Forced is an ambitious 1-4 player co-op arcade adventure with both tactical and puzzle elements. The developer Beta Dwarf are bringing the game to the Wii U eShop later this year, and in order to find out more I sat down with CEO Steffan Kabbelgaard to find out more.
Who are Beta Dwarf Entertainment? How many people work for you and where are you based?
BetaDwarf Entertainment is a group of 10 people located in Copenhagen. We\’ve had quite a journey on our development. We originally made a prototype for a game called Armies Vs Champions, a RTS vs FPS pvp game. Which we hope to return to one day and finalise, perhaps in the next year or so.
What actually is Forced and does it feature levels and/or boss fights?
Forced is a one to four player co-op arcade adventure with puzzle and tactical elements. Players are cast as slaves in the toughest fantasy gladiator school of them all, condemned to fight as a gladiator and eventually win their freedom. You will face deadly trials and huge creatures, but you will have a Spirit Mentor called Balfus to guide you on your gladiatorial journey. It features 20 trials, 5 boss fights and 4 unique unlockable trials. The trials are so-called \”Endless modes\” to challenge the most hardcore players!
The Orb of Spirit Mentor sounds rather interesting Can you explain it’s features to our readers? What kind of situations or puzzles will it be used in?
The spirit mentor is a fairy the flies right above the players heads. All players can call it to them whenever they want, which will make it fly to the players position when they called. Now the spirit is the only one who can activate shrines and it does so by flying over them, so players have to navigate the spirit into these shrines to solve puzzles and gain combat favour, such as haste, healing or activate powerful tesla shrines to electrocute enemies. There are also manoeuvre trials, where the orb will transform into an extremely powerful bomb that if not carefully manoeuvred will kill everything in it’s path.
Will there be any unique content for the Wii U version of Forced, perhaps making special use of the Gamepad?
With Forced we\’re recommending that the game will mainly be played with the Pro Controller. We\’re currently considering different ways to include the Gamepad’s screen for something interesting, but we have to do some tests before we know if its fun, so can\’t reveal that yet 🙂
Not sure whether that would include a fifth player, but we\’re experimenting with a very special Vs mode, where players basically send enemies to each other.
How will you make sure Forced stands out when it releases on the eShop, and speaking of which, when will it release?
The focus on co-op is indeed unique, it does so by focusing on the Spirit Mentor mechanic and a mark combat system, where players can make combos together. They all add combat marks to enemies when they attack and they can consume those with powerful attacks. So an archer can prepare an enemy with a few marks, allowing the Volcanic hammer to squash the enemy in single blow. But he wouldn\’t be able to do that if it had no marks if you get me?
Also the twin stick melee combat system has basically not been seen in any other game before. You can aim and move in different directions, it sounds lame, but no other top down action game has done that for melee action before. There are plenty of twin stick shooters, but not melee.
We hope to release at the end of this year, might even be soon, as we just need to get Unity’s final on their Wii U port system.
The Wii U has had a hard time of late, why did you decide to bring the game to Wii U?
We are long time Nintendo fans! We even have a GameCube and an N64 setup in our office. We actually met Nintendo at a party, they seemed really cool, and they liked Forced, and bringing the game to Wii U seemed interesting. Then we realised that it was easy to port to the Wii U and we kind of wanted to help it on its way. We really don\’t like exclusivity, and want Forced to be on as many platforms as possible but with good ports. That’s why we don\’t want to do a half solution for the Gamepad, right now we feel we can only take responsibility for the gameplay when played with the pro controller.
How did you find the process of becoming an approved developer, and the level of communication with Nintendo?
For now the communication seems fine, but I would need a longer period to do a more precise judgement of their cooperation though, it’s too early to say now. We\’ve only been communication for like a month or so… the relationship is still quite young.
Once development is complete, what’s on the cards next for Beta Dwarf? Would you consider bringing your next game to the Wii U?
We have plans for a kind of sequel to Forced which will be free, actually a bit like league of legends, but not with PvE instead of PvP if you can imagine that. But the plans have not been completely confirmed, it’s just what’s on the cards right now.
I hope I next title will end up on Wii U as well! If people embrace Forced on Wii U we will definitely make our sequel available there as well
Do you have any final words for our readers?
Please visit our Facebook, we are quite active there, and would love questions and participation from the Wii U players. It’s also the best way to keep track of the development and if you\’re at PAX or Gamescom, please come by and say hi!
Well I\’m certainly excited for this awesome sounding game, the orb puzzles sounds just like something out of one of Nintendo’s own games! Thanks to Steffan for the interview – don\’t keep us waiting too long!