Play a top-down arcade action game set in a cyberpunk dystopia. Kill or be killed in RUTHLESS COMBAT across the story campaign and local multiplayer!
The megacorporations have taken over. The people no longer stand a chance. But you can change it. Your katana is ultra-sharpened, your lasergun is charged to the max, your body is full of biomods and you've got the latest turbo-rail boots to grind across the neon-lit streets. You can change the city’s fate tonight. All you have to do is to master Gunkatana!
Gunkatana is a turbo-fast action game, cracking top-down across speed rails. It’s the neon-infused pixel art dream of Geraldo Nascimento and CrazyArcadia. We want to deliver a tight, hyperkinetic action game that's easy to play, but hard to master!
It's inspired by Hotline Miami, Towerfall, and our collective influences from action games and cyberpunk stories. It's all that we love, tossed in a blender until it reaches that juicy technopunk gameplay goodness.
We've put together a team of really talented people to create Gunkatana with us. We want to share the experience, the sounds and the stories of this world & its characters we cherish so much with YOU.
In this city, the only lights in the sky are neon. Murder for entertainment or fight for freedom in the Gunkatana death matches.
Gunkatana will be released for Windows, Mac and Linux, distributed both through Steam and DRM-free.
"It’s loud, dirty and stretching from horizon to horizon. Its vastness swallows you up and smothers you in its toxic embrace. In many ways, Absolution is like any other city. Only that nobody finds absolution here." - Sin Viper
Welcome to Absolution, a dystopian metropolis ruled by GenoCorp. For a decade, the megacorporation has been staging brutal death matches all over the city.
The name of this slaughterfest-spectacle? Gunkatana! It’s gory entertainment for the rich and a convenient way of siphoning off potential rebels as Gunkatana Primes. Spectators, Investors and Streamers all prey on the Primes to kill each other in spectacular ways.
This year, the tide is beginning to turn. There is growing dissent among those preparing to fight. But GenoCorp doesn’t plan on releasing its grip on the city - or its people - anytime soon.
Gunkatana will take you on a turbo-fast journey through the blood-filled streets of Absolution.
These are the Gunkatana fighters, equally matched and equally blood-thirsty. Our playable characters - pick your Prime!
Losing an arm couldn’t keep Sin Viper from joining the fighting elite. She has a knack for constructing biomods, is extremely skilled with her traditional katana and fires high-precision lasers with her biomech arm.
GenoCorp killed her sister, and she won't stop until she gets revenge.
It may come as a surprise that a deadly morphbot has a fondness of felines. But if you think about it, it makes sense: not unlike a cat, Clarke can be a vicious killing machine - if they choose to.
The makers at GenoCorp developed Clarke as a murderous tool without emotional capabilities, but Clarke is a little more compassionate than they were expecting (towards cats, at least). The bot has developed total consciousness and refused to kill on orders. Now the AI-gone-rogue seeks emancipation from its designers by wreaking havoc in the death matches.
Sombra was part of the failed rebellion against GenoCorp. Now he’s back with a new plan: overtaking Gunkatana from the inside! A biomod-skeptic, Sombra is the only fighter without modifications, relying on his natural strength and abilities. He even refuses to replace his dead eye.
A craftsman at heart, Sombra smithed his own katana, complete with a built-in laser blaster.
“Nothing like kickin’ back on a Friday night with your favorite greasehoppers, watchin’ Primes duking it out over the rails.”
At Gunkatana's fast-beating heart lies a zero sum combat system, where every ability counters another. You've got to use your moves strategically, or you risk becoming a ground pulp of blood n' gore!
Killing your friends, umm, your enemies, is absolutely mandatory: katanas, lasers, bombs – anything goes. But better hop on the speed rails fast before they can strike back!
This is a very fast game, suggestive of the games we love, like Bayonetta and Devil May Cry. Gunkatana is skill based; you become more proficient as you improve your techniques.
We've used the local multiplayer portion of the game as a testbed for the fighting mechanics. Our design philosophy has been to keep it simple.
We don't have complicated combos; each button activates one ability and each attack is relatively fast to perform. At any one moment, it's up to you to figure out the best possible move, be it attacking, defending or escaping.
Absolution is draped in speed rails. Once an alternative mode of transport, the rails turned out to be a disaster; thousands of casualties as people inadvertently ran over each other.
The corporation behind the Gunkatana tournament seized the rail technology... and now? You can guess where it's being used.
Grind the rails to zip along at breakneck speeds, and if someone's in your way? Just run them over!
It's the future; bullets are old school. Nothing more cyberpunk than lasers bouncing off walls.
Use your lasers to dispatch hostiles, but be extremely careful - they can rebound unexpectedly! #SELFIEKILL
Fire the lasers strategically to block the way for others while you take off on the grind rails, a sardonic grin on your face.
The traditional katana is tremendously useful, and not just to hack at your foes.
SPIN ATTACK - Deflect lasers back to sender with a well-timed spin attack, or rip open their guts at close-range!
STAB ATTACK - Precise and open to lasers, it'll break through a spin attack. If you see someone abusing their spin button, it's time to poke their insides out.
Building up your SPECIAL ATTACK bar by recklessly murdering enemies will allow you to unleash a devastating move. Each playable character has their own unique special attack.
CRIMSON DANCE - Sin Viper makes her katana dance, attacking a number of opponents at once.
“Leaping forward, her katana slices a butterfly of blood into the air, dashing back and forth in a delirious dance with flesh and bones.”
SHRAPNEL GRINDER - Clarke morphs into a gruesome cacophony of sharpened metal, goring other fighters like a meat grinder.
“With the swift, deliberate movement of a dancer the morphbot pulls her into a deadly embrace of blades and sharp edges, colouring them a deep, wet red.”
ELECTRIC BANG - Sombra's home-made combination Bladegun kills with a bang: it fires a sparking bolt of energy with devastating effects.
“With grim determination, Sombra presses the blade against his enemies’ temple and electric bolts lick over his twitching, terror-stricken features, frying neurons and cybermods alike.”
The blonde GenoCorp woman whirls around, but Sin Viper is ready. Leaping forward, her katana slices a butterfly of blood into the air, dashing back and forth in a delirious dance with flesh and bones. The woman’s head lolls back. A delicate web of red streaks has appeared all over her body. “You won’t find the answer to your sister’s death here,” she whispers. “There is only one who holds the key to that.”
Every year, GenoCorp pits handpicked Primes against one another in a fight to the death across the metropolis. But this year, not all of them are loyal to the cause. Engage in our story campaign, the Neon Absolution Crusade, and disrupt GenoCorp's homicidal entertainment.
Each Prime has their own reason for deviating from the rules - but there will be Hell to pay if the corporation finds out. Then again, Hell might be a pleasant vacation from the toxic fumes of Absolution. The race will take you on a tour-de-force across the dystopian world of Gunkatana. Grab your weapon and overpower your opponents in this neon maze!
Gunkatana started its gruesome life as a local multiplayer focused game, and after putting so much of our time into it, we've grown really fond of its mechanics, which is why we're building the Neon Absolution Crusade. We want you to shoot, stab, spin & grind rail across a variety of stages, following a story in our cyberpunk world.
This is where we marry our intense, gory and fiery gameplay with a neon-soaked, blood-tinged narrative of oppression and rebellion.
Neon Absolution Crusade will be playable in single or two player co-op modes.
The story campaign is formed of many missions that you can complete in a non-linear fashion. An interleaved sequence of story-based missions and challenging tasks, in true arcade fashion.
Dialogue will play a big role in bringing these sequences to life. The story will unfold in slightly different ways, depending on the character you choose.
Every time you complete a mission, other missions will be unlocked in Absolution. Every character wants an end to GenoCorp - exactly how this happens, and what cost, will depend on your choice of Prime fighter.
Gunkatana is set in a vibrant neon-bathed world, a woven tapestry of cyberpunk locations. Rather than spend money maintaining arenas for the blood matches, GenoCorp creates fight-pits in random spots in the city, killing any human in sight.
Anywhere in the city is fair game, from the shantytowns to the pristine rich buildings surrounding the Crystalshard in the city centre. This allows us to create and explore wildly different scenarios with our level design.
Gunkatana's levels are very interactive: switch doors, conveyor belts, destructible cars, breakable glass panes, chairs and tables and lots of other objects. The world should feel lived in and feasible in the real world, with a cyberpunk coat.
Every level features the speed rails, they're Gunkatana's iconic environmental kill! Some areas will even have moving speed rails...
We're aiming for level sizes to vary between one-screen arenas and areas roughly four times larger, complete with a scrolling, zoomed in camera.
All of these level designs pictured have already been implemented; you can check out Deathzone 666 and Priss Strip Club in the alpha build.
Our level design process starts by finding interesting outlines for the grind rails, and creating gameplay around them. At the same time we decide what kind of place the level should be.
Have a look at some of our level design notes:
Other environments we want to create (and destroy):
- MILITARY BASE
- SECRET LAB
- INTERNET CYBERCAFE
- ...and more!
There's nothing quite like sitting down in the living room with your friends and settle the score with KATANAS, LASERS and GRIND RAILS.
There are a couple of things in life you never forget. For us children of the 80's and teenagers of the 90's, playing games with our friends at each other’s houses is one of those things. This was a time when it was virtually impossible to play with your friends without being in the same place. Hours would pass by almost unnoticed while we were playing.
Friendships were made, and temporarily broken, and made again.
Local multiplayer in Gunkatana is a way of peering into this past, allowing us to travel back to a time when only fun mattered, and the bonds of friendship were strengthened by friendly competition, fierce trash-talking and random acts of "craziness".
We're building a game where skill, timing and coordination are essential to win, but Gunkatana's fun doesn't always come from winning. If you play it drunk, you're probably going to lose, but fear not, you can always curse and eat some nachos while you're waiting for your respawn.
Gunkatana is a product of prototyping, playtesting with friends, showing the game at events, listening to players' ideas, and feeding it all back into the game.
You can try out the local multiplayer mode in our alpha build, we've had fantastic feedback showcasing it at events!
STYLISH KILLS - There are many ways to kill in Gunkatana, from deflecting your laser so it hits some unlucky sod in the next room, to slicing someone open, to running over those foolish enough to pause on the grind rails. This mode will force you to explore the most outlandish forms of mutilation, all just to get some points.
BLOOD CREDITS - Blood Credits revolves around precious credit chips that happen to be in other players' possession. Your goal is to kill everyone else and steal their money!
DEATHMATCH - The classic cacophony of the Death Match. Every kill is one point, but beware, if you perform a #SELFIEKILL, your score will go down. Tread carefully with those lasers - it's easier to hit yourself than you think!
PUNK OF THE HILL - Our take on King of the Hill: area control within the cyberpunk arenas.
We've designed more local multiplayer modes and would love to share them in the future!
Beyond our base combat abilities, we want to jam pack Gunkatana with powerups, altering the rules of combat and providing even more avenues for destruction.
These powerups spawn randomly throughout the levels, with a range of different effects. Their usage is limited, but can turn the blood-tide in an instant!
ARMOR - Prevent getting one-hit killed! The armor will allow you to survive a couple of attacks and laser hits, but won't last forever.
LASER CLUSTER - A timed bomb that fires a frenzy of lasers in all directions.
AUTO AIM - A laser sight extends from your gun. Shots fired while the Auto Aim is in effect will have a greater chance of hitting enemies!
HOMING MISSILES - A multitude of projectiles fired at the same time, heat-seeking the nearest enemy.
BULLET TIME - Enemies around you are slowed down, allowing you to surgically hack them apart, or shoot 'em, or run 'em over...
CHARGE SHOT - Charging your laser will allow to fire through walls, delivering unexpected death at high ranges.
The local multiplayer modes will allow you to pre-equip a selection of powerups. These mutators provide match customization, for example allowing you to craft fights where everyone is able to use Bullet Time for the duration of the match.
Feel and juice are in Gunkatana's DNA. Our creative process is always running in the back of our heads when playing other games. We deconstruct how other games feel and use that as research when crafting our game.
"I must have said the word juice some thousand times in conversation with players and other game devs. Juice is that ephemeral quality that makes games feel alive and vibrant, and we're infusing Gunkatana with juice wherever we can."
- Geraldo Nascimento, Programming & Game Design
We smile whenever someone tells us that it feels really good and that it's satisfying to kill other characters in Gunkatana. It's that squishiness that we are going for! For us, game feel is the sense of speed when traversing the levels, the rate of fire, how easy and tight it feels to grind the rails and how satisfying it is to get on and off.
You can attest to Gunkatana's game feel and juice in our alpha build. All that you feel there has been the result of multiple passes of polishing and fine-tuning.
Future 80s soundscape pumps into this cyberpunk bloodfest.
We've enlisted our friends Electric Cafe, of Aqua Kitty and Rock Boshers fame, to craft Gunkatana's retrowave soundtrack.
Gritty, dirty and frenetic music; a perfect match for Gunkatana's turbo-charged combat. Here's a teaser:
During GameCity 2015, we showcased Gunkatana to dozens of players, and thats how we met Joonas Turner, the sound effects maestro of hits like Nuclear Throne and Downwell. It was a pleasure to duel Joonas at our game and to hear his appeal for more gory games like ours!
We're proud to be working with Joonas Turner and Niilo Takalainen to bring Gunkatana's audio essence to life.
You can listen to it for your yourself in our playable build of the game.
One of our first ideas for Gunkatana was to have an announcer commenting on the action during the matches. Joonas had the same thought once he started working with us, and so our Announcer was born. SELFIE!
Joonas and Niilo produced this Behind the Scenes video for Gunkatana's audio that we're very happy to share with you. Find out how the rail grinding, sword sounds & the Announcer's voice were created!
Meet the Gunkatana development team, a group of action game and cyberpunk afficionados, dotted across the UK, Germany, Portugal and Finland.
The core combat abilities have been built during our free time and polished since we’ve started working full time on the game. We’ve prototyped a number of variations over time and feel very happy with the current set, though we’re very excited to expand the combat dynamics with a number of different powerups, plus the Special Attacks.
AI is still in its early stages. Luckily we’ve started collaborating with a talented artificial intelligence PhD student to help us create a devious set of enemies and bosses.
We’ve built an internal level editor to craft different level designs, and we are brainstorming a set of mission designs for the Neon Absolution Crusade.
We launched a teaser trailer, the playable alpha build and a Steam Greenlight campaign recently, and Gunkatana is already proudly Greenlit!
Our characters feel alive and vibrant thanks to our short stories and internal world building; now our challenge is bringing that feeling into the full game.
It's always been our dream to create a cyberpunk action game like Gunkatana. Since the first time we showed it publicly on events and then eventually on the cyber-web, we've been getting great constructive feedback, and a lot of genuine enthusiasm from people playing the game. It made us realise there are more people in love with the game's concept than we thought, and it made us think about greater things.
We are a small, international team made up of members living in different countries. We've been coordinating with each other daily for months, and the challenge has been great. We have already invested a significant amount of time in Gunkatana, some of us working full-time on the project living off savings. Others have day jobs with inflexible time-shifts, families and even small babies! We're all here because we believe in what we're doing, and what we can achieve if given the right chance. Gunkatana’s alpha build stands as our first deliverable, proof of what we can achieve, but we want to deliver more.
We've given the money subject a lot of thought, and our base goal ensures we can work full time until the end of the year, crafting the single player campaign and expanding the local multiplayer modes.
If our Kickstarter campaign is successful we can buy new equipment, software licenses, new artistic material, deliver all of the rewards, and sustain ourselves in order to complete Gunkatana as the stylish, action packed game we want it to be.
STRETCH GOAL #1 £50.000 - PS4
Our first stretch goal is to bring Gunkatana to Sony PS4. We believe there is no better home than the living room for Gunkatana's brand of death battling. That implies getting devkits, going through the certification process, and all of that takes our time. We really love playing on console and reaching this stretch goal would be a dream come true.
STRETCH GOAL #2 £70.000 - ONLINE MULTIPLAYER
We've had multiple requests to add online multiplayer to Gunkatana. We are listening! If we reach this stretch goal we'll be able to afford working on Gunkatana for longer, giving us the time we need to implement online cyber-slaughtering.