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Battlepalooza Interview: Learn more about the latest mobile battle royale game


Last week, Battlepalooza launched on Android and iOS devices. The over-the-top battle royale pits 24 players against each other in arenas based on real-world cities using Google Maps.

As we previously reported, the game uses the Google Maps Platform. It transforms real cities into the game’s playable battle arenas. Las Vegas is the current arenas. More cities are coming in future updates, including San Francisco.

Sangjin Hyun, the GM at nWay, was kind enough to take some of our questions about the game.

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What sets Battlepalooza apart from other battle royale games?

There are three main things that set Battlepalooza apart from the other battle royale games. First, the arenas in Battlepalooza are based on real-world cities. Second, we set out to make a battle royale for the rest of us who may be past our prime in our twitch skills. We did this by adding an RPG-like inventory loadout system to make strategy matter as much as your shooting skills. Third, we want our economy to be more social, so we have invested a lot of our efforts in making an active marketplace for players to trade skins that are only given to winners of each battle royale match.

Battlepalooza uses the Google Maps Platform. Can you explain to our readers what that means for the game?

By far the top benefit of Battlepalooza’s use of the Google Maps Platform is immersion. There is something special about playing on a map that is actually real, with real streets and buildings. It ties the virtual and the real closer together. There are other benefits too under the hood. Using real-world map data, we can build a map faster, so that’ll allow us to bring newer and fresher content to the players post-launch. Lastly, building with Google Maps also opens up the option for location-based gaming features in the future if we want to explore that post-launch.

What was it like to work with Google‘s Real-World Games team?

The Google Maps Platform Team is easily one of the best tech partners with whom we’ve worked. We have regular video conference calls with them throughout the development process. Since they understand the technology inside out, not only were they able to help us with our technical implementations, they regularly provided good game design suggestions on how to better take advantage of their technologies. From working with Google Maps, we collected a big backlog of great feature ideas that we can tackle post-launch.

The game currently supports a map for Las Vegas. How often do you plan to add new maps?

Las Vegas is currently live and San Francisco is next. Our plan is to launch a new city arena every season, which is about every two to three months.

What other new content is in the pipeline?

We have plenty of new content and new features planned, particularly in our game show prizing design and peer-to-peer marketplace feature. While we’re not ready to announce anything quite yet, we can comfortably say what you see in the game today is just the start of what we have planned.

What challenges did the development team face in designing a battle royale for mobile devices?

The biggest challenge is designing a control scheme that feels right for a phone touchscreen. During development, we experimented with a lot of different configurations. We tried using a portrait orientation, where the player would control the movement with only one hand and the firing controls were automatic. We also tried a more generic battle royale setting, where weapons and items can be farmed and swapped during gameplay. After a lot of experimentations, internal playtests, and iterations, we concluded with our current setting. Now that the game is live globally, we’ll continue to listen to our community to see if we need to make any necessary tweaks for an even better gaming experience.

Is there anything else that you would like our readers to know about Battlepalooza?

We built this game because, while we are big fans of the battle royale format, we get killed so fast in the other battle royales. Our twitch skills just aren’t up to snuff compared to a 14-year-old. So we set out to build a battle royale for the rest of us. We made strategy matter as much as your hand-eye coordination, so you can win if you have the right strategy.

We injected Battlepalooza with RPG elements and MOBA-style mid-match progression systems. For example, during the match, especially in the early stage, players can pick up experience points, HP potions, and energy potions from designated locations on the map. The player has to think about how to invest what they’ve picked up to level up their characters and gears depending on the match situation. This design gives players who don’t have the best twitch skills a good chance of winning. If you can’t outgun your opponents, you can outsmart them to win in Battlepalooza.

Battlepalooza is free to play. You can download it now from the App Store and Google Play.