We’re less than two weeks away from the 9th Annual No Quarter Exhibition, so we wanted to take some time to introduce you to the 2018 artists and games! Each of the four 2018 designers spoke with curator Robert Yang on their game, design process, and New York City! Next up is Ethan Redd!
MURDABOYZ by Ethan Redd
Ethan Redd is a multimedia designer/artist, consultant, and founder of the newly-minted Virtuoso Neomedia Enterprises. Redd boasts a signature style sporting bold colors, sharp silhouette, and lively, life-affirming charm. A self-taught jack-of-all trades and one man juggernaut, Redd believes in the power of art and media to inspire individuals to reach higher and push further in their own lives. His current projects are Blazing Legion: Ignition and Killer Auto.
Robert Yang: What are you making for No Quarter?
Ethan Redd: “MURDABOYZ” is a maximal asymmetrical multiplayer shared-screen exercise in excess for up to 4 humans! Equally inspired by gang grafiti, y2k era gangta rap, “missile circuses”, children’s city play mats, and classic arcade cheese, MURDABOYZ explodes onto the screen with color, comedy, and commentary.
Players take control of 1 of 4 factions and buck against one another for turf, cash, drugs, and power; each faction has their own methods of scoring and goals for winning, re-contextualizing the game with their perspective and literally painting the city with their views. The Dopeboyz get money by whatever means, The Good Ol Boyz “protect and serve” their interests, The Suitz aquire & gentrify, and The Alienz just want anarchy. MURDABOYZ playfully tells a tale of the consequences of territorial disputes and systemic institutional forces, and the scars they leave in the communities they touch. You should laugh while you’re playing but feel kinda weird after!
Tell us about your design process.
The theme was immediately evocative, and I knew from jump that I wanted to make something that engaged with it on multiple levels – “what if my game could not only channel ‘mural’ as an aesthetic/mechanical hook, but in the process of doing so, become one itself?”. It had to look good from afar, and present itself in a manner that’s just as fun to watch as it is to play. I also knew that I wanted to take this opportunity to indulge and flex a bit creatively – comedy & light commentary thru the mechanics and a completely ridiculous over-the-top aesthetic wove their way into the DNA of the project very early on.
Much of the development of this game was iteration on the initial prototype I started after a couple days of gathering my inspiration. Once I’ve “found the fun” (figured out what core interactions consistently feel good and what hooks make the game feel unique), it’s all about accentuating that core action in as many ways as possible. Largely, game-making is about listening – to your gut and making something honest that you can love, to your audience and giving them what they want (and what they don’t yet know they want!), and most importantly to the game itself for what it needs from you.
Do you have any favorite No Quarter games from the past?
If I had to pick a single fav: Niddhogg is so ridiculously stylish and elegant, and an absolute riot to play with friends. Beads Of Orange Glass and Barabari Ball also spring to mind for their wonderful aesthetics and airtight competitive design, respectively.
Any favorite places in New York City? Any plans while you’re here?
I’m a simple man, with simple needs – whenever I come to NYC I gotta get some pizza! There are few joys equal to that of the classic thin-crust cheese slice with a can of Coke. Somehow I haven’t seen the Statue of Liberty yet either so I guess I’ve gotta do that at some point too.
I think two slices and a can of coke for $5 is literally the American Dream? Thanks for talking to us, Ethan!
No Quarter is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to guarantee your entry!