Treachery In Beatdown City's Story Was Updated Until The Final Days Of Development

In order to ensure Treachery in Beatdown City remained relevant to current events, its story saw revisions all the way up until the game was set to ship.


Treachery in Beatdown City is a beat-'em-up fighter with both RPG and tactics-influenced mechanics. Its story is also incredibly relevant to the current-day culture and political climate, so though game designer, artist, and writer Shawn Alexander Allen started on the game's story back in 2012, he had to keep updating the narrative all the way up to the final days of the game's development.

As an example, Allen told GamesIndustry.Biz that mentions of the gig economy, the influence of gentrification when it comes to online dating, privatization of public services, and surveillance states were all added in later drafts of Treachery in Beatdown City's scripts.

"These are all things that made it in the last few months of script revisions," Allen says. "It didn't change the game much; it changed the flow of conversation and it actually made things make a lot more sense. Like, how do you know all this information about this character? That's fine as a gameplay element, but is it actually ethical for you to have all this information? It ended up making the conversations a bit more sobering, and makes people start wondering a bit more about what the police's role is."

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Allen added that he didn't set out to make a game that would tell players "what to vote for." Instead, he set out to tell an entertaining story "with political musings" within a video game that is fun to play. He likens Treachery in Beatdown City to the Fast and Furious franchise. "Those movies have fun and they have their objectifying moments where they're stuck in the old Fast and Furious car culture thing, and they're an amazing mish-mash," Allen said. "The fact that they have Charlize Thereon as the bad guy and she's a white woman with dreads? Someone did that on purpose. They were like, 'Who is the worst person possible?' And it's a misguided anarchist who has dreads on and thinks people are expendable. That's obviously someone saying something."

In GameSpot's Treachery in Beatdown City review, Funké Joseph writes, "Treachery in Beatdown City uses humor skillfully as a tool to deal with contemporary issues with the gig economy, insidious tech company ploys, and obnoxious bigots. It has some lulls and a bit of an abrupt conclusion, but that's overshadowed by how especially fun the conversations and combat are."

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