Take a second and watch the above video. I never watch videos in blog posts — it takes too long and I’ve been spoiled by GIFs. But seriously, just watch it. None of this post will make sense otherwise.
OK, fine. Here’s a GIF:
I needed you to see that before I continued. You see, we’ve made the hardest, most stupidly ridiculous hardcore game ever. And we’re sorry. Kind of. We even called it a happy name like Cloudberry Kingdom to help ease the pain. But before I actually try apologizing for real, let me take a step back and defend myself. I’ll be making use of the traditional Socratic Straw Man Method for my defense: below, you’ll find your unsound critiques highlighted in bold, with my impenetrable defense following. Afterward I may apologize.
Let’s start with the first reason for why you’re upset.
“Being hard for the sake of being hard is stupid, therefore this game is stupid.”
Woah. First of all, I Wanna Be The Guy has already proven in my mind that everyone wants a brutally unfair game with invisible spikes and hidden platforms that change location depending on whether you’re inhaling or exhaling.
But let’s assume for a second that your opinion isn’t wrong. Cloudberry Kingdom is actually not about being hard — it’s about being challenging. The first and foremost design principle we held to was that there should be a difficulty for everyone, and that the challenge should increase as your skill does. Here’s a view of the difficulty spread we cover:
If you look at some challenging old school platformers like Mario 3 or Lost Levels, you’ll see a lot of care taken in providing a great challenge for core players. But to the players that are real masters (or real noobs), they are left unsatisfied. The video we showed is of our highest difficulty level, reserved for the gosu elite that can beat Tetris blindfolded and who secretly cry afterward like Alexander the Great because they know they will never find a true challenge. Well, cry no more my gosu brother/sister.
“You can’t just throw a billion lasers on a screen and call it challenging. You’re a horrible level designer.”
Actually, I’m not the level designer. We designed and built an advanced artificial intelligence that designs all the levels in the game. What’s inter–
“The levels are randomly generated? Randomly generated levels suck!”
WOAH. Look, A.I.s are people too. How would you feel if I called levels you designed “randomly generated?” Doesn’t feel so good, does it? Now, granted, our AI doesn’t have “emotions,” so an apology isn’t necessary, but let me defend our AI anyway. We spent over two years teaching the A.I. how to design good levels. It understands flow, spacing, rhythm, and also how many bouncy blocks you can have before it just gets annoying. Every level it designs is possible to beat, and if you don’t believe it, you can ask the A.I. to play any level to show you how it’s done. But most importantly, we taught the A.I. how to make a level for the right difficulty, from easy up to stupidly masochistic.
If you’re not satisfied with the physics we programmed, you can use our physics editor to change gravity, friction, acceleration, and dozens of other parameters, and the A.I. will build new levels tailored specifically to your custom physics.
The A.I. was designed to serve up your every platforming need. Just ask.
“Well that does sound pretty sweet!”
Time to wrap up. I’ll allow you one more rhetorical accusation.
“Wait! Wait… um. Are there hats?”
Cloudberry Kingdom hits PlayStation Store today for $9.99. In case you forgot, Cloudberry Kingdom is part of PlayStation Store PLAY. If you pick up Cloudberry Kingdom and one more (or two more, or three more) PLAY games, you’ll get bonus PSN cash vouchers. Check out the original PLAY post for more details.
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