Black Forest Games retires RPG gameplay in favor of roguelike action
A successful Kickstarter. A prototype launch on Steam Early Access. Six months of dedicated development. And then everything changed!
To change a game in mid development is always a gamble. Independent game developer Black Forest Games took the risk and decided to retire Dieselstormers’ RPG gameplay, which was more than six months in the making. With the latest update, the German indie studio committed itself to deliver a roguelike experience.
“We knew that we have a great game in the making with lots of potential. But we also realized that our concept wasn’t able to convince players from the start. Internal play sessions as well as community feedback showed to us that Dieselstormers could be so much more,” Jean-Marc Haessig, BFG’s Creative Director explains. “So we put our heads together, analyzed community feedback, discussed new ideas and came up with the roguelike concept for Dieselstormers. After we turned it into a prototype and played it, we knew that we had a rough diamond in our hands.”
In terms of production, it was a huge decision. BFG’s game designers had to adapt the concept without damaging the core. They had to drop mechanics in the game that were essential to the original vision, and were heavily communicated, like the weapon customization, for example. Other elements, like the unlockable perks, had to be altered to fit the new design. The map was expanded to include subterranean levels, each with its own biome. That opens up a vast space for players to explore. For the art department, it meant remodeling most assets to fit the new level design. It also meant to create new assets for the new biomes that would be added to the game: the Underground Factory, Undercity, Natural Caves and Ancient Ruins.
Managing Director Adrian Goersch says, “It was a tough decision. First: We would confront our community with a drastic change to the original concept. Second: As all the assets had to be reworked, we only had a greybox prototype to show. But we took a chance, because we firmly believe that we will offer them a far better game in the end. Our Steam and Kickstarter communities are supporting us here and are of great help.”
The new Dieselstormers combines classic roguelike action with classic platforming character controls and RPG elements into a game of over-the-top mayhem and team play. Up to four players play together in local and online co-op multiplayer. Maps are procedurally generated from predesigned chunks and interactive objects that are placed semi-randomly in each level.
This game is available worldwide in Steam Early Access for $18.99 (18.99€).