Diablo creator David Brevik is back with a new game, It Lurks Below

Graybeard Games

Game developer David Brevik, who once oversaw Blizzard North and Gazillion Entertainment, will release a new game later this year called It Lurks Below, via his Graybeard Games studio. Like Brevik’s previous work on games such as Diablo and Marvel Heroes, It Lurks Below will include action-RPG mechanics and lots of collectible loot, but unlike his other projects, this is a much smaller affair; Brevik made it by himself.

It Lurks Below combines Diablo-style dungeon-plumbing mechanics with sandbox-style worlds that let players dig and construct, à la Terraria and Minecraft. In an interview with Polygon, Brevik said he’s a big fan of those games (and Starbound), but wanted to add something of his own to the genre.

“I wanted more of a point to a lot of those games,” Brevik said. “I wanted to make an RPG, with classes and leveling up, random items, where you get more and more powerful as you go down into the core of the world and fight baddies.”

Brevik said It Lurks Below will be a roguelike mix of what he’s done before with games like Diablo and Hellgate: London, and the games he loves playing now. His side-scrolling 2D game will let players explore procedurally generated levels populated with randomized monsters to fight and items to collect. It Lurks Below is “random built on random,” he said.

Graybeard Games

The game’s combat will see players using wands — “basically guns” — and tools like a pickaxe to fight and dig through the game world. Those weapons will carry their own stats and elemental attributes, as will enemies. “I’m taking inspiration from the Diablo series, where every monster has its own trick,” Brevik said.

It Lurks Below will include three styles of play: normal, an easier “creative” mode and hardcore, essentially a permadeath mode.

Brevik aims to launch It Lurks Below on Steam this year, and will release a closed beta this weekend. That beta will be limited to 200 people. Brevik plans to stream the game this weekend on his studio’s Twitch channel.

It Lurks Below has been in development “in earnest” for about a year, Brevik said. It was originally a project of a much larger scope that he said might take 10 years to finish. But he scaled his idea down, and turned his new roguelike dungeon crawler into something simpler that he could make himself, from art to music to programming. Brevik’s been making games for more than 25 years — he programmed and designed the original Diablo — but he admits he’s inexperienced in making game art. Hence It Lurks Below’s low-res, pixelated aesthetic.

“That was the most difficult thing for me, because I’m not much of an artist,” Brevik said. “It’s definitely got a pixel retro kind of feel to it ... I’ve tried to make it as dark and creepy as I can ... creepy atmosphere and lighting.” Brevik said that the game’s art “took me the longest amount of time, but as I’ve gone along, I’ve gotten better and better at pixel art and animations.” He joked that as players dig deeper in the game, they’ll see his artwork improved over the course of development.

Brevik said he plans to continue to work on It Lurks Below, as its sole developer, after its release.

“I am going to be adding stuff to [It Lurks Below], listening to the community, getting feedback and making sure the game is the best it can be,” he said. “That is something I definitely worked hard on with Marvel Heroes, getting that feedback from the community.”

If you’d like to watch Brevik play his game this weekend, you can do so on Twitch. He’ll start streaming It Lurks Below on Friday, Feb. 2, at 9 p.m. PT.

It Lurks BelowGraybeard Games
It Lurks BelowGraybeard Games
It Lurks BelowGraybeard Games
It Lurks BelowGraybeard Games
It Lurks BelowGraybeard Games

Comments

I’d play it on the Switch. I’ll play any new game if it came on the Switch.

Same, I pretty much want as many games as possible. Currently I’m glued Slay the Spire on PC, and I would love if that game somehow made it’s way over when it leaves Early Access.

I bet a lot of developers are getting tired of people asking if so and so is coming to Switch. Especially if it’s a new game that is just being revealed and immediately people are asking about a Switch port and they have to say something like "We we’re developing it before the Switch was revealed…"

Fortunately for Switch owners, zero developers are tired of making piles and piles of money.

Ok, one: the Flappy Bird guy. But zero others.

No sane developer would get tired about hearing about a potential target audience. You normally have to pay to get that info.

i thought this article was about Starbound because man this game sure looks like Starbound

sounds neat, though. color me interested

"I wanted more of a point to a lot of those games," Brevik said. "I wanted to make an RPG, with classes and leveling up, random items, where you get more and more powerful as you go down into the core of the world and fight baddies."

Don’t get me wrong – I love what I’m seeing here, but this isn’t a new concept (Steamworld Dig).

I think he was basically just trying to say "I wanted to make Diablo but terraria"

My interest is piqued, but I fear that there is a risk that this mash-up of genres will be called "dia-rarria."

It also sounds like Stardew Valley, which is darker and deeper than it first appears. But I’d welcome more variations on the theme.

First and foremost, I will absolutely take more Steamworld Dig, no matter who makes it. Second, the two things that bother me the most about Minecraft / Terraria is that the building part is too fiddly (takes ages), and that all the progression comes in the form of finding stuff. I like the way Portal Knights added character progression and less-fiddly building — hopefully this new game will be the 2D analog to that, like the relationship between Minecraft and Terraria.

I never bad-mouthed Steamworld Dig. I love those games.

Steamworld Dig, Terraria, Boulder Dash, this kind of digging game is actually fairly old and goes back to the roots of gaming.

I grew up gaming. nes, snes, genesis, psx, etc. but I still consider Diablo to be the game that actually got me into gaming. It seems like such a simple game going back to it now, but at the time it completely changed my life. I don’t think I’ve yet to marathon a game for as long as I marathoned Diablo I & II. multiple days where I’d wake up at 10am and start playing and then suddenly it’s already 3am. oops.

anyway, long story short, I will definitely check this out…even though it is admittedly not the most original or groundbreaking game in this climate.

I remember when I first played that short Diablo demo from a Magazine CD, didn’t like it much and dropped it. Then I watched my brother play it who understood the controls better from the get go and then I was hooked forever!

RIP Marvel Heroes

He had me at Terraria, then he lost me at Starbound.

But seriously, I’m optimistic, but the graphics look like a step backwards from even Terraria.

Boy howdy, just what I was waiting for. A 2D pixel platformer about a cave. Been so long since we’ve had one of those, thanks Dave!

This weird 2D pixel fake "retro" style graphics are a bit annoying to me now. Its possible to go 2D without looking the same as every other game out there.

I agree I would love some more quality hand-drawn 2D sprite games. As much as the character designs in Hollow Knight aren’t my thing, I love how that game has full hand-drawn animated sprites instead of the played out pseudo 8-bit style.

Maybe you missed this bit:

Brevik’s been making games for more than 25 years — he programmed and designed the original Diablo — but he admits he’s inexperienced in making game art. Hence It Lurks Below’s low-res, pixelated aesthetic.

No I got it. Just don’t like the look even if he admits its the best he can do.

These are not "fake retro" graphics, these simply are low-res pixel graphics. That’s it. Being butthurt about them is as smart as being angry about the current brown look of 3D games.

These are not "fake retro" graphics, these simply are low-res pixel graphics

Brevik said. "It’s definitely got a pixel retro kind of feel to it

Lol so you don’t like the word retro I guess.

Anyway it still isn’t very interesting to look at. The brown look of 3d games are lame too. That’s why Breath of the Wild looks so amazing.

What do having differing tastes have to do with….

Being butthurt about them is as smart as being angry
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