BLOP! The story continues.
Missed BLOP Part 1? Get the backstory here.
Brett made short work of bulletproofing our level building tools and devising a training class so that anyone in the company, no matter what their role, could create a level in the game. To prove the point, even LucasArts President Darrell Rodriguez and Ale, his assistant, each contributed levels that made it into the final product.
Though yielding more levels was the goal, the extra content was almost the side benefit. The biggest gain was the impact it made on our designers’ approach to the game as a whole. In fact, the tuning and gameplay refining process post-Content Complete was influenced and informed by this window we got into how our “audience” wanted to play the game. Interesting ideas from the bonus levels threaded their way back throughout the story levels.
And there were lots of other benefits, from stress-testing our tools to giving other folks in the company a chance to do some mental crop rotation, to even just giving employees visibility into what we were doing down here in Labs. Like emergent design, the unintended consequences took us by happy surprise.
In hindsight, piloting the BLOP for Lucidity seems like a natural extension of its ‘indie’ roots. It not only harnessed the passion at LucasArts, but it also took the game to places we hadn’t dreamed of. We’re already talking about how to do it again on our next game, content need or not!