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Post news RSS Rage Runner Postmortem, what it's like being indie

In this Postmortem take an in depth look at how Rage Runner's development took place, with complete transparency. You will gain a deep understanding of what it is like to be new to indie game development.

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Rage Runner

Rage Runner is the first major release from Hypercane Studios (that's us!). Rage Runner is a fast-paced 3D obstacle avoidance game where the player hurdles down miles of trench as fast as possible while avoiding obstacles. The levels are hand-crafted (not procedural) and the player is serenaded by some pretty awesome dubstep beats from artists TeknoAXE and Credo.

Our Vision

When we created Rage Runner, the goal was to make a very difficult game. We felt that the current generation of gamers have it way too easy. Being from generation X - the days of atari left overs and nintendo, we wanted Rage Runner to capture the difficulty of the games from our childhood.In a nutshell, this meant that when you die, you start at the beginning. To pass a level you actually have to get better at the game. There's no hand-holding in the form of visual cues indicating where to go. We wanted people to rely on quick reactions and memory to beat a level and also wanted to convey a sense of urgency that would provoke the player to higher speeds.For replayability, we wanted a sense of true competition within the community facilitated via a highscore server. Lastly we wanted people to be able to be build their own levels in the game using the same level editor that we built the game with.


This postmortem attempts to analyze what went right and what went wrong during the development of our first game. We are still new kids on the block in the indie scene and you'll probably notice this from our game and from the content and style of this postmortem. As there are only two of us, our comments are labeled.

Developer: Hypercane StudiosRelease Date: March 28, 2013Release Platform: OUYADevelopment Engine: ShiVa 3DDevelopment Timeline: ~ 6 monthsTeam Size: 2

  • Jacob - Art, modeling, texturing, level design, marketing
    Jacob - Christmas 1990
  • Zach - Programming, level design
  • Zach - Christmas 1990

What went right

Work Style & Being Bros

Jacob: I have heard the phrase a lot in my life that you "don't mix business with family or friends". I don't think that this phrase could be more wrong. Maybe it has something to do with the profession we have chosen, being in the game industry.
When making a game, you need constant criticism or your work will never get better. Being brothers we both speak our mind to each other. If Zach doesn't like something I'm doing, he will flat out tell me. If I don't like a mechanic he's made, I'll flat out tell him.
But we don't just leave it at that, we constantly brainstorm to make things better. Of course we have our disagreements but after some long silences on skype and a quick break, we always work them out. In the end I couldn't be more happy in our choice to partner up to create Hypercane Studios and bring to life our visions we have had since childhood, together.

Zach: Throughout my career at various companies, there have always been co-workers that I or everyone else knew to be slackers. When your partner comprises 50% of the team, there isn't room for slacking, everyone needs to pull their weight.

Our past life as a hardcore raiding guild.This is going to sound crazy, but based on playing World of Warcraft with my brother on/off for 5 years, I had complete faith in his work style. Jake was guild leader, our guild name was Relentless and we were a solid raiding guild for end-game content. Relentless is definitely the word I'd use to describe Jake.We are both pretty hardcore guys that are motivated by failure. We had to be willing to pick up slack on any aspect of the project, even if that meant diving in head-first in a field we had no experience or interest in like marketing.Having that backdrop of knowing each other so well also made it easy to vent frustrations. "Dude, this looks like ass" isn't a phrase you might hear in the professional world, but with us it was the beginning of many constructive brainstorming sessions.

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