Retrospective Part 9: First 8 Bit Steps

Back when the idea of going for an 8 bit style was moving its first steps, even before the first mockup that kickstarted everything, there was a little known attempt at a slightly different concept, for which the assets seemed to have been lost for a while.

Thankfully, they now have apparently emerged back from the mists of time that had silently swallowed them, and by “mists of time” we mean “someone’s hard drive”, so we’re proud to finally show’em off.


Besides the crude color palette, which was eventually replaced by something more faithful to the 8 bit days, there is one pretty important detail hidden in this picture: the foreground terrain tiles have a distinct blocky style that’s nowhere to be found in the final assets. Why that? Well, because they were originally supposed to be completely destructible. Mind you, this was before games like, for instance, Terraria were even announced. You would be able to carve your own path through the levels by putting Dudebro’s vast array of tools of destruction to good use.

…then why would one ever get rid of that? Sounds freakin’ awesome.

The reason is simple. Because, once we actually started working on the sidescroller version, we wanted to put its level design to good use. Reward exploration, add challenges for the player, give him tools to unlock new areas he had no reason to suspect even existed. Being able to just dig around obstacles and open up those new areas before time went very easily in the opposite direction, design-wise. Also, it wasn’t easy to determine what should have been destructible and what should not.

Some parts of that original concept, though, ended up staying. Destruction is in Dudebro’s DNA after all, so we still added plenty of destructible objects to our environments anyway. Some of them may break easily, some may require certain weapons, some may even explode and trigger chain reactions. If you want to express yourself through virtual property damage, you’ll get many chances to.

Leave a Reply