Interview: Nicoll Hunt, Creator Of 'Fist Of Awesome'

Fist Of Awesome has been successfully Greenlit
I first met Nicoll Hunt at Margate's geekiest event, GEEK 2012, where he launched his first game Fist Of Awesome to a very positive public. It has since reached great success including being voted successfully onto the Steam Marketplace by fans on Steam Greenlight in only seven days!

I recently spoke with Nicoll about what it is like to be him, and to be such a huge success!

Q: Who are you? Introduce yourself, in your own words, to the readers.
A: Hi, I'm Nicoll Hunt, I'm Scottish and I have a beard. I've been making games for around 15 years now, and depending who you ask I'm either the saviour of indie games or everything that's wrong with them.

So, now we know where the slogan "Games For People With Beards" comes from... 

Q: Why did you want to become part of the gaming industry, and how did you get to where you are now?
A: I've always been obsessed with computer games. When I was a kid I spent all my free time playing on my ZX Spectrum working my way through every single game I could get my hands on, usually via collections of shadily-obtained 90 minute tapes.

I made a variety of games in my teens on the Amiga, all terrible beyond words, and eventually went to university to improve my programming skills. After graduation I was lucky enough to get a job at Codemasters working on the Colin McRae Rally games, and after working for a few more companies over the next decade, eventually left professional games development.

I missed making games though so in my spare time I made a little iOS game called Hard Lines. After its success I decided to start my own company, I Fight Bears, to release my own indie games, the first title being FIST OF AWESOME.

So, quite a successful creator of games, even before his Fist Of Awesome success. Speaking of which...

Q: What is Fist Of Awesome, and why should we buy/play it?
A: It's a time-travelling-lumberjack-em-up, heavily influenced by games like Double Dragon, Streets of Rage and Final Fight. You should play it because I desperately need to justify quitting my day job to make it. Also, because it's utterly ace and you get to punch full grown grizzly bears in the mouth.

Q: Why the retro theme for the game?
A: Because I'm not very good at drawing.

As you can see from his answers, Nicoll is just as much fun as his game is.

Q: What inspired Fist Of Awesome?
A: The golden era of beat-em-ups from the early 90s, Final Fight, etc. Also comedy sci-fi shows like Red Dwarf.

And, utterly randomly, I am now going to inform the readers that Nicoll has made them some very special paper (or cardboard, if you so desire) toy cut-outs for you to make at home! Click the banner to download and print them for your general amusement and enjoyment.
Click this image to get 100% FREE paper toys of
your favourite Fist Of Awesome characters!
Q: Your Kickstarter Campaign gained more than twice its goal for funding. How does this make you feel, and how did the extra money effect the game?
A: Running the campaign was a crazy experience. I honestly never thought anyone would pay much attention to it, but the support I got was phenomenal. I'm so incredibly grateful to everyone who backed the project. The biggest outcome from the campaign was it gave me the courage to dedicate more time to the project and eventually quit my day job. It also enabled me to purchase a new development setup which has been an incredible boost to my productivity.

Q: You are one of the first developers in the world to work with the Ouya console, also the result of a successful Kickstarter Campaign. How did this happen?
A: I was just in the right place at the right time. Ouya announced they were running a competition to give development kits to 10 developers who could get their attention via Twitter. As I was in the middle of my Kickstarter campaign I had 100s of people ready to help my cause, so I called on them to retweet a little message to get Ouya's attention. It worked and I was the first winner of the competition.

I am envious!

Q: What has it been like working with the Ouya?
A: It's been a great experience. It's a nice bit of kit and I have great hopes that it'll become a natural home for indie developers looking to get their games running on a big screen.

I've been lucky enough to have the support of the Ouya team, with them even going as far as using FIST OF AWESOME as part of their launch parties! That's something I could have never have foreseen when I first asked people to retweet a little message!

After only seven days on the Steam Greenlight system, the Steam Community voted that Fist Of Awesome become a fully-fledged Steam release. At this news, Nicoll modestly tweeted to his fans.
When I replied and asked about his Steam success he was very excited, and teased when I asked about the possibility of a follow-up game.

Q: What does it feel like to be Greenlit? And in such a short space of time as well!
A: It feels good! I thought it would take months, so 7 days was a huge (but very welcome) surprise

Q: They say that "the only way is up", so what now for you? Oo, perhaps a new game?..
A: Perhaps! I couldn't possibly say though ;)

We at Indie Retro News are really pleased for Nicoll for his success and wish him many more years of success to come. If you have not got a copy of Fist Of Awesome yet, I have two things to say to you. Firstly: Why not? Secondly: Go get it! Visit the official website for more details.

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