Kick the Skank
It began in late August of 1996.  My Dad had given my younger brother Peter and me a challenge.  He said "well, you can play games, but can you make them?" When I was at a Best Buy later that month, I came across a book called Teach Yourself Game Programming in 21 days by Andre Lamothe.  I bought it and our "company" Curly Productions was born.

I was 16 and my brother was 12.  After covering some topics in a book about C and reading the first few chapters of TYGP, Peter and I got bold enough to get started.  The masterpiece we chose to create was called "Kick the Skank." Our first build was a single skank name Paul S. Skank that slid from left to right across the screen and a player named Edward Curly who could approach Paul and kick him.  The results were encouraging and after about a year of work as school permitted, we had created a saucy little game.

In KTS you play the role of Edward Curly, a red-haired boy with a mile wide grin and a mission. He's watched once thriving lawns turn to tobacco fields, chartreuse hair become a status symbol and the average number of body piercings go from two to twenty-two. Ed's sick and not just from second-hand smoke. On doctor's orders, Ed dons a pair of steel-toed boots, borrows a gas mask, and now must kick all of the skanks in the world.....both male, and female.

But...the game wasn't fun.  In fact, gameplay was quite poor.  There was only one skank, it was a one player game, and although it had bonuses, sound, music, and 8-way scrolling, it ran far too fast and was hardly something to boast about.  In addition, the underlying code was a mess because there was no design and everything was just thrown together.  We decided to take a step back and here was the announcement we placed on the Kick the Skank website:  Yes folks, you heard correctly, Kick the Skank is going through a major redesign. We finally decided that the current version didn't reflect enough Curly brilliance. To fix this we are recoding KTS from the ground up. It will be a while before the clouds part, the sun shines, and KTS once again debuts in beta stage.

Now we knew what we wanted to put in the game and how to make it all work.  We sat down, dreamed a bit and drafted a high level design document.  We knew how to implement everything since we essentially had already made the game.  To play it safe however, we made little demos of the things that were new so we could go about them the best way.  One of the first things we created was a graphical level editor with a complete windows-like interface.  Formerly we had to make levels in Windows notepad and it was tedious and hard to visualize what we were doing.  Thus began the second coming of Kick the Skank.


To assist you in editing the level here is a translation of the 
characters. If you want to change the name of the level, show spaces 
with the ~ (twiddle).

& = dark blue balls
. = orange hotdog
# = blue orb
% = border: don't move these or screwy things will happen
< = rock
> = orange orb
: = bush
* = pathway
; = red orb
- = yellow x
+ = purple triangles
= = savage
@ = tree

The tools we used for development were simple. For graphics we used a DOS program called Neopaint. It wasn't a robust program, but it ran in the same resolution (320x200) as our game so we could see exactly what our graphics would look like. We carefully handpicked our palette of 256 colors so we could support transparency and did most of everything pixel by pixel. For sound effects we used a windows editor called Goldwave. For music we used various free MIDI files we found on the web. We used a sound library from Miles Design for audio playback in the actual game. Our development environment was Visual C++ version 1 and later 1.52.  For debugging we used CodeView debugger for DOS.

In concept, Kick the Skank is very similar to the game Super Bomberman. The skanks are your enemies and you will lose a life if you touch them. There are several skanks running around in your world and you must kick them all. To kick them you use what are called foot boxes. You start with one in your arsenal and obtain more. A foot box is similar to a bomb. You set it out and after a few seconds, it explodes feet. It has equal ability to smack you or a skank, so be careful. Throughout the world are trees and bushes. If you kick them they explode and bonuses appear. Some of the bonuses are good and some are bad. For example, an Uzi will let you shoot skanks whereas beer will whack up your controls. Next, the skanks have two tasty tricks in their bags. They can toss cigarette butts at you or clock you with their wallets. This keeps you on your toes. Finally, when you kill a skank, the mafia comes after you. When a mafia man is within a certain distance, you are unable to put out a foot box.

So now you know all about the game. Below you will find a link to download an old beta of the game. There is one issue with running the game on new machines which you should be aware of. Unless you have legacy DOS sound drivers installed on your computer, chances are you will not be able experience KTS with sound. To play KTS extract to a folder on your hard drive. In that folder you will find a readme which contains important information about what the controls are and what the bonuses do. You should read the readme before playing. To play the game, double click on the icon named ktsnosound. This will run KTS without sound and is the recommended method for playing KTS on a newer computer. If you would like to run KTS with sound, follow the instructions in the readme and double click on kts instead. There are no guarantees that sound will work successfully on your computer, so try it without sound first.

The level editor is called levedit.exe and information on its use is also contained in the readme. Deathmatch play is more fun than normal play, so if you can snag a friend to play with, go for it. The 'n' key cycles through the levels if you find the level too hard.

This release was made 5/12/2000 and is essentially the game as it stands now.  There are still a few minor things that need to be done, but this is where we halted our production.  Thank you for taking the time to read about the game. Enjoy! Click here to download.