Ganging Up With Gang Beasts!

Behind-The-Screens of the Gang Beasts Takeover

If you have been visiting us online or in-person this Summer, you might have noticed something a bit different…

That’s right, the Gang Beasts have taken over!

Over the Summer, we teamed up with Boneloaf. This is the Sheffield-based studio behind the hit multiplayer brawling game Gang Beasts! We brought you a special behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making a game. As well as the opportunity to create your own Gang Beasts character!

And as always, the programme team learned a lot during the process about what it takes to make a game…

There’s no one game developer profile.

It could be tempting to see a game developer as someone who knows everything about making a game. This could include coding, design, or animation. But it turns out that most of the Boneloaf team did not know how to code, design, or animate from the start. Only one of the three brothers behind Boneloaf knew game design. Learning on the go while developing also shaped the game. The first Gang Beasts prototype was in 2014 and each new version showcased their new skills.

Game design isn’t just digital.

Our curators enjoyed raiding Boneloaf’s studios to have a sneak peek at their desks. This revealed a treasure trove of items, from cards to post-its. As well as…balloons! Why? Because when you want to animate balloons in-game, you need to understand how they work IRL. So the studio studied the real-life physics of balloons before adding them in the game!

A passionate fanbase goes a long way…

One of the items our curators uncovered was a fan letter. It can be harder for independent game developers to gain a fanbase for a game compared to big studios. From the beginning, the game gained popularity before it was even released. This was due to many online creators sharing the game via Let’s Play videos and live streaming. And the game’s fanbase now has a solid community (and fan creations). With fan letters cherished and kept on developers’ desk as much as any industry award!

…And creators are fans too!

The Boneloaf desks reveal a range of references to other media. It inspired them to make the game, from Pokemon to Star Trek. Just like GangBeasts may inspire new games in the future – they have taken in references and influenced from a range of games, as well as TV and cartoons.

Finally… It takes a village!

Just like raising a baby (if the baby was a gang of beasts causing havoc in Beach City). This is true of a lot of independent studios, but definitely at the heart of Boneloaf’s story. Family and friends helped create merchandise, as well as promotional items. Including a show-stopping wrestling ring! Made to promote the game at expos, it reflected one of the levels in which the Beasts fight in a wrestling ring. The studio’s wider community helped 3D print, paint and finish it together.

And now if you’re an independent studio making games, we want to hear from you!

What’s your story?

What do your desks look like – and what are the hidden gems about developing a game that you wish more people knew about?

Get in touch with us!