Some time ago, after years of looking for a job in games and never finding a real opportunity in the industry, I felt like I wasn’t good enough or that something was wrong with me. I wanted to give up. Before I did, I decided to try again on my own and put everything I had into one final project. With the idea that if people liked it, I would move on. If not, I would go on.
I set guidelines for myself to make sure the game was something that “younger than me” would love, to make the game feel cool, with no filler, and to keep the length of an action movie so people could finish it in an afternoon can. It’s as fun to watch as it is to play. In the end I would only give myself 15 months. With the rules now in place, all I had to do was figure out what I was going to do.
I wanted to pick a mechanic that people were familiar with, while also picking something that hadn’t been done in a while. Give me space to experiment and tweak the gameplay to really make it my own. I came across this “narrative runner” concept that I’ve always wanted to do, which involved a full story, cutscenes, more dynamics and the inclusion of players who may not have been able to play with the earlier games in the genre to grow. After the first few months, I had a really rough working prototype. It wasn’t much, but it gave me a good idea of what worked and what didn’t from that first pass.
By the next year, I was almost halfway through the game. About 6 levels, while friends are constantly testing the game, giving me feedback and suggestions. This was very important as each level was made by hand and each obstacle was placed by hand rather than using procedurally generated content. At that point, I went to see my friend Dan, who had done all of the music for my projects, to get the score for the game. I knew I wanted to mix two different genres of music, but the first few attempts didn’t feel right. After a few months back and forth, we came up with a cool but exciting mix of hip-hop and classic jazz. We came up with a really interesting workflow where I would make art and give him plot details about the level and he would use that as a guild for how the songs should feel.
At this point, the game’s title went through a few iterations before I landed on “Never Yield”. I thought this was the perfect description of both the characters’ attempts and my own. I then added my “Aerial_Knight” tag to the title. The name I’ve seen online since I was a kid. I wanted people to know that there wasn’t a big studio or team putting this game together, just a guy who couldn’t find an opportunity in the game industry and was trying to make his own.
Shortly after the game was featured in a couple of showcases, it caught the attention of Germany-based publisher Headup, which offered many of the options I now have. Without the help I received from them and the support from people around the world who have helped my game grow, this game would not be what it is now. Many Thanks!
Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield
HISTORY Take on the role of Wally. A mysterious character who has found what was taken from him. Hopefully you will be quick enough to outrun your enemies. Uncover the truth and try to uncover the secret of what happened to them. With an average running time of an action film (around an hour and a half for normal), a first run of this action-packed adventure can be enjoyed in one afternoon. After that, you can improve your score. GAMEPLAY Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is a 3D side scroller that behaves like a classic endless runner. The game has an interesting story that keeps players moving. Run, jump, slide or “dash” for acrobatic variations that lead to dope combinations and avoid the challenges that await you. Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is designed for gamers who enjoy playing speedrun games while providing an experience that casual gamers will also enjoy. SOUNDTRACK This soundtrack for Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is made by Danime-Sama, a Detroit artist with singing by artists from around the world. DEV’S NOTE This project started out as a passion project that I started myself to create something familiar but new for this generation of players while highlighting aspects of a culture that is often overlooked. I really hope you enjoy the game after its release and follow my journey to create new and interesting games – Aerial_Knight