Featuring powerful spellcasting and magic instead of the traditional shooter elements gives Spellbreak a unique edge in the battle royale genre. However, at the same time, those fantasy mechanics alongside flashy visual effects also make quite a messy job of the combat.
When multiple players are busy pulling off all sorts of colorful and large-scale spells, the screen can become overwhelming enough for players to lose sense of the battlefield. The developer knows fully well that Spellbreak needs to clean up the combat, or else risk comprise the gameplay experience.
Speaking with SegmentNext in a recent interview, Proletariat CEO Seth Sivak confirmed that work is ongoing to “refine legibility” in large-scale skirmishes. He acknowledged that the intense art style of Spellbreak can make the battlefield overwhelming, especially when several players start dueling on the screen at once. Without mentioning how, Sivak assured that the combat will be cleaned up and additional feedback will be provided to players so that they are always aware of their surroundings.
We’re [Proletariat] constantly working to refine legibility in large scale fights. A major piece of the Spellbreak art style is intense and beautiful visual effects and those can sometimes become overwhelming. We continue to work on clarifying combat and adding additional feedback so players have a strong sense of everything that is happening and can react in a smart, skillful, tactical way.
Overwatch is a great example of how beautiful visual effects can sometimes make combat problematic. While not that big of a concern for casual gameplay, it was when Overwatch entered the esports ring that professional players requested more clarity on the battlefield. Blizzard also realized that changes needed to be made in order for spectators to understand what they were watching as well.
Within the same interview, Sivak also confirmed that “hundreds of thousands of players” have played Spellbreak on PC during the alpha and beta phases. Proletariat expects the same amount of players to return for the next testing phase as well. In fact, Sivak feels that the closed testing on PlayStation 4 could even eclipse the recorded PC numbers.
Spellbreak will begin closed beta testing on PlayStation 4 sometime this spring with an official release sometime later this year. The remains in closed beta but exclusively for the Epic Games Store on PC.
However, Sivak has assured that there are no plans to keep Spellbreak limited to either a single platform or digital marketplace for that matter. Spellbreak will eventually release for all major platforms. More details regarding that should arrive when the game is ready for open testing.