Manimation ‘15 Report – Beyond Flesh and Blood
Speakers: John Kavanagh and Seb McBride (Pixelbomb Games)
Producer: Simon Smith (thumbfood)
- Pixelbomb Games is a full video games studio based in Manchester.
- The company is currently creating ‘Beyond Flesh and Blood’, an agile mech shooter for PC, VR and Console game set entirely in the city, 200 years in the future.
- Setting the game in Manchester showcases the city for the first time in a video game.
- The game will be available across all major platforms in 2016.
Pixelbomb is an indie games developer based in Manchester, founded in 2011 by a collection of developers with the aim of ‘making awesome games’. The company’s aim is also to challenge the perception of indie games.
‘Beyond Flesh and Blood’ takes place in 24 hours, with the main character, Ethan, sent back to Earth on patrol from the space-station base where most of mankind is now jettisoned. When he arrives in a burning, half-destroyed and wildly overgrown Manchester, things go badly wrong, with the hero having to battle a violent mutant alien life-form, among other perilous challenges.
The developers talked about how they opted to use Manchester (albeit a dystopian, crumbling, war-ravaged version of the city) as the game’s main location for two reasons:
- It hasn’t been done before. Games with UK settings invariably focus on London, and so they wanted to showcase Manchester.
- By using the city where they are based, they were able to research the locations first hand, getting out there on foot rather than relying on third-hand information such as images and maps. They found it a much easier process to imagine how the shoot-out scenes could play out by being physically there.
Video clips of the game were shown, with various Manchester locations clearly visible: a crumbling Hilton, an embattled Deansgate – and, appropriately, a constant stream of rain, familiarly comforting.
The game is due for release on major platforms in the second quarter of 2016.