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The Gamasutra 20: 2008's Breakthrough Developers

August 13, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 6 of 21 Next

Gamasutra 20 'Breakthrough' Honoree:

The Behemoth

Studio overview

The Behemoth was founded in 2003 by a group of developers who saw they were going to be the victims of an impending layoff at their current employer.

Headquartered in San Diego, the company's first game was independent favorite Alien Hominid.

Key staff

Programmer Tom Fulp is the creator and owner of Flash site Newgrounds, which is where Alien Hominid made its original debut. In addition to working at The Behemoth, Fulp continues to run Newgrounds from his home in Pennsylvania.

Alongside cofounder and producer John Baez, art director and lead animator Dan Paladin, who worked at Raven Software as an artist prior to cofounding The Behemoth, helped to cocreate original Alien Hominid.

Resume highlights

While on paper the prospect of a 2D side-scrolling shooter for PlayStation 2 and Gamecube may not have sounded like a good idea, The Behemoth forged ahead with the task of bringing Flash favorite Alien Hominid to consoles. The studio funded all the development on its own, which allowed it to retain the intellectual property rights to the game.

O~3 published the game in 2004; the old-school gameplay was well-received, and the game was eventually ported to Xbox Live Arcade in 2007. Alien Hominid also received a number of awards, including three Independent Games Festival awards, for Innovation in Visual Arts, Technical Excellence, and an Audience award.

What's next

The long-awaited Castle Crashers, which features a knight as he battles his way through a castle, is due to be released on XBLA this summer and will allow for four-player co-op.

Our take

"The Behemoth is a rare breed among modern-day developers making successful, commercial video game titles. For one thing, its games can be described as 'illustrated by Dan Paladin,' which points to a kind of personal, small-scale authorship that has all but disappeared within the video game mainstream.

Paladin's hand-drawn visuals are only one example of that principle; Alien Hominid and the upcoming Castle Crashers demonstrate a tight, laser-focused design that makes The Behemoth a comforting old-school oasis in a next-gen world."
- Chris Remo

Article Start Previous Page 6 of 21 Next

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