The Name Is The Game, And It Is Divekick

By Matt Hawkins . April 6, 2013 . 3:00pm

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Without question, one of the biggest curiosities on PAX East 2013 show floor last weekend was the game calling itself Divekick. Whenever someone passing by caught wind of the goofy name and how it really does tell you everything you need to know—which is simply about two things: diving and kicking—the immediate reaction was: “Is this for real?” And two seconds later, they immediately got in line, to see for themselves.

 

My first question for Dave Lang, president of Iron Galaxy, the publisher of Divekick, was how it all came to be. Lang explained how his company does a lot of work for hire for Capcom; they’ve helped port various arcade fighting games for Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. As a result, they hire fighting game experts all the time, to make sure their ports are up to snuff.

 

Which is how Adam “Keits” Heart became involved with the studio. Heart is a noted Street Fighter player, and EIC of Shoryuken.com. One day, Heart and his pals came up with a goofy little side project, something to help draw people to the tournament that he organizes, the Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament. Something that “you couldn’t play anywhere else, much like Johann Sebastian Joust,” noted Lang.

 

Thus Divekick was born; the initial version was crude, but the mechanics were there. “It was started out as a joke,” explained Lang, “but everyone involved quickly realized that Heart was onto something here.” Hence the decision to develop into something more, so Heart decided to turn towards Kickstarter to help finance a full on game.

 

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The goal was quickly met, which was only $30,000. Which prompted Lang to brush Heart aside and ask: “Dude, what are you doing? What are you going to do with $30,000? That won’t pay for shit!” Hence why he offered to partner up. “Let’s do the game you want to make, not the game you can only afford to make.” Thus the Kickstarter was cancelled and Lang brought in a number of his programmers, all of whom had experience in creating a finely-tuned fighting game affair.

 

PAX East 2013 served as the revamped game’s first public unveiling. When asked about a release platform and date, Lang stated that they wanted it out on PSN and Steam in time for EVO, which is around July. “We’ll ship it when it’s good and ready, but we have a lot of motivation to have it out in time for EVO.”

 

Speaking of seasoned fight fans, I asked about their reaction to Divekick. I was told: “They love it! They were the first to get it. Here’s the deal; I love fighting games. My entire childhood was spent with friends, going at it in Virtua Fighter 2. But I don’t have that kind of time anymore, and I therefore stink at fighting games.”

 

“But that’s the best part of Divekick; it really boils everything down to the most fundamental part of every fighting game. They’re all about the space between two characters, that’s it. The distance between two characters, what attacks you each have at your disposal.

 

“The thing I love about Divekick is how it makes you feel like an expert in almost no time. You can wrap your head around the mechanics in just 15 minutes, and all the possible character match-ups in under an hour. The rest is all in your head. There’s not a billion different button combinations to memorize.”

 

And it’s true; the game is quite simple. The entire game is controlled with just two buttons: one of diving, and the other kicking. There isn’t even a control stick. To leap in the air, one simply hits the kick button. Hitting the diving button while kicking does just that, plus it helps you move forward. To move back, just double tap dive button.

 

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The PAX East build had six different characters; which were differentiated by how high they jumped in the air, how fast they moved, and the angle of their kicks. Each also has one special air and one ground technique. It was noted that there were be plenty more characters in the final version, but Iron Galaxy is hesitant on giving out specific numbers since nothing on that end is finalized.

 

Though there was one other element that made the game so much fun to play, and that was the special controllers being used. I asked if they would ever be made commercially available.

 

“We’re working on deals for that,” Iron Galaxy shared with me. “But we basically need to prove that thousands of people will want them. I think shows like this will help a long with generating interest. Though it’s fully playable with anything that has two buttons.”

 


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  • MrSirFeatherFang

    Ugh, it seems too complicated… 2 buttons? It should be one. Press once, you dive, then press it again and you kick.

    • Curan_Altea

      But then how would you move backwards?

      • http://s1.zetaboards.com/Espada_of_Alexandria/index/ konpon568

        Exactly. You need to kick the ground in order to move backwards.

      • MrSirFeatherFang

        I didn’t even know you could move backwards. man this game is complicated :(
        /s

        • s07195

          Had me rolling there~

  • Shane Guidaboni

    I can’t believe they ran with this joke and it became a legit game.

    • TheExile285

      oh good, so its not just me….

    • Kefkiroth

      It does seem ridiculous. Though according to some in the fighting game community, it’s as pure as a fighting game as you can get. No balance issues or tiers, and still complete with usual fighting game tactics such as predicting your foe’s next move and timing.

      • http://www.facebook.com/eric.tharnish Eric Tharnish

        I’d be very careful about saying there’s ever a consensus on anything in the fighting game community.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Obb/100001994017630 Jimmy Dean

      This game has a great sense of humor but honestly I’d consider SFxT as more of a joke than this. I’m just as excited for Divekick as the next Tekken or VF.

  • MasterScrub

    Real talk, I’m playing this with my Hatsune Miku controller, the buttons are similar enough to a Divekick controller.

    • ShawnOtakuSomething

      Real talk :3

      • http://twitter.com/crxuchilbara MegamMix

        Realest talk. no substitutions, no truth intrusions…

  • Ben Chau

    Daigo, Tokido and Mago were enjoying the crap outta this game

    • Just Tim

      Of course; those guys are footsie-heavy.

    • Niyari

      Tokido seems like the only one that would enjoy it lol

  • Go2hell66

    Sick controller! where can i get one?

  • ZekeFreek

    This still looks really dumb to me. It’d be a neat dumb little flash game but I can’t take this seriously.

    • http://www.facebook.com/eric.tharnish Eric Tharnish

      Hah, I feel you. I remember reading about it and just thinking it was a nice gimmick. Cool that there are a lot of folks into it, I just don’t put much stock into the whole “It’s just as this and that.” I could do without that kind of comparison marketing, because I really think this game offers something different as a fighting game, not something “equal or greater.” It’s not doing the same thing as another fighting game beyond BEING a fighting game, and its existence suddenly doesn’t mean people should stop playing what they enjoy already. Suddenly saying that execution is something that just “gets in the way” is incredibly boneheaded, given that that sense of investment/accomplishment is a large part of what makes some fighting games so enjoyable.

      They can have their fun without ruining mine, absolutely. Some of the marketing and the game itself just rubs me the wrong way too, heh.

  • Hinataharem

    Dr. Doom is a master at this game

    • Internet is Crash

      Yun and Yang says hi :)

  • quasadra

    it appears that they have just made a perfect fighting game for touch screen.

  • Uso Ewin

    How about this for the sequel, Divekick vs Uppercut

  • Kaihedgie

    ….Why is this a thing

    • M’iau M’iaut

      Because ‘Knee to the Groin’ wouldn’t have sold as well perhaps? :P

      • Kaihedgie

        …No, really, why is this a thing?

        • M’iau M’iaut

          I think it is pretty much what they mention in the interview. A crazy homage/parody/joke game idea came up and enough crowd funding folks found themselves smiling that the money was found. Making a game just for shits and giggles is a nice moment for a industry that has seen a few rough patches as of late.

          • Kaihedgie

            Why would anyone fund something like this?

            Because people hate SFXT as seen in a comment below?

          • M’iau M’iaut

            I’d doubt hate had much to do with it, but there would be quite a few thousand people to ask. I’d suspect the play styles of several prominent fighter folks had more to do with it. Or at least the cut scene memes of some of their online fights.

          • UFOLoche

            Maybe because people tried it out and it’s a good game? Why would people buy Minecraft? Why is Cave Story so immensely popular, despite being a free to play PC game for the longest time? Because they’re good, fun games. Hating SFxT(Or any game) has nothing to do with it, it’s just simply that Dive Kick is a fun game that the people wanted to support.

  • Exkaiser

    I love dive kicks as much as the next guy, but this is just silly. How does one counter a divekick without an uppercut? You can’t just dive kick to counter a dive kick! That’s just irresponsible. What if the two dive kicks collide!?

  • Syltique

    I can’t imagine anyone actually paying money for this. As a free joke, sure. But for money? I just don’t see it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/eric.tharnish Eric Tharnish

      Dive Kick is to fighting games as the Slap Chop is to culinary arts. There’s a market, hah.

    • Go2hell66

      Still better than Streetfighter X Tekken!

  • Kelohmello

    This was cool when it was at UFGT8 and was only a thing you could play at UFGT. It was an inside joke. Honestly it probably should have stayed that way. A game like this is nothing but a short gimmick I can’t find myself playing for more than an hour at the very very most for one day then never playing again.

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