It's simple - I believe there are not enough great spy games out there. Sure, there are plenty of games where you shoot 100 enemies each level and do a few spy things along the way, but I want to make a true spy game - a game where the main character carries a gun and is empowered to kill when necessary but largely uses their wit to get out of a sticky situation. In other words, a game where you’re not lining up headshots but instead deciding whether to fight vs. run, to trust a companion vs. go it alone, to make a quip vs. stay on high alert, etc.
With this in mind, I feel there’s a place for a spy thriller game that plays more like a visual novel than a standard shooter (i.e. it relies on careful consideration of options presented to succeed in your mission rather than on quick-trigger reflexes to mow down everyone in your path). Surely there is great enjoyment in stepping into the shoes of a secret agent and seeing if you have the intelligence and wherewithal to accomplish the mission, save the day, and perhaps even get the girl. I would assume that being able to handle a firearm would be a given in the life of a spy and not something that we need to field-test the player on by racking up a huge bodycount of nameless thugs throughout the course of a video game.
And so we come to There’s Always a Madman: Fight or Flight. My aim is to create a gaming experience where you are the spy, and your best weapon is not your sidearm but your quick thinking and your quick wit. Where a level could be you shooting your way from the entrance to the exit, but it could also be a high-stakes card game, a flirtatious seduction, or bluffing your way out of a tense conversation. In other words, your weapon should be a tool in your toolbelt, not a hammer looking for a nail.
And I don’t want it to feel like a rote, bog-standard spy thriller, so there’s one extra element to serve as the cherry on top - a sense of humor. Yes, the world is in danger from a madman bent on world domination, but haven’t we all seen that before? So then, what if you were the agent who has faced down hundreds of foes just like this one and you had come out on top each and every time? Would the most exciting job in the world still be as exciting to you after doing it for so long? Would you feel that the world is in fact in mortal danger or would it feel like just another day on the job? Would you be confident in your abilities or perhaps overconfident in your abilities? Would it be possible that this next assignment - whatever it may be - is the one where you’ve finally met your match? Or would it be impossible for you to conceive that given your perfect track record?
With There’s Always a Madman: Fight or Flight, I seek to answer these questions and more. To explore the lighter side of a fight against a shadowy organization. And to put your mind to the test instead of testing your trigger finger.
If you wish to take on this mission and save the world from a madman, please do so by wishlisting the game on Steam here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/2390500/Theres_Always_a_Madman_Fight_or_Flight
And I'm also planning to run a Kickstarter campaign for the game later in 2023. You can sign up to receive a notification when that campaign goes live here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sunnydemeanorgames/theres-always-a-madman-fight-or-flight
You can find further information about Kickstarter-exclusive rewards in this prior blog post.
I wish you the best of luck in saving the world. We’re all counting on you - after all, if you don’t save the world, then there can’t be a sequel.