While we expect to start hearing more about new developments from major manufacturers this month in the run-up to IAAPA, you can’t rule out concepts from indie developers making their way to us either. Such is the case with a recently released game for PCs – and arcades – called When It Hits The Fan.
When It Hits The Fan Arcade Edition
Today’s post got its start when Jdevy sent me a tip about a new arcade machine that showed up at Bear’s, a bar in Shreveport, LA. In doing some digging, I found out that When It hits The Fan is a 2D indie made game made for PCs that launched on Sep. 17th. As it turns out, they also were running a Kickstarter where there were options for getting a bona-fide arcade machine made for a minimum donation of $3000; the KS also mentioned a “Business Arcade Machine” that would allow coin slots. Here’s the tweet:
— Shreveport Arcade (@318Arcade) September 18, 2017
For the game itself, it’s a little bit like Smash TV/Total Carnage meets Alien Syndrome for 1-2 players:
I reached out to the developer of WIHTF, Trey Cockrell of Heartfelt Games, to find out more information. Let’s jump in!
What led this project to become an arcade machine?
My personal favorite arcade games are the Metal Slug series, the D&D beat ’em up games, Gauntlet Legends, and Smash TV.
One day I was browsing a local sub-reddit /r/Shreveport and I saw a post looking for local game devs to make games to put into cabinets for a bar-cade type start-up called Shreveport Arcade (www.shreveportarcade.com). I thought it was neat and looked through my previous game prototypes and found one that I thought would fit for an arcade style game. That game was When It Hits the Fan, or at the time just “Zombie Game”. It had all the makings of a top down shooter without any decent graphics. I showed it off to Nolan Baker of Shreveport Arcade and he told me that it looked it, but the graphics and gameplay needed a bit of work. So I saved up and invested in graphics and music for the game, justifying it with “even if I don’t make any money selling it online, if I can sell a few cabinets, I can justify spending the money on assets for the game.” In short, the arcade version was the push that made me finish a game and justify investing in making it look and sound good.
In one week I have counted a couple hundred coin insertions (including a few free tokens we left behind to get things started).
That’s pretty good for initial earnings, based on what I’ve seen operating indie games before (of course, earnings always depends a lot on things like location, the game style, etc.)
Shreveport Arcade – Serving As The Arcade Publisher
The Shreveport Arcade location mentioned above has not opened the doors to their bar/arcade concept yet so the game as shown above is at the aforementioned Bear’s. The website for Shreveport Arcade mentions how they are an indie developer and from this tweet, it appears that they intend on filling their location with “local made” indie video arcade titles. That is certainly a unique way to stand out:
— Shreveport Arcade (@318Arcade) September 1, 2017
Getting back to When It Hits The Fan, interested parties can purchase the arcade game from Shreveport Arcade by sending an email to info (at) shreveportarcade.com. Pricing for the coin-op/commercial version varies as Shreveport can customize just about every aspect of the design for you – whether or not it will come with a PC/monitor (or you provide your own); if it comes with artwork or even a backdoor, wider cabinet, etc. They have a non-coin version that sells for “around $1300”.
The arcade version plays just like the PC one but you have a pair of arcade joysticks and it doesn’t access the Steam achievements nor the difficulty settings; the arcade build runs in Linux.
Nolan Baker of Shreveport Arcade did reach out to me to provide some of the extra details above and added:
There are a few other folks doing a similar thing. You should check them out as well. A guy named Mark Kleback makes indie cabs in New York City. RunJumpDev makes a indie multicade called the Lexitron in Lexington, KY. Flint and Tinder Studios make a indie multicade called the Tinder Box in Portland, OR. I don’t think any of those guys are making coin-ops, but they’re still worth a look.
What do you think about this game? Have you played it on Steam and wanted to enjoy it in a proper arcade setting? How about the Shreveport Arcade concept?