We are The Behemoth, developers of BattleBlock Theater, Castle Crashers, and our upcoming latest game known only as Game 4. Today we are releasing BattleBlock Theater on Steam. Ask us anything!
Our short bio: Salutations citizens of Reddit. We are The Behemoth. We've been making games for over 10 years and today we are proud to be able to release BattleBlock Theater on Steam! We're here to answer any questions you might have for us, as well as giving out all kinds of prizes. Bring us your words!
Answering your Qs on Reddit today are:
- Dan Paladin (Co-Founder / Art Director)
- Emil Ayoubkhan (Project Manager)
- Ian Moreno (Production Coordinator)
- Megan Lam (Community Captain)
Our Proof: https://twitter.com/thebehemoth/status/466983402000773120
I want to play a game where your head is a bear and your body is a bear. Can you make this happen?
We need to invest in more bear technology
Though i don't own ARMA II, I've always had eminence respect for the shear scale and the details you put into it. Haven't seen much of 3 yet but I'm sure it's also impressive. Hope you guys keep making great games!
Edit: Haha, Behemoth ≠ Bohemia. Though this was an ama for bohemia interactive 15 year anniversary. Oh well, Castle crashers is the shit, and again hope you guys keep making great games :)
To make up for my mistake, I'll go purchase a copy of battleblock.
Thanks man! It was challenging to work on ARMA II. When we first started the company we thought to ourselves. What kind of ARMA II experience do we want to build? Arma 3 is even crazier. We've put so much time and work into that game it blows our mind. Thanks for following our games and our company and playing Arma II.
ps. Arma II
Is Battleblock theater similar to Stackenblochen?
We need to make a game like this right now!
Don't have any questions, just want to say that I love you guys and your video games.
Thanks! We love you and your...awesomeness! -Megan
How tight do my pants need to be buckled for Game 4?
3 notches in should suffice. Unless you've had a hearty breakfast -emil
Where do you guys get your incredible sense of humor?
I think it's a direct result of just having a positive workplace where you can freely express yourself. We don't have too many restrictions when we plan a game, or story, or whatever.
Our mommas and papas. -Megan
Care to give any details on Game 4?
This is all we can show you for now: http://blog.thebehemoth.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/BMTH-067_GAME4_TSHIRT_REFERENCE-279x300.jpg -Megan
Really, that already makes me want to buy it, and this is the first I've ever heard of Game 4.
I want to show the game off so amazingly bad. "But not yet, gladiator.. Not yet."
Not just at the moment. Soon though. SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I control the power of the Ticker. It's not really that impressive at all actually.
You have my undying support and respect for making BBT free to us, the beta users! I could not believe the e-mail that stated it was going to be free to us, my faith in humanity was restored! Thank you!
Will game 4 be on next gen consoles?
Would you like it to be?
I have been a long time Behemoth supporter. I even owned Alien Hominid on gamecube. The icing on the cake was when I won a contest from you guys on the internet and you sent me a foam chicken, a metal castle crashers keychain, and some stickers. Your games are top notch and fun as fuck, and coupled with Dan's art style, you can't lose. I don't have any groundbreaking questions, but know that you have a fan for life and I'll be picking up Battleblock Theater when I get paid next.
Awesome, dude. Thanks for the long time support <3 -Megan
Will Castle Crashers be available on PS4?
Will there be a Castle Crashers 2?
No current plans for either of those. Thanks!
As a company that focuses primarily on gameplay, how do you feel about the current trend of AAA games that focus primarily on graphics? Does gameplay stand a chance? In other words, could The Behemoth survive if it had started in 2013 and not 2003?
This is an interesting notion. I actually think the graphics race is slowing down quite a bit compared to 10 years ago. It's slowly starting to become more of an art direction battle than a polygon-count battle on the graphics front.
Since graphical leaps are smaller most of the time from system to system it tends to put more reliance on the atmosphere, the core concept, the core gameplay, and meaningful features.
The videophiles are still out there as is evidenced by "comparison videos" that require seeing each version side by side since you'd probably not notice the difference. But I think for the mostpart we're slowly plateauing on the graphics front and I couldn't be more excited about that since it means we'll be focusing even more on how awesome our worlds are.
To answer the question, yes, I think The Behemoth would be fine in 2013 since it's only gotten better for independent developers since we started. It wasn't likely/expected/natural to be on consoles as an indie back when we broke in, but now that's not a weird concept in the slightest.
For instance, Sony's "2D ban" which was a very real thing right before our hay-day is so old barely anyone remembers it. You can read a little about some guys talking about that (if you don't mind burning your eyeballs off on a terrible color scheme); http://www.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?17859-Sony-s-old-Anti-2D-policy-during-the-early-years-of-the-PS1
..whereas nowadays Sony would scoff at the idea of such a policy and it wouldn't get past the person who suggested it.
i dont have a question i just want to say ive had so many enjoyable hours playing castle crashers and battleblock theatre!
dont ever chagne!
oh and will stamper is an AWESOME narrator =)
Thank ya! We will pass on the kind words to Will. If you get a chance to come watch the Twitch stream today, he's our guest appearance: http://twitch.tv/thebehemoth -Megan
Will we ever get a Hatty Hattington plush?
Maybe. We've had a prototype in the office for a couple years now. (You could see it on our Twitch stream, front and center)
Any plans for BattleBlock Theater figurines? My Pink Knight is getting awfully lonely on my desk!
Well...we did start with a Cat Guard bank and dog toy! http://store.thebehemoth.com/collections/cool-stuff/products/cat-guard-piggy-bank
Shameless plug: there's a sale going on today! -Megan
I still cant install the game HELP ME WHY CANT I INSTALL THE GAME IM NOT READY FOR COMMITMENT
Try nowz. -Megan
omg try nowz and report back!!
my only real question is can stamper narrate my life, not just my games.
I've already asked him to narrate my life...he gave me an IOU -Megan
It freaks me out when he'll do a line that plays off one we just heard on the speakers. It's like Stamperception.
First off, grats on the Steam launch. Got into the beta and having a good time with it since (though these latter levels can be pretty tough :P). Oh, and thanks for gifting it to us testers. Will most likely gift a copy to a friend as appreciation.
So, question: Would you be interested/would it be possible to make a Dota 2 announcer pack starring the narrator? The more I play this game the more I think something like that would be cool. Especially now that the Stanley Parable announcer pack is out.
We've joked around about it but I think a few seconds after the joke we started to take it seriously. I think it'd be pretty fun for people, so I'll try to make sure it becomes a real thing one day. I suggest not holding the breath, though!
Any chance you guys would be willing to release Game 4 on steam?
Sure. Probably a good idea. For now we're working to make it a reality for X1, then who knows what happens. WHO REALLY KNOWS?!?!?!?!
Any chance there's a video of Stamper recording the secret stage song?
No...he and Dan are very secretive about the whole thing... -Megan
How awesome is it to have Paladin as a last name? Mr.Paladin? Dr.Paladin?
Anyway you guys are great, Been following all this stuff since Newgrounds was a new website! Is Tom Fulp involved in any of these games?
Sir Paladin has a great name indeed. Tom is awesome. He's worked as a programmer for Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers, and was a consultant for BattleBlock Theater. -Megan
Which battleblock theater head/prisoner is your favorite?
That's a toughy, but either Tiny Cyclops or me. -ian
How buckled do my pants need to be to play your games?
I think the game will launch as long as you have 32% buckling.
Studies show 33%, but as Dan said, 32% is totally doable. But you didn't hear that from us... -ian
What color toothbrush do each of you use?
Is it bad that I can't remember? -Megan
BBT Steam Game Codes, GO!!!!!!
How steamy is the steam steamer? Is it a steamier version now that it's Steamed?
I thought Tom Fulp was involved somehow with your company? What's your relationship/history with Newgrounds?
Sooo Steamy. Tom is a co-founder of our company and he is still involved with a lot, but didn't work on programming for BattleBlock Theater. Tom is also the founder/owner of Newgrounds. He worked with Dan on the first flash version of Alien Hominid for Newgrounds, then they formed The Behemoth with John Baez to take the game onto the consoles. -Megan
I love that you provided Linux support! How much of a challenge was it to get ported over?
You are welcome!
I'm not a programmer but I'd imagine it's about as challenging as most other ports go since the hardware is just as powerful. I believe the very serious challenges come in when you're porting to a weaker hardware set.
The fireball in BattleBlock Theater: A great weapon, or the greatest weapon?
...I only ever use the fireball. If you time it right, eternal conflagration.
Also, while I think that crowdsourcing additional content for your games is a great choice, what's your take on content packs? What warrants a microtransaction?
That fireball takes a lot of careful timing. You must be a skilled actor. Yes, keep an eye on this one, everyone, and stay near water blocks...
I don't mind the League of Legends style purchases. They don't ask you for money at any time and you can play the game just fine without paying anything. If you feel like decking out your favorite guy, you can do that with different priced options.
Thanks for taking the time to do this AMA, and congrats on the Steam launch! I have BBT on Steam and Castle Crashers on PSN, any chances we'll see BBT on PSN in the future?
Any chance Will Stamper will be doing any voice acting for Game 4? I absolutely loved his work in BBT, top notch stuff! Thanks Behemothians!
We have a complicated relationship with Stamper. Sometimes he calls us at night to check up on us, and other times we don't hear from him in weeks, but next thing you know you wake up in the morning and he's right next to you. You know ?
I've been playing Castle Crashers for 4 years now, from 360 to PC.I have lots of fun memories playing through the campaign with my brothers. It's definitely one of my favorite games. Just getting that out of the way.
Who would you say is your favorite indie developers (besides yourselves)?
Thanks for all your work!
Personally, I like the Funktronic Labs guys, but that's bias because they were so cool at BitSummit. They also had the patience to guide me through Nova-111. Bonus points. Capy, Supergiant Games, and DoubleFine are pretty cool dudes and dudettes too. -Megan
Any chance you'll bring BattleBlock Theater to Mac OS X? Kinda weird that it's on Linux but no Mac OS X as well.
Not something we're actively working on at all at this point. We supported Linux more for this release since the SteamOS runs off Linux, and that seemed to make sense.
Is there any word on the Battleblock Theater OST being released sometime? I noticed on the website it just seems to be listed as coming soon but I've no idea how long its been there.
So we're actively working on that right now. Unfortunately, it wasn't ready for the Steam launch today, but stay tuned for some announcements in the next month or so. It will be glorious!!!
I write and sing songs for a living. May I offer you guys a freebie for game four? I promise it'll be downright spiffy (and I'm happy to PM you a sample of my biz)!
Of course! Just send a sample to [email protected] and we'll give it a listen.
Castle Crashers and BattleBlock Theater were awesome.
What's Game 4 going to be about, and when can we expect to hear more about it?
how did you come up with the art style for your games ?
It's all in the brain of Dan Paladin. -Megan
I just kept sketching over the years until it found me.
Dan was born that way, silly! Seriously, I can't speak for Dan, but as his doctor I can say that's how he sees the world. So his style is actually best categorized as realism. But no seriously, seriously, that's a Dan question and I apologize for writing all this. Daaaaaan? -ian
I loved Castle Crashers and I'm looking forward to buying BattleBlock Theater on Steam once I has moneys. Is there anything else you're working on other than Game 4 that we should be on the look out for?
Nothing to announce at this time. Stay tuned for more Game 4 news later this year...
I just wanted to say, that the red knight is awesome, but my friends hate dueling me. They say he's "over powered".
You should say that you over powered them with your awesomeness. -Megan
Okay I bought the game on Steam, but can not install. Why?
It's up now! :) -Megan
beacuase! (get it get it)
Late nights, making weird sounds back and forth with each other to stay sane. We sang that song for a few days before eventually recording it.
We were originally making a scat song like that for regular levels but we figured we'd spare you.
Game that was most fun to work on?
Do you have Battletoads?
I heard they love it when you ask that :)
If you're not referring to Gamestop pranks, yes, I liked that game. Now that I think of it, I can't think any other game moved your character forward while punching.
What are the biggest inspirations for your games (whether it's art or gameplay or... anything)?
I think for me, it's 2 main things.
It's knowing that people are going to have some seriously fun memories with each other if we do it right. Just seeing people smile and laugh in playthroughs or at tradeshows makes the entire process of a multi-year project worth it.
I also like creating a game in a genre that I've never worked on before every time. Due to that, my comfort zone is shattered so I constantly have no idea what I'm doing in a certain respect. The hope is that the improv of any design we do keeps the final product feeling like it's adding something fresh and new to someone's experiences while having the potential to shape games as we know them one tiny bit at a time.
I don't really have a question, but I have been waiting eagerly for BattleBlock Theater to come to Steam. Can't wait to finally try it out! Keep doing what you're doing, it's great.
Thanks for taking the time to write. Will do! -ian
Prolly too later but I am going to ask anyways. This is for all of you. do you like waffles? When eating waffles do you have to have syrup in every box? also what is the most fun you have had making video games.
Yes to waffles. Every waffle box requires a little syrup love. Most fun is probably the release day of a game. Exciting, nervous, constipated. Full range of emotions
Alien Hominid was one of my favorite games for the Gamecube. What was it like to create a hand-drawn video game? How did that process differ from the creation of your later games?
Thanks!! All of our games are still hand-drawn (digitally) so the process is pretty much the same for each. Alien Hominid was a really exciting experience since most of us were used to making 3D games prior.
The cool thing nowadays is how exponential the hardware has grown. I feel so free!! It's getting to a point where filling the memory with a zillion textures isn't an issue anymore (if you're staying efficient throughout all the animations and backgrounds).
Why did it take so long to get placed on PC?
Our development team is relatively small. So taking into account that we have to do upkeep on past games and work on new stuff, it's a lil tough to roll things out quickly. Really just comes down to bandwidth. In fact, BBT was created with only 1 programmer! -ian
So this is on behalf of my younger brother (he is currently in class right now and he better not be goofing off on reddit!) I'm currently at work so it's totally cool for me to be here... Anyway, he absolutely LOVES your games! (I too have enjoyed playing castle crashers with him, laughed too hard at the pooping deer...) He owns every single one of the games you have released on xbox and proudly wears your t-shirts to school. Any way you could give him an awesome shout-out he can see after school? (His name is Spencer) Thanks, and I look forward to seeing more awesome games!
SPENCER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STAY IN SCHOOL. DRINK YOUR DRUGS AND DONT DO MILK!!!! SPENCER WE ARE HERE FOR YOU... SPENCER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Really though. Thank you for your support as well as your brothers support.
Castle Crashers seemed heavily influenced by Guardian Heroes. Are you guys fans of Treasure?
Tom Fulp is a big fan of Treasure and I'm a big fan of Technōs Japan. These did influence us, I'm certain, but in entirety it was more of the feeling you'd use to get as a kid from the genre of beat-em-ups than anything else.
If you go back and look at old beat-em-ups I'd say the majority of them just don't hold up or have frustrating mechanics due to being a quarter-muncher (Some are still super-great, though!). So you're left with having to make a game that lives up to todays standards and evokes a similar feeling.
I think the hardest thing about making a game that hails to an old genre is that the blueprint for that genre is largely invalid and must be recreated with a bunch of small tweaks that just didn't exist in any of them prior.
- so many people say that pc gaming is slowly dying. what do you guys think?
- in your opinion, what are some of the best games that nobody played?
We just released a PC game today. Our own future relies on our releases so I'd say we'd land more on the opposite side of the fence of the "dying" statement.
Typhoon Thompson is the first one that comes to mind, on the Atari ST.
I participated in the Battle Block Theater alpha/beta thing and now it says I own the game is it ours to keep? I like to support the developers but I just wanted to know if we get to keep it.
Yup! Thank you to all the Beta Testers for their help. We're just glad we were able to do it. -Megan
What is the Ultra Baby's Co-op Chaos Pack and why should I buy it?
Excellent question. You see, to truly understand the Ultra Baby's Co-op Pack, one must ask themselves... What is the Ultra Baby's Co-op Pac. You see, you're half way there! Next step: What would Ultra Baby put in a pack. In this case... it's 2 copies of BattleBlock Theater. Thank you Ultra Baby! -ian
Will there ever be a more than 2 player story mode? :(
For BattleBlock Theater, we have the solo story mode and 2player co-op story mode. But the arenas can have up to 4 players! :) -Megan
I doubt it. Design wise, 2 players can cover a ton of ground which creates design problems.
In many levels, 3+ players can essentially continually slam the A button and keep moving in a World War Z style pile to the exit. Stepping over each other's corpses and so on.
There's a certain level of personal connection that took the fun out of it - we tried it a lot of different ways since we know the value in having more people together, but it just didn't pan out. 2 players had the most meaningful, challenging and funny interactions consistently.
What is the Ultra Baby's Co-op Chaos Pack on Steam?
That is a 2 pack of BattleBlock Theater.
2 pack just didn't sound as ultra.
We have a hard time naming things. We'll figure it out eventually
Good question. Co-op with 2-copies at an ultra price and then create chaos in Steam. *Baby not included in this 2-pack. -Megan
Just played through the first chapter of Battleblock Theater and loved it. There's so many quotable lines its hilarious. Your games are great.
What would you say is your favorite prisoner design?
I've always been partial to the triangle head with the bug-eyes and monkey mouth because he looks like he just cannot be trusted.
There's an interesting dynamic with players depending on what prisoners are chosen. Happy looking characters don't tend to put people as on edge as say, the cylinder serial killer hockeymask guy (who is my 2nd favorite).
Do you ever feel pressure to live up to your previous games? For Example, worrying that BBT or Game 4 will be as popular as Castle Crashers, or do you judge each game on its own merits?
It's tough to live up to expectations for anything really. When Castle Crashers was about to launch we didn't really have any idea what would happen. You work on a game, try to make it fun, and then hope for the best. With that said though, Game 4 will be the best thing ever!!!!!!!!!!! HYPE!!!!!!!! -emil
Any idea of a release date for game 4?
Sometime before 2020... -Megan
No, we stay away from numbers and dates nowadays.
Though we're making amazing progress on Game 4. Builds that are even a couple weeks old look super outdated by what we currently have!
Hey guys I just wanted to say I've been such a big fan of your stuff early on and participated in the BBT 360 Beta as well as the PC version. Just wanted to say thank you for giving us pc beta testers the game for free and its things like this that make you one of my favorite developers that treat their fans great :) I had fun with the 360 version and can't wait to play with my PC friends!
I'm on mobile right now and I saw your Facebook post on those $5 shirt deals so when I get home I might buy a couple before they sell out! Thanks !
IS there anything you have really wanted to put in a game but havent found an application for (Like a Diamond encrusted Alpacha guitarist)?
Hmmmmmm.....I don't think so. We don't tend to flinch at juxtaposition.
What's your favorite game released in 2014 so far? (and no, ports don't count) -Koen
I don't have favorites, but I have top picks of 2014 so far:
- Child of Light
- Earth Defense Force 2025
- Mercenary Kings
- PlagueInc: Evolved
And I need to try Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 because the first got really great. Also looking forward to the new Wolfenstein, and Far Cry 4 in November.
Earth Defense Force .... pshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Thanks for being here with us! Just a quick giveaway:
BattleBlock Theater Steam keys. First to install gets the game! Good luck! -Megan
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