The Making of
To really trace back where this project began, we have to first go all the way back to the year 2005. In May that year I released Project Inthri 2, which was my third game, but the first I was really proud of. Having learned a lot more about flash, I figured my next project would revisit MikeMan and be a side-scroller.
During the summer of 2005 I made MikeMan Dash, but was unhappy with the overall progress on it. After a reworked version of the game, Wade vs The Star Syndicate was released to a surprisingly large amount of praise, getting monthly best game on Newgrounds, I decided to shelve Dash entirely.
Although only a few stages of MikeMan Dash were made, I had already planned out the entire game. Oddly enough, without consciously searching it for ideas, almost all of the plans made it into Hunters anyways. Stage 2 was to start with MikeMan walking up a city block shooting enemies, then end with a shmup area above the city. The third stage would start with MikeMan snowboarding down a mountain, then going into an icy cave, and finally being chased out by a large walker mech. The fourth and final stage would be an assault on the enemy headquarters, a mechanized castle floating in the sky. I guess I tend to have a one track mind with ideas.
MikeMan Dash had attempted to get around the difficulty of making a pure side-scroller with automatic scrolling, but that felt limiting and wasn't really the game I wanted to make. I wanted to make a pure Contra style game, the furthest result being
this, but complications with coding and spawning enemies and having them interact with the terrain caused me to again give up on the project.
In 2005, I also released Hunters: Episode 1. If you've played Stage 1 of the game and seen the movie, you'll no doubt notice a lot of similarities in setting between the two. In December I wrote most of the second episode, which similarly shares a lot with the second stage of the game, a snow covered planet, the underground palace, and a stone golem guarding the orbs. Eventually laziness won out though, and Hunters was put on ice for three years.
Skip ahead to 2008, almost immediately after releasing Project Inthri 3 I began getting ideas for a new platformer. To solve the issue of scrolling being difficult, I decided to try just making single screen areas, with a fairly small player character, as well as a new method for placing platforms so that I wouldn't have to measure things by pixels anymore. The following demos were worked on throughout spring and summer 2008.
Alpha 1 - The first test still used MikeMan. Spacebar to Jump, but there's nothing here.
Alpha 2 - Carina is brought in, and the ability to move between rooms is added.
Alpha 3 - Walls are added and the physics are adjusted.
Alpha 4 - Vertical rooms and the handgun are added. Z jump, X shoot.
Alpha 5 - Machine gun, rocket, and shotgun are added, but very basic.
Alpha 6 - More enemies, and the machine gun can push enemies.
Alpha 7 - The first few rooms begin to resemble stage 1.
Alpha 8 - More stage 1 enemies begin to take form.
Alpha 9 - This demo uses the map from the Polly game to get an early feel for what a full area would feel like. It's very difficult, so don't worry about beating it.
Having reached that point and being confident in the engine, it was time to build...Stage 1!