The Daily Blabber Blog

the-making-of-abobos-big-adventure-game-of-my-dreams

The Making Of Abobo’s Big Adventure: Game Of My Dreams.

This feels so insanely surreal, I'm really not sure where to begin, so bear with me here. The development of this game has been one long roller coaster ride that I sometimes thought would never end. Back in 2002, I set out to make Abobo's Big Adventure as my first lengthy Flash game, and managed to make some decent progress on it throughout the course of the year, but I ended up getting sidetracked with another project that put it on the back burner - Domo-Kun's Angry Smashfest. The Domo game was similar to what I had in mind for Abobo in terms of having the titular character playing through a variety of game styles, but Abobo never left my mind. He had always been my favorite NES character, and like many of the things I've written about here on I-Mockery, I always enjoyed being a champion for the unsung characters over the years. Simply put: Abobo's Big Adventure had to happen.

A screenshot from the original 2002 demo of Abobo's Big Adventure.
A screenshot from the original 2002 demo of Abobo's Big Adventure.

After the success of the Domo game, I started getting involved in a variety of game development projects, but by 2006 I realized I had to get back to work on Abobo or it was gonna end up being one of those things I'd never finish. Fortunately, I had already worked on some games with my pals Nick and Pox, and they agreed to work on Abobo's Big Adventure with me. I told them it we were going to set out to make the ultimate tribute to the NES, but it was only later on after the full story was written out that I think they realized the true scope of the project. Would any of us have taken on this parody project had we known it was going to take so many years to complete? I can only speak for myself, and even I'm not sure about it.

This was a hard game to make. The first thing we did was toss out all the old Abobo work and start from scratch, because the original game build was clearly outdated and wasn't turning out the way I had wanted. Next, a full story was worked up with plans for how Abobo would work his way from game to game in this massive adventure to save his son, Aboboy. Once that general storyline was finished, we began developing the first level by playing through countless NES games and making notes about which characters we wanted to include in it. It was a lot of work and research, but if this was going to live up to the title of "the ultimate tribute to the NES", we had to make it stand out from your average 8-bit parody game. Not only would we have Abobo fighting his way through a boatload of NES games, but each level would feature characters from a ton of other games. Put every NES game ever made in a blender, run on high, pour and serve.

Keep in mind, while all of this work was going on, we were still working on making a handful of other games (including Trick-or-Treat Adventure, which was no small task by any means) in addition to having jobs and other outside distractions. It's really hard working on a project for so long without being able to share it with everybody, so that's partially why we worked on some smaller games over the years. We knew we had something really great in the works with Abobo, but it was hard to keep our spirits up when we saw how much work was still left to be done. Then we found something that really helped recharge our spirits every year: The San Diego Comic-Con.

By the summer of 2009, we had completed the first three levels of the game along with a big intro cinematic and some cutscenes. I was about to have a booth at Comic-Con for the first time after having previously covered the convention for many years on I-Mockery. It was finally time to give fans a taste of what we had been working on for so long, so we brought a laptop and a large monitor to display the game on. To give them a more authentic experience, we hooked up a NES controller for them to play it with since that's how we intended the game to be played from the start.

The first public appearance of Abobo's Big Adventure.
Comic-Con 2009: The first public appearance of Abobo's Big Adventure.

It was a huge hit with the fans, and I can't tell you how much it meant to us to see their excited reactions to the game in person. It was just the pick-me-up we needed. Our batteries recharged, we went right back to work on the game and fixed a bunch of bugs that were reported to us in addition to tweaking the levels a bit.

For Comic-Con 2010, we had a booth again, but this time we had something much better than a monitor and a laptop... we built a real arcade cabinet for the game! Nick and his brother-in-law cut up the wood, and Jeff from Newgrounds designed some slick cabinet art for us. That cabinet drew in an incredible amount of people and really helped put our project on the map. Instead of just having it promoted on I-Mockery and Newgrounds, now some major gaming news sites like Destructoid were talking about it. Our game was becoming the little engine that could... and the engine was made in Flash.

The custom arcade cabinet built for Abobo's Big Adventure.
The custom arcade cabinet built for Abobo's Big Adventure.

By the fall of 2011, we had already missed several release deadlines we set for ourselves, but there was just so much to be done, and after having spent years on this game, we weren't about to cut any corners. So, we set yet another deadline for ourselves... this time it was to release the game by the end of December. In the meantime, my buddy Nathan Barnatt (aka: Keith Apicary) asked me to go on a video game comedy tour with him around the country for most of September, so I took the latest build of Abobo's Big Adventure with me to every town we visited and had a blast meeting all the incredibly nice fans at various game shops and arcades. Make no mistake about it; retro gaming is alive and well... you just have to look in the right spots.

Next, to get everybody foaming at the mouth with anticipation, and to help ensure that this was the most incredibly over the top Flash project anybody had ever seen, we decided to create an official trailer for the game. Brad, a good friend of mine, had been working on Hollywood trailers for quite a while at his job and he kindly offered to help put the trailer together from the footage I had captured and a loose script we worked up. He did one hell of a job capturing the true nature of our game, and when we released it in early November on Youtube, everybody went absolutely insane over it as virtually every gaming news site featured it. People were already calling it "Game of the Year" and said the trailer gave them chills. Could this really be happening? Is this real life?


The official trailer for Abobo's Big Adventure.

While there was no way we were going to charge people to play our game since it was just a parody tribute to the NES, we had started receiving donations from fans all over the world who wanted to show their support for the project. As a result, we wanted to find a way to thank these people who had been generous enough to send cash our way, so we decided to make a 100% original mini-game starring our own character, Aboboy, appropriately titled "Aboboy's Small Adventure". Of course, this just added more time onto the seemingly endless project since we still had a lot to wrap up in the main game as well, so we missed our December deadline, but only by a few weeks. And believe me, those weeks were well spent as you'll see both in in the main Abobo game and the mini-game we'll be sending out to anybody who donates.

Aboboy's Small Adventure in action.
Aboboy's Small Adventure in action. Yes you can throw dinosaurs.

A lot of love went into Abobo's Big Adventure. We had no bosses to report to, no budgets to meet, no rules about what we couldn't do... we simply took the time to make the kind of game that we had dreamed about when we were kids. I have to thank Nick and Pox for seeing this immense project through to the very end with me. They put a ton of work into this and the game simply couldn't have turned out this incredibly well without their efforts. I'm incredibly lucky to have good friends like them who share my sense of humor to work on games with. I also have to thank our friends and families for putting up with all the long nights we spent working on the game when we could've been hanging out with them. Thanks to Tom Fulp and the Newgrounds community for showing so much support for our game projects over the years. And lastly, I want to thank you guys for being so patient with us as we kept promising this game year after year. Your undying support really kept us going and we really appreciate so many of you spreading the word about it online. I know it took us forever to complete, but once you've played through the entire thing, you'll see that it was worth the wait.

We've added in a ton of custom artwork, cutscenes, unique rage moves on each level, huge boss battles, secrets, unlockables, jokes, and a whopping 100 achievement medals! We even wrote a tutorial so you can learn how to play the game with a genuine NES controller on your computer. You'll also be happy to learn that we've created a convenient Level Select screen which automatically unlocks levels as you beat them. You don't have to beat the game in one sitting... you can always come back and use the Level Select to pick up right where you left off. You can also use it to replay any level if you need to try to unlock additional medals that you missed out on during your first play-through.

The title screen for Abobo's Big Adventure.
The title screen for Abobo's Big Adventure.

So here we are. January 11th, 2012. Abobo's Big Adventure, the ultimate tribute to the NES and our masterpiece of 8-bit parodies is finally here. All I want to do now is sit back and enjoy seeing all of you laugh and smile as all of your memories from the golden age of gaming come flooding back in an instant. And don't worry, even if you didn't grow up on these games, you're still going to have a blast playing it as the humor is universal. Do yourself a favor and play through the entire game, because I promise that the ending we've worked up for you will be something you'll remember for the rest of your life.

Seeing Abobo's Big Adventure released is a real dream come true. Thanks so much for being a part of it.

Nick, Roger, and Pox - aka: Team Bobo.
Nick, Roger, and Pox.
Team Bobo.

45 comments

User avatar

The_Punk_Hippie on 01/11/2012 11:42 am

OMG YES!

I am putting EVERY OTHER 8 BIT GAME on the backburner for this (which is impressive, as I have a huge list, a goal to beat 52 games this year, & they're for research for a webcomic I'm creating) XD



User avatar

JoeyJoJoJr on 01/11/2012 11:42 am

Congratulations RoG a long journey for you and Abobo but you made it.



User avatar

JoeyJoJoJr on 01/11/2012 11:54 am

LOL I have to say I love the private party room in the first level I am so glad you hid that room there. Every time I play that level in DD I always do that glitch, ever since I was a kid now I know where it leads.



User avatar

Billy Chapman’s Friend on 01/11/2012 12:49 pm

You did it ROG! Congradulations on sticking in there until the end!



User avatar

doopa on 01/11/2012 1:06 pm

This game is really, seriously amazing. You have to play to the end to see the best ending of a game EVER.

I'm really proud of all you guys for all that hard work on this game. I know it's been tough!



Guest

Ed (Guest) on 01/11/2012 1:29 pm

Congrats, the game looks awesome.



Guest

Doctor_Who (Guest) on 01/11/2012 1:42 pm

Looks sweet. Will play as soon as I get home from work.



Guest

Hexar (Guest) on 01/11/2012 3:01 pm

I beat the game in about one and a half hour.. it was PERFECT!! everything that it should be, plus more!!! thank you SO much for this game! and i guarantee that i will be back to play it again! didnt find all achievements or secrets this first time around :)

let me assure you that the time you guys have been using on this game is everything but wasted! As an old NES fan this game is almost making me cry from joy!! Thank you sooo much, and i will look forward to any new games that you guys are going to make, even though i realize none of them are probably gonna be as packed with goodies as this one ;)

thank you for your 10 years of making pure awesomeness!!



User avatar

dextire on 01/11/2012 5:34 pm

Fantastic! Congratulations on finally getting through that behemoth, guys!

It's like Duke Nukem Forever, but awesome and actually worth the wait.



User avatar

Jaimas on 01/11/2012 6:37 pm

This is a delight.

MERBOBOS FOR EVERYONE!!



User avatar

Protoclown on 01/11/2012 7:40 pm

Congratulations on the game finally coming out, Rog! I know you've worked super hard on this forever!! Glad to see it's finally here!!



User avatar

PreApocalyptica on 01/11/2012 8:32 pm

So many goddamn things to discover in this game. My only gripe was a lack of CastleVania representation.



User avatar

monster_movie_night on 01/12/2012 3:20 am

I was laughing all the way into the balloon fight level this game rocks and it's the best title ever played online haha good job



Guest

Fernando (Guest) on 01/12/2012 5:26 am

You Sir are a certified Genius!



Guest

Uchuu (Guest) on 01/12/2012 9:18 am

I am really glad that people like you keep the retro games and our retro hearts alive!



User avatar

NotDavid on 01/12/2012 12:15 pm

I've been waiting for this since you first showed it a few years back and have really enjoyed seeing it come together through your Comic-Con posts and through the beta testing. The game was really awesome, I hope it does well for you guys since it's gotten some really decent exposure! Great job, guys!



Guest

Al Boondy (Guest) on 01/12/2012 12:20 pm

Will there be a way to download the game soon?

Awesome job!



Guest

Vert (Guest) on 01/12/2012 3:17 pm

The end result, despite a few bugs and a few frustrating parts, is nothing short of pure fun.

And that's about as good as it gets.



Guest

ReBirFh (Guest) on 01/12/2012 4:57 pm

Even though I was always more of a SEGA kid, I think this games was almost perfect in what it was trying to acomplish. I've beaten it 2 times now and didn't run into a single bug and I think it actually plays much better than the games it emulates at least in regards to the collision/hit detection.

I was loling earlier reading some of the bad newsground user reviews, this generation is really being pussified with all the hand-holding/sugar-coating. The game is exactly what a game should be, it doesn't get easy because you bough new abilities or got a better weapon, it gets easier because your skills actually improved. I had some trouble and died a lot against the Zelda dungeon boss,in the ballon segment and against Little Mac in my first playthrough but didn't die once in the second.

My only suggestion is:

-> Add a "Restart Level" option in the Pause menu for those trying to get the achievements and finding the secrets.

-> Maybe some segments could have been shorter if that meant adding some more NES/80's classics that I felt were underrepresented like a shooter, RPG turn-battle/overworld, Metroid and Castlevania.

CONGRATULATIONS for the great job and sorry for my english, I'm not a native speaker.



Guest

Chris (Guest) on 01/12/2012 7:17 pm

Pure awesomeness.

BUT, if you accept a little bit of criticism, I think the Urban Champ stage was kind of boring... it felt more like a bonus stage than an actual one (the fighter can't even fight back!).

I'd say, a Castlevania themed stage would have rocked (though, there's already one platformer) or a racing one (Rad Racer?). But still, incredible work guys. This thing is legendary.



Guest

Jorge (Guest) on 01/12/2012 7:57 pm

You guys are awesome. This game shows your passion for the industry. Greetings from Peru!



User avatar

EmptyEnergy on 01/12/2012 8:05 pm

Fantastic game! It plays as if the NES heavens opened up and Abobo's Big Adventure floated down from above.

I ran out of continues at the Zelda level. Sad face.



User avatar

A-bomb on 01/12/2012 8:49 pm

This is seriously the best game I've played in a long time for any system. I just got a PS3 for Christmas but right now Saints Row 3, Uncharted, GTA IV and Arkham City are gathering dust in favor of Abobo. The humor you worked in is hilarious too. Something tells me I'll be coming back to see what Aboboy is doing as well. Thank you for all your years of hard work and dedication in bringing this game to life. It's the world's greatest love letter to the NES and 8-bit gaming.



User avatar

Julio on 01/12/2012 11:19 pm

Abobo's Big Adventure at last!!!



Guest

Ishida (Guest) on 01/13/2012 1:07 am

Oh man, I've been waiting SO LONG for this game, and so far it's everything I expected... AND MORE!!

I've been laughing like a freakin' maniac all the way through! And I chose to mate with Annie, of course. My friends thought I was going insane at my constant laughing.

Seriously, THANK you for making this game. THAN YOU for your efforts! his game is abso-freakin'-lutely incredible in every way, shape and form.

Not only this game brings back good memories from my childhood, but also SMASHES them in ways only Abobo could! And I'm loving every second of it!

Long Live Abobo!



Guest

JesusKristov (Guest) on 01/13/2012 2:40 am

Hurray! The game is awesome, and it's fantastic to see it released. Even more good news, you've been plugged on Rock Paper Shotgun - arguably one of the better gaming sites online since Old Man Murray stopped updating. Keep on rocking guys!



Guest

Mr.Tickles (Guest) on 01/13/2012 1:50 pm

Clearly now that you're done you must make Abobo's Great Adventure II. And in NES tradition of "II" games, it will be nothing like the first game.



Guest

Asa (Guest) on 01/14/2012 1:21 am

The game is freaking awesome, I especially like the Contra level and the giant [spoilers] boss.



Guest

Guest (Guest) on 01/14/2012 12:59 pm

So what do you think is next? Super Abobo's Big Adventure, with all your favorite Super Nintendo characters set in Super Nintendo game settings?



Guest

ColdFusion (Guest) on 01/14/2012 1:28 pm

I-Mockery.com is officially the greatest site on the entire interwebs.



Guest

J. L. Westover (Guest) on 01/14/2012 5:51 pm

Is there any way I could purchase this game to have and hold until death do us part?

On a side note: Big fan of yours for 7 years now. Thanks for making the internet good.



Guest

James (Guest) on 01/16/2012 6:15 am

!!

Been a big fan of I-Mockery for a long time and holy googly mooglys this game is amazing.

I loved every moment, and that final stage was just perfection.



Guest

Pram (Guest) on 01/16/2012 10:39 am

That is frigging amazing! As a kid I rented a different NES title every week and this parody is spot-on. I can see elements of all my favorite games in this.

As great as the site is at mocking, it's even better at making video games! I am donating to the cause. Thanks for making it playable on Newgrounds.



User avatar

Jonny#5 on 01/16/2012 6:57 pm

IT'S BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!

I knew I wasn't going to be disappointed in this baby! Your games always come out great, and this is the best of them all. I loved all of the game cameos and how the feel of the controls in each stage feels just like the original games. Even the balloon fight controls are perfectly emulated, for better or worst. If there was any justice, this game would be crowned GOTY.

MY only gripe about this was oddly enough in the Double Dragon stage. The enemies just were not getting stunned when you hit them, making it hard to get consecutive hits in and getting you RAGE meter up. Other than that, this game was awesome!



User avatar

Nick on 01/18/2012 11:21 pm

I had a great time playing this game. I'm glad I could beta test it. Thanks a lot, guys. :)



User avatar

Gix on 01/19/2012 12:48 pm



User avatar

Julio on 01/20/2012 12:16 am

What's the size of this game? I just wanted to get an idea about the insanely huge work you did here, guys.



Guest

Guest (Guest) on 01/27/2012 10:57 am

I am SICK of Abobo.

Where are the new updates?



Guest

Dan Brusca (Guest) on 01/29/2012 5:55 pm

Amazing job guys - just been playing the first double dragon section. Bringing back a lot of fond memories. Who's beardy barrel though? ...



User avatar

Scorpio1976 on 02/18/2012 8:35 pm

Guest (Guest) on 01/14/2012 12:59 pm wrote:

So what do you think is next? Super Abobo's Big Adventure, with all your favorite Super Nintendo characters set in Super Nintendo game settings?

Yes. I second this. There needs to be a Super Adventure!



Guest

tima (Guest) on 02/19/2012 1:10 pm

can some one tell me how abbobs small adventure is a free game you are paying for it via donations so it's not really a free game



Guest

Kitten (Guest) on 03/09/2012 5:57 pm

I was looking at the index page on this months game informer when I saw a picture of Abobo, I immediately tore to the page and squealed in delight when I saw that your game was being featured for everyone to read about! I have no doubt that you'll draw in more players with the artical and send even more people on that ultimate nostalgia trip!



User avatar

Starscream on 03/12/2012 12:55 pm

Destructoid did a review of the game yesterday guys, awesome score too. Grats RoG and the rest!

http://www.destructoid.com/review-abobo-s-big-adventure-222925.phtml



Guest

Richard (Guest) on 03/25/2012 8:06 am

Reading this post and watching the trailer has made me want to play the double dragon games again, oh nostalgia.



Guest

Mike (Guest) on 03/28/2012 4:40 pm

i won´t say that im the biggest NES fan or stuff like that, just...

Thanks Guys. i really appreciate this.
Thanks a lot

:)



Leave a Reply

Available BBCode: [b] = bold, [i] = italics, [u] = underline,
[img] = insert image, [url] = insert hyperlink. See the full list.

Previous post: Protoclown’s Top Tens For 2011.
Next post: Make Suggestions For Our Upcoming Spring Pixel Poster!