New fighter: Umbrella! Available on Steam.

Fetching Coffee, Making Copies, Writing Blogs…

July 11th, 2011
Written By: John Crofts

Hi everyone!

I’m John Crofts, and for the summer I am the intern at Reverge Labs. I thought I’d write this blog to talk about how I got here, what I’ve been working on, and what the whole experience has been like.

First of all, a little background about me. I’m a Computer Science major at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. I’m starting my senior year this fall, which is super exciting! I am also a competitive fighting game player, and have been to quite a few tournaments around the Midwest in the last few years for Street Fighter 4 and more recently Marvel vs Capcom 3. Skullgirls grabbed my attention from the moment I first saw it, and earlier this year I contacted Reverge Labs to express my interest in an internship. As both a computer programmer and a fighting game player, I was thrilled that everything worked out and I was given the privilege of working with the very talented team here at Reverge Labs.

Which brings me to a question that many of my friends and family have been asking me since I started my internship: what exactly do they have me doing here? I will admit that before I started I was worried I’d be responsible for the usual intern clichés: fetching coffee, making copies, writing blogs entries… that kind of thing. Fortunately, my work at Reverge has been very much to the contrary, with the exception of that last one. One thing I’ve been working on so far is adding to and improving some of the game’s developer tools, one which aims to make things easier for the artists and the other programmers to help Skullgirls’ production go more smoothly. My computer science education has definitely been put to the test by this internship, and I’ve learned a ton already.

In addition to my education, my experience with fighting games has also come in handy during my time here. I’ve helped record combos for use in promo videos, given demos to attendees and press at Anime Expo and Giant Robot’s Game Night 5, and provided input on gameplay changes (oftentimes without being asked, right Mike?) It’s been really awesome being able to play Skullgirls, and as my friends can probably attest I am VERY into the game and basically haven’t shut up about it since my first day here.

Before I got here and had the chance to play it, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from Skullgirls. I was immediately impressed the first time I played it, and the more I’ve played it the more the game just feels “right.” I appreciate how pure the gameplay is, uninhibited by gimmicky or comeback-oriented mechanics. The characters have similarities to those of other fighting games, but while their interactions are straightforward on the surface there is a great deal of nuance to the matchups that very much reminds me of Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

Contrary to my concerns, being involved with the development of Skullgirls has not lessened my enjoyment of the game. In fact, I think it has even added to it. Being able to see the game change and grow over time is a real treat, and knowing that in my own small way I am contributing to the game’s creation is definitely satisfying. It’s also awesome to be able to let other people try the game out, and to see that other people are just as excited about it as I am. It was a blast showing off Skullgirls at AX and Game Night, and I can’t wait until the game comes out and everyone else gets to give it a shot.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given here, and I want to thank everyone in the company for being absolutely nothing but welcoming and kind to me since the day I arrived. And, since I know they’ll be reading this, a big thanks to my family for being so supportive and for making this whole thing possible. Shoutouts to the Purdue Fighting Game Club, and the Fighting Game Community as a whole for being so awesome and helping transform a simple pastime into something people like me can be passionate about and have fun competing in.

Hopefully I’ll see you guys online and in tournaments once Skullgirls comes out!