Get a look at Galloping Ghost's Dark Presence at the upcoming GarasuNoShiCon 2010 Anime Convention

Shaggy June 29, 2010 8

[Thanks to contributor Aaron Auzins for the info]

It’s been a long time coming but the independently made arcade fighter Dark Presence will finally be going public on July 18th at the upcoming GarasuNoShiCon 2010 event, in Perrysburg, Ohio. According to Aaron:

“…Galloping Ghost Productions will kick off the start of GarasuNoShiCon’s Sunday panels with “Independent Video Game Development” from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The team will allow attendees to get an inside look at Dark Presence by showcasing the filming and development process. Attendees will be able to talk with the team and ask question to the creator, actors and developers about the process of making an independent video game.”

This will include a small green screen setup for a demonstration along with a possible prototype cabinet. Galloping Ghost isn’t saying yet if they will have a playable build running on this cabinet (it probably depends upon how they feel about the build around the time of the event) but there is a chance that it will be a demo version with a small handful of playable characters. Most of the recent work on the game has involved audio development, which I will post some more details on after the break. To further show their arcade love (and to promote the opening of the Galloping Ghost Arcade)

The daytime view of Treton's level in Dark Presence (click for full view)

GG will also be bringing some arcade cabinets for people to play, along with their vendor table. A little more on what to expect from the guests at the show can be found here. Also in case you are wondering more about what events can be found at the show(there are actually several video game related panels that will be taking place), check out Glasscitycon’s Events page here.

In case you have missed our previous coverage on Dark Presence, click here. The game is slated for a launch sometime this year. Galloping Ghost’s website is here.

If you are wondering what has been going on recently with the development of Dark Presence (with a couple more pictures) as well as the new Galloping Ghost Arcade and the challenges they have faced in opening that business, hit the break for the details.

Aaron Auzins elaborates further on what has been going on with Dark Presence:

“Dark Presence development is moving forward. The last few times I have talked to Doc, he has mentioned a number of long hours spent recording audio and

Prototype of one of the models players can win from a Dark Presence cabinet

implementing it into the game. Since the development team is working in multiple sound effects for the same move/reaction, this includes the reel of finishing maneuvers, which features about an hour and a half of footage. The reasoning for the multiple sound effects is because of the different environments and weather conditions. For example, the sound of a character hitting pavement would sound different than the character hitting a wood or metal floor, so this is being implemented into the gameplay along with every single finishing maneuver. This further expands into the different weather conditions, such as crunching snow. With the extensive amount of conditions and finishing move footage, this process has been taking up most of the team’s recent development time.

Back in March, Doc stated: “We have completed our greenscreening of finishing moves, which leaves us with a lot of editing still but its huge step to completing everything. We have been working heavily on sound in the last weeks. We did not record any audio when we filmed so, we have to add in offensive grunts and reaction moans, hit sounds, blood sounds, and ambient noise (stuff like chains on costumes), for over an hour and a half of the finishing move videos. We are again paying very close attention to the detail and changing up the sound effects from character to character..for example. If Trenton hits Titan in the face it will have a heavier sound than if he hits Kyla, and different still if he hit Vamphyrial as his mask should not sound like flesh being hit. Its subtle but its makes a big difference when you see it running. “

A shot of the gutter on the Trenton level shows how many small details each level has(click to enlarge)

In early May, Doc did note certain maneuvers for the game are being refilmed. He joked with me about getting back into shape to match his appearance he had during the initial filming period (he’s a pretty fit gentleman that hits the gym quite frequently). This meant the team would have to spend a little more time with all of the actors and actresses, so this is another process Galloping Ghost has recently been involved with.”

As for what is going on with the development of the Galloping Ghost Arcade(click on the link for the website), due to open later this summer:

“Most of the team’s work recently has been in opening its first arcade in Brookfield, IL, which is shooting for a late summer opening. I was able to visit the arcade in early May and things are looking promising for the venue. Galloping Ghost Arcade is located along a business strip in Brookfield at a sizable 6,000 square foot storefront that previously housed a billiard hall. The location was literally packed with standup arcade cabinets from the ’80s and ’90s – the cabinets were lined up throughout the entire building with only small spaces to walk between them, so the 150-ish cabinets promised at the arcade isn’t just hot air. The team was able to pick these up a extremely good deals, but this means the crew is left to do a lot of repairs – if you are interested, though, you can track their repair and new cabinet acquisition progress at Doc Mack’s Facebook page (!/profile.php?id=1594581910).

The nature of the arcade will be paying per hour of play. Due a city regulation in Brookfield prohibiting any business from having more than six coin-operated machines, Galloping Ghost is setting the cabinets to free play (or rigging the cabinet with an external button to feed credits in certain cases) and utilizing this method of operation. With further investments through a partner, Doc also explained there will be a front counter area featuring console games people can come in and purchase, much like any games store. Also, in regard to consoles, the location is still planned to feature console areas that guests can pay to play on, similar to a LAN center setup.

Rounding out the feature set of the arcade, Doc has made mention of this feature on the down low a couple of times, but I was able to take a look at the progress of the “green room” being set up in the back of the arcade. The room had been freshly painted when I was able to visit the location, so I didn’t get to wander in, but the function

Treton's level at night. Dark Presence will change the level's weather based upon local weather reports via the internet connection, or the time of day based upon the internal clock

of the room will be to allow gamers to be filmed and be put into a special cabinet as a playable character. Using Dark Presence as a foundation, Galloping Ghost will be working on another cabinet that will be a “trimmed-down” Dark Presence. Guests at the arcade can pay a yet-to-be-determined fee to undergo a short filming process and following some editing by the Galloping Ghost team, their data will be put into a special fighting game cabinet, which will be filled with selectable fighters that result from those undergoing this filming process. Doc noted the frames per second will be dramatically reduced for this version in order to make the editing and implementation feasible, but he wasn’t able to spill too many more details at this time.Of course, a grand opening event is being planned for the arcade, which I’m sure Doc will share with us once it has been determined.

I’m glad to hear they were able to find a way around that silly local law – one has to wonder which genius simply decided upon six games and why does Brookfield hate arcades so much? 😉


  1. Neil Brimelow June 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    I’m glad that an American company is at least attempting to make an arcade game, and I’m glad to see that the company is putting a lot of effort into the game, but honestly, the game looks like a “fan film,” with one of the characters even looking like the overweight “Star Wars kid” from youtube fame.

    The game’s biggest problem? It looks like it’s from 1997.

    Compare DP to the new Mortal Kombat 9.

    The newest Mortal Kombat (9) looks awesome in comparison.

    It’s a shame that the new Mortal Kombat isn’t coming out in arcades.

    • Shaggy June 29, 2010 at 5:53 pm - Reply

      I’m still holding out for seeing the game in full motion or see it live. I don’t think that it is easy to judge based upon screenshots for something like this although I like the backgrounds which are in 3D. We’ll have to see how the 2D characters in front of that looks (I guess you could sort of use BlazBlue as a comparison which had 3D backgrounds, w/ 2D albeit hand-drawn characters, correct?)

      But like you say, it’s good to see a new company working on something and to have a company develop a fighter. Unfortunately when I think of Japanese arcade fighters these days all I think of is “eventual console port”

      • yeehawmckickass June 30, 2010 at 2:58 am - Reply

        Anymore, it’s not even “eventual” console port, it’s “outside possibility of an Arcade port”.

        I’ve been up to GG’s arcade a couple times to help them with some of the restoration/cleaning. It’s slow going given how crappy of shape most of the cabinets are in. Of the stuff that works now, it’s in really good shape.

        The Brookfield law about coin-op is very odd, but better than Orland Park’s outright ban on coin-op. The flat rate charge could work out well given the bar crowd of 26-40 year olds that tend to be in the area.

    • Shaggy June 29, 2010 at 6:00 pm - Reply

      And yes, MK9 in arcades would rock.

  2. nestlekwik June 30, 2010 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    I find it hilarious that there are people who still believe this game isn’t real. Also, people are getting way too hung up over the cast and costumes featured in the game. Of course, it looks like it is from 1997 – it is taking a development concept popular at that time and revamping it for 2010. Mortal Kombat does look great, but you are comparing real-time video to a couple of still photographs. Like Shaggy said, I am eagerly awaiting some footage of this game in action. I was able to see a live loop of two characters in their neutral stance and it looked great – now I want to see some action.

    Also, yes, Dark Presence won’t be able to come to consoles in this form. I believe the finishing move footage alone breaks the data restriction for any console format (when I visited the studio in 2009, they were talking about needing to go out and buy more terabyte drives).

  3. Neil Brimelow June 30, 2010 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    Do you realize what you’re saying? If an arcade game relied on several TERABYTE drives to operate, it wouldn’t last a week in the field.

    Furthermore, if they’re doing standard video capture for the characters, then a Terabyte would hold like FIFTY DAYS worth of HD video capture. That’s full frame HD, not the cutout frame of the character that would require 1/10th the space to store.

    Then there is the issue of the costumes. You have to realize that Mortal Kombat didn’t have a large budget when it was put together back in ’92. They used biker masks and did the best they could for their limited budget.

    With DP, the costumes look like people doing Cosplay at a sci-fi convention.

    I am curious as to why we haven’t seen ANY footage of this game in action. It’s been YEARS now since the project was first announced.

  4. nestlekwik June 30, 2010 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    We haven’t seen any footage of this game in action because people are jumping all over the game’s appearance (i.e. making fun of the costumes, labeling it as a worst game ever made, etc.) based on a couple of pre-alpha screenshots. Because of the initial response from the first batch of screens, Galloping Ghost now refuses to release any media until they feel it 100% represents the quality they are looking for.

    Mortal Kombat may not have had a large budget, but I guarantee it was far larger than Galloping Ghost has to work with. I don’t care if people like the costumes or not, but people are basing their judgments of the entire game based solely on this aspect. That’s ridiculous.

    Also, the studio needs multiple terabytes because it is working on multiple games simultaneously, such as the sequel to Dark Presence, Conquering Light, which I got to see a good amount of footage from. I kind of erroneously generalized that in my last post, but, still, Doc outright told me Dark Presence in its current form couldn’t be done on consoles.

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