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Daniel Haffner: Highbrow Games

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Avatar Boogie 2 box art

Avatar Boogie 2 box art

Name: Daniel Haffner

Company: Highbrow Games

Profession: Game Designer

Favorite Classic Game: Bionic Commando

Quote: The bionic arm made you feel like a badass all the way through the game, and allowed you to do some really cool things once you got some skill.  All the music maintained the consistent military theme while being catchy and inspiring – every once in a while I’ll go download and listen to some remixes of the level 1 theme.

Finally, the whole end sequence (spoiler alert – killing Hitler) was a over-the-top for a NES game!  I liked both BC: ReArmed and the 3D Bionic Commando remake too, though of course not as much as the original.  I was really disappointed that the 3D remake was so poorly-received by critics, and the company that made it (Grin) had to disband, but maybe I was blinded by nostalgia.


Bio: I founded Highbrow Games in 2009; the name was chosen out of irony, since the game I was working on was called Barf and Beer.  I shipped that and several other projects for the Xbox Live Indie Games channel, the latest being Avatar Boogie 2.   I try to make products that are unique and can carve out a niche, as opposed to competing in crowded genres such as shooters and platformers.

Project: I just released Avatar Boogie 2, in which your Xbox 360 avatar can perform dance moves, or you can simply watch NPC avatars dance (to your own music, or the included music).  It’s not so much a game as it is a neat visualizer.  I plan to return to game development with my next project, which involves rapping and is still in the prototype phase.

Project Info: Player avatars can now dance freestyle with a troupe of 100 other avatars following along! Add to that 100% brand new music, dances, and dance floors, and user-controllable strobe and multi-colored lighting, and you’ll be tearin’ up the dance floor! 11 canned dance animations and songs, and 20 freestyle dance animations await you in this awesome follow-up to the original hit, Avatar Boogie!


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    • Bionic Commando for me is one of those games that was a classic on the NES. Everybody would know it’s really good by word of mouth.