Klei Entertainment, the independent developer behind the upcoming XBLA game Shank, have unveiled six new tracks from the game’s official soundtrack and three costume unlocks out of …
While Shank may still be referred to in some circles as an indie darling, the game packs a whole lot of production value. What may have started as a homemade knife, has been proven to be one gracefully elegant weapon. The title’s story is penned by Marianne Krawczyk, author of God of War. The game itself is presented in 9 layers of HD parallax taking art direction cues from Jeff Agala, creative director on the project and creator of Cartoon Network Original Series Atomic Betty. The game is being published by EA Partners, who is responsible for EA’s dealings with People Can Fly (Bulletstorm), Valve (Orange Box), Harmonix (Rock Band Franchise), and more. To call all of that indie, just doesn’t cut it.
That isn’t to say Shank has lost its indie roots. Klei CEO Jamie Cheng and Jeff Agala set out to make an adrenaline filled action fest that would also push the boundaries on how digitally distributed games are made. The game mixes and blends genres, as it feels part spaghetti western, part grind house film. Jamie Cheng described the plot to us as a “pulp fiction revenge story through and through.” The main character feels like a total badass combination of Stallone from Rambo and Brock Sampson from Venture Brothers. All in all, it’s a thrilling concoction of just epic ingredients you can only expect to see with the complete freedom of an indie studio.
The following article is based around an email interview conducted by our team with Jamie Cheng, CEO of Klei Entertainment. For the uninitiated, Klei Entertainment is currently developing Shank for Xbox Live Arcade for summer release.
Redefining digitally distributed games
About five years ago, a young video game developer with some big ideas on how small game companies should work walked away from a position with an established developer in the hopes of completely redefining how digitally distributed games were made. Jamie Cheng sold his shares of THQ and went out on a limb to accomplish his dreams. This is where the story of Klei Entertainment begins.