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MythForce, the ’80s cartoon video game, comes to Steam and eyes a console launch

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After a year of synthesizing the awesome, 12-frames-per-second, primary color, cel-shaded glory days of Thundercats, Masters of the Universe, Silverhawks, And like a video game, Trent Oster, Beamdog’s chief executive, admits he’s wondered how much fun it would be to make the studio’s action-RPG. mythforce In an actual cartoon at some point.

but it will have to wait, The roguelite adventure, which got early access to the Epic Games Store in April 2022 (with a Kick-Ass theme song to boot) is now available on Steam, spotlighted at its Steam Next Fest, featuring titles for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation The plan has been made. , and Xbox later this fall.

Still, Oster smiles at the idea. mythforce, an homage to syndicated, latchkey-children afternoon cartoons, could actually be made in one. “We’ve seen people who are literally pitching us like, Hey, this needs to be a real thing; This needs to happen,” Oster pointed out.

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“We’ve had discussions with companies out there mythforce becoming a full-blown cartoon,” Oster explained. “It’s something I’d love to see happen, because I think there’s a lot of fun here.”

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mythforce, The first original work from Beamdog (now primarily known as a port shop for RPGs) launched with an outlandish premise that the studio wasn’t really sure would work. Happily, they discovered a first-person, procedurally generated dungeon crawler dressing as an ’80s cartoon works really well as far as streaming and watchability go. Is. mythforce Not only has the console developed a cult following at launch, but it also has a merchandise shop.

The latest releases of the game, available today, says Oster, will lean more into character and player progression (and therefore space). mythforce entirely in the “roguelite” category, rather than “roguelike”). “A lot of the feedback was, ‘Hey, we love the game, but what we really want is more progression, or ways to develop your character, and in some cases, personalize your character, and give them your own character. Build the style of choice to play,” he said.

The latest launch will lean more into character and player progression, says Oster (and therefore place mythforce entirely in the “roguelite” category, rather than “roguelike”). “A lot of the feedback was, ‘Hey, we love the game, but what we really want is more progression, or ways to develop your character, and in some cases, personalize your character, and give them your own character. Build the style of choice to play,” he said.

This means tuning the “outer loop” mythforceThe gameplay includes a “constellation system”, which allows players to place the perks they earn into a tree that caters to their play style for each of the four characters: Rico (Rogue), Victoria (The Knight), Maggie (The Mage), and Hawkins (The Hunter). Players earn a Gem through their continued gameplay, which grants a Gem to that particular character somewhere within the constellation. “Depending on where you place the gems and what kind of gems you place, you can increase your attack damage, you can increase your energy, you can increase your mobility,” Oster explained.

Oster is the lead as Riko herself. “My Rico is all attack speed, and power, and hits, and then immediately I’ve blown everything up, I need to run and hide in a corner,” Oster laughed. “I really optimize around the recharge speed on my ultimate ability, Rico’s Backslash. For me, it is a gift from God.

Mythforce's gameplay in first-person view, with the character Magi casting an attack spell that explodes at its target in a colorful explosion

Maggie the Mage, one of the four playable characters mythforceCasts a powerful spell on some rogues.
Image: Beamdog / Aspire Media

Players can respect their characters’ constellations at any time. “The goal is that you really have that agency to figure out what kind of character you want to play,” Oster said. “And if you screw up you can just roll it back and try something different.”

The planetarium system, and the Hub World (“The Citadel”) which supports player customization with things like weapon upgrades and emotes (with other customizations coming later) are the newest features for now. mythforce There’s still only one “Chapter,” Dungeon of the Beast Lord — a procedurally generated level for players to play, whether solo or multiplayer. A roadmap calling for two more chapters (Crypt of the Necromancer and Cauldron of Bats) was sketched last year by this spring; Beamdog pushed back on those and other ambitions because, “in the beginning, we fundamentally underestimated the cost of content creation,” Oster said.

“unreal” [Engine 5] Making art is expensive; To create level art, especially,” Oster said, meaning the time cost of such assets. “When you’re creating a lot of level art, and you want to make it look like a 1980s cartoon. So we completely underestimated what it would cost. It’s hard to make those environments interesting, and in the amount that we can keep players entertained.

Thus, mythforce There won’t be much in-game narrative for the time being. “There was a point in the project where we’re like, Look, we have 40 pounds of ideas to fit in a 10-pound bag,” he said. “So which thoughts live, and which thoughts wait?” However, one idea that couldn’t wait much longer was gamepad support, which was absolutely necessary for any sort of console launch, which arrived with an update last fall.

“Let’s say the estimated budget and the actual budget diverged substantially,” Oster said. He’s one of the co-founders of BioWare, and thus has to think in bottom-line terms, no matter how cool or creative he is. “Aspire has been amazingly supportive,” Oster said of Beamdog’s parent company. “They get it, and they get what we’re trying to do here. They’re really excited by the potential of it, and I think […] They understand the potential of the product.

mythforce Now available as a playable demo on Steam that’s “essentially the same version we have on Epic Games,” Oster said. This is probably the closest thing to what will be version 1.0 later this year.

A console launch will take place in the fall on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X. There will be two additional chapters in the 1.0 release. Two more unlockable difficulty modes (beyond the easy-normal-hard of the current version) will also be included, as well as drop-in/drop-out online cooperative play.

MythForce's character selection screen;  Arrows are pointing to Rico the Rogue and a menu highlights his special abilities and talents.

mythforce There are currently four playable heroes. A fifth is planned, but this and many other features have taken a back seat to polish the base game in Early Access.

But it’s clear that exactly one cartoon prospect excites Oster and his colleagues at Beamdog. This Spring is the fourth episode of the streaming series i wake up a vampire (Amazon Prime, but only in Canada) mythforce The game took the form of its characters playing in an episode set in a gaming tournament. “They just loved the look of the game,” Oster said. Beamdog, based in Edmonton, sent them the game’s production and promotional materials, which were used to complete and create the visuals. mythforce Seems even more like a pop culture phenomenon, not just a video game.

“One of the downsides of creating something new is that you have no idea whether it’s just your own inner craziness saying, ‘This is great,’ or if your inner craziness maps to enough other people. That it’s actually a viable product.” Oster said. “So that was some validation. It’s like, ‘Yeah, we’re chasing something potentially successful here.’

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