It’s official: Klaus is coming to PS4 on January 19th! That’s in about two weeks, and we thought it would be the perfect time to talk about the new-and-improved Klaus. Before we get into the details, we’d like to show a cool little trailer we made for the launch of the game. We love making films; we thought a combination of live action and gameplay would be perfect at showing off the feeling of the game.
Shout out to everyone who came through our booth at the most recent Playstation Experience! We had an incredible time, and heard a ton of great feedback. We included many of your suggestions based on your experiences with the game! This is always the best part of being a developer, and we just wish we could do it for longer.
Since our most recent blog post from last year, a lot has changed. And we’re talking about more than just a face-lift here. We chose to focus our improvements on three core aspects: the overall look and feel of the game, the boss battles, and collectible levels and their rewards.
Since day one Klaus was designed with aesthetics and fluidity in mind. When it comes to how it looks, the backgrounds now feature much more detail and tell a story of their own. Ripped yellow shirts, Big Brother-like posters, and hidden messages are just some of the elements that bring Klaus to life.
It isn’t just a prettier game though — it also feels faster and smarter. Overhauled level design allows for even more environmental manipulation, while improved character physics and controls mean that speed runs are more epic than ever.
A large part of the new design ties to the Glitch World. This is where we throw out (almost) everything we taught you so far and go completely crazy. This is where we ask ourselves “Why do games work the way they do, and more importantly, what happens when game mechanics get flipped upside down?”
Boss battles in a puzzle platformer are tough. Even though we considered this early last year, and started to work on them, we didn’t have enough resources to flesh them out. Klaus now features three boss battles, with each representing an important narrative shift for the player. We don’t want to spoil too much, so let’s just talk about the first: K1. Since [spoiler alert] he becomes a controllable character in World 2, this fight was important to get right in order to communicate who K1 is as a character.
We used K1’s playful and chaotic nature to bring the environment to life. One of his main attacks is a floor smash that sends blocks and other pieces of the level dropping down onto Klaus. This is just one example of how the boss fights will closely tie in to the game’s narrative.
Having an extended development timeline allowed us think more freely, and thus we thought of the Collectible Levels. These unique spaces represent the best of our design, as they really push the game mechanics to the brink. One such level, for example, restricts Klaus to only moving left, while the player uses the world itself to push him right. In another, four characters must be controlled at once.
Some are just too weird to describe and you’ll have to discover them for yourselves! In all cases, we use them to go creatively crazy and bring something truly new to platforming. Other than just giving us a chance to show off some wackier ideas, the collectible levels allowed us to reward the player for discovery and exploration.
Every time you pick up all six collectible pieces of a world, you gain a memory. These memories do not feature challenges, but will give the player an additional narrative experience. Basically we want to make you cry. But in a good way — we promise! These levels feature some our most beautiful artwork, and present a calm in the storm of challenging gameplay and head scratching puzzles.
We are so excited to finally be able to share Klaus with all of you later this month! Let us know if you have any questions or comments, whether it’s something we already talked about or something completely new. Cheers!