'Buck': How Pets Handle The Post-Apocalypse

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The Post-apocalypse is a favorite setting for many creative endeavors. It allows people to imagine what humanity would be like if structure and normalcy were removed from the equation. Take that, throw in a large scoop of noir influence, and you have Buck.

Buck is the game that happens when you mix Mad Max and Sin City into one experience, but replace all the humans with animals. Everyone talks in a gravelly voice, stories are deep and mysterious and nobody can be trusted. iDigitalTimes had the opportunity to talk to Gal Kfir, the lead designer on the game, to find out more.

While the 2D Metroidvania-style action game is currently raising money on a Kickstarter campaign that has become successfully funded before the campaign has even ended, developer Wave Interactive already released a playable demo for fans to try out before backing.

“The public build is just a small chunk of a much bigger experience,” Kfir said. “We've been working on the entire game and cut out the first two missions for the public.

Kfir said that Buck isn’t a full-time job right now, and has been a work-in-progress for quite some time now. “The amount of work we've put into the game as a whole is around three and a half years of part-time development,” he said.

Of course, the demo isn’t the full game. More development time is expected to finish everything up, but it should be wrapping up soon.

“We expect there to be between six to ten months of development,” said Kfir when talking about what was left that needed to get finished. “Our last major system is the weapon customization system, which is already halfway to completion. After that system, it's about adding more levels, characters, enemy types, weapons and animations.”

One thing that made the Kickstarter process easier for Wave Interactive was a positive response to the project. “It was a terrifying experience for us to release the first playable version of Buck to the public,” Kfir said. “We are thrilled from all the fantastic player feedback and press coverage. We wanted the demo to show the potential of the game, which is what gamers and news coverage has pointed out.”

Over Buck’s estimated 8-10 hours of gameplay, players will be able to have branching conversations, make customized weapons and fight off bad guys. After playing the demo, it was surprising to see the level of difficulty already found in Buck .

Kfir mentioned the difficulty is intentional, as Wave Interactive doesn’t want the game to be an easy snooze-fest like he sees many modern games to be. “We obviously don’t want a game that’s too easy, as that’s a curse of modern games now,” said Kfir. “We want to equally challenge and reward our players for progress.”

Like most Kickstarter games, Buck doesn’t have a firm release date just yet. The developers are targeting Q1 of 2017, but game development can be screwy. The original plan is to get Buck on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, but they might not all come at the same time.

“We wanted to do a multi-system release, but having a single programmer limits our capability to deliver on that,” said Kfir. “We'd rather have a stable and successful launch on PC and then move on to the porting process.”

As for the future, Wave Interactive has some ideas for expanding Buck after it is released.

“If we get a solid return of investment, we'll definitely deliver some awesome DLC content for Buck,” said Kfir. Looking beyond that, Wave Interactive also has thoughts for a new game, one that is going to be very different from Buck. No other details about this next game were given, unfortunately.

So what do you think? Are you interested in giving Buck a chance when it gets released? Did you happen to help fund Buck on Kickstarter? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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