Hey guys, Mike from Berzerk here with a new blog post for all of you. With Infernax arriving on February 14, the day of love, we thought we would let you in behind our velvet curtains to show you what makes this retro action RPG rock.
Part of what made us want to make Infernax in the first place was making a game that was closest to something we would have played when we were just tiny kids. To be more precise, we wanted to have a game that looked like it was straight out of the 80s but would never be released, a legendary game that we would talk about in the schoolyard, a game that had it all. whatever you wanted in your child’s mind.
So we went with that premise, instead of going for 100% accuracy, we decided to design the game around the imagination of a sugar-fueled child; we took a skeleton from a few games we loved and sprinkled it with a ton of ‘no way’ moments.
What if the game remembers what you did, and if it has way too many secrets, and if it is so disgusting and bloody; it’s all of those things. The story is built entirely on your decisions, and those decisions guide the upgrades you get, which quests are available to you.
Make old new
The fun part of this process is that most of the things we would speculate on games to be able to do (and by speculation I mean mostly we would lie to each other for a shining moment during recess) ended up in the design of the game. modern games.
What we ended up doing was crafting an evolutionary narrative that took into consideration the player’s choices, every choice they made would move the story forward in one way or another. This in turn created a fun new dynamic where people would want to replay the game to see what would have happened if they had done something different, and true to our youngsters we decided it would be great if when they did. did it, it really changed the way they would play the game, because nobody wants to do the same thing twice just for blurb. Maybe saving this guy from the hooligans gives you a different fate, or maybe some bandits you chased come back for you later, and if you join them instead, maybe they’ll share the loot. with you ?
So it snowballed pretty quickly and we ended up with a handful of different game modes that you unlock every time you complete the game, or that you can unlock via a code.
Oh and blood. Gallons of blood. Several trucks of blood. Gory bits and everything in between. Because there is no way that would have passed the video game lawyer in the 80s.
Old vs New
One of the biggest hurdles we encountered, I mean besides defying the whims of whoever is running this simulation, was trying to expand a little cryptic experience into a more accessible, longer experience without losing what made it special. . Our game initially only lasted an hour or two, it was designed to be a short but difficult experience.
Playing the knife game is fun for 10 seconds, but 7 hours in a row might be a bit of a push.
It was always supposed to be difficult, punitive, ruthless, that was the design; that was the original selling point, the vision.
We wanted to break out of the conventional mold, not to give the player the solution, but rather to make them feel smart to understand it. But that’s pretty much fighting against 30 years of established game design, with arrows pointing the direction you need to go, or magical creatures whispering sweet words into your eardrums.
On the flip side, we wanted a wide variety of humans to be able to enjoy Infernax, not everyone is a 30-something masochist who likes having to dig through dusty books to find which hidden block has a chicken in it.
Accessibility and old-fashioned design go hand in hand, as do anchovies on a pizza; yeah i said fight me.
So we made some concessions to expand the game world without being boring. We’ve tweaked some expected irritants to make them more palatable – a well-placed save point will go a long way. We’ve implemented a new difficulty setting that adds some difficulty in dungeons for those who don’t appreciate the thrill of failure, so they don’t have to learn a perfect execution. We also decided that there are parts that are going to make you feel like the game hates you, and that’s okay.
On top of that, we remembered a little something we used to do when a game was too hard for us: cheat, cheat.
We had already implemented the code system to modify the game in some way, why couldn’t it work like it did back then? We have added various game modifiers via these codes which help the player get through the more difficult parts if they need to, people will cheat anyway, might as well help them get it right.
The result is something unique, and something that we are very proud of. We hope you like it as much as we had fun doing it. So yes, on this Valentine’s Day 2022, show your loved one that you would die for him, again and again in Infernax!