'People just don't make them anymore,' Regina man creates his own stand-up arcade game

Regina's Gallagher Laird and Calgary's Kevin McConnell have created Mighty Chameleon Brothers.

Mighty Chameleon Brothers is a brand-new game that pays homage to arcade games of '80s and '90s

Gallagher Laird created his own arcade game called The Mighty Chameleon Brothers. (Samanda Brace/CBC)

Gallagher Laird 's nostalgia for coin-operated arcade games motivated him to create his own.

The Regina man teamed up with Calgary programmer Kevin McConnell to make Mighty Chameleon Brothers.

"I'm definitely trying to make the type of game that I want to play. I miss stuff like this. The simple arcade games, people just don't make them anymore," said Laird.

Players become Lash and Bash, two chameleon brothers, that fight enemy bugs by hitting them and chaining them together, with their tongues.

The 2D graphics designed and animated by Laird were inspired by the games he played as a kid at the arcade or on his Nintendo.

"All the character animations are done in Photoshop. Nothing too fancy. I literally created them one pixel at a time, zoomed in as far as you can go," said Laird.

"It gives it that authentic look. That's the goal anyway — for it to feel like something that could have existed 20 years ago."

The game has its own arcade wooden cabinet made by Laird and his brother in-law from designs online of a Ms. Pac-Man machine.

It comes complete with buttons, joysticks and its own coin door he bought from Wonderland Arcade. It's just for show, but Laird says he wanted to include a bit of Regina history in his machine.

Regina musician Emma Kramer-Rodgers made the soundtrack, which is reminiscent of the synthesized compositions of early video games. 

The game comes complete with it's own coin door that pays tribute to the recently-closed Wonderland Arcade. (Samanda Brace/CBC)

The two year project has led to a playable demo that Laird's been showing off at expos across the province.

"People think I'm crazy but I've always wanted to do this," said Laird.

"Replay is closed, Wonderland is closed, this is kind of missing in our city."

Laird will be showcasing Mighty Chameleon Brothers at the Ignite Festival at the Saskatchewan Science Centre on Saturday, October 4.

He hopes he will have the full game completed some time next year and available for download.


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