Proxy Blade is a bit of a mysterious game, indiegogo funded, and focused on insanely intense and break neck speed melee combat. This is the kind of stuff you don’t see often outside of Hideki Kamiya’s (Devil May Cry, Bayonetta) work.
Despite it looking fantastic and being developed by a single person, Benjamin Grauer, his indiegogo hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. I managed to steal some of his time for an interview, to take a peek inside the intense and pumping machine that is Proxy Blade.
Niche Gamer: For our readers who haven’t seen or heard of Proxy Blade until now, can you give a brief overview of the game, and what they can expect?
Benjamin Grauer: Proxy Blade is a high-octane action game. I myself love epic battles that require good skill and control, with very aggressive enemies and good creative possibilities. Both the defensive and combo systems are made toward making the game feel intense.
NG: Is it really just you doing everything outside of music?
Ben: Yes, I bought a few texture packs too, but everything else is just me. Game design, game engine, models, animations, gameplay programming, everything. A lot of those things were a first time for me, and it was quite the educational experience.
NG: How do you manage balancing work on everything? You’re extremely talented considering how great the game looks already.
Ben: Honestly, I don’t think I managed my time very well. I think it took way too long, and I’m now taking big steps to solve that issue. Actually getting more efficient is my number one priority now.
What’s crazy about this is that, if it works, it will even help me make much better games.
NG: How long have you personally been working on Proxy Blade?
Ben: Way too long, years. I keep thinking about what if I released the game one year ago. Fixing my workflow is all I’m thinking about those days.
NG: How much exposition will there be? Will we learn the origins of Fenrir?
Ben: I don’t know yet, could be minimal (think like a NES game with scrolling exposition text) or could be more extensive with ingame cutscenes. So far I only focused on the most important gameplay parts.
NG: How will level progression in Proxy Blade work? Will it be pretty linear, from point A to point B?
Ben: Things could change in one way or another. Expect it to be quite linear for now.
NG: Will there be a lot of unlockables in the game, i.e. abilities, weapons, etc?
Ben: It’s not quite finalized yet. But expect it to have none to very few unlockable. I kind of like to have every ability right here at the beginning, making so it’s only you (your own player skills) against the game.
NG: Do you only fight the rogue machines, or will there be biological enemies as well?
Ben: I don’t plan for any biological enemies. Most of the game happens in deep space, and very few biological lifeforms would survive such fights.
NG: The focus of the game is clearly the combat, can you explain your favorite part of combat that you’ve implemented?
Ben: The way animation canceling works in the game is one of my favorite parts. It makes the game more intense, as enemies are programmed with that in mind and wont hesitate force cancels from you.
NG: Will you be able to do cancels in your combos to switch up your attacks, like how some other action & fighting games permit?
Ben: As I just said, yes you can. You can cancel into boost, parry and even other attacks, it’s a very fluid and responsive system and you feel in total control.
NG: Are there bosses in the game?
Ben: Yes. I love awesome one versus one duels and this is where I’ll put my all. Don’t expect a lot of them, but expect each one to have required my full attention.
NG: If so, how will they compare to standard enemies?
Ben: Dealing with enemies usually means dealing with groups. Bosses are more focused on having great duels.
NG: The game looks liquid smooth as it is, are you focusing on locking the framerate at 60 (if it isn’t already)?
Ben: The current build of the game runs at a rock solid 60fps and can’t even tolerate to go below, anything under just feels wrong. That technical limit could change, as I might change some engine code in the future. But no matter what, a silky smooth framerate is the way it’s meant to be played.
NG: If Proxy Blade is funded, could you see yourself adding content to the game, or doing a sequel?
Ben: Maybe… I’d like to relaunch a fundraiser at a later date, once a good demo build is ready. But don’t quote me on this, I haven’t yet decided on what to do next. I think Proxy Blade has a great potential, and a successful fundraiser could really push that potential to its maximum.
NG: Lastly, share any words you have for your fans, or potential backers.
Ben: Thank you for your kind support. I have tried the patience of some people with my lack of proper communication, and for that I’d like to apologize. I’m just a lone developer and I’m not very good at keeping in touch. I’ll work on that for the next Proxy Blade blowout.