A trio of former Disney Interactive developers founded Shark Punch this year, and their first project, The Masterplan, is a heist game set in the 1970s, due out for PC, Mac and Linux in 2014.

The Masterplan has players gather a team and resources to execute "the greatest heist in the history of mankind," and it has something to do with President Nixon abolishing the gold standard in 1971. It's top-down, 2D and physics-based with a "clever" AI system and real-time-with-pause mechanics.

Shark Punch comprises artist and designer Aarne Hunziker, CEO Jiri Kupiainen and programmer Leo Lannenmaki, and it's all self-funded. The studio's description offers the following insight: "Our focus is on creating games that offer deep, involving gameplay in a streamlined package. We do not make 'mid-core' games."

We were pretty sure a company named "Shark Punch" would be into hardcore things anyway.
[Images: Shark Punch]
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The Masterplan

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Disney veterans announce new game studio and first title

San Francisco and Helsinki, March 10th – Shark Punch announces it's working on a game about "the greatest heist in the history of mankind"

Shark Punch is a transatlantic independent game development studio with deep roots in the Helsinki game development scene. The founding team has been working together since 2010, most recently at Disney Interactive.

The company strives to combine the deep gameplay of classic 90s game titles with a modern player experience.

"We were talking about how we'd all recently played this or that 90s game that we had such great memories about, and how crappy the experience turned out to be in reality. That's when it hit us," says Jiri Kupiainen, Founder and CEO, continuing: "instead of talking about how those games could be made better, we should be doing something about it."

The team is now working on their first title, The Masterplan - a game about "the greatest heist in the history of mankind." Drawing inspiration from both legendary tactical turn-based games and classic heist movies alike, the goal of the game is to put together the right crew, get the right equipment, and finally plan and execute the biggest heist ever.

Set in the early 1970s, the game features beautiful hand-drawn 2D art and an authentic soundtrack recorded by a real band. The gameplay blends a physics-based world and a clever AI system with a easy to approach "real time with pause" user interface.

The whole team will be present at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco in mid- March, showing the game at GDC Play booth 204. The game is slated for release on PC, Mac and Linux sometime in 2014.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.