Local multiplayer games hold a special place in the heart of many. Past generations grew up on games like Goldeneye, Mario Party and Super Smash Bros.
But splitscreen and party games have fallen out of favor recently in favor of online multiplayer.
Developers Todd Enyeart and Andrew Rabbe have spent eight months working on the game with the rest of their team. They called Flub Fighter a “mash up” of Super Smash Bros. and Gang Beasts.
“We needed some kind of twist,” Enyeart said. “We decided to have it so you can only be injured or killed by the environment.”
That made level design an important and challenging part of the game. Five levels have already been completed, and five more are in the works.
“A lot of it’s about flow,” Rabbe said. “We needed to have something everywhere that you can punch an enemy into.”
That includes a map with a giant disco ball of death that descends midway through the game and shoots lasers in every direction.
Killing your own character in the game isn’t penalized, which Enyeart said can lead to some inventive strategies. One of the game’s match types, Suicide Kings, even challenges players to see how quickly they can kill their flubs.
Getting the controls just right was another challenge, Rabbe said. The team had to balance having the characters “feel like ‘Flubs'” while still having precise enough controls to not be frustrating.
Rabbe recommends using Xbox or Playstation controllers for the game, but its controls are also rigged to accommodate keyboard use.
Unlike Super Smash Bros., Flub Fighter’s characters all have the same capabilities; they all move, jump and punch the same. The game does drop items into matches at random, including freeze grenades and a “hot potato bomb” that can be passed around before it detonates.
Enyeart and Rabbe said they’ve considered allowing cosmetic upgrades to characters, and that may factor into their pricing model if they’re greenlit. Flub Fighter went up on Steam Greenlight at the end of February, but it’s still short of the necessary votes.
“We’re not exactly where we want to be with it,” Rabbe said, “but we’re hoping Comicon will help us push over that edge.”
You can check out Flub Fighter and more than a dozen other games from local developers from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 28-30 in the Gilbert Room at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix.