Quadrilateral Cowboy has been a long time coming. Developer Brendon Chung, creator of the underground hit Thirty Flights of Loving, began working on Quadrilateral Cowboy in 2012 and he showed off an early version of the game in 2013. It's a blocky, first-person espionage game set in the 1980s that has players actually hack their way through various levels, typing in lines of code to disengage alarms, open doors and generally sneak around. The independent-gaming crowd ate it up and Chung said it would be out within six months. He was off by nearly three years.
We talked with Chung earlier this year about the reasons behind Quadrilateral Cowboy's delay. Back in 2013, once he found a balance between marketing duties and actual development (hint: he largely stopped doing press for the game), he said the game took on a life of his own and he didn't want to rush it.
"This is going to sound kind of artsy-fartsy, but I get this feeling sometimes when I start writing, that it's not me anymore," Chung said. "The piece that you're writing just starts to kind of steer itself, in a way. The game did that to me."
As for what the game will do to players, Chung said he hoped it wouldn't be intimidating. Even though it involves actual coding, Quadrilateral Cowboy was designed to be a game for everyone, from engineers to novice players.
"My favorite thing at these shows is when kids come up to play it -- like 10, 11, 12 years old," he said. "They don't have these preconceived notions that programming is this thing for geniuses or brilliant people. ...They'll just sit at the keyboard, they'll start banging on it, and they get it. They pick it up because they don't have all this baggage about what programming is. It's amazing. That's what I want."