After a surprising unveil nearly one year ago, Turtle Rock Studios’ Evolve has been at the forefront of the multiplayer gaming conversation. Built by the same folks who delivered Left 4 Dead, Evolve deploys an approach that feels like something gamers have never seen before. Ostensibly, it’s one giant cooperative boss battle, where the “heroes” are controlled by four coordinating players and the “boss” is guided by another player.
Today, Turtle Rock Studios is set to finally deliver that vision to gamers, and we had the opportunity to chat with Evolve‘s Design Director Chris Ashton about the game. In the interview, Ashton talks about the development of Evolve, how quickly the development team can patch in gameplay fixes, and what the future might hold for the franchise. Read the full transcript below.
Game Rant: You are about to launch a game on Tuesday. What does it feel like?
Chris Ashton (Design Director): [laughs]
The journey is almost over, or it’s just beginning depending on how you look at it.
“Yeah, exactly. I don’t know. I want it to happen right now. I’m so kinda tired of waiting. [laughs] The whole team is really excited. I think you are absolutely right. I feel like it’s been four years of really hard work, preparation, stress, effort, good days and bad days for the whole team to get to this point. But for us, this is really where it starts. You know, launching a new IP. And that’s something that, as a game developer, you rarely, rarely get the chance to do.
And so, we’re very fortunate to have a publisher that backed it and has put so much effort into it. But yeah, man, next week it’s for real. [laughs]”
The Evolution of Evolve
When you sat down and you guys originally envisioned the game and you started developing it, and then you had an alpha and a beta, how much really changed over time? Specifically, what about your feedback from people actually playing it do you think you’ve incorporated or what are elements that you added based on how people have been responding to the game?
“Well, the really quick stuff is the balance stuff. Changes to the matchmaking system and balance changes, that stuff is really, really quick. And those systems are set up so that we can change the balance of the game and release a tiny update and it’s no problem. And we hope to be able to do that regularly.
The bigger thing is kind of for the future. You know, for the future of the franchise and for the future of the game, like what kind of game modes do we want to do? What kind of changes are people asking for?
So, right away people were asking about a way…like an observer mode in the game. So we’re investing in that. people wanted to be able to match make with five player parties. That is something we didn’t plan for initially, but it makes sense to us and we understand why people want it. And so that got in, in time for release.
So there’s just kind of like a whole slew of ideas. You know people are always going to find exploits and stuff. Like, people were frustrated by other players spamming the stealth pounce as the monster during combat. We just had a fix get put in last night for that that will be in an update after release.
So we’ve very, very keen to talk to the community and see what kind of features they want, what kind of game modes they’re interested in, as well as potentially what kind of perks would they be interested in, in the future?
It’s interesting for us and a lot of fun for us to watch them…lots of people get inspired by the game and start drawing and designing their own monsters and characters and stuff. So there’s a lot of potential for the future.”