Anticipated Open-World Game Dev Discusses Roguelike Build-Crafting and Hoverboards in Hyper Light Breaker

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Hyper Light Breaker
(Image credit history: Heart Machine)

When we took a seat to talk with Chris Bullock, lead animator on open-world roguelike Hyper Light Breaker at programmer Heart Machine, no one had actually defeated its GDC trial yet. The program’s current trial was an interesting up-close take a look at what’s rapidly ended up being my individual most-anticipated open-world game of the year, and Bullock’s discuss a few of the game’s nitty-gritty information have actually just strengthened my uncertainty that maybe the greatest roguelike of 2024 in even more methods than one

“Don’t forget your passive abilities,” Bullock states, sharing suggestions for brand-new gamers. “In this demo, use the colors to kind of match those up. Those will help. The designers kind of color-coded them to get more synergistic builds. It does offer depth though. Players who want to delve deep and start mixing and matching some of those colors to find an even more synergistic build, you can dive down into that.” Hello, it’s me, the type of gamer that intends to dive down right into that. 

“But also making use of all the abilities,” he proceeds. “There’s two active [abilities] and an Amp as well, which is kind of your ultimate. Just making use of the whole kit. In the demo, you don’t really have the time to really learn all of the attack patterns and everything. But you know, hopefully when you get to the full game, as an animator hopefully the attack animations read well enough that you can time your parry just right.” 

Hyper Light Breaker’s employer battles have actually been one more essential centerpiece together with its procedurally created open globe. Meanwhile, its celebrity Breakers have actually often been envisioned with a hoverboard – or, airborne, a glider – a naturally fashionable approach of navigating that’s obviously an unique obstacle to style. 

“It’s got its own challenges,” Bullock states of the hoverboard. “We’ve gone through iterations trying to figure out, OK, how do we get onto the hoverboard? What is the process of going from your run into that, making that transition? What are the button combinations? Getting it to move and feel good once you’re on it. It’s a challenge, but all of game development is a challenge, and it’s rewarding when you hear people say that’s one of the features that they’re looking forward to in the game.”

How do you make a hoverboard really feel excellent? “That’s a good question!” Bullock states. “Hopefully we’re figuring it out. It’s gonna take a combination. It’s not something we ourselves can only handle on the animation side, but also on the engineering side. So having that iteration with engineering and design, you know, how fast is it going? Do we make the animation really aggressive? And if we make it too aggressive, where it looks like you’re trudging through mud or hoverboarding through mud, that feels too slow for the effort that the player’s putting into it. Or the opposite problem, where we had an iteration where we went really chill with a longboarding sort of stance, really relaxed motion on it. And we determined that was a little too chill. 

“So, attempting to strike that appropriate equilibrium of, what is the posturing that really feels right for this to actually obtain it to function? And attempting to obtain it all to deal with the transforming price and whatever to make sure that we sort of side up as you transform. 

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