One of the most important ideas Mike and I pushed on Runner2 was that it should be, and could be, a game for anyone. If you were a hardcore BIT.TRIP fan, you could have a tough-as-nails, controller-throwingly difficult experience by pushing the game to its hardest setting. But if you wanted to simply enjoy yourself without getting sweaty, you could play on the easiest setting. There were no perks or penalties associated with the difficulty chosen.
Runner2 was a game you could play on your own terms.
Too often, games focus on rewarding hardcore players and perpetuating the idea that if you play on easy, you're somehow less of a gamer. What if games don't bring you as much joy if they're ultra-challenging? Maybe that doesn't make you "less". Maybe that just makes you "you".
So in Runner3, we're focusing on bringing our notions of difficulty and what makes a game rewarding front and center. The focus in Runner3 is on giving the player a joyous experience. In fact, one of our development pillars for the game is:
"Runner3 needs to be a joyous experience in every moment--both in the game, and during its creation."
If you like being challenged relentlessly, will you get that? Yes. (It is us, after all.) But if you prefer being able to experience the entire game without being ultra-challenged, you'll be able to do that as well--without penalty. We have some very interesting tricks up our sleeve as to how we're going to accomplish this, and we'll be revealing them here over the course of development, so keep checking back.
A fan of Runner2 recently contacted us and asked why we chose to make the final two levels of Runner2 so easy once the player was past the checkpoint. The answer is: because it felt joyous to end the game the way we did.
And our players deserve a little joy in their lives.