Van Partible, the creator of Cartoon Network’s Nineties series Johnny Bravo, is making the rounds with a new third-person video game concept called Dancers of War. In the game, Marine Sgt. Jack Dancer is out to save the world from a maniacal pop star by strapping on an exoskeleton/leotard called “The Exo-Tard 3000.”
A co-creation with videogame weapons specialist Scott Eaton (Call of Duty, Medal of Honor) and Vince Clarke, the founder of Depeche Mode, Yaz and Erasure, the trio has turned to Kickstarter to help fund the project, where they provide a peek at the game’s development and showcase a team of voice-over talent that includes the voice of Johnny Bravo himself, Jeff Bennett.
“I’ve always been a fan of Michael Jackson’s Captain EO and thought it was humorous that there was this intergalactic messenger who used music and dance as a weapon,” Partible tells Cartoon Brew. “I also love mash ups, so I took the fun of the dance genre and partnered it with the seriousness of combat games.”
To accompany the lighter tone, Van Partible is pushing a different look than the familiar battle-game visual style. “I’m friends with some of the most amazingly talented people in animation, but I rarely see their work in video games. I would love to see more of a crossover between the two genres because a lot of my animation friends play games and a lot of my gaming friends watch animation.
“A big part of what made me jump into video game development was the market saturation of games that were overly serious and realistic. Games like Medal Of Honor and Call Of Duty were great, but like the animation industry in the nineties, AAA video games became so consumed with realism that everything began to look and feel the same.”
At first thought, Irish stepdancing, Fosse-inspired jazz hands, and Saturday Night Fever-style disco poses may not seem as threatening as say, an AK-47, but for some individuals, like Partible himself, challenging dance moves create their own form of danger. “Personally, my deadliest dance move is “The Monkey!” It’s hard to dip it low when you have a bad back!”