Bad Boro by PseudoZap is a family project on its way to crowdfunding
The video game industry has consolidated over the years, and acquisitions in 2022 increasingly show how lucrative, yet costly, development can be. Last month, Take-Two Interactive acquired Zynga for $12.7 billion, Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, and Sony acquired Bungie for $3.6 billion. Yet as the AAA scene continues to grow, indie games have thrived with unique concepts and crowdfunding support. Bad Boro is another title taking this route.
Described as a “sleek and intense twin-stick brawler” on its Kickstarter pre-launch page, Bad Boro has been called scrap metal supplier until a rebrand on December 15, 2021. This Kickstarter has been in the works for a while, but PseudoZap co-founders Peter Mosur and Konrad Messyasz (known as Zals Online) are self-describing like “perfectionists” waiting to finish their work. on a demo too. Mosur is past the point of offering potential fans an estimated arrival time, but he’s still “pretty confident with our game.” Game Rant spoke to Mosur and Messyasz about the history of their work on Bad Boro and where it is heading.
The family playing together
Mosur said video games have been “my main thing” all his life, and it’s how he bonded with Messyasz – his younger cousin – growing up. The two grew up in New York, Long Island and Brooklyn respectively, although Mosur is about 10 years older than Messyasz. “Our relationship has always been defined by video games,” Mosur said, pointing to family gatherings where he played. World of Warcraft alongside Messiasz playing Sonic Adventure 2 on GameCube.
However, while Mosur was interested in creative pursuits like writing and music from an early age, “nothing really worked out”. He felt that game development would be too difficult and went to business management school, then earned a master’s degree in emergency management. Yet the idea of being a programmer was always on his mind, having taken basic courses in Java and C++ in high school. “My problem was that I never had anything to work on,” Mosur said. “I wasn’t the type of person who could just study and hold on, I needed something to build on.”
Then one day he needed to work 50% off work and decided to go a self-taught route to learn how to program with his remaining 50%. He started spitting ideas with Messyasz, and they “crammed in every day” that summer to prepare a demo of scrap metal supplier for the Play NYC indie game festival in August 2018. This was right before Messyasz started attending college, following in his father’s footsteps to become an illustrator.
The game is fully realized with 2D drawn elements by Messyasz, from characters and backgrounds to effects, with Mosur ensuring it “looks exactly how Konrad wants it to look” when programming in GameMaker Studio; object layering and hitbox shaping. Mosur also handled the music for his Play NYC demo. They were both exhausted from the exertion, leading Messyasz to take a break to focus on school. However, when they met on Thanksgiving, Mosur said his cousin decided to give up and develop scrap metal supplier fulltime. “I was like, ‘Oh no, his parents are going to hate me,'” he said.
“But here we are, three or four years later. The progress he’s made is incredible, personally I think he’s gotten more experience working on this than he would have at the moment. school.”
A rose by another name
Although Messyasz is primarily focused on PseudoZap, Mosur still has a full-time job combining web development with emergency disaster management. They made steady progress, with Mosur praising the GameMaker Studio community for its “rich forums” and YouTube tutorials. However, he feels they’ve bitten off more than they could chew with a demo featuring an entire overworld district, the first “dungeon”, and a boss and mini-boss; even with a specialist UK garage musician helping their soundtrack capture its 1990s electronic vibe.
This aesthetic runs throughout the game. The story that PseudoZap crafted over four years will center on a futuristic “megacity”, designed like New York in the 90s and covered in graffiti inspired by its love of urban exploration, which is taken over by a rogue AI destined to usher in a society where everyone’s needs are met. “Coming up with ideas for this kind of futuristic sci-fi storyline is one of my favorite things in the world,” Mosur said.
Even though the cousins fell in love with scrap metal supplier as a representation of this premise before work began, they decided to change it because many people associate the term “scrap” with scrap metal. In November 2021, Polygon brought to light scrap metal supplier in a weekly roundup of work in progress that emphasized this “trash” angle, and PseudoZap followed with a Twitter poll to gauge whether its title conveyed the idea that Mosur and Messyasz had intended.
“It made us realize that if we wanted to change things, we really should do it now,” Mosur said. After brainstorming over 100 names, the duo chose Bad Boro for its alliteration, “punk vibe” and the way it resembles a troubled part of town. Mosur believes the rebranding reveal happened long before its nebulous demo release and crowdfunding campaign.
“It’s something we’re passionate about. It’s been over four years, so we’ve had a lot more time to develop our story. It took a lot more thought to decide that, compared to the original name that we chose when we found something good.”
Bad Boro looks to the future
This crowdfunding is still planned to go through Kickstarter from Game Rant’s conversation with PseudoZap in mid-January, with the goal of hiring help with art and sound design, as well as optimizing the code. and hopefully rehire the musician working on Bad Borois the demo. The planned Kickstarter rewards will likely go in the direction of backers who design graffiti or other in-game elements like NPCs, enemies, and mini-bosses, because “we like it when games do stuff like that.”
More than a year ago, Mosur said he and his cousin floated the idea of offering NFTs as backer rewards when the idea first burst into public consciousness. It was decided against thanks to negative press and ultimately “dumb technology” that would be redundant for the already limited support bonuses. Many indie developers also bristled at last year’s announcement that Kickstarter would develop an “open source protocol built on a public blockchain” in 2022, ultimately moving its website to this crypto-based framework. Mosur said, “It’s something I’ll have to look into, so we can see if it will affect us.”
Bad Boro is currently in development for PC.
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