Happy new year! Hope all the holidays have been well and that you all had a chance to spend some time with
your loved ones your video games. We certainly did. It’s only been a week since the start of 2013 and we’ve been extremely active in BattleBlock Theater development. Here are some mini updates for you folks:
- ESRB still keeping us as “Teen,” but now you can find “Crude humor” on the list too. Not surprising and nothing new, right? A few fart sounds here and there and poo coils once in a while…
- Something we’re hoping to showcase in a future blog post are our story cinematics. We’ve successfully finished of all the videos for the story mode and we’re ready to delight you with our good natured crude humor.
- Level designers are double checking and triple checking all 450+ levels in BattleBlock Theater to make sure they are perfectly challenging and playable. They’ve been making adjustments based on the numerous playtests we’ve had the past year and also after our most recent internal group playtest.
At the end of the year 2012, many Behemoth eyeballs got together in one room to take a look at the latest build of BattleBlock Theater with all the additions implemented in the past year and had a discussion for possible modifications to improve the game even further.
Usually the dev team gets together weekly and discuss the developments and the progress of the game: adjustments are made throughout the week by the programmer and level designers, audio and video production team tweak certain clips, and artwork is created for various parts of the game before a new build is created. Then the most recent build is tested over and over by our quality assurance department to check for bugs, they report any strange occurrences and then the game goes through the cycle once again. We do several weekly playtests with random participants who would come in and play the game with their fresh eyes to give us novel ideas.
Last week, we did something different. Many of us, not all of us, squeezed into our usability lab to play through the latest build of BattleBlock Theater (BBT) and talked about our feelings. It wasn’t a meeting full of sentimental memories of 2012, but a productive group effort to push the game forward into the new year. Everyone’s eyes and ears were focused on the TV. We took turns playing the game and jotted down notes on how to improve the game–all the elements are there already, but how do we make it shine even more?
Here’s an example of a tiny addition to the game that refined the rewards system in BBT: We originally had the gems hanging above at the top of each level and they would appear at the top after each gem was procured. However, each level has a different number of gems within the level, and players didn’t have any indication to when all of the gems were obtained. This was resolved with new art that would spread a giant green glow across the screen once the last gem was collected. A sound solution and shiny too!
We reviewed the game thoroughly as a group and will be moving forward in 2013 with many exciting advancements to the game. Keep checking back here every Tuesday as we will be posting weekly on the development blog to keep you updated on the latest news.