Mega-hit FPS BattleBit Remastered has sold millions of copies since catching fire last month, and its small dev team says the jump from indie development to runaway fame has come with some hard lessons.
TheLiquidHorse, one of the three developers behind the breakout hit, recently took to Reddit for an AMA with the game's growing community. And yes, that's their official name, listed alongside SgtOkiDoki and Vilaskis on Steam. There were obviously lots of questions about upcoming changes and content, but some of the more interesting details were attached to inquiries about the making of the game.
"What are a couple of lessons you've learned from your time working on Battlebit when it comes to approaching challenges?" asked ncghost213.
"The more you fuck around, the more you find out," replied TheLiquidHorse. And really, you can't argue with that.
Elsewhere, the dev was asked about the background of the studio's now massively successful team. Surprisingly, they say none of them had any technical background or experience before BattleBit. "All self-taught," they explained. "We all never went to [university] or published a game before."
This game took roughly seven years to make, and since the devs needed to keep the lights on during that time, it couldn't be their primary job – until recently, of course, as this dev says "we will only take a small portion [of profits] to make this a living now," with the "majority" of the money going back into development. Balancing game development with another job led to some exhausting schedules for the team: "The months leading to release we all did 100h+/week," TheLiquidHorse says.
It's also not lost on me that, when asked about takeaways for other new developers, they advised you "don't make multiplayer games as your first one." They did, however, advise developers to "work with streamers, just be open, cool and available."
Asked about their reaction to the overwhelming player response, they said they never expected this kind of success: "This is just wild. I don't even think any one of us has realized what we actually have done now."
"It is pretty insane, I think just the fact that we don't take ourselves too seriously helps with this," they said after a similar question.
Similarly, they say it was hard to pin down the game's core appeal until fairly late in development. One user asked when the devs knew "holy shit, we got something here," and TheLiquidHorse responded: "Pretty much after our playtest blew up, but still to this day I can't really put my finger on what it is exactly."
There are dozens of answers to comb through if you're interested. Here's a highlight reel of some of the content-facing details that were shared:
- Graphics will be enhanced, but the visual style won't change
- More game modes, including a competitive mode, are in the works – "Our competitive scene is already screaming for it"
- With an unclear degree of seriousness, this dev says Early Access may last four years – "There's still a lot we want to do"
- Progress won't be wiped when the game does eventually leave Early Access
- The dev team could only get a maximum of 170 players for playtesting
- No plans to add jets to the game – "Our maps are too small for proper dogfights"
- No plans for a CS:GO-style marketplace
- No plans on adding more people to the "core team"
- FPS like Battlefield, Squad, Insurgency, Hell Let Loose, and Ace of Spades shaped the team's vision
- EAC and Steam Deck support is planned
- Community servers will allow "some degree" of modding but not a full Steam Workshop
A recent BattleBit ban wave claimed hundreds of players mid-match, leaving others confused but impressed.