NG:Dev.Team keep working on their commercial NeoGeo title Kraut Buster. Via Facebook they shared a bigger status update.

Kraut Buster Video #3 720p @ 60fps (16 bit NEO GEO)

Their latest message to us:

Dear customers,

with the year ending here is the current state of Kraut Buster for NEOGEO.

Compared to our original vision the game got pretty huge, basically twice as many mission parts, twice as many bosses etc. as originally planned. Without any additional financial costs to you, but at cost of waiting time.
At current projections the game will break even but will not generate any profits in the first year, but that was expected from the beginning, it was always a dream project for us.

Work on the final mission already started. We have the basic map done, currently it’s getting finalized pixel art.

The game is kinda “two games in one” both in content and game modes. It comes with two quite different feeling game modes.

* “Slug”* mode: Tactically and slower game mode, similar to the classic MS series. Lots of stops with fighting bigger enemies and a more tactical approach.
Due to the size of the game, we plan to offer a mission select (A or B) in this mode to keep the playtime around 30 minutes.

* “Contra”* mode: Fast and action oriented. Only stop at mini bosses and bosses and run and crush through enemy hordes. Probably no mission select here as the increased speed/flow gets the playtime under 30 minutes.

Enemy balancing and enemy placement may differ slightly to reflect the slightly different mechanics.
Weapons/Powerups/Secrets/Masks will be handled differently in this mode too.

* (Both game mode names are just placeholders)

We will show the “Contra” mode in a later video in 2017.

Some current statistic numbers (subject to change):

9+ bosses
6+ mini bosses
19 mission parts
207 screens.
Nearly all are individually hand drawn pixel screens (not tile based, think more fighting game backgrounds).
That’s like 86 KoF backgrounds (of course with less animation in KB). All combined, give a huge picture of 66240×240 pixels.

New screen shots from Mission 4-4 are available on the game site/the shop site and Facebook.

As you can see in the screen shots, we also reworked the HUD: We removed the big bubble head from the HUD as it looked too “western”/unfitting for NEOGEO to us. It also would have taken too much of the very small SFIX ROM space with the other characters.

Release date:

In the last newsletter from 16th June 2016 we stated:
“Currently Kraut Buster has no release date, but a release in the late 1st/early 2nd quarter of 2017 seems realistic.”

Our new estimate is to start beta testing in June and start to ship in September. We originally had planned to have 3 pixel artist full time on this project, but in the end only two were available over the full course. That lead to an unexpected delay.

We know that we started pre order too early for it, but without the pre orders we wouldn’t have been able to made a big game like this. The next few games will be smaller projects again, with similar work sizes like NEO XYX (pixelart) and Razion (CGI). We will probably do a huge project in the size of Kraut Buster in the future again, but not for a few years and in a different genre.


MVS reprints:

Originally it was planned and communicated in the newsletter that the MVS reprints will be produced together with Kraut Buster MVS. As sales of the reprints are getting close to our minimum factory order amount we will try to produce them earlier. For now we set April 2017.

Thanks for being patient and happy holidays,