Review Fix chats with Jean Simon Otis, Co-Founder and Technical Director of Chainsawesome Games, who breaks down the development cycle of “Knight Squad 2.”
About the Game:
Knight Squad 2, the follow-up to Chainsawesome Games’ chaotic arcade party game enjoyed by more than 1.8 million players, unleashes knightly mayhem on April 14 for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One with Xbox Series X|S compatibility, and PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store.
Sally forth into glorious combat across more than 13 game modes, including a fresh take on Soccer where weapons and violence are expressly encouraged and Battle Royale, where only the most chivalrous and cutthroat champion emerges victorious. Dominate the arenas in 8-player online multiplayer and smite foes with everything from swords, drills, and ray guns.
Review Fix: How was this game born?
Jean Simon Otis: Knight Squad was originally created during a 48 hours game jam called Pixel Challenge. 4 years after the original was released, we thought about a lot of new things we could add to the concept to push it even further and decided to go through with it and develop a sequel.
Review Fix: What is your role in the game?
Otis: I’m the technical director on the game. I took most of the technological decisions and took care of the biggest chunk for the online crossplay multiplayer part of the game.
Review Fix: What has development been like?
Otis: It has been pretty smooth actually. It definitely took longer than we expected at first but we wanted to make sure everything was awesome. Since everyone on the team has around 10 years of experience, we haven’t encountered any real major roadblock that stopped us in our tracks.
Review Fix: What makes this game special?
Otis: I think one of the things that sets our game apart on the PC and console markets is it’s arcade-inspired simplicity. Knight Squad 2 is extremely easy to pick up and play. It requires little to no explanation of the game’s objective and controls. Gamers of absolutely all skill levels can have a good time with our game.
Review Fix: What games influenced this one the most?
Otis: Knight Squad 1. But seriously the first ones inspiration were still very valid for the second opus. I like to say that it’s a happy mix of Bomberman and Gauntlet.
Review Fix: Any fun stories or wild moments during development?
Otis: While in development and working with temporary art assets, the technical artist goofed around and created a sheep. We don’t quite remember why. He fell in love with that sheep and forcefully found a way to keep the sheep in the game even though half of the sheep wanted the sheep gone. Now the game is finished, with a hidden sheep that half of the team hates.
Review Fix: What were the major lessons learned?
Otis: Making an online multiplayer game with crossplay across multiple platforms is HARD. There is so many things to take into consideration for each platform and you have to make sure that all versions stay in sync.
Review Fix: Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?
Otis: Yes. Well, in our case it was crucial to keep the core that made the first opus great. So, we made sure to bring back those old game mechanics and put them in the center of the sequel. We then built on top of those to add even more chaos to the game.
Review Fix: What’s your favorite memory as a gamer?
Otis: I really think it’s the memories that I currently make with my 5-year-old son who started playing games recently. We play a lot of cooperative games and have had a really good time playing Super Mario 3D World lately.
Review Fix: How have your previous experiences in the industry helped this game?
Otis: Having shipped other multiplayer games in the past really helped make sure this one was built properly from the get go for online. This is something a lot of devs that don’t have experience with online often struggle with by building the game for local first then try to slap online onto it. I know because I’ve done it in the past.
Review Fix: How do you want this game to ultimately be remembered?
Otis: A good old “Friendship Destroyer”. By that, I mean that people will have a great time yelling at their friends/relatives because of really close call games that will end up something along the lines of NOOO! WHAT? NO!
Review Fix: What’s next?
Otis: We’ve started prototyping something new and are also looking at adding more content into Knight Squad 2 post launch.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Otis: We released a preview of Knight Squad 2 on Steam entitled Knight Squad 2 Trials so you can try it for free to get a sense of the game. What’s also neat with this trial is that you can use it to join games made by owners of the full Knight Squad 2 and effectively experience all the content.
We really hope the game picks up and the world falls in love with our goofy knights. Hopefully, a gamer parent somewhere will create great gaming memories with their kids through Knight Squad 2.