Going to the same conventions year after year, you sometimes get the chance to follow a game from first announcement up until release. With bigger games from large, well-funded companies, those releases are usually guaranteed, but in the case of games from independent developers, that may not always hold true. But here we are just 3 days from the release of Fire Hose Games Slam Bolt Scrappers
I met the folks from Fire Hose last year at the Boston Indie Showcase here at PAX East, when the game was still very early in development. Throughout the past year, they've refined the game, and I can now disclose that I was involved with some of the beta testing at their offices across the river from my house in Cambridge. That's one reason why you won't see me reviewing the game for GN; the other being that I don't own a PS3, so that works against being able to play it as well.
If you're not familiar with SBS, here's the best way I've been able to think of to describe it. Take multiplayer Tetris, except when you make shapes with the blocks, they turn into weapons to fight your opponent. To get blocks, you have to beat up monsters, while avoiding attacks from your opponent. The goal is to destroy whatever they've been able to build with their blocks and take out their base. There's also a campaign mode, which is similar, except you're not always fighting against the AI opponents tower. Sometimes it's a giant robot, or something equally devastating.
The big recent news from the game aside from the upcoming launch is the new Megablocks feature which is a taller level that takes the combat elements of SBS to an over the top place that is really a good time to play. I had a nice visit catching up with a couple of the guys from Fire Hose, and I'm looking forward to see how well the game will be received. This is the most involved I've ever been from the perspective of the development of a gaming and getting to know the team behind the game a little bit, and it's been a very different experience.