Skullgirls Encore will arrive on PlayStation Network on Tuesday, returning the indie fighter to consoles a month after original publisher Konami pulled its support and removed the game from Xbox Live and PSN.Read more...
Having finally sorted its issues with original Skullgirls publisher Konami, developer Lab Zero Games has revealed the date the game will return to the PlayStation Network: February 11.
Instead of simply re-releasing the fighter, Lab Zero is offering players an upgraded version of the game dubbed Skullgirls Encore. While very similar to its predecessor, Skullgirls Encore technically qualifies as an entirely new game. As a result, none of the DLC released to date for the original Skullgirls will be compatible with Encore, according to Lab Zero Games. To offset this inconvenience, Skullgirls Encore brings a host of gameplay tweaks as well as a new character, a meek opera singer named Squigly who attacks foes via an erudite, dragon-like parasite. Further, Lab Zero is offering Skullgirls Encore at no charge to those who previously purchased the original incarnation of Skullgirls on PSN.
So far there is no word on when Skullgirls Encore will see an Xbox Live Marketplace release, but Lab Zero has issued two trailers for the fighter. You'll find a launch trailer above, while below the break lies footage focused on newcomer Squigly.
[Image: Lab Zero Games]
Skullgirls Encore, the re-release of Skullgirls to address the parting of ways between Lab Zero Games and Konami, will include a new mode called "The Typing of the Skullgirls Encore." While demonstrating it on EightySix's Twitch account, Skullgirls Design Director Mike Zaimont explained that the mode is planned for Xbox 360, PS3 and the PC release of Skullgirls Encore.
In "Typing of the Skullgirls," each player's gauge for super moves fills automatically. Once a player uses a super, a timed typing exercise appears, which awards damage based on a player's typing accuracy and swiftness. Zaimont explained that perfectly typed words do 1.5x damage, "right but not perfect" phrases award standard damage, and totally botched attempts cut dealt damage to 10 percent. The totals are reversed when an AI opponent uses a super move on a player, meaning that players are spared damage according to their ability to type phrases associated with incoming attacks.
"Typing of the Skullgirls" will be available in Story, Arcade and Versus modes, but not in Tournament or Online modes.
Following a licensing battle with publisher Konami, Skullgirls will be delisted from both the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network Store on December 31. That's the bad news. The good news? Skullgirls Encore makes its debut in January.
Instead of forcing players to buy the game yet again, the console versions of Skullgirls Encore will be available for free to anyone who currently owns Skullgirls. The Steam version of the game is unaffected by Konami's IP wrangling, and will remain largely unaffected.
The biggest (and arguably only) addition to Skullgirls Encore is the DLC "Squigly" character. As a mea culpa to the community for having to put up with all of this hassle, Squigly will be available as a free addition to the game for a period of three months, regardless of which console you're using to play the fighter. Unfortunately, the DLC character color packs so far released for Skullgirls are not compatible with the new version, but developer Lab Zero Games doesn't want to have to charge people twice for simple palette swaps and is instead rolling each character's color scheme options into one big polychromatic DLC offering which is also going to be available to players totally gratis.
Full details on the change can be found on Lab Zero's website, just don't go in hoping for reams of Steam changes. The lack of Konami involvement in that version of the game means it's merely receiving a new Skullgirls Encore title screen.
Following Skullgirls publisher Autumn Games' announced plans to knock out their business deal with Konami, Konami has requested the removal of Skullgirls from the PlayStation Network by December 17 and from Xbox Live Arcade by December 31. After likening the move to Final Fantasy 6's MagiMaster casting Ultima before he dies, Skullgirls Design Director Mike Zaimont announced the impending delisting on the Skullgirls Weekly Stream channel.
During the broadcast, Zaimont explained that Konami submitted the request to Sony without telling Autumn Games, leaving Sony to deliver the bad news. Zaimont explained that if the team finishes the new, self-published build of Skullgirls before Sony's QA team goes home for the winter break, Squigly and the improvements from the PC update's beta will be available "pretty immediately soon." If the deadline is not made, then Skullgirls will be removed from every regional PSN store other than Japan's, since that version was not published by Konami. Zaimont's requests to push back Konami's delisting date for the PSN until December 31 have been unsuccessful.
Zaimont also explained that the new Xbox Live version of Skullgirls will be published by Marvelous AQL. However, since ownership of the property won't transfer from Konami to Marvelous until December 31, the same day as Konami's delisting deadline, Zaimont doesn't "know if Marvelous can submit a build before that or not, but I'm making one on the off chance that they'll be able to."
If the new submissions to PSN and XBLA don't make it through each store's respective certification process before the winter break, Skullgirls may disappear from digial storefronts until the QA teams return and clear the builds. Zaimont also noted that it was unclear whether those who have purchased the Konami-published version of Skullgirls will be able to play online after that version is delisted. On a positive note, Zaimont said that that the PC beta for the new update is "going well" and the involved changes will be put into the retail version "right after [the North Eastern Championships]."
Skullgirls publishing partners Autumn Games and Konami have ended their business relationship, but we can't confirm that the two don't go off for a cuddle every so often. Skullgirls patches for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have apparently been held up due to some behind-the-scenes complications between the two companies, but that will no longer be a problem.
"Things have not always been hunky-dory between Autumn Games and Konami. Around the time of the last update, it became clear that it would not be possible to proceed with the new patches as long as Konami was involved with Skullgirls," wrote Peter Bartholow of Skullgirls developer Lab Zero Games in a company update. "So, as of today, Autumn and Konami have terminated their business relationship, allowing us to move forward with the PS3 and Xbox 360 patch in a more timely and cost-effective manner."
Bartholow notes the testing of the patches is "nearly complete," but now the team has to go through the digital paperwork shuffle of moving the game over to a new publisher. Autumn Games will be the game's PSN publisher, but because "Microsoft doesn't support purely digital publishers," Autumn is partnering with MarvelousAQL for Xbox Live, otherwise "Microsoft would simply delist the game from the Marketplace."
"We apologize that these deep business dealings have come between you and the first character your collective efforts have funded, but we're confident that subsequent patches will go more smoothly with this all of this behind us," Bartholow concluded.
Skullgirls absolutely exudes style. From the off there’s a classy jazz beat lain down to play out over the dark menu, entries listed in a unique typeface. Thought and time has obviously been put into the way options are enlarged, the selection cursor, the smoothness of transition from item to item. It’s polished to a tee, every surface smooth and shining its message to the world: I’m classy, I’m friendly and I’m intricately, lovingly designed. But can it carry this throughout? (more…)
Skullgirls is a fast-paced 2-D fighting game that puts players in control of fierce warriors in an extraordinary Dark Deco world. Featuring all-new game systems which test the skills of veteran fighting game fans while also making the genre enjoyable and accessible to newcomers, Skullgirls is a modern take on classic arcade fighters with a hand-drawn high-definition twist. Its a one-of-a-kind, action-packed competition complete with awesome combos and an intriguing backstory.
The first time we spoke about Skullgirls PC was now well over a year ago. Which is odd, given the ladies-only tag-team fighter wasn’t meant to be getting much more than a port. Then an update in February brought news that it was still happening, but had changed developer and had a new spec to add more features. Since then, the source of that post has been removed for unknown reasons. But here we are: Skullgirls is now available to pre-order on Steam, which gives access to the closed beta, before release on August 22nd.
After debuting on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network last year, Lab Zero Games' 2D fighter Skullgirls, along with its five crowdfunded DLC characters, will make its way to PC (Windows, via Steam) on August 22. Pre-orders will go live on the first of August.
The Marvelous AQL-published PC port of Skullgirls will be available through Steam on August 22, with pre-orders starting on August 1. The announcement was made on-stream earlier today between matches of Super Street Fighter 4 at EVO 2013 in Las Vegas.
If you can't wait that long, $36 will still buy entrance into the game's ongoing closed beta, which also grants access to the finished product when it's released at the end of August. The PC version of the game is said to include improved multiplayer functionality and will eventually be the home of Skullgirls' four new DLC characters.
The results are in, and fans have voted to make Beowolf the fourth new character in Lab Zero Games' little fighter that could, Skullgirls. An ex pro wrestler, Beowolf and his trusty folding chair (named The Hurting, naturally) have come out of retirement in order to test the true limits of his strength. Being a wrestler and everything, Beowolf's playstyle has been influence by Street Fighter's Rainbow Mika and El Fuerte, as well as Tekken's King.
Beowolf is the fourth new character to be funded by Lab Zero's wildly successful Indiegogo campaign, which raised over $800,000 for DLC production back in March. Three other characters, Eliza, Squigly and Big Band, are also currently in development. Squigly is expected to be the first released, dropping alongside the PC version of the game sometime this summer.
Lab Zero Games released a PlayStation Network-exclusive batch of new DLC for its 2D fighter Skullgirls, giving the game's cast a wider variety of colorful wardrobe options.
Skullgirls' eight color packs grant access to five additional color schemes per character, and are priced at $0.99 each. Players can also grab all 40 alternate outfits by purchasing a $5 bundle.
Owners of the Xbox Live Arcade edition will have to wait until a later date to explore this new world of color coordination. Starting today, however, XBLA players now have access to a long-delayed balance patch. The newly released "required compatibility update," which is available as a hefty 273 MB download, fixes regional online play and improves GGPO performance, among many other character-specific tweaks. A full list of changes is here.
Since Skullgirls was released last year, our fans have loved the flexibility our powerful 3D engine provides us when it comes to character color palettes and have been clamoring for more. So we’re happy to announce that after a long wait, Skullgirls will finally be getting DLC character color packs today!
Each character color pack is $1 and contains four new color palettes. We’re also offering a bundle of all 8 color packs, which can be purchased for the discounted price of $5.
So, let’s take a look at the character packs – chances are some of these new color schemes will seem awfully familiar, as we created them with extensive fan feedback.
As an added bonus, we’ve included a 5th, bonus color free if you buy the bundle!
So there you have it – tons of colorful new ways to customize your team for online play, for just $1 per character.
In other Skullgirls news, Lab Zero is still busy working on the content funded by our hugely successful Indiegogo campaign. Squigly, the first DLC character, is on-track for her free PSN debut this summer.
Recently our fans voted and selected the third DLC character that will be released free to everyone, the Egyptian-themed lounge singer, Eliza!
Eliza is a powerful fighter in her own right, but her true power lies in her blood control abilities: every time she receives damage she’ll leave little pools of blood on the ground, which she can then command to attack her opponents.
Later this week, we’ll complete a second fan vote for the fourth free DLC character! Also, take a look at this concept for a new stage coming to the game. This stage takes place atop New Meridian’s rooftops, and will feature prominently in Squigly’s story mode. And, of course, this stage will also feature a soaring new track by Michiru Yamane!
Finally, we’ll be holding a Skullgirls tourament at EVO 2013 in Las Vegas this year! The prize pool starts at $2000, and all entry fees will be added to the pool. We’ve started taking pre-registrations online, so if you plan on attending, be sure to sign up!
With the successful Japanese PSN release, new colors, lots of free new content coming over the near year and the Evo 2013 tournament, Skullgirls has a lot of momentum right now! If you haven’t already picked the game up, be sure to check out the demo!
The third DLC character for Skullgirls, as decided by fan voting on the game's Indiegogo page, is Eliza. She appears as a Cleopatra-inspired character, with hulking Egyptian gods at her side and at least one mummified foot. We like to think Elizabeth would approve of the Skullgirls fans' taste.
Eliza is the first of two mystery characters coming to Skullgirls, alongside Squigly and Big Band. Those last two will each receive a story mode and an all-new stage. One of the mystery characters will get a story mode and stage, while the second mystery character missed that goal by $20,000.
Paypal froze Lab Zero Games' account briefly today, due to risk that a significant number of Skullgirls crowdfunding pledges would be revoked. Lab Zero allowed backers to vote on new DLC characters, leading to the theory that if their chosen character didn't make it into the game, some fans would pull their "vote." "Basically, they are terrified of chargebacks," CEO Peter Bartholow told Venturebeat. "If we spend all the money and don't deliver and everyone [requests] chargebacks, PayPal is concerned they will be on the line for [the money]. So, they are effectively treating it as a loan."
After discussions with PayPal, the company has "unrestricted" Lab Zero's account, but continues to hold around $35,000, which Lab Zero CEO Peter Bartholow had planned to use for payroll. "They've only got $35k of our money frozen, so we're not in any real danger," Bartholow said on NeoGAF. "It's just an inconvenience at the moment."
It was one of the year's feel-good stories when Lab Zero Games raised over $800,000 so they could make more content for indie fighting game Skullgirls.
It's one of the year's saddest stories, then, that Paypal is being really weird with the studio's money.
Most of the contributions to Lab Zero's IndieGoGo campaign were paid via PayPal, but given the size of the amount, the net payment giant wanted the Skullgirls developers to "take on the risk" if a large number of backers decided not to actually pledge. Something the studio obviously couldn't do.
So PayPal froze Lab Zero's account, locking them out of their cash and preventing employees from being paid (part of the cash was to pay the wages of the developers needed to create the content).
Following complaints, including one lodged with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, PayPal have since opened up the account, though they're still holding $35,000 as "collateral".
Skullgirls DLC Character vote | The Campaign united us, The Voting will destroy us [NeoGAF]
Skullgirls funding held by Paypal [GI.biz]
The Skullgirls Indiegogo fundraiser concluded this week at the neat figure of $829,829, beating its $150,000 goal by some five and a half times. The whirlwind drive means five new characters will come to the 2D fighter as downloadable content, including two "mystery" ones as chosen by a fan poll.
Developer Lab Zero Game's Indiegogo campaign took just 22 hours to raise the $150K required to fund the first DLC character, Squigly. Surpassed stretch goals unlocked the game's first male combatant, Big Band, along with Robo-Fortune and the two mystery characters. Each new fighter, with the exception of the second mystery one, is getting a new stage and storyline. That exception would've been unlocked at $850K, although it took a mammoth surge across the final day to take the fundraiser to its final figure.
Lab Zero says each piece of content developed thanks to the funds will be, for a limited time, free on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
With just hours to go, Skullgirls' massive Indiegogo funding drive has hit $725,000, blowing past the $600,000 required to fund the addition of a third "mystery character" as downloadable content. Previous goals unlocked Squigly, Big Band (with their own storylines and stages), and additional voice packs. Also unlocked at $725,000: a free copy of the Skullgirls "Z Engine" for theFighting is Magic team, and another character, Robo-Fortune. At $825,000, another new mystery character will be added as DLC.
The "mystery character" or characters will be determined through a voting campaign by backers. There are ... 32 different choices.
Mike Zaimont, the creator of the fighting engine powering Skullgirls, has revealed that a Linux port is currently in the works. Word came via Zaimont's Salty Cupcakes tournament series, which he's been hosting on a weekly basis in Los Angeles and streaming through Twitch.
Skullgirls is currently seeking donations through Indiegogo, having already successfully funded the DLC characters Squigly and Big Band. During his weekly stream, Zaimont also revealed that Squigly will be voiced by Lauren Landa, the voice actress perhaps best known for her voice work as Kasumi from Dead or Alive. Squigly's sidekick Leviathan will be voiced by Liam O'Brien, who has belted out lines as Rig in Dead or Alive 5 and himself every other time he says anything.
Skullgirls developer Lab Zero Games has announced its Indiegogo pledge drive has earned enough for a second DLC character, the first male fighter to make his way onto the roster: Big Band. With 14 days remaining, the Skullgirls Indiegogo page rests at a comfortable $380,000.
Initially the Indiegogo campaign was to fuel a single DLC character - developer Lab Zero Games asked for $150,000, exceeding that goal in a brisk 24 hours. If you find yourself wondering why it costs so much money to come up with one little old DLC character, know the process requires more work than you'd think.
Last week, Lab Zero Games, the new developer of Skullgirls, started an Indiegogo campaign to keep the game growing with the addition of new characters. The results have simply blown us away — our amazing fans raised $150,000 to fund Squigly, our first DLC character, in under 24 hours. And now, a week later, we’ve more than doubled that and are well on our way to funding a second character.
So sometime this summer, all owners of Skullgirls will be able to download Squigly free! Not only will you get this awesome, parasite-infested opera singer to play with, you’ll also get her story mode and a new stage.
In addition to Squigly’s stage, we’ll also be developing a new stage, the River King Casino, that will be also be released free. Check out this early concept sketch:
I did say it was early. But in the coming weeks, you’ll see that rough sketch turn into a beautiful, hand-painted 3D stage.
In addition to an all-new track by Castlevania: Symphony of the Night composer, Michiru Yamane, this stage will feature our “Patron Saint” contributors’ likenesses or original characters enjoying themselves in this swanky establishment.
With Squigly out of the way, we’re now funding Big Band, Skullgirls’ first male character.
If you’d like to see this brassy, armless fighting machine come to fruition, please consider contributing to the campaign. Not only can you help keep the game growing, you can also get some exclusive Skullgirls swag for your efforts, including the soundtrack, a poster, a T-shirt and more.
And if we manage to fund a third character? He or she will be picked by fan vote. We’ve already revealed fifteen future characters for the vote, a few of which you can see here.
And this is less than a quarter of all the characters we’ll be revealing before all is said and done!
Lab Zero Games is committed to being as transparent as business will allow, and we really want to show you how games are made. From concept to final execution, be it a character, stage or music track, every step of the process will be shown to you. So in the end, it’s about more than just participating in making Skullgirls even better and getting your name in the credits, it’s about learning about what goes into making a game.
And, finally, in addition to continuing to make new characters and content, we’ll continue to refine the existing game. The first Skullgirls patch introduced a huge number of improvements and balance fixes, and we intend to keep refining and balancing the game to make it the best and most beautiful 2D fighter out there.
So look forward to Skullgirls growing soon! And if you don’t have it already, I hope you’ll check out the demo and see why our fans are so passionate about the game.
Skullgirls developer Lab Zero Games has not only succeeded in raising the $150,000 required to design, develop and implement the game's first DLC character, but in doing so has also delivered crowd-funding platform Indiegogo's fastest and most-funded gaming project to date.
The fundraiser met its goal after 22 hours, and is sitting just above $184,000 as of press time, with 29 days of funding still left to go. This means that the project's first stretch goal, a new level and story mode campaign for Squigly, the new character, has also been completely funded. If the fundraiser reaches $375,000 before its completion, Skullgirls' first male character, Big Band, will also be created.
Once completed, Squigly will be made available at no cost on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.
When the developers responsible for Skullgirls were laid off from Reverge Labs last summer, they reformed as Lab Zero Games and pledged to continue working on the franchise, in November announcing that the first DLC character was "indefinitely delayed" while the studio found its footing.
Now Lab Zero is ready to get rocking on Squigly, its first DLC character, but it needs $150,000 to make that happen. Lab Zero set up an Indiegogo campaign to get the cash via crowdfunding, a move that puts the amount of money under a public microscope. Some potential players are outraged at the cost of making a single character - Lab Zero CEO Peter Bartholow tells Joystiq he doesn't expect people to understand the budget, but it is "reasonable with all the relevant information."
Bartholow breaks down the Squigly budget as follows: $48,000: Staff Salaries - 8 people for 10 weeks $30,000: Animation and Clean-up Contracting $4,000: Voice recording $2,000: Hit-box Contracting $5,000: Audio Implementation Contracting $20,000: QA Testing $10,000: 1st Party Certification $10,500: Indiegogo and Payment Processing Fees $20,500: Manufacturing and Shipping Physical PerksOriginal Skullgirls characters cost $200,000 - $250,000 apiece and the game's total budget was $1.7 million. The salaries in Lab Zero's Squigly budget are reduced, as well, Bartholow says.
"So, as you can see, over two-fifths of the money is spent on all the stuff we need to do just to get to collect the money and get her onto people's systems," he says. "This is just the reality of crowdfunding and independent console development right now. And also probably why more games don't do what we're attempting, too."
Lab Zero Games, the guys behind 2D fighting game Skullgirls, want to add a new character to the game's roster. To do this, they're going to set up a Kickstarter on February 25. And ask for $150,000. More »
Mike Zaimont and Peter Bartholow of Lab Zero Games recently unveiled plans during a Twitch.tv stream to crowdfund a new character for Skullgirls, Shoryuken reported. Zaimont and Bartholow's goal is to raise $150,000 starting February 25 to develop the "Squigly" character, her story and stage, in addition to stretch goals for two other characters.
"I know that $150k sounds like a ton of money, and it's only that cheap because we're taking huge paycuts to try and make it happen at all," Bartholow told Shoryuken. "A full cost breakdown will be provided so that people can see how their money will be spent."
Once the Squigly character is completed, she will be available free for three months on all platforms, regardless if players have contributed to the developer's crowdfunding efforts.
It’s been a long, long time since we mentioned that handsome scrolling biff ‘em up Skullgirls was coming to PC. The reason seems to be trouble at the development studio, and indeed it won’t even be brought to us by Reverge Labs, by a new studio Lab Zero. Publishers Autumn and Marvelous AQL are backing the project, so it will now be down to the former Skullgirls team to bring the game to PC. They’ve recently updated to explain what they’re up to, explaining: “We presented Marvelous with two options: a relatively quick port that would mirror the feature set of the console releases, and a slower port with expanded multiplayer functionality such as lobbies. Marvelous AQL has graciously opted for the second option.”
Trailer below, of course. Why wouldn’t there be?(more…)
Development of the long-awaited PC version of indie fighter Skullgirls is set to begin in "the coming weeks," thanks to a funding/publishing deal between existing publisher Autumn Games and Japanese publisher Marvelous AQL.
The agreement, which is in its "final stages" according to Peter Bartholow, CEO of developer Lab Zero Games, will allow Skullgirls to be ported to the PC with "expanded multiplayer functionality" as compared to the console version. Bartholow expects the porting process to take "around four months" to complete, with more information regarding the port's new features, as well as details on a public beta, to follow as development progresses.
Meanwhile, Skullgirls' quest to raise the most money for breast cancer research (and therefore become the eighth official EVO 2013 selection) continues. Limited edition posters (left) are now available for pre-order, with 50 percent of all sales going directly to the fundraiser.
Despite landing on the PlayStation 3 back in late November, Skullgirls' Slightly Different Edition update has yet to make its way to Microsoft's console. The delay is due to the file size of the update itself, according to XBLA Fan's translation of a tweet from the official Japanese Skullgirls account.
While Microsoft limits XBLA updates to just four megs, the fighter's Slightly Different Edition patch weighs in at 590 megabytes. Being granted an exception to the rule is apparently possible, though subsequently time consuming. No announcements have been made regarding an expected completion date for the whole deal.
Though dubbed Slightly Different, the patch changes an impressive number of details for each character in Skullgirls, in addition to adding further modes and UI improvements. It's also supposed to decrease load times, though the patch itself seems to be suffering from quite a long one.