A Look Inside Slam Bolt Scrappers – Friday Games @ GAMBIT

Starting at 4PM today, one of our superstar programmers and GAMBIT alum, Sharat, will lead the folks at GAMBIT through the journey that was the development of Slam Bolt Scrappers. As you may know, SBS has gone through a number of iterations, and Sharat will be showing off those early prototypes while discussing the different elements we changed between each and why we decided to change them. The original post can be found here: http://gambit.mit.edu/updates/2011/04/friday_games_gambit_040811_-_a.php.

GAMBIT holds a special place in the hearts of everyone here at Fire Hose Games, so we’re very excited that they’ve invited us to come talk about Slam Bolt Scrappers today for this week’s session of Friday Games at GAMBIT! Friday Games is a particularly interesting series at GAMBIT where each Friday they take an analytical approach to looking at games and games issues from the past, present… and FUTURE. Recent sessions covered the history of Tetris, the censoring of sex in games, and, of course, the history of Michael Jordan in video games, starting with 1993’s NBA Showdown. A …

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Fan Mail: It’s like we’re famous

Hey Scrappers,

So, we’ve been getting a bunch of fan mail. Pretty awesome, right? The post office actually sends a second mailman to our office each day with an entire truck full of letters just for us. Well, some of them are probably bombs, so we open 25% then throw the rest into the Charles River to be safe.

Getting fan mail has been really eye opening. People have made a few suggestions (*cough*onlinemultiplayer*cough*) about SBS and I wanted to see if their ideas generally ring true with the rest of you, so I’m going to post one of our first pieces of fan mail. Let me know what you think about these suggestions in the comments below.

To the dudes at Fire Hose games:

Slam Bolt Scrappers is really, really fun. I downloaded the demo on Tuesday the 15th, bought the full game almost immediately after, and have been playing it ever since. So first and foremost, I want to say THANKS for making such a super fun game!

My girlfriend and …

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Marvel Comic Inspires New Slam Bolt Scrappers Art

Hello True Believers,

As Alec noted last week, Issue #1 of the new FF series (the successor to Fantastic Four, now that Johnny Storm has been killed, penciled by Steve Epting) shows Franklin Richards (son of Reed and Sue) playing a video game he has just lost, and that game is Slam Bolt Scrappers!


The shot is from SBS circa Fall 2010 (after PAX Prime, when the health bars were vertical instead of horizontal, many months before release).

Here is the actual image they found on the web and used!:


And here is a side-by-side of the comic art and the original:


As far as we can tell, they set the Hue (in Hue/Saturation) to 180 and then the Cutout filter was applied (before the non-SBS text was overlayed).

In the process of unraveling this, I started playing with the Cutout filter and the Hue/Saturation of other shots from the game. Here were some of my favorites. What do you think? Any of these worth a spot in the Modern Museum of Art?

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TIL: Fire Hose Edition

Hey readers! Now that Slam Bolt Scrappers is out on PSN (didn’t you hear!?), a lot of fascinating, new stuff has been happening at Fire Hose. To quickly touch base with everyone, I decided to pose a simple question: “What’s something you learned today?” Responses were pretty interesting and varied, so they seemed worth posting here. Without further delay, here are a few things people at Fire Hose learned yesterday.

Eitan: No matter how cool it looks in video games, motion blur pretty much always looks terrible in still screen shots. And Amazon web services has a free tier if you want to try out cloud hosting for free: http://aws.amazon.com/free/

Ethan: I learned that putting stars in a level makes it more fun for the players and the developers.

Jacques: Thinking ahead. Organizing and Prepping files for fast turn around, for projects that may be due the same day. If you carefully think ahead, and take the time to know the ins and outs of your current project, you can save your self time and headaches …

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Slam Bolt Scrappers in the new FF (Fantastic Four) Comic Book?

Ahh, friends, there you are. Come join me as we unravel a mystery of cosmic proportions. Our head comic book aficionado, Jason, has pointed me towards a strange sighting in the new (first) issue of FF – which is a relaunch of the Fantastic Four where they call themselves the Future Foundation and replace the Human Torch (who is apparently dead) with a black and white Spider-Man. See below to get an idea of what I’m talking about:

Back to the controversy! Jason flips the book open to a page where the FF crew and some alien children are gathered around a TV playing a game. They are losing. OBSERVE:



This does, in fact, appear to be a screenshot of an early prototype of Slam Bolt Scrappers – probably the build we showed off at PAX Prime 2010. I’ve highlighted a few items for my case in the picture below.

The first thing to jump out at me was the HUD on …

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