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Pizza Kidd - It's Pizza Time!

Pizza Kidd Splash Screen
Get a Slice!

Today, we bring to you an exclusive interview with the lovely guys at Kidd Games where we talked about the development of the game, his inspirations, and aspirations for the game and its future. We spoke with Collin Venuto, the game's creative and design director, and he has a lot to say. Check it out!


TFK - Tell us a little about Kidd Games. When it was created, what were your past experiences with games? How many people?  

CV - Prior to the start of Pizza Kidd—and after several failed attempts at getting  PK off the ground several years back—I was afforded an opportunity to collaborate with an incredibly talented and unknown programmer SLIME  (more on him soon). We connected through Reddit's iNAT boards and chatted on DISCORD when I was on the lookout for a new developer.  Together, SLIME and I worked on our first mini-game (more of a trial project) called PIZZA TIME! (a parodic homage to Burger Time)… You can check it out here. It was during the near completion of this project that I realized SLIME was the perfect fit for our small and slowly expanding team. On top of that, we also dabbled in creating a mini PK basketball skill shot game, although it's still a work in progress and needs further refinement. haha. 

So yeah… back to the original question, I started Kidd Games, LLC  (officially) in 2021 as a passionate gamer/designer who wanted to simply bring their own unique experiences to the indie gaming world. It was a long time coming… too long in fact. 

Video games have been my lifelong dream, ever since I was in fourth grade, obsessing over those awesomely designed full-color Nintendo instruction booklets for Contra, Zelda, and Punch-Out. I'd also spend recess skimming through the latest issue of Nintendo Power Magazine with its amazing Zelda comic by Shotaro Ishinomori. I've always been a fan of  Atari, Nintendo, Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation, PC Engine, and NeoGeo.  Growing up in the '90s, we practically lived in arcades and camped out in comic book shops and around game stores. Games, comics, and anime were everything to us back then. Now, as an adult with kids who also love gaming, it was just a matter of time before I answered the call. Creating something interactive, nostalgic, and incredibly unique that can be shared with people worldwide is an incredible feeling. 

Examples of pixel art trees from the game
Trying some trees!

Pizza Kidd is the result of an extraordinary international team, whose incredible talent and passion assist in bringing my vision to life. Leading the way is our visionary creator & design director, the humble yet brilliant  DRUMAT!C (haha. that’s me). But no, seriously, we have the remarkable programmer SLIME (CA), helping to shape the game's unique combat system and interactive design with his impeccable skill and knowledge of prototyping, programming, planning, and debugging. Our team is further strengthened by the exceptional skills of RENÉ (COL), a master Pixel  Artist, Animator, and Designer, who brings characters and backgrounds to life with pixel-perfect precision—he’s also one heck of a salsa dancer.  OLVY (IDN), a master illustrator (and animator), adds flavor and finesse to enrich the vibrant world of Pizza Kidd. MORDI (NO), our Sound Design and  Foley/FX virtuoso, creates a captivating auditory experience with every crunchy punch, kick, and sonic explosion. KEVIN RIPLEY (USA), our soundtrack composer, weaves hypnotic melodies that perfectly complement the rhythm of intense action. Completing our powerhouse team are CARLOS (USA), the mastermind behind our early Level/Layout  Concepts, and ELLIE (UK), our exceptional Character Sheet Designer and  Level Planner, ensuring a dynamic game layout filled with interesting enemy designs and environmental hazards. And finally, SYMM (USA) helps the team out with customized Technical Art applications. With this group of multi-talented individuals pouring their heart and soul into asset creation and development, we have ambitious plans to expand our team to twelve  (at some point), aiming to elevate the quality of Pizza Kidd even further.  We're currently seeking a VFX/Lighting Artist to eventually join the team. Together, we're determined to create a rather nostalgic, but visually unique gaming experience—all in a timely manner and within budget! Haha. 

Pizza Kidd gameplay scene.
Definetely Unique!

TFK - First things, first! Why Pizza Kidd? Real-life experience?  

CV - So, the original title we had in mind was Super Pizza Boy Supreme  II (an obvious homage to Mario Bros). Our grand plan was to create an epic action “platformer” game that not only entertained but also educated kids about the wonders of healthy foods. Was something like: “a thrilling  adventure where players would embark on a quest to gather an array of  tantalizing ingredients like exotic herbs, zesty spices, and mouthwatering  toppings to craft the perfect pizza masterpiece.” But then, something interesting happened…

As I delved further into the gaming world, exploring the titles my kids were obsessing over - Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Luigi's Mansion 3, Streets of  Rage 4, Marvel Vs Capcom 3, INSIDE - I couldn't help but notice that our original "educational game" concept seemed a tad too reminiscent of the LeapFrog: Kids Learning Games they adored in their toddler days. It was time for a change and great improvement. 

Enter my sons, brimming with unbridled enthusiasm and a shared fascination for the pulse-pounding action of Streets of Rage 4. And truth be told, I've been a die-hard fan of beat 'em up classics like Streets of Rage 2,  Guardian Heroes, Final Fight, Alien Vs. Predator, Violent Storm, Ninja  Warriors Again, and the list goes on. So, it was unanimous: we decided to take our project on a bit of a detour, targeting the fiercely cool demographic of 8 to 16-year-olds. Haha. 

In a nutshell, I introduce you all to PIZZA KIDD - a groundbreaking,  adrenaline-fueled 2-D beat ‘em-up action-adventure game. Set in a  mesmerizing, dark, sci-fi fantasy realm, this game boasts 16-bit pixel art that draws inspiration from the iconic aesthetics of 90's anime, graphic novels, and those unforgivable arcade brawlers that would devour your quarters. 

Pizza kidd artwork
He Will Deliver Punches In Under 30 Minutes

TFK - Delivering pizza in a big city is definitely not easy, and can even be dangerous, but I never saw one fighting monsters. Where did the story come from?  

CV - You're right, fighting monsters (while delivering pizza) isn't something you come across every day! The story actually evolved from many brainstorming sessions over the years and our collective love for sci-fi fantasy & action genres. I wanted to create a game that combined the ordinary and the extraordinary, blending the science of real-world catastrophes with fiction and fantasy of epic battles against supernatural creatures—something I’ve always loved as a kid. 

Basically: In the year 22XX, the world lay in ruins, ravaged by a pandemic so great that it had decimated nearly all life on Earth. The mighty Santos Corps., a powerful agriculture research and animal food cloning facility, had harnessed its cutting-edge technology to provide new food sources and purified water to the remaining survivors. But the results were disastrous.  Both humans and animals fell victim to the most gruesome of side effects,  many transforming into grotesque and menacing monsters. Now, in the devastated city of Filadelfia, home to Angela's World Famous Pizzeria,  hordes of the most fearsome, ferocious beasts roam broken streets and scorched landscapes.  

…you’ll have to stay tuned to find out how the story unfolds. 

PIzza Kidd Gameplay Snapshot
He Will Deliver Pizzas and Punches!

TFK - You guys have big plans for the story and lore of the game, right?  Can you disclose some of them?  

CV - Absolutely! We have some ambitious plans for the story and lore of  Pizza Kidd. While I can't disclose all the details just yet, I can tell you that players can expect a rich and immersive world with intriguing characters,  unexpected plot twists, and deep lore to discover.  

“In a post-apocalyptic world, KIDD, a skilled martial artist and axe-wielding hero, emerges to confront the villainous MANNY SANTOS. Santos, with his army of monstrous clones, corrupted soldiers, zombified ninjas, drones,  and colossal beasts, poses a grave threat to humanity's survival. To defeat Santos and save what remains, KIDD embarks on a quest to retrieve the 8  sacred seed stones. These stones hold the key to enhancing KIDD's gold medallion, the source of his power. With the fate of the world and Angela's  World Famous Pizzeria hanging in the balance, KIDD must harness the  stones' power and bring down Santos' reign of terror.” 

We want to keep players engaged and invested in the game's universe  throughout their journey… and they can learn more by checking out our  limited edition comic book release (coming soon!) 


The goal was to create a combat system

that feels both satisfying and fluid,

yet familiar and sort of unique!


TFK - And how are those plans going? 

CV - Regarding the Pizza Kidd comic, our initial plan was to create a  limited graphic novel series to serve as a marketing tool for the game. We drew inspiration from the character's backstory to lay the foundation for the beginning panels of the comic. The comic served a dual purpose of introducing unique characters, witty dialogue, and visual storytelling elements that would enhance the game experience. Together with OLVY,  we worked on about 26 pages late last year and early this year. However,  we made the decision to put the comic on hold temporarily in order to prioritize the development of important game assets such as poster and game art illustrations, as well as a cinematic animated game intro. That being said, the comic still spans over 100 plus written pages, including captivating side quest stories. As the game's development progresses, we plan to dive back into the comic creation process. Keep an eye on our social media channels for updates and shared Pizza Kidd comic panels with an official release announcement on our DISCORD as well. 

Pizza Kidd Comic Book.
Comic Book is Coming!

TFK - The game’s combat is extremely fast and precise, with lots of moves and combo opportunities. What games were you inspired by?  

CV - Thanks for noticing! Our game's combat draws inspiration from a  variety of sources. We're big fans of classic hack/slash action games like  Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden (Xbox), and Sekiro, and of course, golden age arcade titles such as Capcom’s Final Fight and Konami’s Violent Storm,  which have influenced our combat mechanics and the fast-paced nature of the gameplay. We also looked to fighting games like Capcom’s Street  Fighter series, Darkstalkers, and Namco’s Tekken for inspiration on move sets and combo strings. There were numerous titles that inspired us. Too many to name in fact. The goal was to create a combat system that feels both satisfying and fluid, yet familiar and sort of unique, providing players with plenty of opportunities to experiment and then express their skills throughout each level. 


Our goal as a team of creatives

was to blend dramatic colors,

dynamic animations, and our shared

unique art styles to bring

the world of Pizza Kidd to life. 


TFK - The demo, available now on Steam, isn’t exactly easy. How do you guys plan to balance this or it will be a game for the hardcore crowd? 

CV - We understand that the demo may be challenging for some players,  but we believe in providing a rewarding experience for both hardcore gamers and those who prefer a more casual approach. Balancing difficulty is a priority for us, and we're actively listening to player feedback to fine-tune the game's challenge—more emphasis will be placed towards the end of development. Our goal is to strike a balance that offers a fair challenge without overwhelming or annoying players. We also tested the game with younger audiences, and they seem to have played the game without complication or frustration. 

Pizza Kidd Screen Shot
Kidd for the Kids.

TFK - Graphically the game is absolutely gorgeous. What were RENÉ’s inspirations?  

CV - RENÉ is a true visionary and has poured his heart and soul into creating the game's captivating visuals. RENÉ worked from a variety of supplied references, including comic books, anime OVA/films, and classic arcade games. While OLVY also played a significant role in providing numerous concept layouts and—as you mentioned —“gorgeous” background art, specifically for the street level and subway scenes, adding drama, tension, and visual dynamism to the game’s level design. We drew inspiration from many late 80s anime and early 90's OVA  classics like Ninja Scroll, Demon City, and Lensman (to name a few), which helped frame the style and atmosphere of Kidd’s world. 

Our goal as a team of creatives was to blend dramatic colors, dynamic animations, and our shared unique art styles to bring the world of Pizza Kidd to life. 

New Art Style
And By The Way... They Are Revamping The Art Style!

TFK - The animations are also out of this world. They are incredibly smooth and complex. It was all made by hand, or did you guys apply some kind of technique?  

CV - The animations in the game are seriously mind-blowing! They're super smooth and packed with intricate details, making it feel like an interactive comic book sometimes. As the director, my main goal is to keep everything visually consistent (cohesive). We want the animations to feel as responsive as they look because that's what makes a game truly interactive. When you press a button, you expect a lightning-fast and powerful attack. I emphasized the significance of each move flowing seamlessly “like water”—as Bruce said in Enter the Dragon. Haha. So yeah… believe it or not, all the animations were hand-drawn by RENÉ. I try to send him notes along with some of my own frame reference sketches for attack design before we start a move or action. We have a great back-and-forth feedback system. We aimed to keep most of them within a 6-12-frame  animation cycle, but some moves needed a little extra oomph, so we extended them accordingly. Oh, and the impact of special effects? Yep, he hand-drew a lot of those too! Occasionally, our team may use some FX  assistance, mainly to blend hand-drawn elements with 3D renders, but we try to keep it true to the artistry of hand-drawn animation. It's a labor of love that adds that extra KO to the game's visual style. This combination allowed us to achieve a level of detail and polish that I’m quite proud of. 

TFK - We had only a snippet from the OST in the demo. Who is behind it and what can we expect for the full game?  

CV - The talented jazz/electronic music composer behind the game's soundtrack is KEVIN RIPLEY. As a Philly native, he’s crafted a diverse and captivating musical experience exclusively for Pizza Kidd, blending energetic beats, catchy dark melodies (particularly love the intro theme music), and atmospheric ambient tunes with heavy drum & bass backdrops. For the finished game, players can expect a wide range of tracks that dynamically adapt to different gameplay situations, level transitions, enemy and boss themes, etc., immersing them even further into the world we've created… we hope all will support the full game soundtrack upon release. 

Check out more of KEVIN RIPLEY’s music here.


Of course, game development can be unpredictable,

and unforeseen circumstances may arise.

One of the most obvious is a lack of consistent funding.


TFK - How has been your search for a publisher? We have a lot of new indie developers who read this magazine, can you share your experience with them?  

CV - Ah, the search for a publisher! It's been quite a journey for us as an indie developer. We attended PAX EAST 2023 in Boston earlier in the year.  That was an incredibly vibrant experience. We’ve approached multiple publishers (over 20 in fact), showcasing our game and sharing our vision with them. While the process hasn't been without its obvious challenges,  we've received positive feedback and interest from several publishers.  We're currently in discussions with a few potential partners, exploring opportunities to bring Pizza Kidd to a wider global audience. We’ll be sure to announce any official partnerships, once all of the details have been ironed out. More on that later :) 

Pizza Kidd Gameplay
He Will Be Back!

TFK - The game is set for December 2nd, this year, for PC. Any chance of delay or are you guys on track?  

CV - As of now, we're on track for the December 2024 release on PC/ MAC (and SteamDeck). Of course, game development can be unpredictable, and unforeseen circumstances may arise. One of the most obvious is a lack of consistent funding. [Currently, Pizza Kidd is a self-funded project]. However, we're committed to meeting our deadline and delivering the game as promised. We'll keep our fans updated throughout the development process, should any changes occur… our Discord and  Twitter are best for receiving frequent weekly updates! 

TFK - Is there any chance of having it on consoles even without a  publisher?  

CV - Definitely! We're exploring the possibility of bringing Pizza Kidd to consoles, even without a publisher. While it presents its own set of challenges, we believe in the game's potential and want to make it accessible to as many players as possible. We'll be actively looking for opportunities to expand our reach beyond the initial PC/MAC - Steam Deck release.

On a side note, it's worth mentioning that Pizza Kidd was meticulously designed and planned with the SWITCH's native resolution of 1280p x  720p in mind. This approach ensures optimized porting to the platform,  offering all its pixel-perfect glory on the Nintendo Switch

Nintedo Switch OLED
Hopefully Coming Soon!

TFK - How can a potential publisher contact you guys?  

CV - Potential publishers can contact us through our Twitter, e-mail, or  Discord. We're always open to new partnerships and collaborations that align with our vision for Pizza Kidd

Publisher / Media inquiries please contact us via e-mail or DM. 

For more information please visit: Kidd's Blog Page

TFK - Is there anything you would like to tell your fans and fans of the genre?  

CV - To our fans and fans of the genre, we want to express our deepest gratitude for your support & enthusiasm. Without you, games like Pizza Kidd wouldn't be possible. We've poured our hearts, souls (and arcade money) into creating a game that we hope will entertain, challenge, and bring joy to players. We're excited to embark on this adventure together  (hopefully with a well-established publisher) and can't wait for you to experience the world of Pizza Kidd. Stay tuned for updates, and remember to always fold your pizza slices :) 

After getting a taste of this interview, it's time to take action! Head over to Steam and make sure to wishlist the game. We're aiming for a December 2024 release date; fingers crossed that everything goes as planned. If we're lucky enough to secure a publisher and fill those vacant team positions sooner rather than later, it'll be an unbelievable achievement!

Special Thanks to The Flying Kick, our good friend Calv. aka Beto Chavez, our friends & families, the PK Team (René, Olvy, Slime, Mordi,  Carlos, Kevin, Ellie, and Symm), and the entire PK Discord Community

“Pizza Out!” haha. 


We would like to thank Collin and the team at Kidd Games for this interview and wish them all the best with the game and their future projects.





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