Hey, everyone! It’s Dant Rambo again, producer/writer on Runner3. If my peculiar name sounds familiar to you, it’s likely because I wrote another post for this blog a mere few weeks ago. Apparently I didn’t burn the place to the ground, because Nicalis has agreed to let me write another one! This time I’ll be talking a little more about the differences (and similarities!) between Runner3 and its predecessors.
I touched on this a bit in my previous post, but Runner3 was a game we wanted to be certain felt necessary. It would have been a disservice to our fans if it were only a half-step forward, so we sat down as a team and asked ourselves if we felt the ideas and inspiration for us to create a new BIT.TRIP RUNNER were truly there. The answer, as you now know, was a resounding “yes.” We had a lot of ideas for what we could do with Runner3. Too many ideas, it turned out. But this ended up being a good problem, as it allowed us to look at the lengthy list and pare it down to what we felt were the best of the best.
One of the first things we agreed on was designing the game so it offered a constant change of scenery for the player. Runner3 consists of three main worlds, but the levels contained within those worlds tend to vary quite a bit from one another. There’s a level in Foodland that takes place inside of a fridge, for example, and another that takes place inside a cheddar cave (good luck figuring out what that looks like). Then there’s Spookyland, where you’ll be running your way through areas like a creepy, doll-filled valley or a decrepit building filled with spooky textbooks and even spookier owls. Trust us when we say you’ll never be able to predict the many sights you’ll see in Runner3.
We also diversified the moveset of the Commanders and their friends, from the double-jump and ground pound to vehicle sections (including a flying eggplant!) and all-new dance moves added to their arsenal. These extras allow the player a little more freedom in terms of how they play the game, and it’s been interesting to see the different playstyles we’ve all developed around the office. Each of us has our own approach to it!
Speaking of playing differently (like that segue?), every level in Runner3 allows the player to take the “Gold Path” or the “Gem Path,” with the option to switch between them as you progress. Those who take the Gold Path will be treated to a more traditional RUNNER level, while those craving a more challenging experience will want to take the Gem Path. Gems, a new type of collectible, are considered the premium currency in the game. They disappear once you collect them, and can be used to purchase most of the juiciest items in the item shop. Which brings me to my next “item”…
Runner3 will have a fully featured item shop, consisting of costumes, accessories and what are likely the goofiest capes to ever appear in a video game. Everything in the shop can be purchased using gold and gems, which is my roundabout way of saying there will be no in-game purchases in Runner3. Keep your stinkin’ money!
And while not technically a new addition, it would be wrong of me to not discuss the Retro Challenges of Runner3. As is customary in the RUNNER series, every level in the game contains a hidden Retro Challenge somewhere within it. No surprises so far, right? Well, the Retro Challenges of Runner3 feature a pretty big series first: You have free movement! In the style of more traditional platformers, players will be able to freely control CommanderVideo. Want him to run left? Go for it! Think he should be heading right? Not a problem! It’s a brand new world filled with brand new possibilities.
I could talk your ear off about the new playable characters, the unlockable puppet shows (narrated by Charles Martinet!) and the many other new additions to the game. But I’ve taken up enough of your time as it is, so I’d like to conclude by talking about one more item: Hero Quests. Hero Quests are optional quests where the player is tasked with assisting characters in the world of Runner3. Sir Strömming, for example, needs you to bring him three salmonberries so that he can make his famous Stargazy Pies. Help him, and you’ll unlock a new playable character in the game. Don’t help him, and that’s alright, too! The choice is entirely yours.
My apologies for writing such a long blog post. There’s just a lot of new stuff in Runner3 and I wanted to make sure to share as much of it as I could! I didn’t quite cover everything, but I think I came pretty close. It’s for the best, as we want to ensure there are still some surprises in store when you play the game!
A huge thanks to those of you who read this whole thing and I’ll be back soon for more!