This article is part of Pixeljam’s 10 Year Anniversary MEGAMONTH, and we’re doing a semi-chronological retrospective on every one of our games each day of the week. You can read them all HERE.
Hipster Kickball was by the far the largest for-hire project Pixeljam had taken on. We had always wanted to make a sports-themed game, and kickball seemed like a good contender since the AI involved seemed manageable and at the time there was sort of a kickball revival going on, particularly in the more “self-aware” pockets of various cities.
Making this game was incredibly fun and also extremely painful. It would be nice to end on a positive note, so lets tackle the not-fun stuff first:
We were aware that we would need to spend a lot of time on the AI to get it right, but we had no idea what a monster it would be. When you create your own original game mechanic you have some wiggle room on the logic that controls how that world acts, since it’s YOUR world and no one really knows how it’s supposed to work except you. However, when you have to re-create the rules of an extremely well known sport, there is no room to wiggle!
We wiggled for a very long time, and well after the game launch as well. UGG.
Okay, so the fun part: coming up with all the characters types, dialogue and animations. Social satire is a lot of fun, especially when there are equal parts hipster and hippie deep inside of you… and by YOU I mean ME.
This was also the first time we worked with Jeffrey Nielson, who would later be the lead artist on our Dino Run 2 campaign. Jeffrey and Graham did an amazing job with the huge amount of animation the game required, producing some of my favorite animated gifs from any of our games:
Would we want to create another sports simulator? Probably not… but I’m glad we got to do it at least once.