Indie Developer Showcase: Matthew King – Throw-Down Town

Indie Developer Showcase: Matthew King – Throw-Down Town

Matthew King is an artist turned game developer and is currently working on the awesome action game Throw-Down Town. Matthew has been nice enough to answer some questions and give us an insight into his life in gaming and into the development of his arena survival game, Throw-Down Town. So shall we start with the questions?

Is Throw-Down Town the first game you’ve made?

I have been designing games for the last 17 years. My hard drive is full of demos I have created over those years, but Throw-down Town is the first game that I am trying to take all the way and finish. It’s something I have always struggled with as a game developer and one I am finally learning to take control of. Starting projects is great because it’s fresh and new, but if no one plays it, it’s really all for nothing.

To make games you have to be passionate about them not just as a hobby. What was the catalyst that made you want to develop games and not just enjoy them as a gamer?

As a kid, I was always making up scenarios with my action figures, exploring the fields behind our houses with friends and going on imaginary adventures with my sister. That’s world building and world building goes hand in hand with game design. On top of that, I’ve been drawing my whole life and it turns out art is super important for game design and being able to create my own hand drawn art is a damn god send and an indie developer. I wouldn’t say there was anything that pushed me to do it other then that creation is an outlet that has always been with me and I don’t see a creative outlet medium more powerful in our life than personal interactive experiences like the games we create for others to experience.


Do you have a ”Game Of The Year” so far this year?

The only game I have played this year are Spelunky, Pacman 256 and dragon ball fighters and Monster Hunter world. My ps4 broke which is probably great for my game design anyway as it’s less distraction. I’m not huge into AAA games and usually end up playing indie games or fighting games. Spelunky is still something I play daily and one of the most influential and perfect games I’ve played. I dare anyone to make a game with more replay value including myself. 

What is your all time game/series and why is it your favourite?

Marvel Vs Capcom holds a sweet spot for me. I’m extremely competitive and fighting games gives an intense one on one experience you can’t get in any other game genre. It’s a very personal experience that only fighting game player understand and love. Specifically, Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3, but grew up with 2 and still have my disc somewhere. My first copy of UMVC3 is worn out, cracked on the wall in a frame with Ryu’s signature on it.

5. Okay so Throw-Down Town is your current project. Can you tell us about the game and where did the idea come from?

The game started out as a Pac-man clone believe it or not. I quickly realised that no one wants to play an upscale Pac-man and if they do, they play Pac-man. I quickly shifted gears and drop the pellets and added axes, the rest is history. As far as the arena type battle game, I grew up playing Super Smash TV which I loved. I was also blown away the first time I played RYSE arena mode where you play a gladiator and I am trying to compete with the audio and immersion that game creates, but in a 2D hand drawn world.

How long have you been developing Throw-Down Town?

About a month now, my art is usually what makes it seem longer. I create high quality hand drawn animations very quickly and it makes the game look way more finished than it is. Trust me, I have work to do!

Throw-Down Town has a very distinctive art-style, what inspired it?

In all honesty, character design is my favourite part of game design and so when it’s time to create art I draw whatever the hell I want. This is the beauty of being an indie game developer who doesn’t work for a huge corporation. If I want to put a carrot monster in my game with a flame thrower who has angel wings tonight, I can do it. As far as the style, I find making things a little simple makes it easier to animate them. I can make super realistic proportions, I’ve been drawing my whole life, but I’m also only one guy trying to make a game. I have to do myself a favour somewhere, so I tend to stick to cartoony styles. This doesn’t mean I cut corners, I have hand drawn everything, no spine vector animations, all frame by frame.

So what platforms can we expect to play Throw-Down Town on? Looks perfect for the Nintendo Switch.

I have never developed a game for a console and honestly don’t know the first thing about doing so. I am not a programmer, I am an artist first so many technical things are learned as needed. If the demand created itself, I would most likely search for a programmer to help with a port, but good luck to anyone willing to rehash an artists janky code.

What do you think people will enjoy most about playing Throw-Down Town?

The game is played using one button. You have 4 directional movement, and you have a button to interact with things, that’s it. So many games have super convoluted control schemes today and I really want to get back to basic arcade style controls. This is not to say that the game is simple. The game has a systemic design in mind meaning that everything has potential to interact with everything else creating some truly dynamic situations in a seemingly simple looking world. For instance, you might pick up a candle and throw it at an enemy. The candle would burst into pieces and the burning wick might land on a table. The table would then catch fire and grenades and wine bottles on the table would catch fire reacting accordingly. by creating complex systemic design aspects for the world like interacting objects, it turns a rather simple game concept into a dynamic world where your choices have permanence and real weight.

Do you have an ETA on release yet?

I am way to early into development to even say when the game will be finished, and I defiantly don’t cut corners. If I gave a release date a month after working on a game, then I’ve learned nothing in the last 17 years of design. The game will be done when it’s done and the more care I put into it, the greater it will be.

Now for a couple of fun ones.

Would you prefer leg sized fingers or finger sized legs?

Finger sized legs because if I had giant fingers, I wouldn’t be able to make sweet ass art for my games!

Would you rather fight 1 horse sized duck or 50 duck sized horses?

I have a black-belt in Taekwondo, but I don’t think that will save me in a 50 v 1 situation. ONE. GIANT. DUCK. LETS GO!!!!

Matthew is clearly on to something with Throw-Down Town as it looks so good already and bursting with character. We will be bringing you regular updates on Matthew and his games development so stay tuned to Any Button Gaming for more.

You can go see how the progress is going yourself by following Matthew on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

If you like this why not check out our Indie Developer Showcases with Matthew DelineHIDEJI_COMobile Arcade and Asobi.tech


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