Hello again, lovely people! (Also hello, less than lovely people.) I'm Chris, the developer of a game called 20XX.

Six years ago, I quit a solid-but-boring job to blow all my savings trying to build some Megaman-inspired dreams. 20XX was on Steam Early Access for approximately 300 years, and finally graduated last August. Thankfully, the game did well, and we got to work bringing our game to modern consoles. Our work comes to fruition today - 20XX is available on Nintendo Switch and PS4 now, and will be available at midnight UTC (around 8PM today) on Xbox One.

To celebrate, I'd love to answer ALL QUESTIONS.

So, AMA about 20XX, life as an indie, developing on consoles, jumping/shooting/riding on cars, or anything else! I'll start answering questions at 3pm EST.

proof: https://twitter.com/batterystaple_g/status/1016749819430391808

Comments: 122 • Responses: 42  • Date: 

jrainer23422 karma

Hey Chris - I'm a big fan of 20XX, have it on PC and got it for Switch today as well. Congrats on console launch today! Quick question - on PC it's possible to remap controller buttons around, will this feature eventually make it's way over to Switch?

fyeahcking36 karma

I'll be blunt: we made a bad choice. I apologize.

I'm working on a patch for the Switch build as we speak to allow full control rebind - I'm hoping to submit it late today or tomorrow, and we'll get it published as quickly as we can.

sway12517 karma

Hey Chris, me and my couch co-op partner (my 8-year-old) love the game! She had a question: "What made you think about making the weird labs with the weird music? AND! What was your inspiration for 20XX?" Thanks!

fyeahcking16 karma

I love this. It's hard to express how happy it makes me that somewhere there are kids falling in love with my game the same way I fell in love with my favorite NES games back in the late 80s.

The game's definitely inspired by the awesome action-platforming feel of the Mega Man X games, but on an emotional level, I think what you and your excellent co-op partner experience with the game is my inspiration for making it - I want to repay the world for the love I shared with gaming as a kid.

As for the Very Safe Labs, I love spooky stuff - things that put the player off just a little at first - like, what's this thing? This music makes me a little cautious about whatever's in here. In an ideal world, I'd have all sorts of things in the game that're mildly off-putting at first.

Thank you so much for sharing - this post made my day all by itself.

CarpeMofo1 karma

I have a 4 year old cousin who got the Switch as his first ever gaming console along with Mario Odyssey for Christmas. Seven months later the kid is obsessed with all things Mario. Mario clothes, shoes, a birthday party. It makes me really happy to see him getting his gaming start and becoming obsessed with the same franchise that I did nearly thirty years ago.

I think for Christmas I might get him the Mega Man Legacy Collection games. I'll have to add 20XX to the list.

fyeahcking1 karma

This is awesome! Thanks for sharing.

AlexKhayrullin15 karma

First of all, thanks for the great game and congrats for the console releases. The game sure went a long way since I started following it as an early access title on Steam :) .

Myself, I'm a lead developper, and despite my enjoyment of making games, I couldn't even consider quitting my job, be it for the people I genuinely like working with or, as you put it, for the safety of it. At what point did you feel like it was time to dive head first into making 20XX at the expense of your day job? How did you realize it was time? And did you have a backup plan on case your venture didn't work out?

fyeahcking14 karma

Hi there! Thanks for the kind words. We also think it's been a pretty eventful few years for the game - we've learned a lot.

I spent my post-college years working as a programmer in jobs that paid pretty well, and I've always been a pretty frugal guy (case in point: I celebrated our launch today by eating a Chipotle burrito for ~$7). I saved a big chunk of my salary for several years into my late 20s - for the first time in my life, I had enough money to try something foolish, but no spouse or children who'd get upset if I blew it all.

I've wanted to make games since I was a little boy - a few weeks ago, my dad found some of my old pen & paper mechanics rulebooks upstairs, shamelessly ripped from The Guardian Legend - and I knew that if I didn't take the chance while I had it, I might have more to lose than my pride and savings by trying later.

My backup plan was to lose all my money and go back to working for someone else. Fortunately, programmers find jobs pretty easily around DC!

TheMikeBachmann6 karma

Hey Chris! - I love 20XX and have put about 200 hours into it on PC. I always appreciated the update timers during early access, although I never really followed up to see if they were accurate.

How good were you at keeping to that schedule? Did you find it helped you be more accountable with updates?

fyeahcking6 karma

Hey! That's a lot of time - it means a lot that you decided our game was worth that much.

We were super anal about that timer during Early Access -- IIRC, out of the 71 bi-weekly Early Access updates we made, exactly two updates were not delivered on time - one by an hour, and one by a day.

The timer really helped us stay on track, and it was great for keeping the community involved - folks loved it, since they knew exactly when to log on to see the new stuff, and the constant barrage of updates made it clear we were really listening closely to the community.

gamelord126 karma

Now that console versions are out, what are the odds of other operating systems on Steam before you move on to your next project?

fyeahcking12 karma

This is a great question!

Now that we've launched on consoles, one of the top tasks on our list (after immediate patch requirements) is sorting out whether or not a Mac/Linux version of the game makes financial sense to put out. Since we're in a custom engine, it's not free, and will likely take a few weeks of work.

We also know that 20XX runs well in WINE, which makes us a little less likely to do it (since many Linux players can play the game as is).

(EDIT: I didn't clearly answer the question - we're thinking about it, but haven't made a final decision one way or another. Research required.)

2phan6 karma

I bought the game for steam recently and loved it so much that I bought it on the switch today! Great job!

What was the biggest development challenge to overcome?

fyeahcking6 karma

Overall, definitely the game's online play. Networking code is tough to design in a watertight, robust way, and online play has a million different things that can go wrong (and will go wrong). It's also super time-consuming to test - and you often need to write your own tools just to simulate certain network conditions.

On consoles, the biggest challenge for us was just the number of balls you have to keep juggling as you work towards launch - each platform is very different, so instead of doing "the same process" four times between Steam, Switch, PS4, and Xbox, you're managing four almost-entirely-disjoint processes, and as a result it's super easy to miss important tasks, deadlines, contacts, etc if you're not super on top of it all the time. I have a lot of respect for anyone who does the product management side of one of these releases - it's a ton of work!

Sprocketvgc5 karma

Which platform was easiest to port for from your perspective? I've heard good stories about porting to Switch, but I've also heard PS4 and Xbox aren't that bad either.

fyeahcking8 karma

At the risk of sounding undiplomatic, each platform had aspects of the development process that were super straightforward and easy, and aspects that were a giant pain in the butt to work around.

Switch is a much easier system to port to than the Wii U was - I have a ton of respect for Nintendo for recognizing that they had a developer-accessibility problem on their last system and fixing it.

spqanx5 karma

Chris, thank you so much for the great feedback you gave durring the alpha release. 20xx has been very special to me as it brings me back to a time in my childhood where megaman games were all i had to escape. you've recreated the feelings I had growing up, and It's Incredible the authenticity you have given the game in feel, yet brought new mechanics in a way that overall greatly improved on what is often thought of as a formulatic series (ie the roguelike upgrade mechanics).. ianted to ask if you had any specific titles that you felt were most inspirational? The default dash button placement, and midair dash redirection reminds me alot of the zero series.

fyeahcking5 karma

Hey! It means a lot to me that this game means anything to you.

We hear a lot about similarities between 20XX and the Zero series, but the entry that most inspired the game's feel is X4. That awesome, fluid movement really hit home for me, and being able to fully play as Zero for the first time was just the best. (Yeah, I know you can technically play through X3 as Zero - not the same!)

lalaberries5 karma

I love this game! What are the differences between the steam and console versions?

fyeahcking8 karma

Right this moment, there are two significant differences between the Steam version and the Console versions. Both of these differences are temporary, and we'll eliminate them ASAP!

First, we recently released version 1.3 on Steam, which includes a handful of new late-game Augs, a juicy new Prototype, and an awesome new character. This patch wasn't ready in time for console cert, so we're doing everything we can get to get it ship-ready on consoles so folks can play with Draco and the new Augs.

Second, as mentioned higher up in this thread, the console versions don't have full key rebind as of this post. I'm working on a Switch patch for exactly this as we speak - not including it was a mistake on our part. We'll also be adding it on PS4/Xbox, albeit at a slightly lower priority (since those consoles at least allow system-level key rebinds).

Other than that, there are a few platform-specific differences for each console version - for example, the Switch version supports Local Wireless (the network mode where you play with a nearby buddy with another Switch without using your internet connection).

Sprocketvgc4 karma

What's next for 20XX, and Batterystaple Games?

fyeahcking9 karma

If there's one thing we learned while making 20XX, it's "never show anything until you're ready for the internet to remember it forever." There are still press bits coming out today that are using 20XX assets from 2014/2015 that look Very Bad compared to the game today.

So, that in mind: oh, nothing. You know. I'm going to have a nice beer tonight and finish this Switch key rebind patch. As for the rest, that answer is hidden in the mists.

Berriebun_Beaniebun4 karma

Is there going to be some ease of integration for a modworkshop later one like with a modkit to make programming for modders easier? Any chance for bonus stage dlc's or updates that explain more about the story and reveal the motivations of the scientists more then they currently are trough the lore unlocks?

fyeahcking5 karma

We've got big plans for 20XX, but we're not ready to talk about them publicly just yet - sorry to disappoint!

I'm happy to leave it at a firm "we're not done."

InvaderDem4 karma

Two questions:

  1. So, you've stated that all DLC on consoles will be free going forward; but that doesn't appear to be the case on Steam. What made you decide to go this route and are you worried about a negative reaction from the PC crowd?

  2. Where do you get your hair cut at?

Okay, that was three questions ...

P.S. Congrats on the console launches! Been playing since EA and have been happy to see 20XX come so far!

fyeahcking5 karma

  1. We're not super worried about a negative reaction from the PC crowd, no. The console and Steam markets seem to be pretty separate beasts - while the total you could buy the game for on Steam ($21 if you bought the base game for $15 and each DLC for $3) is a little higher than the console price of $18, the nature of Steam Sales means most copies of the game are sold for something more like $10.

  2. Where I'm going to get my hair cut is very slightly beyond the scope of today's AMA. I can't even tell you my barber's name - I just googled it and the city I live in, and the shop immediately came up as the first result.

Thanks much for the love!

DarkDreamT23 karma

Hey, been in love with this game since it had a jumping spider for a boss. Quick question from a person who has a really awesome game idea that they want to make, how do you think one should approach designing a game if they have all the drawing talent of a washing machine on its spin cycle?

fyeahcking3 karma

Hi! Thanks for the love.

Start small. Learn how to build a game by cloning a basic thing (tetris, Chess, whatever) without also tacking on the Actually Designing a Game part. Use an existing engine unless you have a good reason not to. Get good before you go try to swing for the fences.

Once that's done, you need to decide who you are, what roles you're going to fill, and how you're going to get the rest done. A game's made up of tech, design, art, audio, writing, marketing, QA, and product management (to list a few - definitely not a 100% inclusive list). What roles can you fill at the quality level you're shooting for? You will have to pay for the rest, either in flat $$ or in backend (revenue share). If you want to attract folks on a rev-share basis, you'd better make sure what you do have is super compelling, since you're asking people to bet on your product.

This is definitely a 40-foot summary level, but I hope it helps! Let me know if I can answer other questions.

Sprocketvgc3 karma

This game works quite well on Linux via Wine, and as a Linux user I am very happy about hat. That said, are Mac and Linux native ports on the horizon? How about a non-Steam version for Windows gamers?

fyeahcking3 karma

See above answer! We're currently evaluating whether or not it'll make sense to adapt the Steam version of the game for Mac/Linux proper - the same goes for non-Steam platforms via Windows.

Nibel23 karma

You already added two new characters and a lot of new augments to the game since launch. Is there any plans for new stages, bosses or a map editor?

fyeahcking4 karma

See above comment! We're not done with 20XX just yet, but we're not quite ready to tell you what that means. Sorry!

ravenousld33413 karma

Love the game, have nearly 100 hours in the steam version.

You guys have really nailed this style of game, are their other genres you're looking to explore?

One more if I may. I bought Hawk the day the character was released, any ideas for another character?

NeonJ825 karma

One more if I may. I bought Hawk the day the character was released, any ideas for another character?

I'm not the dev, but uh... you may want to check the Steam page for the game :D

ravenousld33415 karma

0_0

YASSSSS

Bought

fyeahcking3 karma

;)

NekkidSnaku3 karma

hey man I am Kana on the Discord and I just wanted to say thank you for this game. This is literally the game I dreamed of as a kid, it is seriously my new favorite game of all time, no joke. I vow to 100% this game, and then some. Here is my question for you:

Will there eventually be Steam Workshop support or anything along those lines? I know there is a modding section in the Discord but was wondering if 20xx was planning to expand on the whole workshop stuff.

fyeahcking2 karma

Hey! Good to hear from you. Thanks for the love.

I'm afraid I have to answer your question the way I've answered a few similar ones in this thread - we're not done with 20XX, but it's too early to share our exact plans. Sorry!

NeonJ822 karma

Why do Hawk and Draco look so similar? :V (Lore-wise, I mean... :P)

fyeahcking2 karma

I don't know what this question means. (Hi!)

TheDiscordedSnarl2 karma

If someone were to start making a game like yours today, how long would it take? 2 years, 3, to get it right, before publishing?

fyeahcking2 karma

I'm not super sure what this question means - it sounds like it depends a lot on the experience of the team and the tools they're using.

apgrenus2 karma

Congrats on the console release. The big thing that is going around right now is cross platform play.
My question is, will 20XX ever get the ability to play multiplayer with others from different platforms? (Like a Switch user and a Steam user)? I've been a big fan of 20XX and I just sent over an email about an hour ago with another question that I can't address here.

Anyways, congrats on the console launch and the new DLC. Making a video on it as we speak.

fyeahcking2 karma

At this time, we don't intend to add cross-platform play. 20XX uses the networking toolkits that each platform it's on provides, and implementing cross-play would require us to toss that out the window and use our own independent servers.

Thanks for the love and support!

neo1412 karma

  1. What are the exact Proc rates for the nut pickup augs, nrg/hp/armor nut? That's basically the only set of augs I don't have exact numbers on at this point.

  2. How was the console release?

fyeahcking2 karma

It's hard to say how our console release is going, really - but it seems like things are pretty good!

You know, I haven't looked at the proc rates on these in a long time, so I'm glad you asked. I'm not sure offhand why I made this discrepancy, but:

Small nuts: 10% chance to proc for all 3 kinds (1 NRG, 1 HP, or 1 Armor)

Large nuts: Guaranteed proc for NRG Nut (1 NRG), 50% proc for health nut (1 HP), 33% proc for Armor Nut (1 Armor).

If you have more than one stack of these items, the percent chance stacks, but can't exceed 100% (so having more than 10 is useless).

tsurupeta_suika2 karma

Did you have any concerns about the release window of this game being in the same month as the release of Mega Man X Legacy Collection?

Also, do you still play Mega Man/Mega Man X, are you planning on picking up the collection?

Congratulations on the console release! :) Thank you for being so transparent with the feedback you've received.

fyeahcking3 karma

Of course! I play through MMX/X4 once a year at minimum. I'm glad we're out now - while it's not ideal only coming out a few weeks before the Legacy Collections, it'd be way worse if we came out a few weeks after them. We'd've launched earlier if we could, but we're pretty happy about our timing.

I've preordered the collection, and will be playing the crap out of it on day one.

Thank you! I say this a lot, but I'm pretty sure one of our core competencies as a company is responding to and integrating fan feedback - if our Early Access timeline is any indication, we're literally nothing without y'all. Makes it easy to be transparent!

TaylorTheSavior2 karma

First of all, congratulations on the launch! Any ideas on what your next endeavor will be, video game-wise? What else can we expect down the pipeline?

Also, I appreciate your Egoraptor reference and can't wait to play 20XX!

fyeahcking3 karma

Some days, you gotta ride on cars.

We've got a lot in the hopper, but we're not ready to share yet!

BigDickMcThickCock2 karma

Did you use a licensed engine?

fyeahcking8 karma

Nope! 20XX uses a custom C++ engine.

We probably should have used Unity - when I started this project several years ago, I thought I'd be working on something much smaller-scope, and I wanted the "hey! I built my own engine!" item on my resume. (Little did I know that Unity experience would end up being more useful to many indie/midsized studios than C++ experience by the time I'd finished. Oops.)

BigDickMcThickCock2 karma

I'm beginning work on my own game and want to write my own engine in C++ for more or less the same reason. I'm not looking for a career in the gaming industry, it's more of a bucket list thing. Am I making a huge mistake by not reigning in my ego and going with Unity?

fyeahcking3 karma

Short answer: yes.

Long answer: it really depends on why you want to do it, and what your goals are. If you're already a good C++ programmer and don't mind that it will take you longer to build the same thing, it's not necessarily a mistake to build your own engine. Just be prepared to spend a lot of time building things that Unity would have given you for free.

This is especially true if you've already researched your exact use case in Unity, and it's something crazy specific that for whatever reason it doesn't look like Unity will do smoothly. (This seems a little unlikely, though!)

Feel free to ask anything else you're thinking about on the topic, and definitely feel free to reach out if you ever need help if you go down the C++ route.

BigDickMcThickCock1 karma

Awesome, thanks. I have some programming experience and work as a QA engineer, but my experience is largely in high-level languages like Python, Java and Javascript. Part of what I want to get out of it is a dive into low-level programming and a game is the only project in my mental idea folder where it would be appropriate. I appreciate the responses and have plenty to think about. I'm going to pick 20XX up on Steam, too, I've heard a lot of good things and I'd love to support your work. Thanks again.

fyeahcking2 karma

Thanks! If you're going to delve into your own C++ project, start small. Think of the smallest clone you can think of, and then get a lot smaller. It's tricky enough as is without actually having to design a full-featured game on top of it, and you'll be a lot better at making a full-featured thing -- should you choose to -- if you've used your tools to make something small first.

BigDickMcThickCock0 karma

That's the plan. The end goal is a procedurally generated love letter to Zelda with mad-lib style story generation and a focus on a stable of gadgets unlocked 2-3 per run, each coming from its own dungeon. The first iteration, however, is a basic clone of a top-down hack and slash and some basic map and asset tools to go with it.

fyeahcking7 karma

OkkinAdar1 karma

The next DLC characters (if any) are totally being called Jack and Arma, right?

fyeahcking3 karma

No comment.

ShoutOutTo_Caboose1 karma

I remember reading about this. I was going to buy it on Steam but I was (and still am) broke as hell.

So what's next?

fyeahcking2 karma

See above! Lots of plans, too early to say for certain. (Sorry!)

Animedingo1 karma

If you made another game that wasn't roguelite, what genre would you want to pursue?

fyeahcking4 karma

There are so many games I'd like to make - I can't wait to show you them all. (It's going to take awhile. I'm very slow.)

XaosZaleski1 karma

I love 20XX on the PC and I'm happy it is releasing on the incredible hardware of the Switch.

Was there any major restrictions on the Switch when you were porting it over? Do you think this is a straight port or is there things that had to be changed (for better or worse) when making this move?

Thank you for an incredible, faithful homage to our favorite Blue Boy.

fyeahcking3 karma

The Switch port's very faithful to the PC version of the game. I don't believe we had to sacrifice anything to make it great on any of our console platforms.

coryrenton1 karma

what requirements would a new gaming platform need to have for you to consider porting to it, assuming they don't charge you any fees?

fyeahcking3 karma

Expected market value greater than our porting costs & future maintenance costs.

Jokerwiley1 karma

First off. Megaman has been my favorite video game ever since I was 4 years old Gaming on the NES. Second, my love for rogue likes is also second to none. When you combine both of these into an amalgamation of greatness, I can't help but to shed a tear in my eye. Thank you for making this gem. For the longest time I thought the spirit of the blue bomber was dead. I'm so wrong and I'm so glad to be wrong.

How much will it cost on Xbox?

fyeahcking1 karma

Thank you so much! It'll be $17.99 here in the States.

steviestar31 karma

Huge 20XX fan right here. I've had the Steam version of the game since mid 2016 I believe and double dipped on the Switch version just now.

Do you think you guys will alter the achievements at any point in the future? Me and the friend I usually play co-op with managed to unlock them all except for Bold and Probably Cheating, which we promptly gave up on because we found the challenge so insurmountable. I've been kind of wanting to go back and give it another go, but I have to admit, we've both kind of been praying for a patch that makes the requirements a bit more reasonable LOL

fyeahcking1 karma

If Switch ever adds full-on achievement support, we'll update 20XX to support them - we don't intend to do it as an in-game only thing, though.

Batou20341 karma

[deleted]

fyeahcking1 karma

Next neversday, I'm afraid.

InfernoJesus1 karma

Ever heard of 20XX melee hack pack?

fyeahcking1 karma

Nope.

InukShaken1 karma

Were you aware of how much of an inside joje the term "20XX" was to the Super Smash Bros Melee community before/durin/after making this game?

fyeahcking1 karma

I did just reply "nope" to someone else about the same question, but yes, we're aware. :D There's a reference to it in-game.

Mantisbog1 karma

Why should I play this instead of just playing megaman X?

fyeahcking1 karma

If you're happy playing MMX repeatedly, by all means, do it! We're not in the game of "beating MMX" - that's a tough task. We're something different.

Play our game if you love the fluid controls of MMX4, the idea of random levels, and the ability to play with a buddy.

JS1VT51A5V21033421 karma

Can you release this for SNES?

fyeahcking1 karma

Okay.

Shaunvfx1 karma

Any chance us PS4 holdouts could get a coupon code ;-) Please?

fyeahcking9 karma

I guess I did say "ask me anything."

No.

Burnstryk1 karma

[deleted]

fyeahcking2 karma

See above! Answered this question elsewhere in the thread.