Available now in the App Store!

A short history of Hipster City Cycle

Hipster City Cycle began as a learning project for friends Michael and Kevin to figure out iOS Development in April 2009. The inital designs were simple 'tap as fast as you can' type concepts, but everyting changed with Keith got involved. Michael and Keith had gone to school together, and Keith's pixel artistry skills were well known. Soon after he agreed to help with art for a game, the decision was made to set the game in Philadelphia, and to make it about biking. As soon as Keith had drawn the first map and some intial animations it was clear something epic was brewing.

While Keith spent his nights hand-pixelating the neighborhoods and residents of Philadelphia, Michael focused on refining the gameplay mechanics, and Kevin figured out how to make the whole thing run without exploding. Meanwhile Patrick an Joey created the perfect sonic compliment to Keith's visual aesthetic, and Al started helping to realize the full potential of the game.

After two years of cafe meetups, late night coding sessions, paitent girlfriends, and never ending Apple updates... Hipster City Cycle was finally born.

Michael Highland

A true child of the game console, Michael forwent a Bar Mitzvah, and instead chose to retrieve the Master Sword as his rite of passage into manhood. Years of life altering virtual experience lead him to study computer science and art at UPenn's DMD (Digital Media Deisgn) where he spent most of his time making movies (one about gaming), hanging with the art kids, pontificating about game design, and skipping linear algebra. After graduating, he teamed up with friend Kevin Jenkins to figure out iPhone development, and two years later, what began as a simple learning project, had evolved into Hipster City Cycle. When he's not groking the physics of bicycles, he mediates and tries to figure out how to use technology to make life better.

Kevin Jenkins

Kevin grew up in the rough-and-tumble streets of rural southern New Jersey where hay fever is king and the Internet is still a ‘nice idea’. An early interest in computers and programming evolved into a BSE and MSE in Computer Science at UPenn where he expertly avoided socializing with anyone who might have been an engineer. He met Michael after college and over the course of many epic table tennis matches they slowly hatched Hipster City Cycle. Developing the game was a labor of love and caffeine which took place in the many hipster havens throughout the city. Well stocked and prepared for a zombie apocalypse, Kevin now resides in South Philly with his spectacular girlfriend, scratch golf ability and a rotating cast of various IPAs.

Keith McKnight

Keith was born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia. Inheriting a family obsession with SimCity 2000, he developed into a computer nerd, and got his kicks throughout elementary and high school from modifying NES graphics, fighting his way up the ranks of emulation message boards, and ignoring hundreds of emails about some Flash animation called “Mario Twins”. After buying some tight pants and learning how to ride a bike, Keith graduated with a BSE in Engineering from UPenn, where he met Michael Highland in the Digital Media Design program. Together with the rest of the Hipster City Cycle team, they made it their mission to set the record straight about bike messengers and hipsters, or whatever this game is about. Keith currently lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, which is not meant to be a funny joke.

Al Alsup

Al misspent his youth wanting to pick up anything but this freakin’ Klobb! Convinced his trained thumbs could provide no sustainable lifestyle, he decided to get off the grid and moved to Ha Noi, Vietnam after graduating from Skidmore College with a BA in English. In Ha Noi, he found his thumbs could in fact support the rest of his corporeal body when he was hired by Alley Labs to work on the acclaimed dual-thumb shooter, Meteor Blitz, and help lay the groundwork for the restaurant sim, Pocket Cafe. Upon returning to the States, Alex joined up with Michael Highland, an old high school friend, and the rest of the Hipster City Cycle crew to work with Binky and his wonderful, pixelated, Philly landscape. Alex currently lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with a crazed dog, superstar girlfriend, and a Wu-Tang "W"-shaped bathmat.

Patrick Todd

Although Patrick was a lifelong fan of video games from the first moment he played an Amiga 500, he was finally corrupted at the age of 16 when he began covering video game music with a group of friends. Not having proper foresight, he also registered to an internet forum using a handle referencing the Bucky O'Hare NES game. But through a pursuit of musical interests made possible by a vast series of underground tubes, he was eventually beckoned to Philadelphia. He has since performed with Philly-local groups Chromelodeon, Brown Reculse, and Cheap Dinosaurs. He is currently living in center city and enjoys exploring the mysteries of retro NES audio.

Joey Mariano

Joey Mariano, a guitar geek since age 11, learned music the traditional way. Eventually he even studied jazz guitar at Rutgers, but there was something missing. The sounds he wanted to make were not produced by any instrument he studied in school. Instead, the sounds in his head were more accurately generated by old, crappy consumer sound chips from the 80’s and 90’s. Now Joey composes 1337 chip music 24hrs a day! No seriously, his music actually supports the large family of 469 Chinchillas he inherited from a long lost uncle. He got pulled into this Hipster City Cycle mess because Bucky [Patrick Todd] used to feed his favorite gorilla in between sets at Cheap Dinosaurs shows.

Special Thanks

Cafe Ole!, John Rowley, Alex Tyson, Nick Salvatore, Jaren Abedania, Jaizi Abedania, Jake O'Brien, A.D. Amorosi, Maggie Arganbright, Jim & Laurie Alsup, HHK4GSS, Steve, Omar, Bob and Sue McKnight, Tim & Susan Jenkins, Melissa Dowling, Cocos2d (Ricardo Quesada & co.), Joe & Dottie Highland, Amy Calhoun, meL

It's a love letter to Philadelphia written on the stationery of retro gaming.
—Nicole Klein. Gaming Target

But what's it all mean?

Our goal with HCC was to create a unique gaming experience layered with nostalgia, cultural satire, and beautiful artwork. The core gameplay was inspired by arcade and early console games that often on first play seemed simple, repetitive, and hard. What was magical about these games was if you spent a little while playing the subtle nuances of the mechanics would begin to bloom...

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All Content © PORT 127 2010
Questions? Comments? Talk to Binky: binky@hipstercitycycle.com