I’ve been excited about Castle Crashers ever since Cyril previewed
the game two years ago. That excitement was amplified when I finally got to play the game at PAX last year. The game is finally here and here’s our interview with the Art Director from The Behemoth about what you can expect for your 1200 points.
Can you introduce yourself and describe your role on the project? How long have you been in the gaming industry and what drew you to your current position?
Hello. I am Dan Paladin and I am the Art Director for The Behemoth. I have been working in the game industry for 7 1/2 years. John Baez, our co-founder originally approached me with the idea of making Alien Hominid into a console title. Fast forward 5 years later and you have Castle Crashers.
What was the biggest development issue you faced with the game (i.e. what too so long, we're dying here)?
Having a remote team is always more difficult than having everyone in the same office. Our game took as long as any other developer takes. We just made an error in judgment by announcing it so early in its development.
After Alien Hominid what made you switch directions and work on a four player beat 'em up game? What did you learn from old school arcade four player games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, and X-Men? What new things did you add to the mix?
Tom Fulp had an idea about four adventurers and we had just completed a flash game Dad N' Me, which is a beat-em up. Since Dad 'N Me was about a serial killer's son and how he would go on a rampage beating up children. We decided that Microsoft might not like that idea, so we ended up with Castle Crashers. Each beat-em up from that time frame seemed to have one pretty cool thing you could do in it, and that was its draw. We took our overall ideas of what made a beat-em up cool, and tried to pack them all into one awesome game, and then expanded on each idea.
One of the great things about the game is the art style of the monsters; do you have a personal favorite?
Thank you! I do but I don't want to spoil anything right now though.
Is the difficulty in the game scaled based on the number of players in the game? Is there "friendly fire" in the multiplayer part of the game?
Difficulty is scaled based on how many players there are on screen. Player versus Player mode is activated when it comes time to fight for your princesses.
Everybody loves Braid but Castle Crashers is slated to be the next king of the XBLA hill. How are you celebrating this foregone success?
We don't really make assumptions that we are going to be king of the XBLA hill. We just try to make something cool and release it.
Can you talk about your approach to the Achievements in the game? Is there one achievement that stands above the rest?
One of the most interesting achievements might be the K.I.S.S achievement where you must kiss all of the princesses throughout the journey. Since all four players will be fighting for this I'd imagine it would get pretty intense!
The main characters, the Red, Blue, Green, and Orange Knight could've been lifted from Medieval Times restaurants. Do you guys have any stories to share from visiting Medieval Times?
I've never been to Medieval Times, but if they have different colored knights I'd put my money on Green!
Fighting hordes of evil for a kiss from a princess is a time-honored tradition. But the knights fight each other at the end of each level. What are you guys saying about the chivalric code? Are there going to be achievements based around this?
That's the K.I.S.S achievement I was talking about. Guys fight over girls all of the time!!!!!!
Now that the game is done and ready for release is there anything you wish you had done differently? What was the most important lesson you learned while developing the game? Did you run into any problems with the XBLA certification process?
I'd say that we're as streamlined as a small group of developers can get. So there are not too many changes that we could make, but there's always room for improvement. No problems with certification as usual, Microsoft is great to work with.
Is there any chance Castle Crashers will make it's way to the PC, PS3, or Wii?
Anything is possible when you put your MIND to it. :)
Is there anything we didn't talk about that you think is important for people to know about?
Always look both ways before crossing the street, and never take money from strangers!
We'd like to thank Dan for taking the time to answer our questions and to Emil for helping to setup the interview.