Divekick is a fighting game developed by Iron Galaxy Studios. It features characters who are parodies of fighting characters infamous for having Divekick attacks, such as: Yun, Yang, Rufus, Kung Lao, Wolverine and Doctor Doom.
The goal of the game is to defeat your opponent with a divekick; whoever connects with a divekick first wins the round by knock out. You must win five rounds to win a match.
After a successful debut at fighting game tournament events, a Kickstarter campaign to fund a PC release was announced (with a $30,000 goal within a 30 day deadline). The campaign was cancelled after the news emerged that Divekick's creator, Adam 'Keits' Heart, the Editor-in-chief of Shoryuken.com, had successfully made a deal with his employer, Dave Lang's Iron Galaxy Studios for the game's release.
Divekick has been confirmed for PlayStation 3 and Vita in Summer 2013, it is currently on Steam Greenlight for users to vote on a potential release.
Divekick is played by using only two buttons: Dive and Kick. The only way to strike your opponent is to divekick into them, which will instantly K.O. if it connects. Movement is handled by using the trajectory of your jump, the descent of your divekicks, and hopping backwards (known as "kickbacks"). This in conjunction with the fact there is no way to block or duck in the game makes the positioning of your character and the anticipation of the opponent's character paramount.
Heart's view on what is important in fighting games takes a central role in Divekick saying that, "I don't think it's about buttons. The idea that depth has to be layered behind complexity is false. The fun part of a fighting game for me is controlling my opponent, not learning crazy combos."
Matches are first to five rounds, with each round lasting 20 seconds. If there is no winner at the end of the round, the winner is judged to be the player who is closest to the middle of the screen, as indicated by a red line that appears during the final 5 seconds. Only if the players distance to the line is equal will a drawn round occur (in the form of a giant foot stomping on both players). Double knock outs are not beneficial in Divekick as neither players are awarded a round.
Divekick also has optional subsystems like headshots and Kick Factor that can be turned on or off before matches.
One of Divekick's unique features is its simplified control scheme featuring only two buttons, dive and kick. This minimalist style has resulted in the design of unique fight pads, referred to as Kickboxes, containing only the two buttons. The current limited models are made by HitBox. No official plans have been announced for the release of the pads, but Dave Lang has stated that talks are ongoing with multiple companies for a potential release.
The PlayStation Vita version of the game supports local multi-player, with players diving and kicking with down and left on the D-pad and with the X and Circle face buttons. The Vita version also features online PS3 & Vita cross-play functionality.
Kick Factor Gauge and Special Moves
A parody of Marvel vs. Capcom 3's X-Factor comeback mechanic. Kicking will increase the meter (which is in the shape of a shoe) and, once full, Kick Factor will activate and characters (except Jefailey) will become faster for a limited time. This effect persists through rounds, but will end abruptly if you are hit, including on a Double KO or a draw, however it will continue into the next round if you lose via the timer.
Each character has one ground move and one air move each, activated by pressing dive and kick at the same time. They cost varying amounts of Kick Factor meter, prolonging Kick Factor activation. Special moves can be used during Kick Factor but will shorten the amount of time that Kick Factor is activated for, as Kick Factor drains the gauge by nature.
Each character's special move has an indicator on the gauge that shows how much meter you need before you can execute the ground (yellow) and the air (blue) moves. Greyed-out A and G letters will light up respectively to let the player know when they have enough meter to use the air and/or the ground moves.
If a player wins a round with a headshot, their opponent will be inflicted with a concussion for the first few seconds of the next round. This reduces your character's jump height and speed drastically, reduces your Kick Factor gauge to zero, and prevents you from gaining meter until it wears off.
Concussion does not persist through rounds, although if a character suffers a headshot in successive rounds, the concussion starts anew in the next round.
If successive headshots do occur, the in-game announcer will reference Unreal Tournament, shouting "Double Kill!" for two, "Multi Kill!" for three and so on.
A parody of Street Fighter X Tekken, gems are chosen after character selection.
|Yellow||Dive||Max diving height increase||10%|
|Blue||Kick||Kicking speed increase||10%|
|Grey||Style||Kick Factor meter gain increase||10%|
|Double Red||Man-Mode||All of the above (but you start the match 4 rounds down)||30%|
A parody of the Infinite Protection in Skullgirls, winning the first 4 rounds will cause a Fraud Detection warning to be displayed on screen. If the match is finished in the next round, the loser is declared a fraud. This is could be a reference to many sweeps in fighting game tournaments, most noticeably being Mike Ross's 5-0 defeat to Finger Cramp's Jago at the Bar Fights tournament in 2011.
If a player in danger of being a fraud wins the 5th round, another message will appear signaling that the fraud detection has been averted.
If a player activates Fraud Detection, but then loses the next 4 consecutive rounds, a Choke Detection warning will appear. This reference can be applied to all sports and video games, of players who almost win but fail to finish the match off when presented with the opportunity. Losing the final round against the person originally in danger of being a fraud, will result in the defeated player being declared a choker.
Much like in Street Fighter IV, the winner is given a letter score in three categories after a match: diving, kicking, and not losing.
Currently 8 announced characters feature in Divekick with more to be unveiled. One of the 8, Dive and Kick's mentor type character (and initially a NPC), Uncle Sensei, gives comedic hints filled with references to memes before matches.
Each character has one special move that can be used in the air and one while on the ground. Each move costs varying amounts of the Kick Factor meter.
Background - Parody of Street Fighter's Yang
- Air Special Move - Terminal Velocity
- Ground Special Move - Parabolic Arc
One of two youths from West Philadelphia (born and raised) who are sent by their mother (Mama Kick nee Sensei) to move in with Uncle Sensei. Martial Arts is Dive's love but he often wonders if his father thinks he should become a doctor and put his academic mind to use. Instead Dive puts his thinking into the mind-games of Divekick, as evident by his catchphrase, "The limit is infinity!"
As the name implies, Terminal Velocity sends Dive back down towards the ground very quickly, a useful fake-out tool and for correcting oneself if you've jumped into the opponent's divekick range.
Parabolic Arc is the only forwards jumping special move in the game, if you can save up enough Kick Factor meter for it.
Background - Parody of Street Fighter's Yun and real Hollywood actor Will Smith
- Air Special Move - New Angle
- Ground Special Move - Party Starter
One of two youths from West Philadelphia (also born and raised) who move in with Uncle Sensei. Kick is very much influenced by the culture of West Philadelphia and can be seen dropping mics and warning his opponents to leave before getting molly wopped.
New Angle is a special Divekick that Kick has been working on, it is much faster than a normal divekick.
Party Starter is an anti-close range special in which Kick will stomp on the ground, forcing anyone unlucky enough to be hit into the air where Kick can finish opponents off.
Background - A female parody of Mortal Kombat's Kung Lao
- Air Special Move - Dimension Break
- Ground Special Move - Crack Kick
The mysterious Kung Pao is a teleporting character from another dimension known as "Downworld." She is the leader of the resistance group fighting her step father Theodore Khan and his legion of palette swap ninjas.
Activating Dimension Break places a crack between dimensions (it can be kicked if you want to adjust its positioning).
Crack Kick utilizes the Dimension Break as seen in the Portal video games. The Crack Kick and Dimension Break combine to form the entry point and exit point, allowing Kung Pao to maneuver about the screen (and into the opponents) in ways only she can.
Background - A parody of real pro fighting game player turned pro League of Legends player Marn mixed with Street Fighter's Rufus
- Air Special Move - Marneto
- Ground Special Move - GTFO
Described as a horrible person who beats his dog and rigs the brackets, Mr. N is a trick character who uses tactics that are less than sportsmanlike to win. This is despite one of his win quotes which states, "Where do I see myself in 5 years? Being a millionaire from eSports!" He has a neck-pillow that prevents one concussion per match.
Using Marneto, Mr. N channels his inner Magneto as seen in various Marvel vs. Capcom games by temporarily floating in the air, avoiding dangerous situations and using it to his advantage to set-up divekicks of his own.
Using GTFO, Mr. N channels his inner Dan Hibiki, running away from danger in the same manner of Dan's back-dash from Street Fighter IV.
Background - An actual anthropomorphic humanoid wolverine parody of Marvel Comic's Wolverine
- Air Special Move - Cornered Beast
- Ground Special Move - Feral Stance
Redacted is a mutated Canadian skunk bear and a mother of three. She often finds herself at odds with Uncle Sensei because she keeps stealing his cigars.
Cornered Beast is a wall jump special move, similar to famous fighting game characters such as Chun-Li.
Feral Stance is a crouching special move, making
Redacted the only character who can duck. This makes a temporary solution to her large size (commonly referred to as a hit-box in fighting games). Feral Stance is also unique as it is currently the only special move in the game which builds meter, albeit slowly.
Background - Dive and Kick's mentor who is the most famous Divekick world champion
- Air Special Move - Stance Dance
- Ground Special Move - Super Jump
Uncle Sensei is a multiple time Divekick champion and he wears boots on both his hands and feet (and a pair of slippers under the boots). His only defeat was to Mr. N when he rigged the brackets and he hasn't been seen at a tournament since. Currently spends his days training Dive and Kick and giving hints before matches like "Don't play this underwater." He currently resides in the New Angle Dojo, but he may or may not be a squatter.
Uncle Sensei is a multiple stance character and changes between the two stances (and divekicks) in mid-air using Stance Dance. In the standing stance he does a Superman, a slower, more horizontal moving divekick with the boots on his hands. In the handstand stance he does a faster, more vertical moving divekick in the form of Akuma's demon flip divekick with the boots on his feet.
Super Jump allows Uncle Sensei to reach his maximum height much quicker than normal, useful for either positioning or escaping.
Background - A female parody of Doctor Doom
- Air Special Move - Death From Above
- Ground Special Move - Brilliant Escape
Dr. Shoals is the first person in history to contract the dreaded footdive disease on her face. To find a cure she becomes a professional divekicker using rocket boots in order to study divekicks and find a cure to footdive. She never stops writing notes. She also features an extra trajectory altering kick after pressing kick a second time while in the air.
Death From Above activates the rocket boots and Dr. Shoals will hover, allowing left and right movement with the dive and kick buttons. Death From Above can also cancel divekicks and allow Dr. Shoals to divekick again in mid-air.
Brilliant Escape activates the rocket boots as a replacement for her kickback which will fly her up-back into the air.
Background - A parody of the CEO tournament event organiser Alex Jebailey mixed with Mayor Mike Haggar.
- Air Special Move - Disqualification
- Ground Special Move - Timer Scam
Jefailey runs a community tournament all by himself, JEO (Jefailey Effort Orlando). Described as the Dan of Divekick, he thought the name of the game was dropkick (a wrestling move). The dropkick can also be charged (for up to five seconds) to get greater reach. When Jefailey activates Kick Factor, his dropkicks will automatically be charged instead of the usual Kick Factor bonuses.
When Jefailey wins a round, his ego inflates, resulting his head literally getting bigger, making him easier to score headshots against and lessening the force of gravity of him. At the peak of his jump, Jefailey does a chicken wing flap.
Disqualification is one of the tricks Jefailey learnt by running JEO, he literally spits out the words DISQUALIFIED like a fireball. If you're hit by the words, you lose all of your kick factor meter, which will also knock you out of kick factor.
With the other trick, Timer Scam, Jefailey takes time out to show off his bobble head figure to you, freezing the game in place for two seconds, but the time continues counting down.
Background - A parody of both Marvel vs. Capcom 3's Zero and Taskmaster who's design is based on a rejected Street Fighter II character called Zubaz.
- Air Special Move - Mighty Swing
- Ground Special Move - The Shocker
The Baz is an unorthodox Divekick character, born on a mountain under a blood red moon, who's failure to join any fighting tournaments lead him to Divekick. He is currently under contract by the mafia who have him chasing down Mr. N for the loan money that he owes them. His divekick has no effect on opponents. Rather the streaks of lightning (much like Zero's Raikousen - Lightning Bolt Flash) he leaves behind KO the enemies for him. The angle of the divekick itself is manually chosen by the player, pressing kick straight after dive results in a complete vertical divekick, while holding the kick button rotates The Baz to varying angles. The maximum is a 90 degrees angle, resulting in a complete Horizontal divekick.
Using Mighty Swing, The Baz copies Taskmaster, who in turn is copying Spider-man. The Baz swings using his rope whip to kick enemies, making Mighty Swing the only move in which he can defeat an opponent (for a cost) by using an actual physical attack and headshot enemies. The longer dive and kick are held down for, the longer the Mighty Swing, resulting in longer loops. It can also be cancelled into more Mighty Swings and divekicks.
The Shocker is The Baz's second move that serves as an unconventional means to KO an opponent. It is a defensive move that summons lightning from the sky. If the opponent attempts to divekick into The Baz while The Shocker is active he/she will be KOed, though The Baz is wide-open for attack during the move's start-up and at the end of it.
Background - A Parody of Mad Catz's Mark Julio mixed with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3's Phoenix Wright and Tekken's Kazuya Mishima.
- Air Special Move - Feignt / Up Kick
- Ground Special Move - Search / Up Kick
Entering Divekick tournaments utilising his kickbox invention, which improves divekicking precision, Markman hopes that by winning tournaments he will convince others to buy his product. But just incase that doesn't happen, MarkMman will try to talk you into buying it instead, much like a used car salesman. The interviewer who doesn't allow Mr. N to put his arm around her will allow MarkMan. He has a more powerful, electric, just-frame (extreme precise timing, often 1/60th or 1 frame of a second) version of his Divekick. Much like Kazuya's EWGF (Electric Wind God Fist), Markman's EWGF (Electric Weapon God Fist), features lightning effects and its user shouting "DORYA!"
In addition to diving and kicking during matches, MarkMan spends his time in search mode, in which he searches for kickbox parts to put together mid-match. He must find the box, the yellow button and the blue button as indicated by his extra kickbox UI next to his Kick Factor gauge (much like Phoenix Wright in UMvC3). Doing so, activates Upkick mode making MarkMan the only character with a shoryuken/dragon punch anti-air move.
In search mode, MarkMan's air special mode is the feignt, which allows to cancel dives and kicks into a down-back jump, very much like an opposite of each characters' kickbacks.
In Upkick mode, MarkMan's air special is the ability to cancel the downwards moving divekick, into the upwards moving upkick (which can be divekicked for a second time).
In search mode MarkMan's ground special move is search. If MarkMan is unsuccessful in picking up either the kickbox, the yellow button or the blue button he will instead pick up one of five random throw-away items. Both the positive and negative effects of these items can affect MarkMan and his opponent. Items persist in rounds until it is activated, its stand-by time runs out or another item is thrown by MarkMan.
- Glue, which will stick opponents to the ground
- Oil slick, which will slide opponents along the ground
- A bottle of chemistry which will drain kick factor meter
- A spring (reminiscent of Rocket Raccoon's spring hyper combo in UMvC3) which will bounce characters half-way up the screen until they move away from it or lose
- A black hole, which has been used in many video games and TV shows over the years as teleporting devices. Characters who fall down the black hole will reappear falling from the sky
In upkick mode, the ground special move will have MarkMan will simply upkick, as Ryu and Ken would use Shoryuken / Dragon Punch as an anti-air move.
Divekick began its life as a late night joke when Adam Heart suggested, “What if there was a game called Divekick, and the characters were Dive and Kick, and the buttons were Dive and Kick?” It was initially created and developed independently by Heart and fellow fighting game players, known as One True Game Studios.
The game debuted at Heart's UFGT8 (Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament 8, a Road to EVO Championship Series season event) in May 2012, in Chicago, IL.
The prototype build was played using a specially made controller with only two buttons, the dive button and the kick button. Selecting characters other than Dive and Kick required players to input different combinations of holding one button down (or both) while pressing another.
A joke gem, selectable with a non-existent third button, gave a significant boost to both dive and kick speed and was available for $8.95, a reference to Capcom's DLC strategy for Street Fighter X Tekken and the price to watch an advertisement free stream during Canada Cup in 2011 (which would become a meme unto itself when the live-stream notoriously and accidentally cut to advertisements before the end of matches for users with time delays).
Due to a large positive response from players and the community, Divekick returned for location testing In June 2012 at another Road to EVO event, CEO 2012 in Orlando, FL. The test involved a classic arcade style "winner stays on" format, with players paying $1 to play each time and those with the top 16 win streaks playing a tournament against each other. All proceeds would go towards development costs of the game.
Divekick was officially announced for EVO 2012 (July 6th to 8th) as part of the (fighting game and non-fighting game) Indie titles Showcase. The $1 Top 16 streak tournament format returned and was covered in a video interview by video game website GameSpot.
A Kickstarter campaign was announced on Monday July 2nd 2012 for a potential release on PC. During this time Dr Shoals was announced and Uncle Sensei was revealed to be a playable character. However after reaching its $30,000 goal several days before the end of its 30 day deadline, the campaign was cancelled by co-creator Heart, who announced that a publisher had been secured.
One True Game Studios would like to thank everyone for their offer of support, but we have decided to close the Kickstarter despite reaching our funding goal. The reason for this is simple: the spirit of Kickstarter is as a creative “last resort,” if there is no way to get your game funded, hit up Kickstarter to see if there’s enough community interest in funding it. Well, we are happy to inform you today that we've made a deal with a publisher to help us both finish and release Divekick to the masses! The finished game will be loaded with features and characters, and we are sure you'll be pleased with the result. Keep your eye on OneTrueGame.com for updates.
The publisher would be officially unveiled in January 2013 as Dave Lang's Iron Galaxy Studios (Heart's employer). Known for outsourcing games, including fighting games Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition and Marvel vs. Capcom Origins, Iron Galaxy will help co-develop and publish Divekick (complete with GGPO net-code support) for an eventual Summer 2013 release on PlayStation Network (PS3 and Vita) and PC.
The console version was revealed in a new Iron Galaxy trailer featuring Heart and Lang in conjunction with the Divekick's Steam Greenlight page going live on March 19th.
A few days later Divekick was on display and playable to the public at the Iron Galaxy booth in Boston during Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East 2013 from March 22nd through to the 24th. It also had several one hour-slots at the Mad Catz booth, streamed on their TwitchTV channel by Team Spooky. The next day it featured at the Game Developers Conference 2013, where Sony used Divekick as example of games in their Pub Fund program. The Iron Galaxy developers flew from Boston to San Francisco to continue showcasing the game at GDC from March 25th through to the 29th.
Revealed in the March 2013 build was:
- A complete graphics and UI overhaul
- New designs for each characters, most notably Kung Pao and Dr. Shoals
- New win-poses, such as Kick "dropping the mic"
- New frames of animation, including defeated characters lying face-first on the ground after being divekicked from behind, idle stances and a dizzy animation for characters with concussions. Each character now has over 100 frames.
- Wolverine was renamed to
- The introduction of 2 special moves (1 ground, 1 air) per character
- Additions to the gem system, including the Style gem and Man-Mode gem
Divekick #eSports Hour
The Divekick #eSports Hour is a weekly live-stream on the Iron Galaxy TwitchTV channel. Said to be taking place every Monday up until the game's release, the show primarily features new character reveals such as Uncle Sensei and Jefailey. It also features development updates such as week-to-week balance changes, new stages and changes to existing stages. The show debuted on April 15th.
The game had its first official major tournament with the Uncle Sensei and Jefailey build at NorCal Regionals 2013. Members of Iron Galaxy ran a booth at the C2E2 expo in Chicago the same weekend (April 26th-28th).
Divekick will return for UFGT9 (May 24th - 26th) and CEO 2013 (June 28th-30th), with Dave Lang and other members of Iron Galaxy scheduled to attend.