“Buzzard,” the third film in the unofficial trilogy from Joel Potrykus, will be released in select theaters and VOD/streaming services on Friday, March 6. But the film’s story won’t end there. The characters and storyline will live on in a video game.
Potrykus has teamed up with video game art and development collective Babycastles to develop their first title, “Buzzard: The Video Game.” Based on the characters, themes and story of the film, the game is a compilation of 8-bit minigames set in the dark reality of “Buzzard.” The team has taken to Kickstarter with hopes of raising $30,000 to develop the game.
But this isn’t your average franchise tie-in.
“First and foremost, ‘Buzzard’ is about two guys who are obsessed with video games,” Potrykus told Indiewire. “They’re basically living in their own video game. Marty essentially lives in this world that has almost no consequences. It’s the same way in video games where If you die you have another life. It seemed like a very natural thing to do to take different scenes from the film and make them go in different, weird directions. You just watched Marty for 90 minutes. You’ve seen his world. Now you can control him. Why wouldn’t you make a video game?”
Working closely with Potrykus on setting, scenario and style, Babycastles developers will produce a game with more than 20 8-bit mini-games inspired from everyday moments in the film.
“Buzzard” focuses on Marty Jackitansky, a temp worker at a bank who, fed up with working for the man, takes refuge in games, comics and horror movies as he tries to con his way to a better life. “A slapstick horror show about millennial frustrations with the job market, ‘Buzzard’ is among the first great American satires of the 21st century, its scathing indictment of capitalism delivered as a prolonged, disorienting punchline,” wrote Eric Kohn, Indiewire’s Chief Film Critic, in his review of the film.
In other words, it’s not the most obvious gaming material.
“This is not going to be your normal video game of stomping and destroying and shooting snipers,” said Potrykus. “This is a video game that’s going to fit the tone of the movie, which is largely focused on junk food and frozen pizza.”
For instance, one of the objectives in the game will involve a frozen pizza and a bottle of Ranch dressing. “Some of these are ideas that people have probably never played in a video game,” said Potrykus. “There’s an old Atari game called ‘Fast Food,’ where you’re a set of lips and you’re trying to chomp on hot dogs and avoid things that are gross. We’re channeling some of that retro aesthetic with this old-fashioned video game that has very weird goals. You’re not out to save the world. You’re out to successfully get lunch.”
Babycastles has been part of a new indie game movement that embraces classic gaming, but injects modern elements. Project lead Ben Johnson has previously worked on titles such as “Dead Space,” “The Sims,” “The Simpsons Game” and more. The game is set to launch this spring with a custom installation in the Babycastles gallery in NYC as well as a full PC and Mac release via digital distribution.
“We’re not trying to fit in with any other convention. We’re trying to show people there’s a different way to do things – not just in movies, but also in video games,” said Potrykus. “You don’t have to save the princess in a video game. You can simply get away with forging a check. There’s no set narrative of your goals and there’s no lofty ambitions of the character in the video game. He’s just trying to get by — he’s actually trying to cheat his way. In fact, we’ll probably have some secret cheat codes because that would be in touch with Marty’s tendency to cheat.”
Buzzard is set to release on March 6th in select theaters and VOD/Streaming services. Check out the campaign video below: