In amongst the festivities of this evening’s DBNGamers meet-up, and following a showcase of South African distributor Apex Interactive’s exciting line-up of upcoming games, attendees were summarily introduced to one Travis Bulford. Who is Travis Bulford?
If you cast your mind back to 1996, you might remember a side-scrolling action platformer on PC called Toxic Bunny, starring a gun-toting maniac bunny wigged out on caffeine.
Developed by South African studio Celestial Games, Toxic Bunny has reached legendary status in local circles and now here in 2012, Celestial owner Travis Bulford is bringing Toxic the bunny back in high definition.
Toxic Bunny HD features over 20 000 newly created pieces of art to truly bring the game to life. During the latest DBNGamers event, Bulford showed comparison shots of Toxic Bunny from 1996 and the updated version of the game – the affect was astonishing.
Bulford treated DBNGamers attendees to the first ever public viewing of Toxic Bunny HD and showed the little critter zipping about the vibrantly coloured levels gunning down enemies, with new visuals features including judiciously implemented particle effects and physics-based accoutrements, like chain and vines.
I was most strike by how ‘alive’ the game looks, even when standing still. Collectibles spin, enemies patrol the level, foreground and background animations add visual density, while Toxic himself twitches in anticipation of the action as copious amounts of caffeine course through his veins.
Toxic Bunny HD is currently in development for PC and Mac platforms and will support gamepads for gameplay, too, while Bulford has an eye on releasing the game on consoles in the future. Mobile versions of Toxic Bunny HD are possible, says Bulford, but would require a bit of reworking as far as controls are concerned.
When do we get to play Toxic Bunny HD? Thanks to a distribution partnership with Apex Interactive, very soon!
Toxic Bunny HD will launch at this year’s rAge videogame and technology event in Johannesburg at the Coca-Cola Dome, from October 5th to the 7th, for a price of R149.99. You’ll be able to buy the game at rAge when you visit Celestial and Apex Interactive’s stands at the show.
Bulford also mentioned an initiative he and Apex are keen to kick off that aims to create awareness of game development in South Africa and discover the country’s artists, programmers and game designers of the future by engaging with the community.
First, Bulford and Apex will be sending out the call to artists in South Africa to submit their work to be considered for use in Toxic Bunny HD – the best work over a variety of categories will be used, while those artists have a chance of working on a new game in the future.
Also, Toxic Bunny HD features an in-game ‘app store’ that Toxic can access via the menu screen (styled after a touchscreen tablet device). This ‘app store’ will allow players to ‘download’ and play mini-games within Toxic Bunny HD (including parts of the original Toxic Bunny), and Celestial will be releasing the necessary tools to create your own mini-games for inclusion in the HD remake, which can be downloaded and played from that menu screen.
Again, the best creators have a chance of working on a new Celestial game in the future.
While there are other details we would like to share regarding Toxic Bunny HD, Travis Bulford and Celestial, for now we’ll leave you with a few more screenshots from the game.
Look forward to our full report on the latest DBNGamers event with photos from the gathering, as well as our peek at Apex Interactive’s exciting game release line-up!