Edit (June 1st, 2018): Happy two year anniversary since the last time we saw an update for this game! Dejobaan have just started auditioning for a brand new game that isn’t in anyway related to their unfinished projects. Isn’t that great?
Dejobaan Games are known for their interesting and experimental games. They’re the studio responsible for games including Drunken Robot Pornography and Elegy For A Dead World; a first person bullet hell shooter and a game where players narrate their adventures as they explore worlds, respectively. However, I don’t want to talk about those games, though there’s a strong chance I’ll mention them again further in this piece. I want to talk about a much older game of Dejobaan’s.
This is 1… 2… 3… Kick It! Drop That Beat Like An Ugly Baby, or as we’re going to refer to it from this point forward, Ugly Baby. It was released on Steam in 2011, a time before Steam Early Access existed, being added to that program later. Dejobaan sold it in this form with the promise that while it wasn’t feature complete “now”, it will be updated. Note: I won’t be linking to the Store Page because no-one should buy this game, at least at this point.
Ugly Baby combines the free-fall mechanic of AaAaAA!!! A Reckless Disregard For Gravity with level generation influenced by song choice, similar to the way AudioSurf worked. The player chooses a song –either one of the included songs, or one from their own personal library– and then free-falls through the level, scoring points by avoiding obstacles generated by the chosen song. It’s a great idea with tonnes of possibilities based entirely around what sort of music is used.
Why are you talking about a six year old game?
Well, because while Ugly Baby was first available for purchase all the way back in 2011, we are still waiting for a final release. The last update to the game was back in 2013, and since then there’s been barely any news. It’s really disappointing when this happens, as many Early Access games and developers have bit the bullet and folded in on themselves. That is not the case though, as Dejobaan Games are still going strong.
Since 2013, the company has been largely silent about the game.
Around 18 months ago I tweeted about my disappointment in the lack of updates, as at that point it had been nearly three years since anything had happened to Ugly Baby. I received a reply from Dejobaan dev Ichiro saying “We’ve always been working on it. My HUGE mistake was not sharing it.” then linking to a gameplay video of what I assume to have been the game in it’s 2016 state.
The game is apparently still in development, and I understand it can take a while. I’m not a game developer, merely a dabbler. I have no idea how complicated the game engine is.
But since 2013’s update, Dejobaan Games have announced and released three games. Unlike Dejobaan’s Ugly Baby, none of those games are stuck in Early Access; they have all had full releases. I feel cheesy writing this, but it’s worth asking; did Ichiro learn from his “HUGE mistake”?
It’s worth noting that since he tweeted me back in July of 2016, I have not seen any further updates on the game, and it doesn’t look like anyone on Steam has either.
A small snippet of the user-reviews on Ugly Baby’s store page.
The reviews are all negative, echoing my sentiment, but many of the posters seem to believe the developers just “disappeared” and the game abandoned. This is the same on Metacritic, which currently shows a User Score of 2.6 out of 10.
I’m really hoping Dejobaan pull themselves together and finish Ugly Baby soon, or at least start being more transparent about a the product we all paid for and are still waiting for over six years later (It was worth repeating). Otherwise given the current schedule as we’ve seen it, I’ll see you in 2019. At least we’ll have all the other games they make in the meantime to pass the time, right?
I still love Dejobaan and they have made so many amazing games over the years. It’s disappointing to see them be so neglectful. Please Dejobaan, I love you why must you hurt me so.