[Interview] We've taken the Castle!

The Behemoth, developer of Castle Crashers and Alien Hominid, took some time to talk with us about their upcoming PSN release. Find out inside where they've been hiding all this time.
Author: Ryan Green
Published: May 11, 2010
When we first heard about Castle Crashers coming over to the PlayStation Network, there was a lot of buzz about it. Many gamers have already played Castle Crashers when it first released back in late 2008 on the Xbox 360 (myself included), but given how Alien Hominid was enhanced when re-released for Xbox Live Arcade, we expect to see some refinements for those that waited for a PSN version.


So what has The Behemoth been up to all of this time? In part, they have been working on the PSN version of Castle Crashers, and simultaneously developing a new 360 game called Battle Block Theater. For an independent developer, The Behemoth has been incredibly busy bringing their ideas to every platform they can with great acclaim.

Having been an early adopter of their games and a former NewGrounds.com user (Political Forums, represent!), being able to talk to these folks was a real treat. I had the pleasure of having a few Behemoth folks take time out of their busy development cycle to answer several questions for us.

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TotalPlayStation: Castle Crashers has really helped to set new standards in downloadable games and thusly been a major success on Xbox Live. Given the differences between 360 and PS3, what has been done to help make Castle Crashers a strong title for the PlayStation library? Has online multiplayer been a particularly difficult component to optimize?

The Behemoth: As long as we are working on a game we never stop trying to make it as great as possible. The network code for Castle Crashers for PS3 has been rewritten from the ground up. Since we were rewriting all the code anyway, we tweaked and fixed a lot of little things that should make the experience over all really smooth. We've also added in some new features that we didn't have time to complete for the 360. There is a new volleyball mode, new trophies, new ways to play arena and campaign, and a bunch of other surprises!

TPS: Even though you've become a well-known and successful independent developer, self-publishing is likely an entirely different beast. What is the certification process like with Sony? Has it been a difficult back-and-forth or smooth sailing?

B: We enjoy working with Sony. We've worked with them before, with Alien Hominid for PS2, but this is our first title for PSN so we are learning a lot as we go. So far our points of contact have been really helpful and the process is going smoothly.

There's been a lot of talk in the community about certification, and certification for downloadable games is such a different animal than for retail titles. Throw in online multiplayer certification and things get even more complicated. It just takes time. And patience. Lots of it. And coffee. Lots of it.

TPS: What is the development culture in San Diego like? (Open, Diverse, Friendly, Communicative, etc?) Has SCEA been apart of the scene (being HQ'd there themselves)?

B: There are other developers in San Diego? We are hermits. If there is a “scene” we don't get invited to those parties. Just like in high school.

TPS: Given the current turnaround time for this version of Castle Crashers, are we likely to see your unnamed third project back on Sony’s home console?

B: Who knows what the future holds! We always want our games to be as widely available as possible. Currently we've announced BattleBlock Theater for XBLA, but we are loyal to our fans not particular consoles. We are Switzerland. If Switzerland was a giant chicken that made games.

TPS: Lastly, has there been any downloadable game that really won you or anyone else over on the team from 2009? What about it made it a particularly memorable title?

B: PixelJunk Shooter is smart and has a lot of personality. We had a lot of fun cooperating and killing eachother.

TPS: We appreciate your time and look forward to reviewing Castle Crashers soon. I'm sure gamers won't be disappointed!

B: You'll be reviewing it very soon, and we hope folks will be really happy with it!

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There you have it! They are indeed alive and well, although a little bit lonely. No nerds, no matter how nerdy, should ever be alone, especially in San Diego! Special thanks to Dan Paladin, Emil Ayoubkhan, John Baez, and Kelly Revak for their responses to our interview questions.

Castle Crashers does not have an official release date (nor do many other PSN titles in advance), but keep it here at TPS to hear the latest news about this greatly anticipated title's release.