I was feeling nostalgic while reorganizing the site, and I realized that most people nowadays have no idea about our humble roots. 2010 was a long time ago... what happened?!
People are always amazed when they see the 'Hit Box Museum' on the mantle in my apartment. I always chuckle about the garage days building Hit Boxes out of scrap wood and pad hacks. Even many of the Las Vegas locals don't know about the times way before the now-cherished 'garage days' when we crammed 40+ gamers every Wednesday night in that same garage after our beloved Gemini Arcade closed its doors.
This was the time back when I (HB Dustin) was the no-name struggler Husser_Brian, commonly mistaken as "Hustler Bryan." My brother Shawn and I were obsessed with getting good enough at Marvel 2 to hold our own at Regency Fun Center in Long Beach, CA, and were eventually adopted by the SoCal Tatsunoko vs. Capcom scene. Ah yes, the good old days, starting from the bottom and setting your targets one player at a time, slowly working up the ranks of your scene for respect and glory.
First Dreamcast pad, then MAS stick, then Japanese stick, then mods. The Hit Box came out of a huge pet peeve of missing dragon punches on our quest to 'get gud.' Personally, I was obsessed with mastering MvC2 Dhalsim and doing anything I could to get ready for Marvel vs Capcom 3, the most excited I've ever been for a game release in my life. When people are hungry enough, they'll do anything to improve: even reinvent the wheel. Stick in this case, but you get the idea. The Hit Box was born through the salty struggles of competition.
At the original SoCal Regionals in 2010 we were interviewed showing off our "boxes," and suddenly our inbox was flooded with people asking how to buy them. People didn't care that they were DIY whatevers, they just loved the idea behind it. So we set up a waiting list and went to work... one pad hack, one nail, one piece of scrapwood at a time.
I can't believe his button got loose! Shoutouts to Kurasa, he was our very first customer and the first person to really light up and 'get it' when I first met him at SCR in the Tatsunoko scene. Really cool dude and a great player. I made it up to him later for being a good sport about the button.
But that's how we learned: one box at a time. We had no background as engineers or business majors... I was a licensed court reporter and Shawn was a professional violinist / operator at a rare earth mine. We were just stoked so many people liked what we were doing in our free time.
It wasn't until after our first official video "Hit Box - The Basics" was again featured on sites like Shoryuken.com and EventHubs.com that we realized that interest for our project wasn't dying out... it was picking up. And if we didn't figure out how to up our production fast, we would be holding the idea back. We didn't realize it at the time, but a new type of game had already started: one box at a time.
Now obviously there's a lot more to our journey — controversies, triumphs, hard lessons learned — but that's the humble beginning of how two guys got their chance of a lifetime to quit their day jobs and take a shot at something far greater.
If you were part of this journey or are just learning about it now, Shawn and I would like to thank you. ^_^ We're not taking this opportunity to serve you for granted. In fact, we still feel like we're just getting started; so our paths by chance might have crossed at just the right time!
- Hit Box Dustin