Filed under: Interviews | Tags: Beatnik Games, Plain Sight, Robin Lacey, TVGB
Making games is a tricky business, regardless of the size of the studio. UK-based indies Beatnik Games know this all too well. They’ve had a rough couple of years creating Plain Sight, their multiplayer robot-ninja-em-up. It’s a title with a fascinating premise, in which you gain points and power by destroying your enemies, but only bank those points when you destroy yourself and return to your original state.
With such intriguing set-up it would have been terrible if the game had never seen the light of day. Thankfully, after a couple of setbacks Plain Sight is back on track, better than ever and gearing up for release. We dragged producer Robin Lacey away from his booth at the Eurogamer Expo to talk development hell, accessibility and shitting rainbows.
That VideoGame Blog (TVGB): You showed the game at the Eurogamer Expo last year. Tell us a little about the game’s journey since then.
Robin Lacey (RL): Well last year was pretty much an Alpha build, it was just the basic gameplay concept. What we were trying to judge whether people thought the idea fun and if they found it visually interesting – it was basically a prototype. The response was fantastic and we were like, ‘This is great!’ So we went and spent about 3 months or so just working away on it and we thought, ‘Great we’re in Beta stage.’
So around Christmas last year we launched our open beta, which we thought would be fine – we thought maybe 10 people would download it and we’d get a bit of forum feedback. But 50,000 people downloaded it and everything burst into flames and went horribly wrong.
We realized that the game mechanics were broken and it was an absolute nightmare. So over the last 12 months what we’ve done is take the feedback and all of the harsh lessons we learned and tried to make the most refined game we possible can. It’s certainly been interesting.