many upgrades! And yes.

Crotenis2 karma

Did you see Northernlion's review of your game?

fyeahcking2 karma

If you mean the one from several months ago, yeah! Was ecstatic when I saw it.

DicksenButts2 karma

What is your usual fitness routine?

fyeahcking2 karma

/u/derglingrush has half of it - I use the bike 3-4 days a week, and run to the gym/lift for an hour or so 2-3 days a week. (The 7th day I usually take off.)

brightesteyes112 karma

If you could only eat one sandwich for the rest of your life, what would it be?

fyeahcking3 karma

I mentioned earlier that a good Reuben is my fav, but if I had to choose just one it'd probably be... tuna? Gotta get that protein.

skeletaltubaplayer2 karma

Will your credits be 4 hours long and unskippable?

fyeahcking6 karma

If I weren't including our Kickstarter backers or our awesome Early Access community, I think I could fit 20XX's credits in a tweet.

So, probably not. I guess I could just make the font huge and scroll really slowly if you're into that.

edit: are -> our, I am a garbage-tier phone typist

sharktoothman112 karma

Can't remember if you've answered this on the forums in the past but are there any plans of making the co-op go up to 4 players instead of two? Whether it would be something looked into in post-1.0 if you end up making more characters or while still tweaking other online stuff. Also not sure what would be the best way to balance that if you did.

fyeahcking3 karma

Maybe. It's on the list to maybe look at post-1.0, almost certainly not before then.

Playerred2 karma

I'm very interested in this game and just how fluid the controls are as that's the selling point for me. Will there be a demo once it gets out of Early Access, because I'd love to try it?

fyeahcking14 karma

We currently have no plans to push a demo - if you want one, pirate a copy then buy it if you like it. :)

soulruler2 karma

Don't you think it's a little low brow to jump on the failure of another indie release to push your own game? It seems like you and Robo World and Steamworld Heist are taking advantage of spurned fans. I can't remember when a high profile game bombed, and then other game developers took it upon themselves to bash that same game by kicking it while it was down and then hocked their own game in hopes of picking up some collateral damage sales. I'm by no means a Mighty No. 9 defender (never played the game) but how do you respond to the accusation that you and these other developers, while likely indie developers of competent games, are essentially making profit off of another indie company's failure?

fyeahcking5 karma

No, I don't think that's an accurate way to describe what we're doing.

We started development on 20XX a few months before Mighty No. 9 announced their Kickstarter, and have been working hard on it ever since. We've gone largely unnoticed relative to them for a number of reasons (first time developers, no $4mm Kickstarter, no father of a legendary series at the helm).

I haven't played and am not familiar with the communities of Robo World and Steamworld Heist, so I can't really speak for them -- we've wanted to be a spiritual successor to Mega Man since the day we started development, and nothing about Mighty No. 9 -- not its announcement, nor its Kickstarter campaign, nor anything that's happened to it since -- has changed that.

zeroexev292 karma

Hey Chris, been playing your game for a couple years now and I'm glad to see this AMA and your team getting some attention!

Any teasers for what the final stage/boss will be like?

fyeahcking3 karma

More seriously: no. (no spoilers!)

fyeahcking3 karma

No!

JerseyCobra2 karma

Hey Chris! I found your game on steam last year and have thoroughly enjoyed all the progress 20XX has made.

Just wanted to say thank you for making this game. It has been a sheer joy to play, and enjoy with another friend as well :)
Co-op megaman has been a dream of mine that you helped realize.

Thank you. A thousand times thank you!

I guess if I had to Ask a question: what would be your advice to someone on making a mod / game from scratch?

fyeahcking6 karma

Thank you!

Advice: start small. Do something tiny you don't ever intend to sell well so you can at least learn the basics: define requirements, build game, promote, iterate, sell. If you're not sure what to work on, clone Chess, then think up some fancy modern features and add them.

Get the opinions of others as early as you can - get people whose opinions you trust. Yeasayers are deadly friends when you need feedback, and the industry's full of them (very reasonably, because nobody wants to be a dick).

Kataclysm1 karma

I want to believe in this game so badly, but I've been burned by Indie titles far too much lately that promise being amazing, and end up being 'meh'. (Except Stardew Valley. <3)

My question is, can you convince me this game is worth it, so I can justify dropping $10 on it, instead of on some crates on Overwatch?

fyeahcking5 karma

Do you really need 3 more Bastion voice lines (bweeeoooop.) and another Symmetra highlight intro?

Turkiantor1 karma

Me and my friends adore this game that is 20XX, but you cannot get more than two players. Will there ever be a four player mode?

fyeahcking2 karma

Maybe, post 1.0. Lots to do there to get it running properly, but if there was enough demand and we were doing well post-1.0 we'd look into it.

Princess_Harshwhinny1 karma

Does the 20XX level generator still create impossible vertical jumps?

fyeahcking5 karma

No!

MurderManTX1 karma

Hey dude. When is it coming out of early access? I have had your game on my wish list for forever. I am planning on buying it immediately on release.

fyeahcking4 karma

Answered it somewhere above! When it's done.

GentlemenPreferButts1 karma

I'm not a huge gamer, but your story reminds me of the making of Stardew Valley, largely inspired by the Harvest Moon series. Where do you these "inspired by" games fitting into the future of gaming?

fyeahcking2 karma

I think that the legends that become classics will basically cycle forever - every legend was great for at least one reason, and any time the market's a little dry on whatever that appeal is, developers will step in to meet that need. This "recent" wave of Kickstarters -- MN9, Bloodstained, a Hat in Time, Yooka-Laylee, etc -- is unlikely to be unique going forward.

Lupherigno1 karma

Apologies if this has been answered, but any plans to release this to consoles? If so, can we expect a physical release? I literally just heard about this game 3mins ago. Where have you been all my life!?

fyeahcking5 karma

No idea about a physical release - it sounds fun, but not all that practical? (But I'm ignorant about this, so feel free to ignore that.)

Consoles aren't a promise yet, but we're looking into it!

Metalh1 karma

I purchased 20XX roughly a year ago, and I mostly just wanted to say thanks for putting out a fantastic MM style game.

I know it's probably a long way down the road, but after 20XX is complete what do you see yourself making next if anything?

fyeahcking2 karma

Thank you! Still too early to tell. Depends on too many factors to count! We've got a looot of 20XX support we'd love to keep doing if the dollar signs let us.

abyssea1 karma

Any chance for a ps4 port? Also, what about achievements?

fyeahcking3 karma

Definitely achievements - we'd love to bring the game to PS4 and are exploring that, but we aren't ready to promise that yet.

scyaxe0 karma

Will it be better than Mambo- I mean Mighty No. 9?

fyeahcking3 karma

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