Super Time Force

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Super Time Force
Super Time Force logo.jpg
Official logo
Developer(s) Capybara Games
Composer(s) Jason DeGroot
Platform(s) Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • WW May 14, 2014[1]
Windows
August 25, 2014
Genre(s) Shooter
Mode(s) Single-player

Super Time Force is a side-scrolling shooter video game by Capybara Games for the Xbox 360's Live Arcade service and Xbox One. It was released on May 14, 2014.

Gameplay[edit]

Players have 30 lives to run through bullet hell levels.[2] When the player dies or voluntarily ends the run, the player can view and rewind their timestream to revisit the life of a prior player-character's run or otherwise restart with a new run.[2] There are over 16 different characters in each 6 stages with different weapons or powers of their own.

Plot[edit]

Colonel Repeatski sends the Super Time Force, a time-traveling military organization, to prehistoric times to save the dinosaurs from extinction.[3] Bosses include a cybernetic Tyrannosaurus and an asteroid.[3]

Development[edit]

The game stems from a three-day experiment at the Toronto, Ontario Game Jam in May 2011.[4] The game jam event coalesced hundreds of Toronto-area game developers to build quick prototypes around a central theme: the phrase "what just happened".[4] Kenneth Yeung of Capybara and artists Mike and Vic Nguyen brainstormed as a three-person team and decided to make a time-traveling side-scrolling shooter, "a Contra game where you can go back in time."[4] This quickly became the core feature, where upon death, the player fought "alongside ghost versions of themselves doing what they had just done before they died."[4] Dying created co-op partners of the player's recorded actions.[4] Yeung described it as, "Gunstar Heroes meets that one level in Braid."[4]

Composer Jason DeGroot

At first the team was hesitant and noncommittal about continuing the experiment, but later decided to proceed as a Friday side project.[4] They added Greg Georgiadis as a designer and Jason DeGroot as a musician, and decided after 20 days of work to pursue the project seriously.[4]

Capy released a gameplay teaser trailer on October 17, 2011 without explaining the footage.[4] Around the same time, Microsoft awarded the game the 2012 Independent Games Festival "XBLA Award", a deal to publish the game on Xbox Live Arcade.[4] Capy creative director Kris Piotrowski described the night as "a bit of a pinnacle moment" for the company and the risks it had taken.[5] The deal did not have specific deadlines.[4] The game debuted at PAX East 2012 without marketing.[4] Capy president Nathan Vella told Polygon that they wanted players to discover the game organically without having the concept spoiled.[4] He also felt that the direct approach to gamers would create a small but loyal fan base, which the company preferred over broad marketing.[4] By PAX Prime 2012, Capy had removed mechanics where charging attacks depleted the time-life meter, and added multipliers (across multiple lives) for consecutive kills.[3] In 2012, Super Time Force demos appeared at the Los Angeles iam8bit, Polygon's E3 party, and the annual Evolution fighting game tournament.[4]

The core mechanic was redesigned by PAX East 2013.[2] The game was easy for players who died often, as they would be helped by the ghosts, yet left experts at a disadvantage: improving at the game meant dying less and therefore using the ghost players (the core mechanics) less.[2] The development team decided that players should be in control of time in order to make players use death strategically, and rethought the mechanic to let the player rewind and replay the lives of previous runs from a timeline upon death.[2]

Originally scheduled for a 2013 Xbox Live Arcade release, the game was delayed until 2014 to prepare for a simultaneous Xbox One release through the ID@Xbox program.[6] The game was released on May 14, 2014. It was also released to Windows on August 25, 2014.

Legacy[edit]

One of the characters of Super Time Force also appeared as skins for the indie sandbox game Minecraft.

An updated version titled "Super Time Force Ultra", humourously abbreviated as STFU, was released on August 25, 2014.

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://twitter.com/CAPYGAMES/status/462332849992241153
  2. ^ a b c d e McElroy, Griffin (March 22, 2013). "Super Time Force's time-travel mechanics have been reinvented and refined". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c McWhertor, Michael (September 2, 2012). "'Super Time Force' gets prehistoric on an asteroid to prevent dinosaur extinction at PAX". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Leone, Matt (August 7, 2012). "How 'Super Time Force' fell into Capybara's lap (and yours)". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ Lien, Tracey (May 14, 2012). "From nowhere to Sword & Sworcery: Capybara's road trip to indie stardom". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  6. ^ Tach, Dave (December 5, 2013). "Super Time Force delayed, but headed to Xbox One in 2014". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on December 5, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2013.