September 3rd, 2012 | By Alex Wilkinson
Archeblade is the first game by South Korean Developer Codebrush Games which has recently started its closed beta proving to be shaping up rather well as i mentioned in my previous article. After having a great deal of fun in the beta I found I was left with many questions about where this game was going and how it would end up looking by the release next year, so I shot Codebrush Games an e-mail contain many of my queries. I was shocked when they got back to me almost immediately with every question answered so I can not commend them enough for getting back to me so promptly, below are the questions I asked along with the resposes from Codebrush Games.
The first point I noticed whilst on the beta was how you would gain experience points in game from kills and captures but in the beta these points had no apparent use, I theorized that these points could contribute to a leveling system or matchmaking potential.
Codebrush Games We have not yet settled on how the experience system will factor into Archblade although we do not intend to have a leveling system, the most likely use for the experience system will be for achievements or player matchmaking. However use of experience for matchmaking will completely depend on the size of the player base, as it makes sense to use it for great numbers of players but feels irrelevant for a small player base.
The beta currently contains 10 character choices however I was curious about how many we will expect to see in the release build, especially as the current selection seem to of been developed to contain a lot of depth within each character.
Codebrush Games As we are still only an indie company the resources are already quite stretched, however we do intend for at least some additional characters to be implemented into the final build. The numbers depend greatly on how other important areas develop prior to release.
As Archeblade takes a leaf out of MOBA style games, which commonly publish new heros frequently I did wonder if it would be the same with Archeblade especially as this is often a source of revenue along with being a common way to retain the player base.
Codebrush Games Many games offer this dynamic and we will be no different, we will be developing a wealth of new characters each with their own unique abilities to help factor into ever more dynamic teams. We will be adding way to heal your team along with stealthing abilities allowing you to sneak up on unprepared enemies, with more ideas constantly being formulated.
One of the biggest take aways for me from Archeblade was how each character seemed to feel very unique, containing vastly different mechanics yet the gameplay felt rather balanced, clearly this takes a lot of development but how was it achieved.
Codebrush Games We play the game a lot and discuss character balance continually. Balance is always hard and a key factor in any competitive game however we test every possibility of the characters from longer, shorter, stronger, weaker, larger continually back and forth until we start to see balance. The beta of course will provide much more information on how we can better balance Archeblade and we hope the community will give us some very constructive feedback.
I couldn’t help but feel that Archeblade could easily lend itself to a passive talent system or a way to alter the load out, to perhaps add a little bit more variety into the game.
Codebrush Games We currently have no plans to add a talent system however we are currently working on special skills for each character that factor into the F key rage skills, creating an even more unique feel to the characters. An example of one these abilities can be seen below.
The current beta build has only two maps available to play each with only one game type I was curious to find out if the final release build would have more maps and if the maps would be less specialised and contain more than one game type per map.
Codebrush Games We have plans to add additional maps when possible though being an indie developer it can be difficult to produce all the content at once. As for the maps each map contains a different game goal, working on a similar concept to that of WOW’s battlegrounds.
The idea to cross Beat ‘Em Up’s with MOBA gameplay seems quite an inspired one and one not many people would think of, I was very interested to know what really inspired Codebrush Games to cross these very different genres.
Codebrush Games The simple answer is we all love to play both fighting and MOBA, the thing we had to keep in mind was which factors from both genres would work together and which had to be dropped allowing us to create the current hybrid in Archeblade.
As i mentioned in my beta preview article I believe Archblade has potential to be a new E-Sports title due to the short duration; the fact it is from a South Korean development team and the LAN support, would this factor into Archeblade.
Codebrush Games The short duration of the games makes for very intense gameplay and we believe that Archeblade has potential to become an E-Sports title. However for this to occur we may need to add or optimize many aspects in the game to fine tune it for the E-Sports market, though if the day does come for Archeblade to making the leap into E-Sports we’ll be performing a Gangnam style dance.
With the gameplay of Archeblade being a cross of MOBA and fighting I couldn’t help but look at this game and think controller support may be a nice additional feature for players to have, considering how many fighting games are produced for controllers over keyboard and mouse.
Codebrush Games We have tried and tested controllers within Archeblade but have came to the conclusion that controllers would not be a viable solution. The fact of the matter is controllers seemed to leave the players at a distinct disadvantage compared to keyboard and mouse players. We noticed this to an extent that in our tests no players using controllers ever won against a keyboard and mouse player.
Due to the nature that many of the games that Archeblade is modeled off offer microtransactions and with Archeblade being released as a free to play game it seemed almost inevitable that it would indeed follow this popular model.
Codebrush Games We are currently working on the game store which works in conjunction with Steam money. We expect it to offer various items for purchase such as character unlocks, skins and so on.
The current beta system for matchmaking has very much a casual feel drop in, drop out model which works perfectly for the more casual end of the market. This said Archeblade feels like it is a game that will have a strong hardcore competitive market so will there be more of a tournament system to cater for this market.
Codebrush Games As we are only a small indie team and we are currently working to get as many features implemented in the game before the release next year the idea of a more hardcore competitive mode is something we would be willing to work on and implement if and when the players want it.
I hope that this session sheds more light on Archeblade and explores a little more about the direction Codebrush Games are moving with their game. Archeblade is scheduled for a March release of next year on Steam and will be free to play. I would like to greatly thank Codebrush Games for the prompt reply along with the seeming full disclosure about Archeblade and hope this answers some of the communities questions. Be sure to check back to The Indie Game Magazine for all the latest on Archeblade as and when it develops.