Earthblade has begun playtesting. That’s the news direct from Maddy Thorston, creator of Towerfall and Celeste and director of the brand new 2D action game that was announced last April.
Throston explained that Earthblade’s playtests are being kept private for now and are scheduled for the end of each month. Playtesting is being done by friends unfamiliar with the project to ensure there’s a wide perspective in feedback. As for the monthly schedule, Thorston said that was to keep the team motivated and on schedule with an end-of-month “sprint” to get something ready for the playtest period. Thorston was quick to add that these sprints do not mean employee overtime.
"This cadence feels right for the team and the project right now," Thorston explained. "We suspect that we'll want the playtest frequency to increase as we progress further, as the changes we're making become more granular and a higher feedback interval becomes more valuable to really finetune everything into its final form."
We also have a tentative schedule for Earthblade. With the game now in "full production mode," Thorston hopes to have Earthblade content complete by the end of the year with an expected release sometime in 2023. Closed beta tests, localization, and console certification will come first, which will determine how far into 2023 it'll be before Earthblade can release.
To tide us over until then, Extremely OK Games released a single screenshot of Earthblade. It shows a dark forest with a 2D Metroidvania vibe. There's a shimmering portal covered in vines, a few gem-encrusted cubes, and an eerie red glow in the upper left. We still don't have a hero or a villain, but we do have a scene.
Extremely OK Games also has a few side projects going on, with team members working on their own personal games. Thorston said that these side projects aren't just for fun, and exploration outside of Earthblade often returns to contribute in some meaningful way. It’ll be interesting to see how this personal exploration finds its way back to Earthblade.
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