Hey everyone! This is a big day for our new studio, Digital Continue, because this is the day we announce our very first original game. *Deep breath.* Next Up Hero is coming to PS4 early next year!
So, what is Next Up Hero? In developer terms, we often describe it as “asynchronous co-op, 2D/3D orthographic projection with isometric angle twin-stick arcade game played on server-hosted sessions and” — sorry. I can see I’m losing you. Why don’t I just tell you why we decided on Next Up Hero as our first title.
When I was a kid, I spent a lot of my time (and money) at the arcade. When I ran out of quarters, I would just stand around and watch my friends play. A lot of times, we would take turns, handing off control of the sticks to our friends when we died so they could continue where we left off. Beating a game with friends, taking turns, was in many ways more memorable than doing it on my own. That’s what we tried to do with Next Up Hero.
We think of it as an old-school arcade action game built for a new, always connected generation. Twin stick controls, with tough-as-nails enemies and levels that feel downright unfair. We purposely made this game so hard so that the community would be not only be helpful, but required in order to make progress. We call this Community Continue. Win together, one hero at a time.
How do we do this? Every time you die, you leave behind an echo of your hero. The next player in line will be able to resurrect your echo (as well as everyone else who played the Session) as an AI follower. Echoes are not as powerful — they are shadows of their former selves! — but they help a lot. You can also use Echoes to summon Ancients — allies who can deliver a fierce punch when you need it most. The more people who choose to play in your game session, the more echoes you will each have at your disposal against the ferocious — and often cuddly — monsters of the Ceaseless Dirge (Bad guys). You’ll earn prestige for every session you fight in, with bonus bonuses for striking the final blow on the final boss. But no matter who beats that boss, you will have beat the game together, as a Community. High fives all around.
So yeah, we’re trying something new, a blend of roguelikes and 2D action games like Gauntlet and Smash TV. At my last studio 5TH Cell — creators of Scribblenauts and Drawn to Life — we took big chances, and it paid off. That’s the benefit of being a small, independent studio. We want to innovate and provide new experiences to gamers everywhere.
We’ll have a lot more to share soon, like our hero types and some of the crazy weapons, upgrades, and attacks at your disposal. We are building Next Up Hero with community feedback, which will be critical in shaping the final game for PS4 in 2018. Thanks for reading.