Brawlhalla: An Interview

Guys, we have an awesome treat for you today! I got to talk to the creative minds behind current beta brawler, Brawlhalla, to get some insight into their goals for the game. Enjoy the read!

1. What is your role in the creation of Brawlhalla?

I’m the Executive Producer at Blue Mammoth. So I’m responsible for making sure that everything comes together into a nice cohesive game. I try to make sure that out of all the great ideas out there we pick the ones that go together and reinforce what Brawlhalla is.

2. At first glance, your game seems to have a lot of similarities to Super Smash Bros. How does you feel your game differs from that of Nintendo’s Brawler giant?

The core of our combat mechanic revolves around the weapon system. Each Legend has two different weapons they’re able to use. Grabbing a pickup will give you one of those two weapons and completely switch out your moveset. So your playstyle changes in the middle of combat and you can tailor your approach to different situations. On top of that the movement physics play out differently with lots of aerial control and combat, wall sliding, recovery options, and dodges. We’re also free to play on PC and that means it’s a live game that we get to continue to support. We get to be adding new characters, weapons, maps, gadgets, balance, and special events as long as people are in game and loving what we’re doing!

3. Your team is essentially filling the brawler void on PC. Do you plan on releasing on other platforms in the future?

We want as many people to be able to enjoy Brawlhalla as possible. We don’t have any firm plans on other platforms but it’s something we’re interested in and looking into. Don’t worry we’ll be sure to let you know if we branch out!

4. How exactly is move priority figured during gameplay? Does it change from character to character?

The biggest factor in move priority is based on the hitbox itself. If two characters manage to land valid hitboxes on each other at the exact same moment (which is rare) it tie-breaks based on a Priority value, then Attack Speed, then Health.

5. Do you have any plans to expand on each characters move sets so that they more greatly differ from one another?
We are actually going back and retrofitting all of our characters to have six unique moves each instead of our initial two. This was a question we heard a lot, it was clear from the community that characters didn’t feel special enough. The mix between how many moves come from the weapon a Legend can use and how many come from the Legend themselves has always been tricky to balance. After trying a bunch of different solutions we decided that each character having unique specials for each weapon ground Heavy attack was the way to go and so far the community has loved it!

6. Do you have any maps planned that will mix up the types of stages that are currently available?

We just released a map currently called “The Enigma” that rearranges itself several times during the course of a game. It was a lot of fun to build and even more fun to play on. You can bet we’ll keep working on creative map times to shake things up!

7. What are your plans for Brawlhalla after release?

More! A big reason we chose to follow a free to play model is so we can support Brawlhalla as a live game. Once we release we just keep right on working on the next cool thing. Our focus will continue to be listening to the community; in a really cool way it’s actually the players who decide where we go as a game after we launch. We have to listen and adjust our plans accordingly, it’ll be an exciting and fun time.

8. Do you have any plans to add a map creator into the game?

Several people have mentioned this and it’s an idea that we really like. Finding ways for the community to get involved with the game itself is super cool. We aren’t sure what it would mean or even if we’d be able to do it yet. We are interested though and will be putting some serious brain power behind the idea once we get more of the core game finished.

9. What guided your team toward the current art style of the game? Has it changed its aesthetic at all since you started working on the project?

As a studio we really love the slick 2d animated look. We always say we want it to look like a Saturday morning cartoon come to life. There’s just something fun, personable, and familiar with that style that we’re enamored with. We started with that direction at the beginning but things are always evolving of course. Originally we had cell shaded backgrounds as well and those are now nicely textured hand painted backgrounds just as one example. We’re always looking for new ways to improve what we’re doing!

10. Do you plan to include any power-ups of KO bonuses into the game? (Double Damage, Speed, etc.)

No plans for power-ups right now. One thing we’ve wanted to avoid is random elements that lead to a large swing in gameplay balance. All of our Gadgets, Weapons, even the Unarmed moveset are on the same playing field with comparable advantages and weaknesses. Our feeling is that pickups that have big swings in power like this make the game feel more random and less skill based. We are looking to add new Gadgets in the future and some sort of buff Gadget isn’t out of the realm of possibilities, but it would have to be balanced with the other Gadgets so double damage is pretty unlikely.

Thanks to the guys at Blue Mammoth for taking the time to talk to us, and make sure to check out their game, Brawlhalla ON STEAM!

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