Submitted By:
Dejobaan Games, LLC
Watch Their Video
Game Type:
Core
Game Platform:
Windows
Class:
Professional
Credits:
Ichiro Lambe

Team Leader

Dan Brainerd

Gameplay Architect

Greg Murphy

PR Intern

Ryan Chadwick

Art Intern

Tamlyn Miller

Tech Intern

Game Title:
AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!!
A Reckless Disregard for Gravity
Game Description:

The jumps you make off buildings floating above Boston, Massachusetts are all about style and timing. You perform stunts, weaving around the bustling City for points, making split-second decisions: do you snake around those girders to earn a dozen “kisses,” or glide along the side of that steel super-skyscraper for massive “hugs”?



Aaaaa! then throws in the spectators — as you fall, give fans the thumbs-up and protesters the finger. And if you’re hungry for a bit of civil disobedience, you can even ready the spraypaint and tag government buildings for points.



The game will also teach you how to debristle a pig.



What was your inspiration for making the game?

Our Gameplay Architect saw this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttz5oPpF1Js



Falling down the sides of mountains in squirrel suits? Really!? I mean, yikes. I don’t even ski. This is insane! Let’s make a game out of it. Now, how do we capture the fun of BASE jumping without the wind and the threat of bodily injury?



How is your game unique from others out there?

Aaaaa!’s gameplay is about creating your own sequences of stunts and flipping people off. Our goal was to create a game that had some depth to it once you got good at it.



Over the course of the game, you’ll evolve an overall jumping style and come up with tactics to support that — do you impress the judges by hugging that skyscraper and making your way across three lanes of traffic? Or are you more about the lateral motion, kissing dozens of buildings and threading the needle? Either way works.
 


It’s also (to my knowledge) the only game with an unlockable meditation track. You know — 3 minutes of guided relaxation in case the game stresses you out too much. It also includes an unlockable anti-meditation track, if you’re getting too relaxed. Think about your ears for a moment. Are there insects crawling in, on, or around them? Probably not. We took that attitude and applied it to the rest of the game. Elevator music in the level selection screen and all that.
 


We had fun with it.



How long did it take you to make your game?

9 months. Like a human baby.



What was the hardest part about making it?

If we screwed this up, we wouldn’t have a company. The pressure was on, because we knew that this would be a defining game for us. It made taking chances trickier. I hate playing it safe, because it makes for a boringer game.



Any other unique or interesting facts about your game we should know about?

We used what we call the Offshoot Method to develop the game, basically taking our 2004 title, Inago Rage, and saying “Well, how can we make a completely  different experience out of it?”



How did you pick the name of your game?  Did you have any others in mind?

I always say that marketing is game development is marketing. The way we portray our games should come through when we talk to people about it. A name should be interesting, memorable, and descriptive — a game about jumping off of a perfectly good building in a flimsy wingsuit should be exciting.
 


We had plenty of other ideas. The working title was Low Altitude, and we considered a bunch of others:
 

  • Screaming and Falling
  • AaaAaaAaa!
  • Deploy Parachute for Hot Chicks
  • Jumping to Earth From Tall Buildings
  • Bridge. Antenna. Span. Earth.
  • Falling Toward Earth
  • Your Personal Crater
  • Free Fall
  • Don’t Forget Your Parachute
  • Remember Your Parachute
  • Spicy Mountain Lion
  • Freedom, Free-Fall, Freedom
  • I Fell From a Building

A few of those were obviously thrown in as jokes. “Deploy Parachute for Hot Chicks” was a dig at the industry’s obsession with boobs. Spicy Mountain Lion was my personal favorite non sequitur. But when our PR/Marketing dude, Leo saw the list, he poked his finger at “AaaAaaAaa!,” and refused to let me adjourn the meeting until I agreed to go with that.



Questions for the Team Leader
Hometown?

Chicago, IL



College?

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (here in MA) for Physics.



What is your gaming background?

My first gaming system was a black and white Pong console. I’ve been playing games ever since.



How long have you and your teammates known each other?  What’s the story behind how your team got together?

I love talking about myself and my team. I’ll talk about Dejobaan’s two other main guys to be brief.



I’ve known our Gameplay Architect, Dan Brainerd, since high school. My earliest memory of him was at a field trip, when he stood up and accused a Smartfood tour guide of lacing their popcorn with addictive drugs. Humor! I later worked with him at an online games company. He’s one of the most creative fellows I know.
 


I met our PR/Marketing guy, Leo Jaitley, at a salsa dancing class here in Cambridge, MA. He was originally an engineer, and I was into game development, which meant that this particular activity was a sometimes-embarrassing stretch. But what good things don’t come without some effort? Game marketing is the same way.



What game or games are you playing right now?

I just finished Machinarium. It’s a nice, relaxing game to sit down and play with that someone special. I’m also playing upcoming indie titles Monaco by Pocketwatch and All Heroes Die by Macguffin. Does our own upcoming 14th game count? Because I am playing it until my eyes bleed. They’re bleeding.



What is your favorite all-time game?

My first inclination, on being given only one choice, is to pick AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!!, because the darned thing was just such a joy to create. I mean, you know how game developers all say “Oh, writing games is more like work than fun”? They are lying. Barring that, I’ll go with Dan(i) Bunten’s M.U.L.E., as one of the few games I can enjoy consistently over 25 years.



What is your least favorite all-time game?

Another tough question. I won’t jump on the bandwagon and cite ET. Besides, my parents never bought it for me, so I only had to endure it at friends’ houses. And here, your question just led me through a 60-minute YouTube journey down memory lane. Honestly, my least favorite game is probably some half-baked shareware atrocity that lurks safely away in some corner of my mind.



First video game system you owned?

A black and white dedicated Pong set.



Current system you spend the most time playing?

 PC.



When you and your team aren’t making awesome games, what other hobbies are you involved in?

Leo and I are neighbors, so we share a garden.



Dan plays Dungeons and Dragons.



We throw cocktail parties for any reason up to and  including a game launch.



We also still dance salsa with friends when the mood strikes.



Team Photos