Four local video game developers — from Davis and Sacramento — grew up with games and shows like Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Now, those developers are channeling that 90's nostalgia into their first game released on Nintendo Wii U. The group released two other games, however they were exclusive for iPhone and iPad.
This past March, the indie development company Nexcra Software released their game "Armored Acorns." Developers said it’s a project two years in the making.
"We tried to draw inspiration from those games we played when we were eight or nine," Paul De Leon, Nexcra CEO and software developer, said. "I was five years old when I got my first Nintendo Entertainment System...’Legend of Zelda.’ That was the one I really spent a lot of time on. I think I played after school every day."
Sam Silva, Nexcra’s marketing lead and writer, said he used to go to arcades with his dad.
"I was a huge Battle Toads guy,” Silva said. “I literally would just play the first three levels over and over and over again and I couldn't beat it. It was incredibly frustrating, but I just remember that as a kid."
De Leon and Silva say "Armored Acorns" is very arcade style and takes you through forests, caves, cities, bases. So, what’s the game about?
"A group of four squirrels who pilot big robots and they go to save their friends," De Leon said with a laugh.
And the bad guy? Well, that's a big cat. But it wasn't all fun and games for De Leon and Silva. Behind the catchy music and bright-colored graphics was a lot of work and frustration.
"I hate to say it, but often times in this business in game development there's a lot more downhill slopes than uphill slopes,” Silva said. “But when you have those wins, they're big wins.”
A lot of roles are involved and often times, one person may wear different hats to make progress on the game. You need a programmer, an artist, a musician, a writer, and even a marketing manager. De Leon adds you often have people working together who wouldn't normally be partners.
A big goal for their game is to encourage families and friends to play together in person, rather than online with strangers.
"We call it couch co-op," Silva said. "I had a lot of long nights with friends growing up. Just playing games together. On a couch. Four player game. Laughing at each other. Yelling at each other. Making each other mad. And that's what I remember to this day.”
Fore more information on the game, visit their Facebook page.