Keeping wraps on adventure game Below in the nine months following its unveiling at E3 2013 allowed developer Capybara Games to focus less on marketing and more on building the actual game, studio co-founder and president Nathan Vella told Edge Online.
Details on Below — initially announced as an Xbox One exclusive and slated to hit Microsoft's platform as well as Windows PC at an unannounced date — have been as dark as its initial concept. Vella explained this was intentional, as keeping the game out of tradeshows like Gamescom and PAX Prime allowed Capy to focus solely on development without worrying about PR and juggling builds.
"It's given us the chance to focus directly on the game, to not have to spend tons of time building it up for demos, for promotion, then paring it down immediately [and] starting all over again," Vella said. "Promotion, marketing, PR: they take a lot of time away from actually making the game. So having these last nine months or so to really work on the game has meant that it's come a long way since we first showed anything."
Below relies on an complicated algorithm that procedurally generates the game's environments, which populates the game's dark caves with enemies, traps, plants, resources and other objects. This program is the backbone of the title on which it's story and other systems rest.
Creative director Kris Piotrowski said that while not all of the game is procedurally generated, it is one of the most complex projects Capy has taken on.
"Below is definitely the biggest, and I guess conceptually hardest, videogame that we've made," Piotrowski said. "The procedural element does have an aspect to it where, the moment you lock that stuff down, all of a sudden a gigantic chunk of the game just works. We've been working primarily on that, making sure that every single level that's generated is interesting to explore, and has a variety of different things to think about."
For more details on Below, check out our interview with Capy and a look at the game in action below.