Cooperation in action
Co-Optimus: What's been the most surprising element/feature thus far in your testing?
Steffen: One of my fondest moments with testing our game, was at a convention, when one of our players outsmarted and even beat the designers in one of our levels. She had devised a new path of commanding the orb over a series of shrines, and after having whispered her plan to her partner, proceeded to thoroughly defeated our team. I’m happy to say that she promptly received a sandwich and a clap on the back for her efforts! This is not a unique occurrence at our many events, and is one of the things I’m happiest about in our game. The fact that the game is so tough and the solutions so diverse, that we frequently get beat at our own game - literally.
[Ed. Note: While there's no PvP component to FORCED, times for completing each challenge are recorded and leaderboards will be maintained to compare times. Here, Steffen is referring to having their own times beat by players]
Co-Optimus: As you're developing the game, what is it that keeps driving you on to see it through? What is it about this game that makes you want to see it out there for games to play and enjoy?
Steffen: Actually we were happy to see Dark Souls being so well accepted. Sense of completion can be a rare thing these days and that’s what we want to bring to a lot of co-op teams out there. We want to offer a co-op experience that requires communication and teamwork to succeed. In a single player game, being stuck can be much worse, but in co-op you have a team to keep the morale up and constantly suggest new ideas to beat a challenge.
At conventions we’ve seen groups playing FORCED for many hours in a row, even groups of people that did not knew each other. Sometimes they would be stuck in a really hard challenge, but after several tries - succeeding in that trial lead to a team roar that they probably won’t forget. That’s where a game reaches a level of creating an experience that these persons might remember for a long time, especially because they were sharing it. We want FORCED to give players a lot of those moments, so when former FORCED teams sit together many years from now sipping a drink, they will think back to the days where they together succeeded in roars of glory that formed friendship bonds never to be broken! :)
Co-Optimus: The game has currently been in development for 2 years, without any crowd funding. Assuming you all receive the remaining $20k to fully fund your Kickstarter, when could we expect to see some playable version of the game? Full release?
Steffen: We will launch a closed beta early in december with online multiplayer. Any backers who pledged for the golden key will be part of it and we will keep updating until release in the first quarter of 2013.
Co-Optimus: Finally, what are some of your favorite co-op games? What do you end up playing when you need a break from development?
Steffen: Most of us enjoy games and the underlying game systems, so we play a lot of games and our steam accounts include 200 games in most cases. We also play games for the sake of investigation. At the moment we enjoy games like Heroes of Newerth (probably the most played game in the house), Starcraft 2 & Alien Swarm. But when I asked them, the team also mentioned Borderlands, Left 4 Dead, WoW, Bloodline Champions, Team Fortress 2, Lara Croft: Guardian of Light, Trine and Wc3/Starcraft mods like Hero Defence, TD etc.
We'd like to thank Steffen from BetaDwarf for taking the time to speak with us and shed some light on FORCED. If you're interested in contributing to their Kickstarter campaign, you can follow the link here.