IGF Award: Innovation in Visual Art (Open Category), Technical Excellence (Open Category), Audience Award (Open Category)
developer: The Behemoth
country of origin: USA
A stylish action-filled side-scroller where in which players run, jump and shoot their way across the globe as an alien in pursuit of its coveted UFO. The game features a distinct visual style with all graphic components completely hand drawn: rare in most console game development. Equally unusual is the game's evolution from a web-based download to console release. Humorously poking fun at Cold War secret service agencies, the game's tongue-in-cheek humour, and Itchy and Scratchy-like cartoon carnage makes for a refreshing and addictive game.
Alien Hominid was taken from an online Flash game to a 'full blown' console game because of our love of old school games and the artistic freedom 2D games gave Dan Paladin, our art mastermind.
Part of the fun of making the game was the sheer difficulty of doing it - the number of people who actually thought we could pull this off was miniscule. Back at the beginning we were a new, unfunded company with an unknown product and no publisher was willing to take a risk with us. This is why we self financed the game and all the merchandise. We have persevered, building our fan base one person at a time and doing our own PR and marketing.
Being completely independent has enabled us to retain the control of the intellectual property. It was also much more satisfying to give a near complete game to our distributor, in that the requested changes we needed to make were very few. Making our own merchandise, licensing the game in different territories and having our own online store is only possible because we control the IP.
Independent game development will help keep the industry alive with new ideas. Alien Hominid got a lot of press because we weren't a sequel, a licensed property or funded by a global publisher. In short, we were the underdogs and people love it! It is much harder for independent studios to survive, but it more rewarding as well. Hopefully what we have done will inspire other game developers to go for broke and make the game of their dreams.
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