Switchblade has been out in the wild for some time now, in early access on Steam, and we thought it would be a good time to get some more questions answered around the game, so we reached out and had a chat with Jeff Lewis, the Game Director over at Lucid Games.
If after reading and you want to more about the game head here – https://www.switchbladegame.com/
Fight your way up the season ranks to become a online superstar in a spectacular future-sport championship. Seamlessly switch between heavily armed high tech vehicles at any time to create endless tactical choices in a frantic 5v5 battle to take down the opposition’s towers and claim victory.
Q1. So to get started, please can you introduce yourself?
Hi there. My name’s Jeff Lewis and I’m the game director on Switchblade.
Invision Games – Nice to meet you Jeff.
Q2. So before we delve in Switchblade we want to know about you so tell us about yourself, where does your passion come from when to come to creating games?
I’ve been making games for about 22 years now, which is approximately 1 year longer than the youngest member of the team has been alive! I got started making Dreamcast games in the late 90’s. I’d been into games growing up but I really dreamed of being a comic book artist. At art college i got to spend a day with a big artist on Judge Dredd, the big british scifi future cop series, and he basically said to me that I could probably make it in comics, but if he were a young man my age he’d go into videogames ‘cos they were the future. From there my path was set!
Invision Games – My partner went on an art course but ended up being a teacher doing technology, however, she is in the process of creating a game idea.
Q3. So please tell us what games and genres do you enjoy playing and have these had some influences in your game?
What I’m looking for when I play a game is surprises. I love the idea of entering a map or a world and having no idea what’s going to happen. That meant I was into singleplayer for a very long time but as time passed and multiplayer became more and more sophisticated I was drawn to that. Now it’s multiplayer where I get that fix. Fortnite’s huge worlds and Overwatch’s incredibly complex interplay of characters mean anything can happen again, and nothing can surprise you more than a real person.
Invision Games – The success to games like Overwatch and Fortnite, surprised us, however personally I still enjoy massive open world sinlge player games like The Witcher, Skyrim and many JRPG’s over Multiplayer games.
Q4 Now let’s talk about the title, why Switchblade?
Lucid games is quite a young company but we’ve got a lot of very talented staff, with a lot of experience in vehicle games, combat games and multiplayer. We wanted to take all this talent and make something of our own; our own original game that we could put our own ideas and ingenuity into.
Invision Games – Interesting, so.
Q5. Could you describe what is “Switchblade” all about and how does it stand apart from games of a similar genre?
Switchblade is a 5v5 3rd person vehicle action game with MOBA rules. You pick 2 high-tech combat vehicles and can switch between them at any time as you and your team fight to dominate the map. It’s much faster than other MOBA’s.
Invision Games – Thanks for that information, seems like an interesting concept, and so far its doing well, with a dedicated player base.
Q6. Switchblade has such distinct gameplay, it has the Twisted Metal formula and DOTA vibe into it but what was the inspiration behind its creation?
Lucid’s staff has a lot of experience in racing games and Switchblade got started as a racer. We worked on it for a month or two but nothing was really gelling. The conclusion we came to was that a race can only have one winner, and we wanted to make a team game, something really competitive but where more than one person can win. League was just getting really big and we were looking at that and that led us to take what we had made so far and bring MOBA mechanics to it.
Invision Games – Nice, thanks for that information.
Q7. Since I’ve mentioned about DOTA which is the top esports game that had over $34M in Total Prize Pool, is Switchblade trying to get into esports?
It’s on our radar for definite and things like spectator mode, custom games and championships are on the roadmap.
Invision Games – Looking forward to A BRIGHT eSport future.
Q8. The game now has a lot of vehicles and will continue to have more but can you share with us the process on how a new vehicle gets added to the game?
Sometimes it’s best to keep art and design separate for a while. We don’t start out with a high concept for a vehicle; the designers go away and have free reign to come up with whatever combination of ideas and abilities that they like using generic white-box vehicles. The only steer they get is ‘we need another scout, we need another fighter’. Once they’ve got a good handle on a fun set of abilities the artists take what they’ve got and come up with a visual style and appearance.
Invision Games – Thats nice to see, free reign to bring ideas to the table, much better than fixed ideas.
Q9. For player vs. player, especially MOBAs, it becomes a huge tug-of-war to balance the game’s core mechanics, what was the hardest or most memorable issue you’ve all faced thus far?
XP balancing is very very difficult. We’re still learning how to do this and it’s a constant battle.
Invision Games – I guess alot of the information comes from the player base its self based on what I have seen on steam and social media.
Q10. With Switchblade already out, where does the inspiration come from when it comes to new vehicles and updates
We want to keep a steady stream of content coming to the audience. We know that there’s a lot of expected features like competitive and we’re working towards them but we want to make sure that’s balanced against things like new vehicles that make the core game richer and more creative for the players. We’re a small team so we can’t do everything at once. Keeping the balance of these 2 things is another constant battle.
Invision Games – Interesting, so to move away from the game.
Q11. What advice would you give to young game developers who want to break into the gaming industry?
Make stuff. The only way to get good at something is to do it. It’s your demos and you portfolio that will get you a job as an artist, designer or coder. Make sure you keep up with what’s going on in the industry. The technology changes all the time. If you’re doing group projects that’s great, but make sure you know what bits of the project are yours when you show them off.
IInvision Games – Good Advice.
Q12. I’d like to give you the floor and just tell us, the casual players as well as all the hardcore fans out there what Lucid has on their mind.
Thanks for playing! There are so many games out there now, so much choice and so much quality; we’re grateful to you all for giving our game your time. Hope you’re enjoying it.
Invision Games – I know a number of your team are very much enjoying the game.
Q13. Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers about Switchblade?
We’re working very very hard to grow Switchblade, to make it richer, tighter and more exciting. There’s a lot of cool stuff on our roadmap coming to you in 2020 so watch this space!
Invision Games – Thanks again Jeff for taking your time away from the development of Switchblade and I hope the fans of your Switchblade enjoy reading this interview and keep pushing out ideas and your team keeps pushing out fresh new content to keep the game interesting and engaging for us all to delve into.