I first saw Blade Ballet last year at a Playcrafting NYC event. The bright colors and fast paced action instantly caught my attention. Simply put, Its a four-player robot death match game that can be played online or locally. I been following the game’s progress ever since that day and now Blade Ballet is ready for lunch on AUGUST 9 for PS4 and PC! Emma Larkins is the Community Manager at DreamSail games and she was cool enough to answer some questions about what it is like working with in the indie gaming scene.
How has it been working at DreamSail games and seeing the progress of Blade Ballet?
Emma Larkins, player relations lead: It’s been the most amazing experience. I’m lucky to have found an opportunity to do what I love – getting people excited about a high-quality, cool thing – in an industry that has been a part of my life since I was six years old. It’s hugely motivating to see the game keep getting better and better with each pass – and to be part of a team that works so well together.
Paul Jouard, art lead: Working at DreamSail and seeing the progress of Blade Ballet has certainly been a rewarding experience. To see all the hard work you and your coworkers put in over the year get recognized by real people in the real world makes every second worth it.
— Blade Ballet (@bladeballet) July 15, 2016
The trailers for the game are really cute. Did you edit them yourself?
Emma Larkins: Thank you! We’re lucky that the guy we hired as a game designer also has extensive experience with editing video (went to school for film).
Jon Bove, game designer and video editor: Thanks for thinking they are cute! Yeah, I’m really appreciative that I get to apply both my skill sets in a single position, it’s been an awesome and unique experience. I think our videos are fun in a large part thanks to Alec our on staff composer. He manages to make these fresh and exciting songs from recognizable dance classics. It’s a joy to cut to his beats.
Alec Galambos, music and audio lead: I’ve had a fantastic time working with these trailers because of how imaginative and colorful this world is, and because Jon and Emma have a really clear sense of the look and the humor of Blade Ballet. It’s been a huge help to see the game develop while I work on music, and working this closely on it has definitely helped us think of creative things to do with sound in our trailers!
What was your reaction when you saw Blade Ballet featured on the PlayStation Blog?
Emma Larkins: PlayStation is very supportive of indie devs, and we’re grateful to them for showcasing our trailers and posts on their blog. For the first post especially, we were blown away by how much attention the trailer and post received and with how engaged people were. Since then, I’ve had people at conventions mention that they saw us on the PlayStation blog, so it’s definitely working!
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) July 11, 2016
How have fans responded to the game at events like PAX East?
Emma Larkins: I feel really spoiled because I started taking Blade Ballet to conventions way back in December (Sheep’s Meow/NYC Arcade at the NYU Game Center), and even then we were receiving a hugely positive response. The game plays really well in a local-multiplayer environment.
Lauren Westlake, 3D artist: Pax East was eye-opening since it was our first very large and well-known convention we’ve gone to. I was slightly nervous of people not really liking our game, but it turned out to be a really good hit with the crowd. We had many people line up to our booth and even return later to collect the buttons; talk about how they enjoyed it and how they were going to grab friends to have them play with them hours later. I felt really pleased seeing people that had no idea what they were doing, suddenly burst into laughter and become a pro in about a few minutes of playing around. It was nice to see that people were able to grasp the concept whilst also getting competitive with one another in a friendly manner.
Any more events Blade Ballet will be playable at?
Emma Larkins: We have a packed schedule of events in the coming months. First up is Playcrafting in New York City this Thursday. After that, we’ll be partnering with AllMid at Gen Con (Indianapolis), and then heading to PAX West in Seattle and TwitchCon in San Diego. Plus a few more we might fit in between now and October.
Is it safe to say that more features could be added in the game within time?
Emma Larkins: I’m going to hand that one off to our producer, Kevin, who guides the development of this game with an iron fist (just kidding… mostly.)
Kevin Porras, producer: Oh yeah, of course. I think the best indie games are the ones that continue to live and grow as long as players are interested. There are so many parts of Blade Ballet we would love to expand on that live in a giant list on Trello. We also can’t wait to see what people ask for once the game is out in the wild. We are so close to the game that it would be interesting to see how someone who just starts playing will react and what they will think is missing. We are going to do a base game update each month that’s included with the game – stuff might include new bots, levels, modes, etc.
What would you say is the main reason people should play Blade Ballet?
Emma Larkins: People should play Blade Ballet because they’re looking for a unique, quick, physics-based multiplayer game that they can hop into with their friends (even if their friends can’t join them on the couch). Because they need to take their minds of the seriousness of Overwatch for a few minutes. And because it’s adorable and frustrating and hilarious!