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[Table] IAmA: I'm Oliver Hollis-Leick, lead writer and designer behind the new game, Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn.

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Date: 2014-04-21
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Questions Answers
Why doesn't Shaq just pay for the game? Why do you need our money? > First, yes, we have the money and could go out and make the game. We could do it solo, in secret, then release next year and cash in on Shaq's name. What we chose to do instead was to create a crowd funding campaign that would allow people to get involved with the actual creation of the game. The pledges aren't for nothing. We're not asking for charity. $15 gets you a half price copy of the game. Anything up from there and it just gets better. We're offering incredible perks like allowing people to voice characters in the game. We're offering people the chance to invest in the game and actually shape how it gets made. Once the campaign closes we'll be creating a private forum for backers where they can pitch their ideas, help us reflect on our own, and truly collaborate on how they want their project to go. That's a lot better than paying full price for a game and sitting on the sidelines, if you ask me.
Thats a good reason, didn't think of that. Link to ampp3d.mirror.co.uk
Hahaha very funny! :)
On a scale of 1 to Slam jammin', how hardcore will the dunks be? Slam jammin to the power of 34.
What piece of advice or info can you give for those that never played the original? Don't ever play the original.
So I'm ahead of the curve? Definitely. Protect your mind and just focus on our Shaq Fu!
I'll play this in the meantime. I'd steer well clear of that too, if I were you!
Next you'll be telling me not to watch Kazaam! Oh, I wouldn't say that. There's a phrase that goes "If a man does not know his past, he will inevitably repeat it." We don't want that now, do we...
I'm gonna go drink some Shaq soda and sit down to a double feature of Steel and Kazaam. You're in for a long night!
I think it's great that Shaq Fu is accepting Digital Currency Quark for in-game transactions making payments very easy. What is your opinion on that? Of course! It's fantastic! It's a real acknowledgement of the fact that the future is pressing upon us. Why hold back? Let's get our hands dirty and be part of making this stuff a real facet of modern transactions. Can I buy my in game purchases with Crypto currency? Hell yes! Quark coins accepted here!
Sweet, Shaq Fu made new fans for sure by accepting Digital Currencies, ShaQuark for the win :)) :)
Just Quarks? Or are there plans for Bitcoins, Litecoins or, just for the laughs, Dogecoins? Just Quarkcoins. It's a coin we have a lot of faith in and we think it's certainly the coin of choice. Their transaction speed and security is extremely good.
Chaos Dunk? Great name. Very possible!
The name comes from Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam Gaiden RPG. Amazing little game. I just watched the Youtube video. That's a hell of a finishing move!
Link to www.talesofgames.com. Oliver-- if you and the staff haven't seen this, this is where the Chaos Dunk reference comes from. Y'all should check this game out. Awesome!!!
Are there going to be unlockable costumes that give a nod to the big man's many nicknames? I would love to use the Big Aristotle or the Big Shaqtus. Yes! Powered up character modes for the nicknames!
Is Shaq going to be involved in the soundtrack? Either making music or helping choose music? Yes, Shaq WILL be involved in making the soundtrack!
I noticed you said the game will be a beat'em up style like the DMC series, have you ever played Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks? I highly recommend checking that game out for an example of a beat-em up with fighting game roots. Will check that game out.
Will the story have any ties to reality or is it purely fictional in regards to the setting? Shaq has played in many cities throughout his career, will we see any references to his playing days? Purely fictional. This Shaq Fu character is similar but different to the reality of the big man himself.
As a long time Shaq fan and owner of the original Shaq-Fu on SNES, I am really excited about this project. I wish your team the best! Thanks so much for the support!
In the Indiegogo, you said that there will be a powerup for "every nickname Shaq has ever had." Do you have a comprehensive list of Shaq nicknames? Who compiled it? Can we see it? Most of the nicknames were created by Shaq Daddy himself. You can search for Shaq names online and find pretty much all of them. Just imagine powering up into the Shaqtus, the Big Aristotle, or the Big Diesel. It's going to be amazing!
I remember playing the original game as a kid and thinking how horrible the controls are. Are you doing anything to remedy this or are you going to keep the controls somewhat the same? What was your view on the original? As stated in our developer video on the Indiegogo campaign page, we were very unimpressed by the original Shaq Fu. See A Legend Reborn as a total reinvention of the concept. Controls will be so much better. We'll be going with the usual format that gamers are comfortable with. Not too complex. Very intuitive. Smart, easy, fast. That's our plan.
Will Rick Fox be in the game? Will this game be a 1v1 fighting game like the old or an action beat em up like final fight? What kind of fighting game engine will this title have? This is going to be a classic beat 'em up for the new generation of gamers. The engine is still under development but it should feel like DMC in a beat 'em up suit. Rick Fox is not currently signed up to play a role in the game :)
Are any of the playable characters from the original appearing in this remade version? Our vision is to create a whole new set of characters that will have their own legacy, however, we may well be seeing one or two cameos from the original faces.
I'll be pumped to see at EVO, Shaq Fu Grand Finals: Shaq vs Sett Ra. That would be amazing. Absolutely!
I gather that the game will no longer be a 1vs1 fighter but instead it'll be a beat'em up... Correct. The game is going to be a 3D beat 'em up.
You mentioned that you will be creating a private forum for the backers where they can pitch their ideas to the dev team. Will you also be giving them access to alpha or beta testing? Edit: I just saw that $45 gets you access to beta testing. So I guess my only question is whether or not you guys have a timeline for that stage? It depends on the perks they purchased. We will be honouring those perks that list alpha testing as part of the package. Anyone else will be able to see developments and get updates on progress and news from within the dev team. We want to bring people in on the action as much as possible.
Thanks for the response. Would you go on record as saying you want to bring people in on the "Shaqtion?" For the record "We, at Big Deez, want to bring people in on the Shaqtion! Let's Shaqtivate plan Shaq Fu!"
I'm confident y'all have both the Shaqumen and the Shaqsperience to make this game worthy of press Shaqqolades. I salute you, sir.
Since the original was essentially devoid of one what do you have in mind for the plot so far? The plot is going to be epic. Very tongue in cheek. I like to reference Big Trouble in Little China. It knows how to make fun of itself. You can't put a basketball player in a fighting game and make it straight. It's going to be a laugh out loud experience.
What kind of games would you compare this new Shaq-Fu to? Where are you guys drawing your inspiration from? I grew up on some old school classics like Streets of Rage. I used to love games like that. The arcade feel that is lacking in so many game now. I would say that our major inspirations, beyond Streets of Rage and other games like it, are things like DMC, Ninja Gaiden, and Street Fighter. Love the fast paced, highly responsive and satisfying fight styles. It's all about responsiveness. You wanna hit those buttons and feel the combos lashing out on the enemies.
How much DLC are you expecting to add? The crowdfunding page says that it will be worth over $200 total. Is it really going to be worth that much? DLC is going to be a big part of how we want to keep Shaq Fu alive after its initial release. It's not just a 'fire and forget' type of project. We want it to be continually developing and progressing with DLC content to keep it burning. Our backers will have a lot of say in the type of DLC we create but we're talking levels, characters, apparel, weapons, unique items, mods, all kinds of stuff.
Why a SNES Reproduction cart and not Genesis? I see so many Nintedo reproductions, but not Sega. Also, what sort of characters should are VO perk donators going to voice? We went with what seemed to be the most popular. We could certainly consider doing a genesis version if it seems that people really want one. There are going to be so many great characters that will be voice by the VO perk holders. It's really important to us that we give those backers something they can be proud of and that feels like they really are part of history.
Did you have to alter the doorways in order to get shaq into the building you're working in? We just use the loading bay.
I guess now that I think of it, SNES cart of Shaq Fu are rarer than Sega, so SNES is probably best because someone might do fakes down the line of the Sega ones saying they were the limited reproduction and try to sell them when they weren't. That's a good thought. I would be inclined to agree with you.
Did you just reply to yourself? Fishy. Nope.
Will this game acknowledge how bad the first one was? I think there's enough room in the game for a little reflection on painful past lives :)
When are you planning to release the game? And will we see some gameplay anytime soon? Game will be released in 2015. We can't release gameplay footage until we get neck deep into production. A game goes through a multitude of developmental stages before it looks anything like the finished article.
What current fighting game would you say Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn draws the most inspiration from in terms of mechanics? It's difficult to pin it down to just one. I would think of something like DMC, or Ninja Gaiden, in terms of that fast paced whoop ass kind of action. Lots of people have named God Hand as something to refer to. I took a look and it certainly has some similarities to the kind of mechanic we want.
You just referenced God Hand. Shut up and take my money (oh wait you already did) :)
What's it like working with Shaq? Has he made this face yet: Link to www.miscupload.com. Working with Shaq is awesome! He made that face when we told him we could remake Shaq Fu, only a million times better!
How big of a part was Shaq in the creation of the game? Our guys met with Shaq at his house and talked through the kind of project they wanted to make. Shaq is very keen to be involved in the whole process. His humour and personal flavour is going to be woven throughout the game. It's not just about getting his name and face, it's about getting his personality and flare into the project.
Are there any golden cartridges left? Yes. Get over there now and grab one! Link to www.indiegogo.com
Will there be various suits the characters can wear as perks? Shaq has a line of suits for non-Shaq sized people. There are definitely going to be alternative outfits and there's no good reason we can't have something like that. Suggest it in the private backers group once we open the forum!
I'm on student loan money, dude! Maybe for Shaq Fu: 2 Shaq 2 FUrious I will be able to donate. A Shaq Fu racing game. That's an interesting idea... :)
For the voice over perk, what will contributors actually voice? (Ex. Background noises, a character, etc.) Oh, definitely characters! This is not a cheap shot perk where we get people to voice a creaking door. These are going to be lines in the game, spoken by characters.
What type of game is this supposed to be? Will it be a similar format to the original or maybe a beat 'em up style? Beat 'em up style. Classic, solid, awesome gameplay.
Is there any way I can get this put on a t-shirt? Second, will there be a lot of dunking on Charles Barkley involved. Sure. There is a T-shirt perk on Indiegogo: Link to www.indiegogo.com Dunking on Chuck would be a dream come true!
When choosing to make games I played as a kid; what made you choose shaq fu? Was it really at the top of your childhood ignored ips? Basically, tell me why I should give you money to give me a sequel for a game that I originally regretted buying? (For reference, there are tons of snes ips that have been ignored that could be more fun. Primal Rage, Fighters History, hell even Brutal Paws of Fury (A silly game with unique features released the exact same year) would have peaked my interest more that shaq fighting a mummy. [Edit] from your other answrs it looks like you're not even making a fighting game. You're making a beat 'em up..? Now I am even more confused. Hey. So it just so happened that our development company have contacts that work for Shaq. Our CEO, Matt Karch, came up with the idea of working together with Shaq to make a video game. Matt met with Shaq and they both agreed they wanted to do something. After several hours of discussion it seemed that the one idea that everyone kept coming back to was to make a new Shaq Fu. We think that the beat 'em up genre has been somewhat neglected and we wanted to go down that route. Shaq was up for the adventure and we all decided to go for it. That's how the idea came about. This game is going to be nothing like the original. Same name, different animal.
What was the inspiration to bring such an obscure franchise back from the dead? I can't image there was much of a groundswell, even among old-school gamers. We really wanted to make a beat 'em up game, just like the classics. We felt that the genre had been somewhat neglected. We were put in touch with Shaq and discussed the possibility of making Shaq Fu and he was totally down with it. It's not going to be anything like the original. Not a sequel at all. This is simply a chance to do something really creative with someone as great as Shaq.
Will this game be released for next gen only? No. It's guaranteed a PC release, and, if we hit our goal, then it's going to be released on PS4. PS3, Wii U, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.
How big a part will Artem be playing in the development of this game? Artem has been a fantastic source of creativity so far. We hope that he'll continue to be a part of this all the way to the end.
Hey, if I pledge money for the game and it meets it's goal, do I get the game for a console, or is it just pc? You'd get it for PC and the console of your choice!
This is awesome! Can't believe you guys are remaking this. Are there still more voice over spots available? Thanks! We're really excited about it. And, yes! As of this moment there are 47 VO perks left before we lock it down.
Do you see Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn being played competitively in the future? Definitely. We are holding a Shaq Fu tournament next year where people can actually compete against Shaq!
Why do you need to crowdfund when, assuming he's in any way involved, you have one of the biggest men with an equal-sized wallet (and dong) seemingly gung-ho about the game? I'm really glad you asked this question. First, yes, we have the money and could go out and make the game. We could do it solo, in secret, then release next year and cash in on Shaq's name. What we chose to do instead was to create a crowd funding campaign that would allow people to get involved with the actual creation of the game. The pledges aren't for nothing. We're not asking for charity. $15 gets you a half price copy of the game. Anything up from there and it just gets better. We're offering incredible perks like allowing people to voice characters in the game. We're offering people the chance to invest in the game and actually shape how it gets made. Once the campaign closes we'll be creating a private forum for backers where they can pitch their ideas, help us reflect on our own, and truly collaborate on how they want their project to go. That's a lot better than paying full price for a game and sitting on the sidelines, if you ask me.
Are there going to be a lot of catch phrases or references to his real life or basketball career or possibly kazam references? Catch phrases are going to be abundant! It's Shaq after all!
Any Kazam references or is he still sore about that? Kazam is a protected IP, which means we can't just throw it in there. However, Shaq has a great sense of humour and I'm sure he knows how to handle a joke. We'll have to see... :)
Ok thanks i know he has a great sence of humor but when it comes to kazam i wasnt sure... Link to www.youtube.com. :D.
Any other NBA player in the game or will you just stick with Shaq and various monsters? It's a complicated affair getting anyone famous to be part of a game. We're totally open to anything here but it depends on a lot of factors that are out of our control. Watch this space!
Holy shit i was Just playing Shaq Fu last night! Why are you remaking it? If you were playing it last night then you should know exactly why we're remaking it! :) It desperately needs reincarnation in a fully functioning body!
Heard you guys were incorporating Quark into shaqfu? How do you imagine it working? Quark will be a payment option for in-game purchases. We're very excited about it. It will be fast, seamless, and easy to use. We're working closely with Quark who will help us integrate the necessary tech into the game.
In all times ive played over the year, ive never learned any combos or special attacks. I pull out the Snes to show the next generation where games came from. My little niece is 10 and she thinks its all started with the Wii. What platforms are you releasing on? I totally get you. I started out on a ZX81 and had to program all my games! I'm only 31 but when everyone else had the latest consoles, I was on my atari 2600 in 1988. My parents did what they could but that stuff was expensive. I used to play Pitfall, Frogger, Tutenkamun, Battlezone. I know exactly where video games began! We'll be releasing on PC. If we hit our base goal then we'll be going live on PS4, Wii U, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360.
Daaamn, your gaming history is way better than mine! Is the game going to be an arcade game on Psn like the Ducktales re-release? Any other new characters like Shazam or Kobe? PS.. also on Steam? It's definitely going to be a digital purchase on the various gaming platforms. Characters like Shazam and Kobe are intellectual property which means, as much as we may want to, that we can't just throw them in. We have a lot of great ideas and we're going to try and find a way to get all the good stuff in the game!
Well thanks man i look forward to playing! got a price point yet? Thank you! You can grab the game right now on Indiegogo for $15 while the campaign is still running. When it's released it will be priced at around $30.
You watch the Power Rangers growing up? I did.
The Green/White Ranger, Jason David Frank is going to be in an episode coming up. I'm pumped. Cool! I remember him as being the most serious. Didn't he have a pony tail?
I'm a big fan of very difficult, very brutal games, right from the start. Is Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn going to have an excruciatingly difficult option from the beginning of the game? IE will we get a "Choose Your Difficulty" screen that says, "Kobe, Medium, Hard, Shaq" choices, maybe with "The Big Aristotle" mode as an unlockable, ultra-difficult setting? I love this idea. We were always going to have lots of difficulty settings but the names you've chosen are very witty! There will absolutely be a mode for people with a death-wish!
Do you intend to make the player vs player combat be balanced for competitive tournament play? Yes.
Now how do you guys really think you can make a better game then the absolute classic that is Shaq Fu? Well... let's just say we have a gut feeling.
Any hot babes in the game? I kinda wanna see the return of Kaori from the original Shaq Fu. Kaori has been requested a number of times. She was a cool character. We're definitely considering bringing one or two faces back from the grave but we've got some fantastic ideas lined up for the new cast. We think people will love them.
Are there any secrets hidden in the game that you can tell us about? Secrets... afraid not. Got to keep 'em secret. All I can say is that there ARE secrets, and one or two of them are BIG!
I just want to know if Shaq will eventually have to fight Barkley as a boss sometime in the game. That would be telling... :)
Is shaq aware of the game? Shaq is very much aware of the game. It was partly his idea.
So you got to work with shaq? So jelly. :)
I had a question about one of the perks on Indiegogo. I wanted to pledge $35 for the DLC and exclusive character, and I wanted to know if it comes with the digital trading card, or do I have to purchase that seperately? You'll get the trading card too!
I saw that your Facebook page is giving people a chance to meet Shaq if they like it. Really? Of course!
So we just like the page and we get picked randomly to meet him? If so, that's awesome. You got it!
1: Any plans for NBA stars to make cameos or anything? It'd be cool to see some other Dream Team players make appearances. Plans: It's definitely possible. As you can imagine, there are certain negotiations that would have to take place to implement that. We are open to everything.
2: Dunk special moves. This isn't a question. Make it happen. Dunk special moves. Duh! Of course! :)
Yeah, in all seriousness, it looks like they care what we think and want. So that's pretty sweet. Definitely. We're always listening to what our backers, and the gaming community, want from our game. We really believe we can make this game in a new and fantastic way by collaborating with the people who will actually buy and play it. We really believe that gamers know what they want and don't want to be spoon fed the latest fads.
Not really a question, but a comment. Reading this thread makes me very happy that I spent a significant portion of my tax return in order to be a part of this project. No regrets. Let's make this game be amazing. You're the man! Thanks a lot for your support!
You should have a special move called "Green Egg and Ham It" :)
I pledged 50 dollars. No question, just wanted to say I'm actually really looking forward to the game, it looks good. :) Thanks so much for the support!
Have you met shaquille o'neal yet, and if you have, how astounded were you by his sheer size? I haven't but Matt Karch has, more than once, and he's a big guy. I'd say Matt was pretty damn astounded.
Last updated: 2014-04-25 16:01 UTC
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Owning the Entire Bitcoin Mining Stack with Alex Leigl of Layer1 HASHR8 Podcast #113

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