Amateur Dumptruck: Interview with Divekick's artist Anna Kooiman

Divekick "Kickboxes" communicate everything you need to know.

Here's the link to my interview with Divekick's artist, Anna Kooiman:

http://cqcsteve.podomatic.com/entry/2013-04-21T14_07_34-07_00

The big talk in the fighting game community and at conventions like PAX has been Divekick. During the first day of PAX East, I couldn't walk 50ft in the Boston Convention Center without someone I knew asking if I've checked out this hilarious and weirdly legitimate fighting game from Iron Galaxy. Even when playing other developer's games, the conversation somehow went to Divekick.

From a distance, the game looks like a joke. Well, it was a joke at first. Before playing it, Divekick looked like some dumb flash game you would play on Newgrounds. To my surprise it was more than that. The folks behind the game somehow took that intense last 10 seconds of any close fighting game match and made that a videogame. Everyone has 1,000 health and attacks do a million points of damage.

The “Kickboxes” make the game and communicate everything you need to know. It's a two button fighting game. This means no stick either. I've been curious about fighting games from a distance ever since I can remember. The arcade era was a few years before my time so I feel like I missed my window to get in the genre. Fighting games seem to work best when a personal community is around it and any attempts to break into the genre has boiled down to me playing Street Fighter alone.

One of the loading screen messages in Divekick says, “It's better to master 2 moves than to know 20,000.” That sums up the entire game's philosophy. Even a guy like me that isn't well-versed in the genre can pick up a Kickbox and win matches. Don't take this to mean there isn't skill involved. Each character will take time to master and despite everyone having the same two moves they still all handle distinctively different.

Even with every character sharing the same two attacks, they all handle differently.

Some of the Divekick team came to Arcade Legacy in Cincinnati this weekend to have a tournament. Surprisingly, everyone already knew about the game and have even had chances to play it previously in other venues. I didn't expect random Street Fighter fan at the arcade to know about some indie fighting game, but the crowd was stoked to get their hands on it.

It's insane that a game that was built to be a joke at the Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament in Chicago became not only a real game that you can buy this summer, but a game that's actually being taken seriously and that folks are screaming to spend a bunch of money on Kickboxes.

Something that didn't make it in the interview is that according to Kooiman, there still isn't a buisness deal made to get Kickboxes to retail.

-Steve

@stevenbeynon

15 Comments
16 Comments
Edited by Sgtpierceface

We need as much Dive Kick coverage as possible. Thanks!

Posted by audioBusting

I didn't know those things were called Kickboxes. Now I want one, so I can tell my friends I kickbox.

Edited by FLStyle

@epicsteve: The "better to master 2 moves and to know 20,000" line is one of Dive's win quotes, not an Uncle Sensei loading screen tip. Good write-up otherwise, just listening to the audio now.

EDIT: The quote is better to master 2 moves than to know 20,000

EDIT 2: Good quality interview, I'd have never noticed it was "amateur" if I had found this elsewhere without prior knowledge. I personally didn't learn anything new for the Divekick wiki page, but it's a brilliant 13 minute introduction for people new to Divekick.

Posted by StarvingGamer

Great write up and I enjoyed the interview.

The entire time I was thinking, man, wasn't the artist of Divekick Keit's fiance? Wasn't her name Anna? Why does she keep talking around it so obliquely.

I guess nepotism?

Edited by EpicSteve

@starvinggamer said:

Great write up and I enjoyed the interview.

The entire time I was thinking, man, wasn't the artist of Divekick Keit's fiance? Wasn't her name Anna? Why does she keep talking around it so obliquely.

I guess nepotism?

I fucked up and our pre-interview was super in depth and we just kind hung out for an hour or two before the interview. So I got to know her and I feel like she might've felt like she was repeating herself to me and forgetting about the interview part and just thinking about talking to me. I learned for next time.

Like when I wanted her to clarify that she was engaged to the director I feel like she was thinking, "Yeah motherfucker you know that already!"

Edited by EpicSteve

@flstyle said:

EDIT 2: Good quality interview, I'd have never noticed it was "amateur" if I had found this elsewhere without prior knowledge. I personally didn't learn anything new for the Divekick wiki page, but it's a brilliant 13 minute introduction for people new to Divekick.

Thanks for the feedback. That was my first recorded interview and any feedback is great. Hopefully more to come.

Posted by StarvingGamer

@epicsteve: Ah yeah, that makes sense. I just thought she might have felt it would be unprofessional to say, "I got the job because I'm boning Keits" or something.

Posted by MrSpaceMan

Great interview!

Posted by EpicSteve
Edited by siaynoq

I only clicked on this for Manny. Where's Manny?

Posted by bkbroiler

I saw Grim Fandango in the picture and now I see nothing. Where is the Calavera

Posted by EpicSteve

@cimpy said:

Divekick was in Cincy and I missed it?! Fffffffuuuuuuuuuuu...

Yep, In Cincinnati Mills.

Edited by HellknightLeon

Dive... then kick. I get it... and I'm ready to do it! Let roll!

Edited by nate6858

Enjoyed the interview, nice job. I can't get enough Divekick, I want this game so much.

Edited by ITgeek

Great interview. The more I see those Divekick controllers, the more I want a set.