Thursday, March 22, 2012

pitchWinPLAY Competition!


Pitch your game idea. Win the competition. Play your game!

GAMEscribe, LLC announces the launch of the very first pitchWinPLAY competition!  Starting on March 25th, 2012, they will begin accepting video game pitches for a new side scrolling platformer to be developed by Renegade Kid through the official website

"We are very excited to be bringing this opportunity to creative gamers everywhere, to those who have ever had the dream to see their ideas come to life but just never had the means to make it happen." says John F. Kaiser III, founder of GAMEscribe, LLC.

To make this happen GAMEscribe has partnered up with award winning developer Renegade Kid, creators of the award winning Dementium series, cult racing hit ATV Wild Ride and critically acclaimed Mutant Mudds, to develop the winning entry into a video game for the Nintendo 3DS eShop.

"This is a very unique and exciting opportunity for everyone. To think that someone out there will submit the winning pitch and actually be able to play their game is quite magical." raves Jools Watsham, co-founder and creative director of Renegade Kid.

Game industry professionals will judge entries based on their Originality, Marketability, Feasibility and Communication.  Entrants will be narrowed down to the top 10 Semi-Finalist which will then be sent on to guest judges to help rank the top 3 choices.  Grand Prize is to have their pitch become reality!  See official website for complete list of prizes.

* Conditions and restrictions apply.  See for details.

About GAMEscribe

GAMEscribe, LLC was formed in 2011 by John F. Kaiser III with the goal of giving a means to gamers who have all these ideas for games running around in their head but no means to make them a reality.  This is now achieved through the pitchWinPLAY competitions.

About Renegade Kid

Founded in 2007 by Jools Watsham and Gregg Hargrove, Renegade Kid LLC is an independent video-game development studio based in Austin, Texas. Best known for their award winning Dementium™ series and the critically-acclaimed Mutant Mudds™, Renegade Kid has embraced Nintendo's new Nintendo 3DS handheld with the development of Majesco's Face Racers: Photo Finish, UTV Ignition'sPlanet Crashers, and "Cult racing hit", ATV Wild Ride 3D.


Renegade Kid


  1. Sounds very interesting,try to promote this idea,make a video or something.

  2. Sounds like a very cool competition. I think I might just have a go at this. :D

  3. Jools, my man, you are the best there is at what you do and what you do is very nice. And PLEASE don't ever make a side-scrolling game w/out bosses. I'm shocked that you crafted an 8-bit game that played better than most NES games, but you left out the most important part! Nothing is more satisfying than beating a boss.

    That's not what I came here about though. There is a small game design company called Goodbye Galaxy Games. They have only made a couple games, Flipper and Flipper 2 for DSiWare, that have been met w/ decent reception from critics and fans. I think the limitations have more to do w/ a lack of resources than w/ a lack of ability. There is clearly a lot of talent there.

    It would be awesome if you could do something to help them out, like give them some tips about scoring a licensed title or giving them some people to contact who could help them. Maybe even absord them into your company and have a whole retro game section. At the very least, could you just check them out and get ahold of lead designer Hugo Smits at Gracias!

  4. Here's an idea I have for a game that I don't think exactly fits the rules of the contest. The game starts off as a side-scrolling Run-N-Gun or Action Platformer for a couple levels using the Renegade Engine. So the player feels kind of distant to the character, literally, like it's just a puppet they're controlling.

    Then suddenly, the game switches to a 1st-person mode, using your Dementium Engine and the player actually becomes the character.

    That would be like Nirvana for the Medulla Oblongata. It would be like the feeling you get when Wizard of Oz switches from black and white to technicolor. Or like in Who Framed Roger Rabbit when they drive from the real world into Toon Town. Except, you'd be driving from Toon Town into the real world.

    You'd have to make it as drastic a difference as possible. So when it switches to 1st person mode, the character starts to talk, w/ some funny one-liners like Duke Nukem. I've always wished a Contra game would do something like that. I mean, haven't you always wished you could see what Bill & Lance saw when they rushed headlong into an alien horde?? Oh...I forgot in Europe Contra is about some weird robot called Probotector or something. But you get my point I hope.

  5. ...just one boss??...a final boss? least give me a mini-boss. How about a monkey that throws bombs?

  6. Don't limit yourself to one kind of retro side-scroller. Make an action game. Make a run-n-gun. Make a beat 'em up. There hasn't been a good side-scrolling beat 'em up in the entire lifespan of the DS. People love retro games. Mutant Mudds wasn't just a fluke. The big companies are stupid for not making more retro side-scroller. Games like Mega Man 9 and Dark Void Zero sell well and the companies just forget about it. You can cash in on their missed opportunities. Bomb Monkey is a great idea. Because it reeks of retro. Keep em comin

    1. Just to be clear, Capcom did release Mega Man 10, which also sold well. And a Dark Void Zero sequel is supposedly in the works. But these big companies are so backed up w/ all their agendas that they are tremendously slow at releasing any retro games. You could easily push out a new retro eShop game every few months and steal the profits those companies could've been making. But you have to keep things fresh. Really focus on making the environments in Mutant Mudds 2 even weirder and imaginative. Your name is Renegade Kid, live up to it!!

    2. You could even talk to a company about helping resurrect one of their retro IPs w/ a new side-scrolling adventure. Something weird like ToeJam and Earl or BattleToads would fit your style. You know how geeked up people would get about a new BattleToads??

    3. If you make a side-scrolling game that is more action oriented than platforming oriented, you need to make it so the player can move on an up and down plane and not just left and right, like in Double Dragon or Turtles in Time. It can't be that hard to program if they were doing it in the early days of the NES. And you guys are masters at your craft

  7. I sent this to your email, but in case you mistake it as spam, here it is again:

    Before I talk about your future, let me talk about your past: You were born to create 3D games on handheld devices. And you soon found out, even though you could produce games that approached the level of 1st-Party N64 games, that 3D games are a very tough market. Tough to sell to consumers and tough to pitch to a publisher.

    Here is your future: Go back in time from N64 to the SNES. Develop a 16-bit engine with scrolling backgrounds. The simple fact is that no matter how advanced technology gets, nothing will ever look more beautiful than a 16-bit sprite running across an exotic locale with hills scrolling in the background.

    Let's talk facts: side-scrolling games with at least 16-bits sell like hotcakes. You've already proven that 8-bit graphics can sell, but the problem is that almost NO publisher is going to pay you to make their licensed games in 8-bit. It just looks too primitive. But if you bump up the graphics just a smidge, companies will come to you in droves to make their games.

    The proof is in the pudding: within the last month, it's been announced that DreamRift is making Epic Mickey 2 for 3DS and WayForward is making Adventure Time for DS. WayForward scores a TON of licensed titles with their side-scrolling sprite work. Griptonite Games scored an EVEN BIGGER TON of licensed side-scrollers before they were recently bought out. Sega even let Griptonite resurrect one of their holiest side-scrolling franchises in Shinobi.

    The problem with Griptonite was that they used computerized graphics, which turned off a lot of people's interest in Shinobi. Whereas almost EVERYONE loves WayForward and their spritework. And just look how much positive buzz the screenshots for Epic Mickey 2 on 3DS have gotten. It looks EXACTLY like a Sega Genesis game and people are drooling over it!!

    Cartoons and animated movies will always be perfectly represented by side-scrollers. And there are new cartoons coming out every couple months that could use tie-ins (wink, wink). Just around the corner, the Ninja Turtles are coming back with an animated series and a movie. If you could score that license and craft a 16 bit side-scrolling game with the same charm, maybe even more charm, than Turtles in Time for SNES, you would go from a well-liked company to LEGENDS.

    (with all that said, I would still love to see Dementium 3)

  8. Back in August of 2010, when Max was stil in his 3rd-person shooter stage, I made this comment on your blog post: "You guys need to start looking at making side-scrolling games. I'm a child of Sega Genesis and there's a big surge in that right now with Mega Man 10...(I went on to name a lot of games)...With Renegade's creativity you could whip up a wicked awesome 3D side-scroller"

    And on your post in Sept 2010, I commented: "Keep expanding your genres. I'm gonna keep pushing for a side scoller or downloadable game from you...Stick to weird looking, Burton-esque IPs."

    I was the one who suggested you should develop a 16/32-bit game engine in post above. Check out IGN readers gushing over Epic Mickey 3DS screens(ignore obligatory fanboy fighting):

    Today I wanted to mention the 4 pillars of a great side-scroller. During the 8-bit amd 16-bit eras, these were industry standards and most everyone used them. but people seem to have forgotten. So here goes:

    1.) Art Style - What separates Sonic from Ristar? They both started as Genesis games made by the same people that were well received by critics. But why didn't Ristar take off? Sonic is cooler. Weirder. Ristar looks a little too kiddie. When you make the art style cool and weird and retro, you appeal to hardcore gamers. Little kids will eat it up too because all little kids strive to be cool.

    2.) Varied and Interesting Level Design: Revenge of Shinobi is far superior to Shinobi 3 in terms of well thought out and intricate level design. But a large number of people consider Shinobi 3 better, b/c it was more varied. You're fighting bouncing brains on one level (see: weird, above) and randomly surfing on another. And check out reviews for Shinobi 3DS. A lot of reviewers felt the game dropped in quality over the 2nd half of the game when the backgrounds became generic caves and such.

    I would consider bosses part of level design. Do you remember Mega Man games more for the platforming or the bosses? I understand that Mudds was your 1st side-scroller and you couldn't fit them in. But from what I've seen over message boards, most everyone agrees it's a great game, but some people feel like it's incomplete or not worth the full $9. It's the bosses! You play a side-scroller and you expect bosses.

    3.) Good Difficulty Progression- Do you remember Ninja Gaiden for NES? That game grabbed you by the cajones in the 1st level and never let go. Ok, that's a little too hard. The perfect game starts off easy enough that anyone over 5 could jump in and play. But by the end, it should be hard enough that even the most hardcore gamers are sweating. You should NEVER be able to beat a game on your 1st play through. How many kids do you think ever beat most NES games back in the day? Not a lot. But we all still loved them. B/c they have all the pillars of a great game.

    NOTHING adds replay value like difficulty. Some games have lasted me 20 years b/c I've never been able to beat them. If you are pressured to make an easy game, toss in a hard difficulty level, so us hardcore gamers will want to pick it up too.

    WayForward scored a couple of good licenses in Thor and Batman Brave and Bold for DS. But if you check GameFaqs boards, a lot of gamers complained that the games were too short or easy. Do you think they'll invest in a WayForward side-scroller again? Possibily not.

    4.) Music - Music is much more important in a side-scrolling game than a 3D game, b/c 2D games are less engrossing and you notice the music more. Few things are more bad@$$ than the Contra theme. Yuzo Koshiro crafted rhythmic, hypnotic music for Streets of Rage 1 & 2, that literally entices you to stand up and rock back and forth and maybe even jump kick the wall while playing. Continue to make that a focal point.

  9. I thought it was a little funny that I mentioned you should try to get the Battletoads license and it was just announced that a Double Dragon side-scroller by WayForward was coming to PSN (I told you there's good $$ in side-scrollers) and a couple people on message boards have already said they hope it's DD & Battletoads.

    Anyway, let's suppose you do score the rights to remake a retro side-scroller. Today's topic is how to fail in this endeavor and the examples will be Rocket Knight for XBLA and Shinobi for 3DS. Both games failed to meet sales expectations by a LARGE margin.

    Rocket Knight and Shinobi are in the retro hall-of-fame. They both have built up rabbid fanbases since their days of rocking on the Genesis. Many people, myself included, were geeked up when it was revealed they would be returning to their side-scrolling roots. gave Rocket Knight a feature article on the front page when the game was announced and several follow-up articles to hype the game.

    But both games flopped. And they flopped for the same reason: they strayed too far from the original concepts that made people love them in the 1st place. 1st off, they used modern computerized graphics instead of retro-styled sprites. The games just didn't look as good as the originals. It's one of those weird, unexplainable laws of nature that side-scrollers look better in 16-bits.

    The other thing they mucked up was the gameplay. Rocket Knight for 360 took the two button control scheme from the Genesis game and made it much more complex. It just didn't feel the same. The same with Shinobi. It strayed from the originals with a new blocking mechanic and a combo system.

    Rocket Knight and Shinobi weren't bad games. They both scored over 70% by critics. There were some minor quibbles with level design or random and cheap difficulty spikes, but overall they were decent. But they didn't have the look or feel of the originals. And when it comes to retro games, people want more of the same, NOT something new. If we wanted new, why would we bother with retro?

  10. Did you know that Sega didn't come to Griptonite Games and ask them to make Shinobi for 3DS? No, it was the other way around.

    Think about that for a second. A group of American developers went and asked a Japanese company to release to them one of their most hallowed franchises for a reboot. It took a lot of cajones. And a good 2D engine, a lot of ideas, and a lot of enthusiasm for the project. And amazingly Sega Japan, as steeped in traditions as it is, said yes.

    The good news for you is that Griptonite was bought out by a mobile company. So they won't be making licensed games for 3DS or Vita (which I wish you'd port your games over to) anymore. So get off your toosh, build that 32-bit engine, and start hunting down those IPs that are ripe for the side-scrolling treatment that only a Renegade Kid could give them.

  11. hi, Jools! I LOVE MUDDS!!!! Please take a look at my original puzzle. Two puzzles in fact:!/id518094281?l=pt&ls=1&mt=8

  12. very cool competition. i want to be part of one a players in that event .

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