GamingWe are The Behemoth, developers of BattleBlock Theater, Castle Crashers, and our latest game Pit People. Tomorrow we release Pit People. Ask us anything!
Jan 12th 2017 by TheBehemoth • 16 Questions • 368 Points
My short bio: I worked for a well-known cruise company for 6 years, and have met some weird and wonderful people and had some great experiences around the world. AMA!
My Proof: http://imgur.com/a/TMaEE
When are you adding the colour teal in BattleBlock Theater for my boy Aleks?
Yeah. Technically i was ranked as 2 stripe officer. In practise i prrtty much ranked below the engineering cadets. Rank really means nothing outside of the engineering department except for more responsibility.
I feel like it's going to be one of those eternal regrets I'll have. -Dan
Hey there, sorry for the late reply. /u/empmccoy gave a pretty good answer there tbh - the cruise directors often like to think they have more pull than they do (actually, as it is a cruise ship, they do have a lot of say about what goes on, but not about the important stuff when it comes to navigation or emergencies).
As /u/empmccoy said, the nationalities vary from company to company. I worked with mainly Dutch and British engineers, with a moderate eastern-european contingent. We didn't have any Italians at all, across the whole fleet.
Edit: Added some more info
Why did you give northernlion a copy? That egg can't even play the same game for 5 years correctly.
I have read several books that chronicle the life of a cruise ship worker (restaurant staff, entertainers, art auctioneer, etc). The recurrent theme was sex, sex, and more sex. That and the tiny rooms that are the size of a coat closet.
You can ask him to give it back, but it seems the damage has been done. I suggest a fist fight or thumb war. -Dan
Yep, there isn't all that much to do and everyone is stuck there with each other - it's inevitable tbh.
What's the best gig you've had? Or did you operate mainly on one ship?
Well we've made 4 games so far, there's also 4 of us here answering questions, and our next game will be Game 5 so .....
It was between a few ships within the same company over the years. For about 3/4 years, I did repeat contracts on the same ship as it was a great ship to be on.
The best itinerary we did, for me, was the Baltic cruises. 2 weeks sailing out of England, then to Copenhagen, Tallinn, St Petersburg overnight, Helsinki, Stockholm overnight, a couple of other smaller ports in between, and back to England. We had some great times on the overnights in those awesome cities, and the navigation in the baltic straits was some of the most intense and challenging I've experienced, which made the job that much more interesting too.
Worst place would have been Brazil. That sucked.
Do you hate us for making that battle block theatre tune in the ad?
BATTLE BLOCK THEATRE CHECK OUT THIS STUFF. LOTS OF NICE STUFF LIKE UH, THIS THING, GO UP THERE NOW. THAT'S A NICE TRICK.
It haunts me.
It's a delight, I'd wager.
"IF YOU HATE OUR STUFF, SHUT UP AND DO BETTER!" -Dan
Unfortunately, it was at the height of the Zika Virus scare. There had been a few incidents of our passengers getting mugged when they went ashore (I'm sure they weren't observing our advice of not taking jewellery and phones with them when they went out), and the heat and humidity was unbearable.
We spent 6 weeks in Brazil sailing hundreds of miles inland on the Amazon and I'm very glad I got to go there as we went to some incredibly exotic and strange places, and Rio was awesome, but the mood of the entire country felt hostile and negative. It's a shame and it probably isn't representative of the country as a whole but of the 20 or so places we went to, there were very few that felt safe or that could be enjoyed.
Is there any chance of ever getting a full release of Alien Hominid on PC? I loved the original flash game on Newgrounds and remember anxiously awaiting the PS2 version, and then the HD remake on the Xbox 360 was even better. It's easily one of my favorite games of all time, but I don't have consoles anymore, so I have no way to play it. I'd be thrilled even for a direct port of the 360 version with no other changes.
Many thanks for such a well informed, and positive, response. Much appreciated.
Thanks for sticking with us this whole way! We are aware that Alien Hominid HD is starting to become unavailable just about everywhere and do hope to find some time/resources to bring it over before it's been too long. But if we bring it over, I'd still like to do at least a little something with it! -Dan
Best of luck to you
What is your favorite unit to use in Pit People and why is it the rainbow horse?
Last few times I heard on the news where a Cruise ship accident was on the news, it was by an Italian Captain.
It's strange that the Rainbow Horse seems to have split into two sets of Kobolds! -Dan
Probably just because there are a lot of Italian Captains compared to other nationalities.
Also...they are by far and away the most arrogant, God-complexed people at sea. Yeah.
First off, I love you all so very much, keep kicking ass. Secondly, if you had to live/be roommates with a character from one of your games for a whole year, who would it be and why?
Thanks for doing the AmA. Did you ever encounter a bad storm or a pirate? What is your favorite story?
Sofia. I'd end up stranded in a jungle somewhere with nothing but a sword by the end of it, but it would be an amazing ride :D - Erin Jungjohann
Thankfully, no pirates! When we sailed through the Suez canal and the Gulf of Aden, we were fully equipped and prepared for it, but in reality pirates know that it would be almost impossible to take a cruise ship due to their high freeboard and considerable speed. Doesn't mean we weren't shitting a little bit though.
The worst storm I encountered was in the North Sea. We were sailing from Norway to England, and it was so rough that our Captain (he was a particularly nervous Master) slept on the Bridge floor instead of going back to his cabin, which was directly behind the Bridge. No significant damage was caused although there was a lot of seasickness among the passengers and some crew.
What was the inspiration behind castle crashes?! I loved that game
Ha. Someone used to work for Holland America.
After Alien Hominid we knew we wanted to try a beat-em-up. Tom, Stamper and I made a flash game on Newgrounds.com called "Dad 'n Me" ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/254456 ). We felt it might not be a great idea to make a game that revolved around beating up innocent children who cannot fight back for mass-market, though, so we went on redressing the fighters. It was initially going to be a lot of very different fighters as the main cast, but once I had made the knight I wanted to try and take it another angle and Tom seemed supportive! Voila! -Dan
How do you work with your game ideas? Do you have a list of game ideas prepared that you work down from, or do you come up with game ideas after your latest game is done and you are searching for a new project? Or is there something in between where a staffmember may come up with an idea while working on a current game? Is it often a collaborative effort or does the ideas often come from single individuals? I'd like to know the details of how you decide what game ideas to go with and how you come up with them.
Anyone (internally) who wants to can present an idea for what the next concept should be. Once we've looked through ideas/sketches and talked about it, we start prototyping one of them. If it has legs it's good to go, and if it falls a little flat we prototype another. We haven't thrown out too many ideas, though we did redo Castle Crashers from scratch (used to be on Gamecube and look/play very differently, you can find it with some google-fu), and a lot of them are pretty exciting so they wait in the wings for the next time out like those space marine guys in Starship Troopers. Or the guy that pees next to Russel Crowe in Gladiator. Which one will survive? -Dan
That's really hard to choose, because all of them were things I decided to create and enjoyed creating each and every one of them! I really like the Barbarian Boss/Painter Boss from Castle Crashers, the Racoon Monster from BattleBlock Theater, The Alien/Fat Kids from Alien Hominid, the Hair Trolls/Vampiress from Pit People. -Dan
Yes, what would you do if Marvel came to you tomorrow and asked you to do an X-Men video game?
I played the beta and there's a few things I didn't understand:
- How do levels affect pit people?
- Do enemies scale with level or story progression? Can you just grind the game away if you want or try to beat it with a low level team?
- If enemies scale with level or story, are you supposed to train low level pps by just sticking them with higher level ones?
- Are there any differences among pit peoples of the same type (cylops, cupcakes, etc)? Can you capture the same guy twice?
- What's the point of tournament points? Where do you have to place at the end of the day to get the gold items?
- Will there be a 2-pack on Steam?
Leveling up heals your character on the battlefield. It also gives your character a small permanent boost to their defense, health, and damage output. You'll notice if you give a level 1 guy a sword and place that same sword in fairly higher level guy's hand that the damage output is increased.
Enemies scale, but not 1:1 and not necessarily in the expected manner. The math is complicated and I hesitate to expose it too much so there's not gaming-of-the-system, but you should never feel like a level 1 guy or a level 99 guy are a bad idea to bring if I've done it right.
There are no differences between fighters of the same exact type aside from their name. You can find a fighter of the same name and theoretically have an entire army of them, but it is highly unlikely.
Tournament points put you in a Gold/Silver/Bronze standing within the bracket you've been assigned to. Each day whatever bracket you've been assigned to is remixed and you'll be against completely different people in the list. You don't have to fight anyone in the list, you just need more Pit Points than others to compete, which includes either doing Versus or Unfair Challenge modes in the arena. At the end of the day, the game looks at whether you are Gold/Silver/Bronze and awards you the corresponding amount of items. The items are not tiered themselves, but you'll receive less of them if you are a lower medal type for the day.
We hope to have a 2-pack. I'm not 100% sure if an Early Access game can offer that, however. Here's to hoping! -Dan
What would your top tips be for an aspiring video game developer?
Make mods with people. It's 100% emulation of the real deal and a great foot into the door if you want to be hired elsewhere. If you make mods for a popular game and it is received well, you might even get some recognition prior!
Tackle all problems with positive energy.
Remember that "haters" care about you. They wouldn't show you any emotion otherwise. It's possible a hater might actually like your game but have a dislike of a mechanic, technical or design issue that you could adjust.
Learn to interpret requests. A request for a button that kills everything on the screen every time they press it might be a symptom of a game being too difficult, a sign that you have awesome explosions in your game and need more, or something else.
Accept that you'll never know what you're doing. We all have an expectation when we make a game that when someone sits down to play it they'll know exactly what we know about it at some point. The truth is, that's not the truth! Learn where the game fails to communicate or motivate something for the player and adjust it until it does.
Try to always breathe something fresh into your own mix. Inspiration of other games is great, but is even greater when you rethink it from the ground up as you go and experiment the whole time.
Good luck!!!! -Dan
Any plans for an alien hominid sequel?
On average, how many big fat dicks per hour does Stamper suck?
Alien Hominid has to come back one day or another since it's starting to get lost on availability. I don't know about a sequel or an update or a port or what, but it should happen sooner or later.
You're a lewd boy aren't you? You lewd, lewd boy. You should be spanked!!!!!!! -Dan
The exact time of tomorrow is Tomorrow O'Clock.
The exact time of tomorrow's Pit People release on Steam will be at 10am PST!!!!!!
What is your prediction as to the most meta and OP team setup? If you don't want to answer that, just tell me about your personal favourite setups. Thanks for the AMA!
I don't really believe anything is OP. There are 'annoying' setups to fight against, but nothing where you should feel like they have a clear advantage if I've done my job right.
I suppose there are things that are much more difficult for the average player, or things that seasoned players would have enough experience to get an edge on anyone not-seasoned, or things that are particularly good for co-op story.. but I'd rather not inspire anything like that directly.
Personally I really like bringing 4 sets of Kobolds with a Cupcake and Vampiress. It demands careful management and has a lot more utility than it initially seems. I'd call it risk/reward but it really isn't necessarily classified as that. It's just a weird, different feeling to play with in a versus environment.
Spidaurs have absolute tons of utility, and even more if there are 2 of them. I've been toying with lots of those setups and find all kinds of potential in there.
Are there summons in Pit People? Pretty sure Hatty would make a great one.
In Pit People we can't rename our units, is it to make sure no one puts an obscene name?
Will we see more customization items and units throughout early access or is everything pretty much there?
You don't "summon" specific dudes in the middle of a fight, but both the Gorgon and the Troll Mom like to pop out little helpers throughout a battle. That said, if you were hoping to see specific characters, don't be surprised if you see some familiar weapons and helmets here and there. And yes, we'll probably add a few more as we go :)
Oh, names! Yeah, that was part of it, but also, names become just one more fun thing to get excited about when you're thinking about who to recruit. It's a lot more fun to recruit a pixie with that hat you really like if he's also named "Infinifart". - Erin Jungjohann
Are there any plans for a Castle Crashers 2? I played the hell out of it on Xbox 360 and I'd play a sequel for sure. Thanks!
The older one of our games gets the more I know what I'd do to spruce it up if we were to make another version. I have a laundry list of things I'd fundamentally change about Alien Hominid, a good number of things I'd do if we redid Castle Crashers, and a small list of things I'd change about BattleBlock Theater. We've always said we wouldn't make a sequel unless it guaranteed going beyond just fulfilling "more of the same" (which would ultimately end in sadness for all of us). Every year becomes more likely for a remake/spinoff/sequel from us, but I hesitate to even say any of this as I don't want to get anyone's hopes up in the off-chance that we just always have a more exciting idea on hand. -Dan
Are you hiring? i´m a programer from Paraguay, with experience in openfl/haxe skills in really simple game develop
Send any and all inquiries to games [at] the behemoth [dot] com with your resume or portfolio and we'll check it out. We're always keeping our eye out! -Dan
Hey Behemoth folks, a serious question and a non-serious question:
I know it's a long shot but are we ever going to see Alien Hominid on Steam?
I just found out your downtown office is like two blocks from my downtown office, can we be best friends?
Insert obligatory "omg I can't wait for Pit People to launch tomorrow"
That would be great. For us it's always a matter of bandwidth. Right now we are focused, as a whole, on Pit People. We've done all our ports in house to date as we like to keep things... well, close. I think, without getting in trouble, I can say that it will find its way there some day. We just need to solve time dilation and/or cloning first. But seriously, it will be when it makes sense and in a way that does not affect other projects. -ian
what was your favorite part of developing this game or any game in general? And how do these ideas for these games form (e.g. from other games, dreams, etc.)?
It was very fun trying to figure out the base mechanics and rules, as well as figuring out what kinds of fighter types would be available. Since the fundamental gameplay was unique, there were all kinds of weird challenges and things associated with it that I loved figuring out. As for the rest, I've answered our "idea process" to Tyranazord on this page if you wanna check it out! -Dan
There are literal Easter Eggs that you can wear in place of the masks for the Wraith character.
There are the traditional easter eggs, as well............ -Dan
Playing it, honestly. The fact that Pit People is always a crapshoot on where you'll be fighting and who you'll be fighting means it's always another type of encounter. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that I love competing in the game against others, as I'm not much of a competitive player anymore. In terms of straight-up work, I really liked making the character looks and designing their strategic functions around a unique stab at the genre. -Dan
Hello! Have you thought of making a Cyberpunk meets Castle Crashers game?
...I have now! But next, a question for you: how many punks could a cyberpunk punk if a cyberpunk could punk punks? - Erin Jungjohann
Levels give you a bit more health, defense and damage output, not to mention heal your pit person to full health immediately!
Also bragging rights; higher numbers are better than lower numbers... that's just science - Erin Jungjohann
I've been a big fan of BattleBlock Theater since I got it on steam, and have been following the storylines of BBT as well as Pit People since the first trailer and played part of the steam closed beta.
There's a few people I know(including myself) who wants to know for certain.
Would Hatty Hattington play a part of the Pit People storyline at any point other than killing Honey Hug at the intro cutscene of the game, and not just being a decoration hat?
PS - XWGGX-Q6MQK-00PTF
How long do you guys work for everyday? I've been considering picking up programming as a job but I don't know the environment very well. So what is the environment like?
Our environment is fairly unique. We ask of no overtime and hours are flexible so long as people are doing 40/week. We encourage people to tackle whatever they are most inspired by as long as nothing else is high priority in front of that -- None of which is something I'd say you should expect anywhere else. Sometimes I'll work weekends and long nights for months, other times I take every weekend for months and work some shorter days, catching up on one of them. -Dan
Oh boy! I'm so Excited about this AMA but even more excited about Pit People coming to Early access tomorrow. You guys are by far my favorite development team in the whole world. You have even inspired me to pursue a career in the gaming industry and my dream is to one day work on the games you guys create and I cherish. What has been the hardest part of breaking into the world of development for all of you? I'm guessing you love making the games you do but what is your favorite part of the game making experience for you guys? I hope you have an awesome day and also an amazing early access launch!
Dude, that's awesome... thanks! I suppose the hardest part for me was just finding a team of people like The Behemoth, who were excited by and laughed at the same stuff I did. My favorite part of the process is really hard to nail down, especially for Pit People; I've laughed myself to tears A LOT while making this game, but I also really love watching people play our stuff for the first time at shows, so... I just can't pick!
Hope you have enjoy Pit People, and thanks for joining us for Early Access! - Erin Jungjohann
Nothing to announce at this time on that front. Right now we are focused on Xbox One and Windows. We would love to be on all platforms, but as always, it comes down to bandwidth.
PS- bbt steam code: RVWN0-2QDAT-2KF4A