Thursday, August 12, 2010
Double Dragon V
Double Dragon V is first game that I can say I had any real designer input in. When this game was developed it was prior to Midway buying Leland Interactive Media out, so the game was published by Tradewest which was out in Corsicana, TX I believe.
DDV happened to be one of the very first games I ever worked on, being preceded by Troy Aikman Football and Fun N' Games. At the time Street Fighter II was a huge hit and arcades were sporting SFII cabinets wall to wall everywhere I went, so its not a big surprise that a game publisher like Leland Interactive Media would want a piece of the pie.
I have no idea where they got the licensing set up, because they tied the game into the tv show and even had a comic book in the manual. We didn't have the voice actors from the cartoon, so they recorded some of us at work, me included to do some of the grunts and hit sounds. It's very hard to remember, but I may have been the end boss guy's voice. It's been so long. I know I recorded for it, but I don't know if my voice made the final cut in that game.
Anyways, at the time since we had to do a lot of game play research, they bought a Neo Geo, which back at the time was impossible to get on our salaries, so we ended up "testing" Samurai Shodown and World Heroes all day while they were getting the art and code ready for the game. When it came time to implement the gameplay, it was both myself and my friend Tim Heydelaar that worked on the moves lists, the timing of all of the moves, and the hit box locations, hence my first real dabbling into game design. I don't think we got any special credit for the work we did, but it was just cool to be doing it. Back then I was only being paid $4.25 an hour and loving every minute of it.
Some funny stuff. In this level, you can't see if of course, but there is graffiti on the wall in various places. One of the graffiti images says "EMP" which stood for "East Milan Posse", a fake gang a group of friends and I created to rebel against the local gangs in Chula Vista CA.
I would say the worst thing about working on this game was working on the Jaguar version. They Jaguar was much more limited than they wanted to admit, or the programmers just didn't know how to take advantage of it, but needless to say it was awful, and I still can wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night thinking about 8 hours of testing that one.