Erm, so... Have you played Hypnospace Outlaw? If so, great; if not, here's a quick primer:
Hypnospace Outlaw is a simulation game made by Jay Tholen, Corey Cochran, and Xalavier Nelson Jr. in which you play an enforcer of rules on "Hypnospace", a '90s-style version of the internet that happens while you sleep. In your role, you come across a teenage boy named ZANE_ROCKS_14, who is constantly breaking the rules about copyright infringement and harassment because he really wants the world to know about his favourite bands, his terrible self-authored comics about himself as a superhero, and his made-up girlfriend. He's a little toerag.
Anyway, ZANE_ROCKS_14 is now ZANE_ROCKS_36 (although he's actually 37), and he's releasing a game called Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance Of The Slayer, and we got to interview him. Sweet!
Zane Lofton is an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in a really cool guy. The dictionary definition of Zane Lofton is just a picture of someone doing a really sick kickflip on a skateboard painted with flames. Zane Lofton is what we all aspire to be. But just who is Zane Lofton?
We managed to secure an interview with the elusive, controversial figure to attempt to answer the question on everyone's lips, asking Zane about his time on Hypnospace, his love for metal band Seepage, and his new game: Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance Of The Slayer, which is in the running for "longest title of 2022" alongside Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth and Demon Slayer - Kimetsu No Yaiba - The Hinokami Chronicles.
This interview has been printed without corrections or edits. Sorry.
Nintendo Life: What were your main inspirations for Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance of the Slayer?
thanks …my main inspirations for Slayers X is this comic I been drawing on and off since I was 14… its all in note books and its the most complex comic of all time with over 100 characters… but theres also action and some of it is really messed up. one part a guy explodes and I see his eyeballs fly out… not for kids…. its about the X Slayers… started by the Hackblood master Mikey Sykey who started it all and unlocked the power when he found a hackblood Talisman. hes also the lead singer of the band Seepage… in conclusion, I would say the inspiration is my comic Slayers X, and awesome music like Seepage
Can you walk us through that title?
ok. first… Slayers X is the name of the comic…. the X Slayers are a team of elite heros who meet in a secret under ground base called The Steel Sewer… its under the city of Boise. they fight the Psyko SINdikate… lead by the evil The Sipher…. anyway Terminal means like "final destruction" or something like that and Aftermath is like after a flippin bomb goes off and the roads get all cracked and smoke every where… so that's awesome. "Vengance of The Slayer" is the last part and its about my character who is the final X Slayers because the Psykos killed all the other ones and this is my revenge…. I will get them back. to re-cap… I named it that because of my comics name, because its like after a explosion, and because, I am the final X Slayer.
How do you feel about the term "boomer shooter"?
there are big flippin explosions in every level so its not wrong but i never heard it before
What engine did you use to make SX: TA: VOTS?
its based on the game engine of Kataklysm from 1995 by Killbox studios. that game was awesome so in 1998 I started making maps and my friend Adam Chase who was my best friend in high school was a nerd so he programmed so he helped me put custom enemies in…. I learned NeoVision 3D again in between nite shifts at my job to make them look even more awesome… Adam Chase is helping finish it up because he promised when we were like 18
Did you work with Seepage to feature their music?
yea… whats awesome is they saw the ppl making fun of my fan art and that I put Mikey Sykey (the lead singer) in my comic and he noticed and said I could use his songs and he will even do voice acting. the tables have turned….they tried to tear me down but I only got stronger
What is the gaming scene like in Boise, Idaho? Do you have much local support?
i dunno….. I have a kid and im a manager at the big Dollar$aver in south central Boise so I don't have time to hang out with nerds bwl… I work grave yard shift so I'm sleeping or hanging out with the little dude when they have the meetings
a rich British guy is going to publish this game… u can tell hes loaded just talking to him
Will you be attending any gaming events with Slayers X, like GDC and Gamescom?
never heard of those but that would be awesome… a rich British guy is going to publish this game… u can tell hes loaded just talking to him bwl…. maybe he can send one of his busness jets out to take me to one
True Zane_Rocks_14 fans will remember you from the old days of Hypnospace. What do you want to say to these long-time fans?
Ever since they put that Hypno space archive up I been getting lots of fan mail but sometimes I think their not serious and are fake fans…u know, my comic I drew when I was 15 is on there… thats where Slayers X comes from… the orgin of it all….its kind of cheesy in a awesome way…... but to the real X Slayers out there I say keep on rocking….. and if your too messed up and twisted for this world you can come to The Steel Sewer and u will find ur people
Rumours are currently resurfacing on gamer forums about you having a "fake girlfriend" back in your teens – and that the girlfriend in question was actually you. What do you say to these accusations?
thsts stupid….have u ever heard of a "prank"? nobody fakes having a GF unless their lame. I was seeing how far I could go with my pranks and thats why it took 20 years for ppl to notice…. I tricked everyone for 20 yeara. next.
Who in the games industry would you say has "Got Game", and who is "Way Lame"?
Killbox & Kataklysm 1, 3, and 4 got game. Kataklysm 2 Microtrooper sucked tho and nobody could play it because it needed a expensive 3D card
Steve & Debra Doe White suck and are way lame because they just make crap games nobody really likes but fake like they like it because its supposed to be smart but its just boring.
Has life changed much for you now that you're about to be a world-famous game developer?
i got a baby sitter 2 afternoons a week so I can work on this game and I have a bunch of new X Slayers in my Steel Sewer chit chat group now…. outside of my kid they are my best friends and make awesome art…. I cant beleive so many ppl are into Slayers X its my dreams come true…. hopefully I can quit Dollar$aver and flip off my boss bwl
I cant beleive so many ppl are into Slayers X its my dreams come true…. hopefully I can quit Dollar$aver and flip off my boss
What is the most sick and twisted thing that you've put in the game?
the Psykos broke into my secret base and busted up the Hackblood pipes and made the Hackblood leak into the sewer which is making the turds come to life..
and they shoot corn at u bwl… so your basically fighting ur own dookie
there's also a gun called the Explosive Sludge Launcher that shoots cans of sewage which will blow up enemies if it hits them but it also drops sewage which makes rats come and help u fight the enemies..
and u can talk to the rats….
There's a guy trying to take credit for Slayers X called Jay Tholen, who honestly seems like a bit of a jealous loser. Have you been in touch with him at all?
i think hes a delusonal fan who thinks he is part of Big Z Studios (my game studio) because he keeps pretending he knows about how we are making this game but he gets it wrong all the time bwl… I dont want to be mean to him tho in case he is kind of messed up in the head
Thank you for your time, and good luck for the Slayers X launch!
thanks… your awesome
Hypnospace Outlaw is out now on Switch. Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance of the Slayer has no release date yet, although the Steam page says "5OON", so... 5oon.