Hello fellow readers.
In this article I would like to bring you close to few things about Beat Me! such as:
- Ending open beta - few reflections.
- Design levels inspired by classic games.
- Design compatible online communication system for PC and consols.
- Balancing game between melee and range characters.
- New game mode - introduction of Wave Mode.
Ending open beta.
Starting open beta was something new for us, because in previous projects (Rise of Insanity) we have released game in Early Access so open beta was not necessary. Rules were simple - players which joined our Discord server received free beta code for Beat Me!. Firstly we announced it on our Steam site, FB fan page and personally on the biggest gaming polish event PGA (Poznań Game Arena) on our booth while we were presenting Beat Me!. Free Steam codes are great encouragement for players to join your Discord but it is a double-edged sword. On the one hand you can easy gather players but from the other hand only few of them will be "valuable" member of community. We gather around 500 players on our server but only 15 actively cooperate with us while developing game. We have tried encourage them to cooperate by setting ranks that describe who is moste helpful and for most helpful players we have codes for full version after premier. It doesn't seems to work. Maybe we made a few wrong moves, but for for now we are discussing it. What do you think about this topic?
Design levels inspired by classic games.
While our brainstorm session we came up with idea to make levels inspired by classic games (like Mario, Flappy Bird, Donkey Kong etc.). On the face of it "Great Idea" but when we thought about it more, we found that making good looking level in harmony with our style and not get sued by bigger company is much more complicated.
But after few iterations we made few of them. My favourite is the level inspired by "Floppy bird" but in my opinion this level reminds me of a mini game from Pokemon Statium 2 with Golbats.
We like that in most inspired levels the gameplay has changed radically. For example in "Floppy Demon Level" It is not necessary to fight with players, you just have to be skillful.
Design compatible online communication system for PC and consols.
Main “Beat Me!” feature is cross-platform multiplayer. One problem with communication between PC and consoles are that the consoles (in moste cases) do not have keyboard. Of course, we added voice chat but what if someone cannot use microphone or do not want to use it. In this case we made "Emoticon system". In online lobby player can choose between 6 emojis. After choosing any of them in room chat occurs sentence, which was generated from various themed sentences.
This solution accelerates communication between players and reduces flaming to minimum. In online game player also can use the emoji system but with only 4 emojis and choosing one of it displays the emojis above theirs head.
Balancing game between melee and range characters.
Approaching the end of open beta testing, there was one thing we did not resolve - balance between melee character and range one. From the beginning of development, we had one feature which was bugged and unusable - the mighty block! We came up with the PERFECT BLOCK. Simply when melee character use block before taking damage from projectile, reflect the projectile to the shooter direction. Great idea! But first we had to fix block and after it we implement perfect block. That was the thing we were searching for it for many months!
New game mode - introduction of Wave Mode.
Destroying your friends can sometimes get bored. And “Beat Me!” for now do not have "replay value". That is how Wave Mode was invented. Encouraging players to cooperate and competition because of rankings which we decide to implement. Rankings are cross-platform so the player can be the best of all players. This new mode has 30 predefined levels and after that new levels are randomly generated. So players don't get bored.
And that is all. What do you think about our decision? Our community agreed with changes we add. Maybe your opinion is different? I encourage you to discuss.
Thank you for your time. Best wishes!
Sebastian Łużny - Beat Me! developer