Paul Whitehead and I are totally having a superhero team-up.
In case you don't know Paul, he's a long-time industry vet who has worked at Treyarch, Sucker Punch, and is currently working at Arena.Net. So, yes, Energy Hook is going to be a side project for him, but he assures me he doesn't sleep. And he's awesome - a renaissance man of game art, able to do concept, model, texture, create effects, and animate.
So that's good news. Other good news is that although I kind of want to just throw Energy Hook at the kickstarter wall as soon as possible, asking for peanuts and making whatever game we can make with whatever money we happen to raise, Paul wants to do an actual Good Job. He wants concepts of the characters AND environments; AND he wants to do a test level showing the look we're going for; he wants to really demonstrate to the crowdfunding public what they're going to get. He's a better man than I am.
Bad news is that's going to take time. (In the meantime I'll be working on a secret project which I can announce in a month or so.) More possibly bad news is that once we've set a visual bar we'll need to make sure we raise enough money to hit that bar - wouldn't want to disappoint everyone. So our kickstarter is going to be something of a hail mary.
Anyhow - here's a look at the sketches for Energy Hook he's done so far.
This is our buff cannonball-like character. An actuary by day, he crunched some numbers and decided he really wanted to get in on this highly fatal Energy Hook thing. While most Energy Hook athletes have an exoskeletal or force-field rig to help them hold it together under the massive forces that accrue when you're swinging around a frickin' building at 100 kph, he just has a lot of upper body strength. Good for defenestration.
Note the jetpacks! Although you won't be able to fly while playing the game you will be able to use your jetpack to change course, glide for short distances, and do super-jumps. (And the exhaust from the jetpack will give you, the player, great feedback about how the controls work - pushing left on the stick in mid-air will push your character left, and you'll see the thrust from your jetpack to make it clear.)
Oh, and, by the way, that zipline-down-sloping-ceilings thing? Paul's idea.
Just a reminder: if you want to be notified when the crowdfunding campaign will go live, you can subscribe to the mailing list: http://ymlp.com/xgjmmqeqgmgb.