To say that “Fist of Awesome” is an original video game concept does not do it enough justice. With time-traveling lumberjacks, the ability to punch bears in the mouth, and possessing very quirky and charming humor, “Fist of Awesome” promises to live up to its name. In an interview on Jan. 16, 2013, Nicoll Hunt, owner of the game production company, I Fight Bears, explains how this game of awesome proportions came into existence.
Nicoll Hunt says that the concept for “Fist of Awesome” came from a combination of factors. “When I was 15 I decided I was going to make the greatest scrolling beat 'em up of all time, but sadly my adolescent skills weren't up to the task and I had to abandon my endeavour. As the years passed my game development skills increased, while at the same time my dream for creating a great fighting game faded to the back of my mind,” Hunt says.
“Fist of Awesome” stars Tim Burr the lumberjack. It's a good thing that Tim chose his profession wisely, as Tim Burr the lawyer does not have the same ring to it. According to the “Fist of Awesome” Kickstarter page (the project completed its funding goal on Dec. 12), Tim Burr finds himself “caught up in a needlessly complex interstellar plot to enslave Earth by populating history with homicidal wild animals.” Fortunately for humanity, Tim Burr is not a lawyer and does not immediately start writing up cease and desist forms. He is a lumberjack and he punches bears.
Since his adolescence, Nicoll Hunt has had experience creating games, working with companies such as Codemaster, Visual Science, and Realtime Worlds Ltd. In his spare time, Hunt started up a one-man band called I Fight Bears which, he says, began his “long-lasting association with punching bears in the mouth.”
It was not until last year that “Fist of Awesome” became Hunt's next project. “...last year I made a Valentine's Day game for my girlfriend which featured a heavily pixelated version of me fighting through an army of bears to reach her. That game kickstarted my brain into remembering my long lost dream of revolutionizing the fighting game genre. Along with a little inspiration from a t-shirt of a lumberjack punching a bear, everything fell together and 'Fist of Awesome' was born,” Hunt says.
According to Hunt, the development process for “Fist of Awesome” has generally been brilliantly fun. He says that the game has taken a long time to get to where it has due to a majority of it being created in his spare time. “I made the decision to take a pay cut and move from full-time to part-time work so I had more time to spend on development. It's definitely a gamble, but I feel incredibly strongly about this project and want to make it the best game I can,” Hunt says. Whenever Hunt feels tired from programming, he fully enjoys watching the AI fight each other: “[I] can't help but laugh and revel in the absurdity of it all.”
Though Hunt says that he has no plans for a networked multiplayer system, gamers playing “Fist of Awesome” on PC and Mac will be able to share the bear-punching experience with their fellow lumberjacks via the local multiplayer mode. He also does not have any current plans for player-generated content at this time. But there is hope: “Maybe if I make a sequel called 'World of Awesome',” Hunt says.
“Fist of Awesome” is planned for release in Mar. on iOS and Android tablets, with a release for the Ouya in April. PC and Mac gamers can expect to see a version in July 2013.
Hunt encourages first-time lumberjacks to “punch everything and enjoy the ride.” If there is one thing that can be said about “Fist of Awesome” at this time, it's that “Fist of Awesome” will be sure to put pixelated hair on gamers' chests.