The Behemoth Archive

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BattleBlock Theater debuts launch trailer

Finally, the long-awaited return of The Behemoth to Xbox Live Arcade is here! BattleBlock Theater released this past Wednesday for 1200 MSP, and has been generating quite a bit of buzz amongst the community. The Behemoth’s first major release since 2008′s Castle Crashers can be classified as a platformer with both cooperative and competitive elements. However, it would be disservice to write it off as something so simple, so do yourself a favor and download the demo here to give it a try!

Source: The Behemoth

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BattleBlock Theater is finally out — What took so long?

BattleBlock

It’s out now. For 1200 MSP, you can buy it and start playing it right away if you’d like. Funny thing about that, though — that should be old news. And it would be if The Behemoth had followed through with its plan to release BattleBlock Theater on XBLA back in 2010. Obviously, things didn’t quite work out that way, with the beat-em-up platformer having only just released yesterday. What happened? How could the developer have been so confident about 2010 that it was ready to tell the world that was the year and then ultimately be unable to finish BattleBlock Theater until three more calendar years passed it by?

Level Designer Ryan Horn has an explanation: the game wasn’t as fun as the team thought it was going to be. “I think we were hopeful about where the game was gonna be when we [planned] to release it,” he tells XBLAFans while sitting down for an interview at last month’s PAX East. “And then in between the time when we announced [the release window] and when we planned to release it at the time, we saw the game going in a direction that was fun, but we realized that we could take it in a slightly different direction that was going to be a lot more fun.”

With Horn having said his piece, studio President and co-founder John Baez expounds upon why The Behemoth felt its game could reach a state in 2010 that was up to The Behemoth’s considerably high standards of fun. Instead of going back to 2010, though, he looks a little deeper into his past. “The other component of [the delay] is that in our previous experience — I mean, Alien Hominid? Fifteen months, two consoles. Done out the door with an Xbox [version] following three months after that,” he begins. “And then Castle, it’s like, ‘OK, bigger game, three years.’” The prevailing feeling around The Behemoth’s San Diego office during the earlier development phase of Game #3, as BattleBlock was codenamed back then, was that it would not be as an ambitious of an undertaking as Castle Crashers.

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Ball control: Lessons from the BattleBlock Theater beta

BattleBlock Theater Evil Chaingang

It’s for The Behemoth’s booth at PAX East and Prime conventions to draw large crowds of gamers willing to wait in line for the chance to step up and play BattleBlock Theater. At each PAX for the past few years there’s always seemed to be an an amorphous throng of bodies awaiting their turn. As with anyone waiting in line, they could work together in groups of friends to navigate closer to a machine, or they could get a little more sassy and exploit someone else’s momentary pause or inattentiveness to edge their way ever closer to playing a game that also lets you work with or take advantage of others.

Last month, 10,000 more gamers were presented with the option of cooperating with or causing trouble for fellow players in the BattleBlock Theater beta. It wasn’t meant to be a free-for-all, however. Invitees received daily emails asking them to play certain game types on certain days. The Behemoth didn’t just want to let more gamers play its game early; it wanted gamers to help it make a better BattleBlock Theater. So when XBLAFans caught up with The Behemoth President and co-founder John Baez and Level Designer Ryan Horn in Boston two weekends ago, I had to know: did gamers follow instructions? Or did they give in to a desire to have fun their own way at the expense of helping to better the experience for the masses who will play the game for the first time tomorrow?

“They were really good,” said Horn of the beta testers’ willingness to follow instructions. “I mean, we didn’t expect 100 percent compliance — everybody’s busy. For the most part, all of the beta participants, they wanted to help us make the game better, and that’s what we got from them.”

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‘Furbottom’s Features’ puts user-created levels on display in BattleBlock Theater

Battleblock Theater

The Behemoth’s highly anticipated XBLA title, BattleBlock Theater, releases in just under a week. If that’s not exciting enough, the developer recently announced that in addition to the game’s story and multiplayer arena modes, players also get “Furbottom’s Features.” This new mode allows The Behemoth to feature some of the game’s top community-created levels in three separate playlists: Solo Adventure, Co-Op Adventure and Arena.

Levels that catch The Behemoth’s eyes will be featured where everyone can find and enjoy them. As an added bonus, the strawberries that are normally found in user-created levels will be transformed into gems. Unlike the yummy fruit, the gems players collect can be used to unlock goodies in the BattleBlock Theater Gift Shop. To get a taste of some of the unique user-created levels from the beta, take a look at the video embedded below, and remember, all those strawberries will become shiny gems!

Source: The Behemoth via Joystiq

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Indies need someone they can trust for usability and QA testing — How about The Behemoth?

The Behemoth Chicken

Somewhere in San Diego there exists a couple of buildings. They’re buildings with glass windows and a soft feeling, or so I’ve been told. They’re buildings that are “not too intimidating” when compared to other species in their particular building genus. At least, that’s how The Behemoth President John Baez described them to me at the tail end of a roughly 32-minute interview that took place in Boston last weekend during PAX East. Baez and Level Designer Ryan Horn shared their thoughts on several topics: BattleBlock Theater, what the studio would like to see from the next-gen version of Xbox Live Arcade and the developer’s thoughts on working with Microsoft.

Yes, we managed to cover a lot of ground. This despite the fact that we were sitting comfortably in folding chairs set up in a largely unoccupied space behind the booth over which hung a large arrow bearing a single word: “Behold.” What precisely the attention of PAX attendees was being called to may not have been initially palpable to the first-timers among them, but then again, nor was it to the XBLAFans crew when Horn and Baez — the latter fielding an increasing percentage of the questions we asked the two men — began talking about video game prototypes.

Our attention, as it turned out, was being directed towards those two buildings. Or rather, what goes on inside their walls.

They’re not buildings in which the developer makes games, mind you. They are buildings in which the developer tests games to see if they work. Interestingly, one of the games that has been analyzed there isn’t property of The Behemoth — it’s property of fellow successful indie studio Supergiant Games. And at some point this summer, the iOS version of Bastion will lose the distinction of being the only game from another developer to be put through its paces by The Behemoth. The studio will begin using its pair of non-development buildings to investigate whether or not all manner of foreign games work in the manner that their designers intended them to, and whether or not that’s the way they should work.

The Behemoth will task those working inside the friendlier-than-most-of-their-kind buildings with providing quality assurance (QA) and usability lab services to fellow independent game developers. One indie should help another indie. This type of help, however, will come with a price tag — and not a discounted one.

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Battleblock Theater opens April 3

We’ve been waiting a long time for Battleblock Theater, but that wait is nearly over. In a video recapping our anxiety and anticipation over the years, those tricksters at The Behemoth revealed its Xbox Live Arcade release date, and it’s soon. Really soon. April 3rd soon. That’s two weeks. Are you excited?

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Battleblock Theater showcases user-created levels

The Battleblock Theater closed beta is now over, leaving The Behemoth to mull over the data it collected. During the course of the beta, players were able to try out the game’s level editor and share their creations in the Community Theater. The user creations were so fantastic, they even left Behemoth Lead Level Designer Aaron stunned:

“Even after 3 years of playwriting levels, how those Beta builders still managed to surprise me! And kill me. And then surprise me again! Whether I was flung through explosions into rooms made out of teleporters or flung through teleporters into rooms made out of explosions, the experience was quite the rollercoastery deathtrap of emotion.”

The Behemoth is paying tribute to its testers’ creations by showing off some of the studio’s favorites in a new video. While these user-created levels only existed in the beta and will not appear in the game’s full release, it shouldn’t be long before the Community Theater fills up with levels equally as brilliant and fun. Battleblock Theater is coming to XBLA this spring.

Source: The Behemoth Development Blog

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Battleblock Theater prisoner gives hope for release

Battleblock Theater is known for making its numerous prisoners perform deadly plays, but no prisoner’s tale is more tragic than that of Prisoner #10321, a fancy chap whose final moments were found in a trailer on The Behemoth’s development blog. Forced into a co-op level by evil cats, the prisoner soon learns that working together is easy – until your partner stabs you in the back. On the bright side respawning is quick and painless, so little harm is done if you mess up/grief your friends. The level presented contains a lot of variety, giving a little taste of what players should expect in the full game.

While a level walkthrough is cool, the real treat is the big reveal at the end of the trailer: Battleblock Theater is coming this spring. It’s going to come loaded with a campaign playable in single player and co-op, multiple multiplayer arena modes, a level editor, and loads of other awesome features, not to mention the amazing art by Dan Paladin, who we interviewed back in September. If you want to get a taste of the game before it releases, be sure to sign up for the closed beta which begins February 28.

Source: The Behemoth Development Blog

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Battleblock Theater closed beta begins this month

Battleblock Theater XBLAThe closed beta for The Behemoth’s forthcoming Battleblock Theater finally has a release date. Those lucky enough to grab one of the coveted 10,000 spots can expect to get started in two short weeks, beginning February 28. Selected beta testers for Battleblock Theater will be receiving email notifications from The Behemoth in waves, so if you applied and haven’t yet been contacted, don’t fret just yet. There’s still hope.

All last week, XBLAFans ran a contest in partnership with The Behemoth to guarantee a certain number of beta spots for eager volunteers. In case you missed it, there’s still time to sign up and hope your number gets pulled. All you have to do is head over to The Behemoth’s official beta page, peruse the regulations and, if you meet the criteria, fill out the form. If you’re interested in getting your hands on Battleblock Theater before anyone else in the world, but not sure what to expect, check out the official trailer below.

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Battleblock Theater XBLA beta code giveaway (Final Day)

Battleblock-Theater-Contest-Day-Seven

We have a winner! Congratulations to reader “KnuX86″! We’ll be in contact with you soon to explain how to claim your prize! The correct answer was “Antlion” from Castle Crashers (check the original image after the jump). Thanks for entering, everyone!

Welcome to the final day of our Battleblock Theater XBLA multiplayer beta code giveaway contest! At some point in February or March (the exact date has yet to be sorted out), The Behemoth’s Battleblock Theater will begin a closed beta, with 10,000 XBLA gamers getting access.

Sound like fun? Want in? Then all you have to do is guess which Behemoth game character (or other noun) is pictured in the above distorted image. Post your best guess in the comments below, and remember, if you don’t win today, be sure to keep coming back, because we’ll be picking a winner every day for an entire week. Good luck!

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