New King's Pass

King’s Pass Gameplay, Playtests, Conventions, Team Cherry’s working hard!

William | 24 July, 2015 | Hollow Knight, Video

Heya all, get ready for a big one!

We’ve a whole bunch to talk about today, but before all that, we’re starting with Gameplay! In today’s video William and Ari take you through the King’s Pass, the starting location of Hollow Knight and the area that serves as a tutorial for the rest of the game.

Hopefully, through the video, you can get a sense of just how much has changed from the original Stencyl version. For further comparison, check out these side-by-sides of the original King’s Pass and our updated version:

(Click the images for full-size)

Old King's Pass


New King's Pass

Holy Smokes has it evolved! Just look at the scale. That’s all thanks to our backers. You guys have given us the opportunity to expand the game into something we’re really proud of. And you better believe that level of evolution has occurred across the whole of Hallownest! We promised a vast world and we’re working hard to make sure you get it.

Just last weekend was AVcon, Adelaide’s main video game and anime convention and we took Hollow Knight’s alpha build along. Were there bugs? You betcha! But not so many that players couldn’t experience the early areas of the game. One attendee played for 2 hours straight! Managed to complete the whole demo, including defeating 4 out of the 5 bosses hidden within. Everyone cheered as he passed the final area. Then he walked the Hollow Knight off the edge of the playable area and into an endless void, but hey, alpha right? Fortunately, we had several demo stations set up, so plenty of other players were able to jump in and have a go. Thanks to everyone who came and checked out the game and an extra special thank you to the backers who came by to say hi and wish us well. You guys are just the best!

Ari & William slacking off to play other team's games.
Ari & William slacking off to play other team’s games.

The night before the convention we pulled the team together for another momentous event, the first playtest! We’ve been heads down for so long, we hadn’t really taken the time to stop and play the game. The greatest benefit of the test: our first sense of playtime. An area of the game that we’d estimated at 30-45mins long ended up taking our playtester 1.5 hrs! And he knew where he was going!

In response to both the internal and public playtests, we’re currently going through a brief refinement phase. We’re tweaking the placement of several enemies and making refinements about the place. Here’s one small example:

Our crawler enemy had a makeover! He’s the first enemy you see in the game and it turns out that players just love to jump on his back. Two decades of Mario have programmed players to want to bop the heads of enemies. Unfortunately the Hollow Knight doesn’t possess a plumber’s thick soled shoes so we’re hoping the crawler’s spikey new exterior will make players think twice before they leap.

Beyond this short phase and a few of the larger bugs, it’s almost Beta time! It’s taken us a while to get to this point, but we hope you’ll all be thrilled with the results.

We’ll be talking more about gameplay real soon along with Beta dates and an exciting stretch goal announcement that we’re saving for our next update (sorry for the tease!).

All the best from Team Cherry ;)


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