Homebrew Feature: Hand Cannon: Janky Reality, by Island Games

It’s a very exciting day for us here at Vita Player, as we have another Homebrew Developer feature! Today, we speak with Island Games. They’re developing a 1-bit platformer inspired by Mega Man called Hand Cannon: Janky Reality. So, let’s get on with it!

So, what can you tell us about the game?

The game I am working on is titled Hand Cannon: Janky Reality. It is a 1-bit, flip-screen, platformer, that is heavily inspired by Mega Man. The core game features 12 levels and 10 unique bosses. Just as in Mega Man, new weapons are acquired from fighting the main 8 bosses. What separates this game from Mega Man, besides its darker tone, is the recoil mechanic. The weapons feature various amounts of recoil while the player is airborne, requiring the player to utilize this ability to pass various platforming challenges. The game also features an easy mode, which uses a dash function instead of the recoil shot. Once the game is completed, on either difficulty, you unlock New Game Plus. New Game Plus is a Metroidvania map, that features all of the bosses and enemies from the main, and the Vita version also features a unique special boss. This Boss can only be accessed in this mode, along with this special weapon.

The game also features a level maker, allowing players to create their own unique levels, either traditional Mega Man style or as a Metroidvania. These custom levels can feature up to 961 screens, players can decide which weapons are available, change the music on a per-screen basis, and add some background effects. These levels can be uploaded to my server and shared with other players. There are also some challenge levels, but I do not have a specific number yet as they are still in development.

What has development been like? What can people expect for the release?

The game has been in development for 4 years, the Vita version is programmed using VitaSDK (so C++), utilizes my Bartender trophy system (optional as the game functions without it), and will be released on itch.io. The digital version will cost $14.99 and I am still determining pricing for the physical version. The physical version is essentially my custom version of the SD2Vita, it uses a sdNand chip instead of a standard sd card, and it requires the Fakegc plug-in to run. The physical release with come with a standard Vita case, a reversible cover, a physical manual, a sticker on the cartridge, and will be shrinkwrapped. I’m trying to make it feel as authentic as possible.

Why release on the Vita?

It’s for a few reasons, my first is that I just love the platform. I own a Switch and it’s great, but I can’t just throw it in my pocket. The form factor of the Vita is perfect, the display is beautiful, and it can still push pixels. My second reason is that I think almost all platforms have value, even once they become legacy hardware. The Genesis scene, NES, GameBoy, and especially Dreamcast are all amazing. I see no reason why this shouldn’t continue to modern hardware.

Why make a physical release?

The Vita’s life was extended largely because of the communities love for physical media. LRG was started largely in part because of our community. Physical media is a cornerstone of the Vita community, so continuing that tradition is extremely important to me.

What has the response from the community been so far?

The response from the community has been amazing. There are of course people who don’t want another 2D platformer (which I understand, we do have a ton), but I have honestly been overwhelmed with the positive feedback.

What can people do to support development?

The biggest thing they can do is buy the game once it has been released. I make games as a hobby, as I do have a day job. So, the more money I make from games allows me to step further away from my day job. I don’t do preorders, as I don’t want anyone’s money until the product is ready to be shipped and played. Until the game is released, they can follow my Twitter page @_island_games for updates on the game. I am planning quite a few other games for the Vita as well, so if Hand Cannon doesn’t interest them, there may be something they like on the horizon.

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About Marcos Codas 384 Articles
Lover of portable gaming and horror cinema. Indie filmmaker and game developer. Multimedia producer. Born in Paraguay, raised in Canada. Huge fan of "The Blair Witch Project", and "Sonic 3D Blast". Deputy head at Vita Player and its parent organization, Infinite Frontiers. Like what I do? Donate a coffee: https://www.paypal.me/marcoscodas