With Switchblade in early access, we thought it was a good time to speak to the developer’s Lucid Games about their game and what we can expect in the future.
Q1. So to get started, please can you introduce yourself?
Hi there. My name’s Jeff and I’m the Game Director on Switchblade. It’s my job to hold the vision of the game and make sure that everything we make as a team is fun, shiny and consistent.
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?
Hmm, well, I’m big, scruffy and a bit grumpy. I’m not grumpy about making games though. It’s a great job. You can create almost anything that you can think of. It’s mostly like getting to play with the biggest train set in the world but it can be a very hard job so it’s also occasionally like being run over by the biggest train set in the world.
Q3. Please tell us what games and genres do you enjoy playing and have these had some influences in your game?
As a player, what I’m really looking for in a game is discovery and mastery; the delight of seeing something new or unexpected, and the chance to master mechanics without having to rely on reflex alone. Overwatch is a masterpiece in this regard. Tons to learn, tons to master.
Q4. Now let’s move on to your game, could you describe what is “Switchblade” all about and how does it stand apart from games of a similar genre?
It’s a 3rd person action game with MOBA rules. You drive wicked cool space tanks. It’s really fast.
Questions below are now from the writers of the preview which can be found here: https://invisioncommunity.co.uk/switchblade-preview/
Q5. From what I’ve experienced during my playthrough, I wanted to ask: are there any plans to have an option on movement controls, as a regular racing game would have?
We’re working on much deeper controller options, including complete controls remapping.
Q6. There’s currently a simple item shop that holds basic upgrades and consumables, can you share with us the current plans for expanding the lineup?
We’ll be bringing a lot more depth into the ingame shop in the coming months, with multiple layers of passives for the player to tune and a lot more variety in consumables.
Q7. Map sizes and design, what can we expect on the current map you’re working on? What would differentiate Iceland to that?
Our next map is similar in surface area but a lot wider than Iceland, It’s a lot harder to push mobs through the center of the map but there are a lot more ways through to the enemy side so outflanking becomes key. It’s also got loads of environmental hazard as it’s encircled by a cliff edge of doom.
Q8. What kinds of content do you plan to release in the coming months – is there anything you can tell us?
We’ve got new vehicles already lined up for a regular release schedule through to 2020, and more in the works beyond that. We’ve got more maps in the works, and are building up to rolling out custom games and competitive ranked. An expanded ingame shop and broadcaster mode are on the way too.
Q9. Skins have and always been a great thing for multiplayer games. It allows players to show their style, would you actually let your players customize their vehicles? Like adding or changing specific parts with another and recoloring said part? If not, what’s the plan?
The next thing we’re actually doing is making our player avatar customiser richer and more varied. Customisable vehicle accessories, horns, vfx and dropships are all due in 2019 and we’ll build on our customisation options from there.
Q10. Vehicles have quite a few varied abilities from offensive rocket showers, healing, shields or disruption. Would there be more movement abilities other than Kamikaze’s speed boost for future vehicles and a possible flank role?
Yes, mobility and flanking abilities are much more prevalent on our upcoming vehicles.
Q11. The shooting range for all vehicles is pretty long and vehicle skills can easily deplete an enemy’s core alone very easily. Is this something you plan to change? If so what would you suggest?
We’re aware that that’s an issue but we see it as part of a general need to keep honing the game balance. If a skilled player supported by their team mates can pull that off that’s great but you’re completely right, it shouldn’t be something that can be done without effort and teamwork.
Q12. Getting back to general questions now. What is it like working on Switchblade, day in day out?
It’s very challenging but very rewarding. The game-as-a-service model is so different to how things used to be where you’d do your gold master DVD, send it off to the factory and then it’s done for good. Now we master the game every week!
Q13. How many people are involved in the development?
There’s a core team of about 16 of us. We get a lot of support from other departments at Lucid and from outsourcers as well so at peak times there can be another 10 or 12 people helping out.
Q14. What advice would you give to young game developers who want to break into the gaming industry?
You don’t need a degree to work in games but if you’re doing one then keep in mind that it’s the portfolio or the demos that you create that are the important thing. It’s your work that devs want to see, not your grades.
Q15. Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers about Switchblade?
It’s fun and it’s fast and it’s full of wicked cool space tanks. There are even more wicked cool space tanks coming soon. Come and join the fun! For the latest updates, players can head over to Discord, Twitter and the official Switchblade website.
We would like to thank Jeff Lewis and the Team over at Lucid Games for their time and for creating a game for us gamers to enjoy and play.