On the success of Lethal League

For Reptile, Lethal League has been a huge success. Released in August 2014, it sold over 100.000 units in half a year, prompting us to start porting it to consoles. Now that our slightly troubled porting process is over, the game is set to release on XBox One and PS4 on the 10th of May. This is an important step for us as a company, as our type of action games have always felt nice to play with a gamepad, sitting in (or jumping on) a comfy couch.

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By now the game has sold over 400.000 units, granted that’s including sales and multi-packs as full units (and a Humble Bundle feature above all). Considering our small team size and the fact that many games have trouble breaking 10k units on Steam, that’s still amazing. We’ve been blessed with such a lovable bunch of fans, who actively organize tournaments and draw fanart. Even though updates from us have frankly been sparse since the first year after release.

What did we do to deserve this? Is it skill or is it luck? Luck is something I like to throw out of the equation. Even if it was up to chance, it’s no use thinking about something that is by definition out of your control. Saying it was mostly due to popular youtubers picking it up is true, but that’s not the root of it all. Why make a video about this game? There are many more polished games out there to choose from. All this has been in my mind for a while and I speculate it comes down to these factors:

– The hook: exponential extremity and anticipation
– Gameplay that supports the gimmick: fast and responsive play
– Online Multiplayer
– The style

In that order. The power of the hook (think gimmick, but not cheap), the extremity, is something I saw firsthand in our playtests. Especially that if the players don’t know it’s there and don’t reach that stage when they try it for the first time, they will lose interest very quickly. Likewise, seeing other players reach that stage made people excited to line up and try it for themselves.

There are many things to say on the gameplay, the speed, the disguised depth, the short matches, but the essence is that it supports or pushes towards the gimmick. One of the easiest moves to do is the one that doubles the speed. In theory, the gameplay could have been totally different (maybe slow and strategic), although the hook would have to change with it to avoid clashing logic and expectations.

On Steam, the value of online multiplayer should be clear. Humans are endlessly more interesting than any game, with the right stimuli (which is where a game comes in). Online also makes a game stand out between many other independent titles. But it seems to work like a kind of multiplier, meaning the base game still matters most.

The style is last on the list. It probably could have been a different setting, but I believe the level of abstraction was good. Between Pacman and Nathan Drake, there is a spectrum of ‘definedness’ and each point has a certain believability. Lethal League’s point is just right to have interesting characters and still not be childish. Aside from that, I think the almost untouched setting of street culture within video games certainly counted for something.

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That’s not to say that these elements are of particularly high quality. Our fans know that the online multiplayer has had its ups and downs (and still does). I think we could have pushed the extremity a little more and the game is definitely rough on the edges visually. Colors are a hit and miss, backgrounds can be ugly at times, the character animations are really low on frames. It’s not pretty, it’s raw. And that’s sincere in a way. It’s not trying to be something it’s not, not pleasing anyone for the sake of pleasing. I truly think that people in general, probably subconsciously, appreciate sincere effort like they appreciate kindness. Did that help move more units? Hard to say, but the thought did help us in making the game.

Lethal League is coming out on Xbox One & Playstation 4!

Finally, proud console owners can join in on the Lethal League! We’ve made a celebratory trailer featuring the game’s finest batters doing their thing to the ‘dub-hop’ sounds of Grillo. We hope you feel… inspired?

Now, before you ask “Is there online multiplayer?” let me tell you that there is online multiplayer. Plus, even though it’s a console title, the controls are fully configurable. Amidst of course the usual features of Banging Beats, Street Styled Characters and up to 4 players Free For All, Team and Striker modes. We’ve localized the game into 8 languages this time around, so grab that Russian cousin and sit tight when the game launches on both platforms in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Japan on the 10th of May!

A big shoutout to the players in the footage: aTastyT0ast, Ice Coldas, Diplomat, MrGentleRape, Orion, RedBlueJ, Zea, Jawbreaker, Drunken Luna, Missingno. and Smellyhobo101!

In other news, over at Eighty Sixed they’ve added a new Lethal League T-shirt design titled ‘Fundamentals’:

Fundamentals

Take a look here if you’re feeling it!

Firstlook Festival 2016


This year we showed Lethal League for the third time at the Firstlook Festival and we must say this was one of the best so far. We had two setups where 8 players were able to play simultaneously. There was hardly any moments where the Team Reptile booth was empty. As a tryout we introduced a new kind of tournament format which is already widely used in break dance competitions. Seven to Smoke is a format where 8 competitors stand in one line and matches are played 1v1. The winners gets a point and battles the next challenger in line. The first player to ‘smoke’ 7 other players wins the tournament. We also added a time limit of 30 minutes, when the timer ran out the player with the most points won. In total we ran 8 tournaments throughout the weekend with over 128 contestants!

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Jaw Breakers Live Recap

Hype matches, top players from all around Europe and a great setting made the first live Lethal League tournament an event to remember! We had our boy Gijs from Mortier Media make a video to give you a taste of how the event went down. Check out the footage of Jaw Breakers Live below!

The music in the video is by Rahzan. The tracks ‘Astronomic’ and ‘Hey’ were a great fit for the vibe we had going. Check out his latest album ‘Home’, released just last month, here. If you’d like to support him, you can (in true underground fashion) give him a mail and ask to buy a copy!

Jaw Breakers Live was won by aTastyT0ast from Germany. As a high placed EU player in the previous Jaw Breakers online tournament all eyes were on him and he has proven to be a worthy champion. On top of the prize money and Lethal League goodies, he will be awarded a special ingame icon to show off with! We hope aTastyT0ast will be there next time to defend his spot and all the others (and more) to challenge him!

The top 5 results:
1) aTastyT0ast (Germany)
2) Ice Coldas (Netherlands)
3) Glioburd (France)
4) YinYin (Germany)
5) Tenasow (Denmark) and Creme Brulee (Netherlands)


To wrap this post up we also got some new merch from EightySixed! Check out this brand new Lethal League tee. Now buy this or the critical error WILL be you!
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Jaw Breakers Live

JawbreakersLiveComing to you, Live! We’ll be having the first, full on physical, Lethal League Tournament on Saturday 30th of January in the city of Utrecht, The Netherlands.

The tournament will be hosted at MoMs, the only place fresh enough to handle us street shredders. You can register at the event or use this form if you want to be sure of a spot, slots are limited! Just hanging around is cool too, you can also see it as a fan get-together. The developers will be tehere in case you ever wanted to go face to face in Lethal League (or on the dancefloor).

About MoMs:
MoMs is an exclusive concept store designed around the gaming community. We deliver the best in barbers, tattoo artists, designers, clothing and have the sickest game wall in the country.

MoMs

Location
MoMs Vision
Lange Koestraat 39
3511RM Utrecht
The Netherlands

Tournament details
Doors open: 10:00
Check-in/Registration: 11:00
Tournament start: 12:00

Tournament Registration Fee: €10 
Visitors Entrance Fee: €3
Tournament slots available: 40
prize pool at max capacity: €280

Prizes
1st 60% of prize pool (for example 30 entrants = €126)
2nd 30% of prize pool
3rd 10% of prize pool
All Top 5 = Lethal League goodies

Tournament Rules
1v1 Double Elimination, Best of 3, All Finals Best of 5 (Winners, Losers and Grands)
Mode: FFA or TDM
Stocks: 8
Time Limit: 5:00
Ball Tagging: On
Min Ball Speed: 8
Ball Type: Normal
Stage: Random (Gentlemen’s Agreements allowed)
Characters: You can only change your character after a loss.

Input
Because two players can not use the keyboard at the same time, players can agree on having one of them use the keyboard or both use only controllers. We have a number of spare Xbox360 controllers to use, which will be first come, first serve. You can bring your own controller, as long as it doesn’t have too big an advantage (like a ‘turbo’ button). When in doubt, contact us.

We hope to see you there!

Facebook Event
Twitter

 

Beachball Busters

This update spend a long time coming. As evidenced by a beachball in a winter update. Try the new ball type out under ‘ball type’ in the character select options dropdown. Aside from gameplay tweaks, we focussed our attention to connectivity issues players have had when playing online and rematching. Despite being inherently hard to pinpoint, we were able to solve various problems. It’s possible new issues come forward shortly after this update, in which case please bear with us as we try to fix these.

Next, let’s go through some of the changes.

Spectator mode
You can now join a game lobby and be a spectator. If the lobby is already full with 4 players you will be automatically assigned to a spectator spot. As a spectator you can watch the match and won’t experience any lag which is ideal for streaming matches and tournaments.

Scaling parry knockback
This is a big chance for higher level play. The knockback duration after being parried is now linked to the speed (and therefore hitpause) of the ball. This should mean no more guaranteed parry K.O’s on lower speeds, making matches reach higher speeds on average. On lower speeds, parry victims will have time to take a swing and the parry initiator can choose to aim towards or away from his or her target.

Clashing limited to facing
You can now only clash with attacks oriented towards you. Clashing was a bit too random and not fun enough to make up for it. This should stop the more odd-looking cases of clashing.

#FreeCorpseJuggling
The hard limit of 5 corpse hits has been removed. However, once the ball is in play in the next burst, active corpses can not be hit anymore and energy is reset. Also, corpse hurtboxes have been scaled down a bit to make more sense visually.

Holiday modifications
The holiday modifications are back! We also added a christmas tree to Room 21 and gave Candyman a nice christmas hat. For all your safety we removed the slippery ice physics in the Abandoned Pool. If you’re reading this you’ll most likely own a copy of the game but if you have some friends or family who, for some reason, don’t own the game there is always the holiday sale. 66% OFF! You can get a 4-pack for the prize of one copy. Ridiculous.

Changes
– Added spectator mode
– Added beachball ball type, unlocked by default
– Corpse hurtbox size is reduced by 25%.
– Dynamic parry knockback, except for serves
– Corpses can now be hit until the ball is fully returned in play
– All player energy is reset at the reactivation of the ball now
– Swing clashes and bunt clashes now only happen when facing each other
– Fixed screen shake interrupting/overlapping which caused long shakes to suddenly stop
– Moved extra impact effect to speeds over 50
– Taunt resets the ball in training mode
– Added a bunt and a taunt to a certain character
– Fixed corpses freezing on special activation of a certain character
– Added an effect on a certain character’s special
– Dice can now also superjump by holding up
– Dice UI graphics tweaked
– Flashing effects can now be turned off in the game options
– Raptor special hold doesn’t default to his smash angle anymore
– Fixed CPU looking to the right after a burst
– Fixed CPU not respecting parries
– Fixed the boombox hitpause meter ignoring the parry hit

Enjoy!

Best wishes from the whole team. See you again in 2016

Cool Stuff Friday

There is so much cool stuff created by the Lethal League community!

Unfortunately we didn’t attend PAX this year. However, it appeared Candyman was there to spread the Lethal League message! Well, atleast he took pictures with nasty Doom enemies and he drove a unicorn. Sounds like something Candyman would do.

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Candyman was in fact Dominic (@ModernDarwinist)

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Next up is Crafekster. He made a custom character mod for the Lethal League anniversary. Looking pretty sick, great job!characterMod_crafekster

Talking about mods, Smellyhobo101 updated his Advanced Training mode to version 2.0. This advanced training mode adds some great functionality to the default training mode. Here you can practice all your angles, combo’s and corpse juggles to perfection. Check it out here.

On top of this Mr. Smellyhobo also created this multiple ball mode. Now he’s gone too far.

We want to wrap up this blogpost with two pretty faces. Say hello to our fresh interns Renhui & Thomas!

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Fresh Lethal League merch

We are not at Gamescom. We have no trailers, screenshots, leaks or announcements. But we do have new Lethal League merch from EightySixed! Check it, pre-order it and be cool.

Tshirt86 LLbuttons86


There is something else we would like to show you. Lethal League mods! There are some cool mods around created by dedicated Lethal League players who want to get more out of the game. From character re-skins and voice-packs to advanced training mods  You can check out most of them on this reddit page.

Scratch Session mod by Revellious

 

Jaw Breakers 2015 Recap

The first ever official online Lethal League tournament is a fact. Jaw Breakers 2015 turned out to be a great success. Sure there were some nasty issues here and there but overall it was an incredible experience. Great players, hype matches and a twitch livestream with live commentary!

We want to congratulate Pull with the well deserved first place. He and his Sonata fought well and while the grand finals had a rough start he had a great comeback where he defeated Mecha Soul. But hey why don’t you take a look at the livestream yourself. It’s raw footage from the stream so there might be a lot to skip.

For the tournament we used a special tournament client of Lethal League, for us this was a good opportunity to test the upcoming spectator mode in Lethal League. Before we can release the spectator mode officially there is still some work and polishing to be done. This client also did have some minor tweaks and bugfixes. We will patch these fixes in later today.

Finally we want to thank all the players who turned up for the tournament and the rest of the Lethal League community, you made this possible. Who also made this possible are Ebon94 who did a lot of the organisation on behalf of Team Reptile for JB2015, Badshot and Ugraum casting the matches and helping out with setting things up. SmellyHobo, YinYin and MaffeW for support and seeding.

We hope to see all enter in future tournaments!