Blu, a 2.5D Metroidvania platformer with skill-based combat, challenging puzzles, and a rich story, is now live on Kickstarter. We got a sneak peek of the game's development in our March 20 Screenshot Saturday round-up, and we had the chance to ask Damian Robinet, the developer of Blu, some questions about the future of the project and the Kickstarter campaign. We are excited to share what we know about Blu up until now.
Blu offers challenging and captivating gameplay, with a lot of options and a variety of items and powers to tailor the combat style to your preferences. The game is inspired by titles such as Zelda and Dead Cells, and the short portion of the gameplay that we have access to in the demo definitely reflects these inspirations. But it also tells an intriguing story about the world of Talpa and the dangers that threaten it in the absence of Guardians.
Damien told us about what inspires the world and the story of Blu: "Regarding the environment, my inspiration comes mainly from the manga universe. You will find in each level a Japanese touch that will be difficult for you to ignore. For the story, we are closer to Dead Cells than to Zelda. It only serves to establish consistency between the different levels. It is not intended to be the heart of the game, and I couldn't really tell you how I got there. But Guardians who keep the world in balance but fail in their duty and just give you a sword to do the job for them is a common story hook among a lot of adventure games."
Blu is not story-driven, and as Damien said, the main goal of the story is to create a sense of continuation and consistency. But the combination of the story, the eastern theme of the world, and the samurai-like feeling of the combat and the gameplay add up to a complete and layered universe for the player to be immersed in.
The demo version of Blu, while a bit unpolished, offers great gameplay, art, and music, and it already looks like a beautiful indie title. This left us with a question of what should we expect for the final version of the game.
We asked Damien about what their plans are for the rest of the development, and what kind of content and improvements will be added to the game: "The demo was released this week and I already have several tweaks to apply to the game. My first priority will be perfecting the gameplay because the structure of the levels needs to match the mechanics such as jump distance and speed. We can therefore expect an Alpha version with improved gameplay, but with still very raw levels in order to leave room for further development. Then a Beta version with minimal adjustments to the gameplay but a lot of new content in terms of levels, enemies, and items".
Blu is still at its early stages, and there is a long way to go. Fans and backers who get access to the beta can expect a lot of updates and improvements as the development goes on. In the end, we all get to experience the game's complete version after launch.
Blu offers a variety of different weapons and powers, and each will change up the fighting style of the character. This is an ambitious feature as it needs a lot of effort to create a balanced environment for every style of play.
We asked Damien if they have any plans for keeping the game balanced during the development and after launch: "Yes, of course, I would be lying to you if I told you that everything was going to be perfect from the start. The developers who programmed cartridges back in the day when it was impossible to update were geniuses. My current player base still consists of old-school fans of Metroidvanias. By the time of release, they will already be familiar with the gameplay, which will reinforce the difference in skill with new, more casual players, and the importance of balance. So I anticipate many changes when the game is released. This is also an advantage for indie developers because they can more easily implement changes to the game in comparison to AAA titles with a large player base. Blu is a project that I have been working on for a long time. I don't plan to move on overnight, and I will use this time to balance the game, add new features, and if the project is well received, hopefully, work on DLCs and more content for the game".
We are past the days of perfect cartridges, and no game is perfect from the beginning. But this shouldn't be an issue for this game. Blu is a project born out of passion, and fans can expect the developers to support and update the game for the foreseeable future.
Blu's Kickstarter is going strong in its first week. At the time of writing this article, Kickstarter has already surpassed 50 percent of the main goal, and we were curious what was the plan for the future of the Kickstarter campaign.
We asked Damien what they had in mind for stretch goals after they reach their main goal: "Yes, stretch goals are planned if the campaign reaches its fundraising goal before the end of the campaign. The stretch goals will be confined to content aimed at extending the life of the game (new difficulty modes, or new game modes such as Speed Run or Boss Only) or improving the experience (new tracks, voice-overs, or new languages). Working as a solo developer, time is always an issue and I mainly intend to use the additional funds on services (music, translation, voice-acting) and game features so as not to overload my schedule with complicated elements that can lead to delays or issues during development. My goal is to not compromise my initial vision of the game".
With the pace that the campaign is currently going, we can expect to reach the main goal very soon and hopefully play Blu in a couple of months. And, the better the Kickstarter does, the more features we can expect to be added to the game at the end.
So, if you like what you see here, be sure to check out Blu on Kickstarter, and support this game and get access to different rewards available to backers.