Why, hello there!
It’s Christian here again, thanks for stopping by! Like I said last week, the general idea of the dev blog in the future will be to give a brief recap of what happened, as the title put it, last week in development. Apparently this was misunderstood by some to mean it was “the last week of development”, while it was meant to be “this happened this last week, in development”. We’ll look into a clearer name for the future. However, this week we’ll take a closer look at an isolated topic; the upcoming temporary game mode, Bakko’s Egg Brawl.
What happened last week?
Before we get into that I’ll just give a brief summary of last week. Most of it was just chugging along on previous topics, which might not be very exciting for you, but is a reality in game development. Development, unfortunately, takes time…
The gameplay team has continued to work on the new player experience. Main work has been on polishing the AI meant for 1v1 and looking into how to teach some of the additional mechanics in Battlerite not covered by the tutorial.
Besides working on the (for you) unknown project (remember those beautiful fishies?) the art team was polishing up the last parts of the Freya graphical update. If you missed it, besides the new skill icons, visual effects and sound, she’s also getting a new, beautiful updated 3D model!
Katey has been working on hammering out those concepts for the UI 2.0. She’s been experimenting with the art style and shares a sneak peek at a couple of the specimens.
These two designs share very similar layouts, but have different art treatments. Katey explains, “At the moment it’s just about getting a feel for what kind of theme the new UI could have, starting simply before looking at detailed art aesthetics. All icons are placeholder so we can concentrate on the broader appeal. We don’t expect to have a finalised art style until near the end of prototyping, but it’s important to experiment early on so we can keep iterating closer and closer to the final product alongside the layout design process”.
The UI programmers have, among other things, been looking at the technical side of partying up and creating private matches.
Has been looking over some of the more serious bugs (among them the FPS drop some people are experiencing, please help us out if you’re experiencing it) and straightening out some problems we’ve had with our development tools.
Besides this, every team in some capacity also helped out to put the finishing touches on the new game mode!
Bakko’s Egg Brawl
What is it?
If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, it’s a special Easter event that will be available until next Tuesday (April 18th). In it you play as Bakko, in a team of Bakkos, facing off against an enemy team of Bakkos, to show that your team of Bakkos is the best team of Bakkos. Bakko Bakko Bakko Bakko. Sorry, too many Bakkos.
Anyway, the Bakkos roam around the arenas, throwing eggs. Eggs spawn around the map, so you’re never lacking an egg for too long after you’ve thrown one. There’s a variety of colored eggs, each with a unique and often interesting and/or terrifying effect. Bakko wouldn’t be Bakko without his shield, so he can use his Bulwark to reflect incoming eggs for maximum outplays. His ability kit is a bit more restricted than usual and is focused around pushing opponents around, throwing eggs and reflecting them.
Each round you are able to choose between Battlerites specially created for Bakko’s Egg Brawl, for increased strategic and tactical depth (or maybe just more wackiness?). We’ll save the details of the eggs and the Battlerites for you to explore by yourself. Besides the typical and plain White Egg, which simply deals damage on impact, there’s an additional seven types of eggs to have fun with. Tales also speak of a mythical, eighth egg, but this has yet to be confirmed. For the Battlerites, there are three different ones available for the first three rounds, and two for the fourth and fifth round.
Where did it come from?
A couple of months back we got four new interns here at Stunlock Studios, from a nearby game development school. They are Gustaf Wall and Joakim Hedman, who study Programming, and Andreas Lidell and Erik Grönlund, who study Game Design. Since they got here and got acquainted with our development tools they have been prototyping and experimenting with a bunch of different game modes. We check up with them every so often to see how it goes and to give feedback on the prototypes they’ve made. They are a great resource to us as they are able to research and try out lots of different ideas without it impacting the “regular” development of Battlerite.
One of the prototypes we saw immediate potential in was a game mode simply called “Dodgeball”. There were two variants of it, one a Free-For-All mode and one that was team based. Both roughly consisted of players roaming the arenas with increased movement speed and throwing balls that dealt damage at each other. Players could reflect balls towards their thrower by timing a quick attack and dodge by rolling. Every once in awhile an empowered ball would spawn in the middle of the arena that couldn’t be reflected.
We’ve been interested in having a “Brawl” type game mode, a game mode that switches up the regular mechanics of the game and is available for a short duration. With Easter coming up we were looking for something that could fit well with an Easter theme. Balls are quite similar to eggs, so making the transition from throwing balls to throwing eggs wasn’t very farfetched!
How did it end up the way it did?
When we decided to use the Dodgeball mode for Easter, people from the studio proper stepped in and helped push the game mode further. A few things changed between the prototype and the game mode eventually released. We changed the champion you played from Lucie to Bakko, as he already had a reflect mechanic before which made it fit better. He also already throws axes at people so that lined up too. The reflect mechanic needed to be changed from the quick reflect to a longer one as latency otherwise would make it… problematic. Having it longer made Bakko fit the role even better. Removing the roll emphasized the importance of movement and positioning so that went away as well.
Adding multiple different types of eggs to be thrown increased the possibilities of what could happen in matches and added more replay value, while also adding additional humorous touches. Battlerites were then added to give further reasons to play the game mode multiple times and try out different strategies and builds. All in all, we ended up with a game mode that we feel is casual, fun and unpredictable, but still retains a competitive edge to it. We hope you’ll enjoy it in this coming week!
Thanks for reading!