I wanted to write about our thoughts after an incredible time at PlayStation Experience. As a small studio being unveiled during the key note and then being on the show floor itself was a dream come true. At the time of writing this our trailer (as seen on our YouTube Channel and on the Official PlayStation Channel) has received over 130,000 views. If we were to announce this game on our own, without the support of PlayStation and therefore without the support of all of you, we would probably have, at best, received 1,000 views.
It isn’t an understatement therefore to say that the initial success of Brut@l, that is the announcement and all the attention that it has brought us, is 100% down to the amazing people we met at PlayStation Experience and those that tuned into and found out about the game thanks to us being a part of the keynote. Before we go any further into this blog post I just want to say thank you, as small studio who had never shown anyone our game until this month, all of the kind words, coverage and excitement around the game has blown us away.
With all that said, I want to focus on what we took away from this event. As I mentioned above this was the first time anyone had seen our game, let alone played it. This caused quite a bit of nervousness around the studio before we flew out to San Francisco. Working on a game and playing it yourself is one thing, opening that game up to a wider audience is both exciting, terrifying and nauseating all at once. The team put in some incredible work to get Brut@l ready for the show floor, a lot of the time this can go unnoticed by those out with the team. I was very fortunate to demo the game to you and discuss it on the LiveCast, however working in a Production capacity means that I personally don’t actually make the game, if you’ve not seen Greg Miller of Kinda Funny’s acceptance speech from the Video Game Awards I suggest you watch that, it sums up my personal thanks to the team for making the game so solid for me to show off. That said there was still a lot of anxiety on the build up to the event, what if no one liked the game?
As the trailer rolled there was a sense of relief, the game was announced to the world, now all we had to do was demo it to the attendees of PlayStation Experience and show them we had something special, something buggy we admit, but something that showed promise and hooked players in.
The whole weekend was an eye opening experience. We received a lot of praise for our art style, game features and approach to gameplay. For the whole event we met no one overly negative about Brut@l, not everyone liked it of course, but those that didn’t were gracious and offered words of encouragement as to what they did like and what they’d like to see improved upon. While the weekend was positive, watching hundreds of people play your game for the first time really makes it clear what works and what does not. I want to outline now what feedback we’ve taken on board and what we’re going to be improving greatly for the final version.
- Combat: Watching combat was interesting, no one had anything particular negative to say about it, however being able to watch so many people kill enemies over and over it was clear to us we could make this feel nicer, behave more consistently and pack an extra ASCII themed punch.
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- AI Behaviour: Our PSX demo was the first time we grouped enemies together properly. In this demo we had Imps (close range) combined with Skeleton Archers (long range), this was an obvious grouping that added complexity to combat. We want to work on more grouping types, adding different forms of danger for the player once they’ve understood the core concept of an enemies strengths and weakness. We also want to improve AI reaction time as well as path finding.
Other than that, we obviously have our core features – more enemy types, local co-op and the dungeon editor to keep working on, however we’re more determined than ever to make Brut@l a great game. Thank you all for your feedback, tweets, re-tweets, likes, articles, dance offs*, high fives and kind words. Working on this game for so long has been amazing, but sharing it with you all has made it even better.
Have a great day!
*No dances offs have appeared yet, we can only presume they’re coming 😉