I'm feelin' a little SWITCHY
Is it the change of seasons? Or the fact that LEVELHEAD IS COMIN' TO THE SWITCH!?
In this issue of our salubrious game-dev mini-magazine we'll show off the new Levelhead trailer, celebrate the artistic powers of our community, and explore the design implications of adding rear-view mirrors to our beloved GR-18. ON WITH IT, DEAR READER!
Highlights from this issue, the Bscotch Ballyhoo #5:
- Levelhead gets a new trailer and is announced for the Nintendo Switch (ʘᗩʘ')
- GR-18 morphs into a beautiful... scooter?
- A Shenanite sends us a block of cement
- Levelhead fan-art rises like delicious bread
- We're hosting the first ever ShenaniCon
- And so much more that your mind will explode into a cloud of information-confetti
GETCHA RED HOT TRAILER HERE!
For Levelhead's Switch announcement we wanted to do more than just show some gameplay. In classic Butterscotch style, we clanged our skulls together until a jumble of questionably descriptive and moderately intelligible words came out. Then I screamed them into a microphone and voila, a trailer was born!
This past week was a career highlight for us - not only were we included in the Nindie Showcase video, we got the chance to visit Nintendo HQ itself! It hit us right in the childhood, as we grew up playing our Gameboys and podracing on the old N64.
If that 58s trailer doesn't feed you enough, our friends at IGN took Levelhead for a spin and compiled their thoughts in the video below. And if THAT isn't enough (you insatiable beast), we've got a 13m gameplay vid courtesy of IGN, too!
If you like what you see and want to express some of that excitement then hit REPLY on this email. I'll keep an eye on the inbox for a few days post-Ballyhoo, so you might just get a response!
And if you don't have a Switch, don't worry - Levelhead will be also be available for your magical pocket-device (via the App Store and Google Play), and you can (and should!) wishlist the game on Steam right now!
Crashlands Switch update
With all this news about Levelhead on the Switch, you might be wondering when Crashlands will finally come to Switch. In short: SOON. Why has it taken so long? Well, we didn't want to just say, "Crashlands is now on Switch!" Instead, we wanted to say, "Crashlands is now on Switch, with a spectacular surprise update!" It turns out you can't just go pick surprise updates off the ol' Surprise Updates Tree. No - you have to grow that Surprise Update Fruit yourself, which takes time.
While you wait, though, let's just say we heard from a little bird that you may want to invest in a couch that can fit... a friend?!
"To deliver packages - that is the purpose of life." - Juicebox
Central to Levelhead is a singular quest - the delivery of packages. Each level contains one such package which GR-18 must find, grab, and then bring to the delivery zone. Those of you who played Crashlands may recognize these packages as the same ones Flux and Juicebox were on a mission to deliver.
We introduced the package to Levelhead just a few weeks ago, and it's really blown the design open, creating more room for intriguing mechanics. You're no longer just moving across levels to find an arbitary endpoint - you've got both purpose and a package to protect! But the package isn't a burden you have to escort across the level - it's a tool. You can use it as a stepping stone, a blocker, or even a projectile weapon.
This design shift has revealed more options for things GR-18 can carry - things like Armor, Keys, and bombs. And, we've found that including a package in your level design adds a bit more focus to level creation, which really helps get those creative juices flowing.
But that's not the only thing that's changed these past few weeks...
Levelhead is a platformer, but we didn't want to restrict it to just one kind of platforming. Rather than lock GR-18, our delivery-robot-in-training, to just one physical form, we decided to open up our toolbox and try some modifications.
Players will be able to build levels in a new game mode called RUSH DELIVERY, wherein GR-18 transforms into a constantly moving scooter. The aim of the game is the same as always - get your package to the delivery zone - but the mechanics shift to one-touch, constant-running gameplay. With the addition of acceleration and deceleration pads, this game mode ends up feeling like a race through an obstacle course rather than a traditional platformer, and opens up tons of new level design options. You can see a gif of this game mode (plus many more) over on the fancy new Levelhead Subreddit.
This new mode added so much fun to the game that we went back to the drawing board and came up with a few more. I'm not at liberty to discuss them yet, but let's just say they're not... par for the course.
What have YOU done?!
Our community is an island of love in the otherwise horrifying reaches of the internet. We like to celebrate the interesting, whacky, or lovely things you do, so if you want to get featured in the next Ballyhoo, hop into the discord, introduce yourself, and do something good!
FlamingBeanie paints some GR-18's
Shenanite FlamingBeanie, whose fan-art we've featured in a previous issue of the Ballyhoo, saw the Levelhead trailer and just had to capture some of the game's pizzazz. Those GR-18's turned out so cuuuuuute!
Nitroba's epic action frame
Shenanite Nitroba conjured the scene of GR-18 leaping from an explosion, like a hero in an action movie. We did recently add throwable bombs to the game, so this is now 100% accurate.
Giantmuskrat made us some bread
Of all the things we've done, sharing a bread recipe with the community is perhaps the strangest. When we were at PAX West last week, Adam bumped into Shenanite Giantmuskrat (who is not an actual muskrat, but is a very nice person). Out of his bag he pulled this gorgeous bread loaf, which we unceremoniously devoured upon returning to the hotel for the night.
DwarvenJester sent us cement
On the less edible side of the spectrum, Shenanite DwarvenJester sent us a block of cement with one of our podcast sayings baked into it. We put it on display in our office, because we decided we could not not.
Meet us in St. Louis
Every year a few enterprising Shenanites trek to St. Louis and say hello. Rather than let these fan visits trickle in over the course of 365 days, we thought to ourselves - HEY?! WHAT IF we planned an event for fans? And WHAT IF we let them play Levelhead and the new Crashlands update before anyone else? And WHAT IF we recorded a podcast with a live studio audience?!
Don't let your dreams be dreams - Shia LeBeouf
Well, we're not going to let this dream just slip away. So we're making the ShenaniCon real, and it's really happening really soon. Grab a ticket for Saturday, October 20th and meet us in St. Louis. We'll hang out, show off some secrets, and have a really good time.
That's all for this round of the Ballyhoo. Enjoy the turn of the seasons, harness the energy of that change, and do something good with it. We'll do the same.
Now get outta my way, I got things to be!
Sent from my concrete block
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