The Cameos of Runner3

As some of you may have seen already, we've started writing some posts for the Nicalis blog. Longtime readers of this devlog will likely already know some of the info we've been sharing over there, but I thought it might be good to share them here as well! 

Also, in case you missed the site takeover, Runner3 is available for pre-order now! Pick it up and receive a 15% discount before the game launches on May 22! 

I took a walk down by the pier this morning. It was nice to feel the cold air on my face—to hear the faraway sounds of the ocean waves. I sat on an empty park bench and watched a flock of seagulls as they played tug-of-war with one another. “What are they fighting over?” I wondered. I made my way over, stepping down hard with each passing step. I was trying to scare them away, you see.

My plan didn’t work, at least not at first. It wasn’t until I was a mere two feet away that the seagulls noticed my presence. They dispersed, alarmed, leaving behind a tattered piece of paper in their wake. I knelt down to read the words scrawled on it.

“Runner3 has some really cool cameos in it.”

I spent the rest of my morning weeping. Then, I got to work.

Shovel Knight—The blue burrower himself. It was our hope from the get-go to include Shovel Knight in the game, and we’re beyond excited to have him join the Runner-verse!

Ever on the side of good, he joins forces with the Commanders to help take down the nefarious Timbletot. Do they succeed in their mission? Probably. I mean, it would be weird if they didn’t, right?

Eddie Riggs—From a Legend most Brutal. He may be best known for his roadie skills, but Eddie Riggs has also proven himself to be quite the accomplished runner. He’s the perfect compatriot for the Commanders, what with their shared love of vanquishing evil. Kindred spirits, all the way down the line.

The Narrator—The man. The myth. The Narrator. When he’s not hocking strange wares and dictating the story of the Runner series, he’s running alongside the Commanders and all of their creepy friends. He’s a normal enough gent, to be sure, but we can’t shake the feeling there’s something…peculiar about him. Let us know if you notice anything, okay?

For those who are curious, these characters can be unlocked in Runner3 by completing Hero Quests. They won’t be DLC, and we won’t be charging extra for them. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There are no in-game purchases in Runner3! Keep your stinkin’ money! Or, at least keep it after you pick up the game for Nintendo Switch on May 22.

Until next time!

- Dant

The Retro Challenges

As some of you may have seen already, we've started writing some posts for the Nicalis blog. Longtime readers of this devlog will likely already know some of the info we've been sharing over there, but I thought it might be good to share them here as well! 

And, same as always, let us know in the comments if you have any questions!

Hey, everyone…it’s Dant Rambo again! After years of retirement and living off a modest-but-reasonable pension, I’ve decided to rejoin the workforce and tell you all about the Retro Challenges of Runner3, AKA the-game-within-the-game. Sit back, relax and pour me a nice beverage. Please.

Those of you who played BIT.TRIP RUNNER and/or Runner2 are likely familiar with our Retro Challenges. In BIT.TRIP RUNNER, they had an Atari 2600-inspired visual style (similar to that of Pitfall!). In Runner2, we modernized—relatively speaking—by giving them more of an 8-bit look. Now, what do you think the logical progression would be here? If you guessed “16-bit,” you’re wrong. Furthermore, shame on you. If you guessed “graphics inspired by the classic works of Friz Freleng and Hanna-Barbera,” you’re 100% correct and you should be proud of yourself.

The frog-leap forward in visual style isn’t even the biggest change we’ve made to the Retro Challenges, if you can believe it. As alluded to in previous posts, players will also have free movement of CommanderVideo! After much coaxing and some good old-fashioned bribery, we convinced the Commander to allow us to turn the Retro Challenges portion of Runner3 into a more traditional platformer experience. You can still run to the right—he’s very good at that—but now you also have the option of running left! Oh, and if you keep your grubby paws off the controls entirely, you’ll come to a complete halt. It’s incredible, right? Surely we’re the first developers to think of this.

I previously referred to the Retro Challenges as the-game-within-the-game because each regular level in Runner3 has a Challenge associated with it. This makes for 27 Retro Challenges in total, not to mention the three bosses you’ll have to defeat in order to progress. Every level is home to five mysterious “Gildan Coins,” which in turn can be used on costumes, capes and accessories. A Gildan amounts to $47,910 in US currency, so you can expect to pick up some pretty choice rewards with them. Let’s just say the thread count on those capes is preeeeetty darn high.

I hope this post has given you a solid understanding of how the Retro Challenges will work in Runner3, along with how much they add to the overall experience. As always, though, let us know in the comments if you have any questions!


- Dant

Who Am I, Anyway?

Hey, everyone!

As some of you may have seen already, we've started writing some posts for the Nicalis blog. Longtime readers of this devlog will likely already know some of the info we've been sharing over there, but I thought it might be good to share them here as well! 

And, same as always, let us know in the comments if you have any questions!


I’m Alex Neuse from Choice Provisions. Nice to meet you, now everyone drop everything you’re doing and pay attention to this giant block of words!

As the release of Runner3 approaches, we thought we’d take the opportunity to share some tasty informations about who CommanderVideo is and why he’s just so darned awesome.

At the beginning, when BIT.TRIP was just a zygote’s fart of an idea, we knew that we wanted to tell a story that would be open to interpretation, yet deep; fun to play, yet have a message. We needed CommanderVideo to be able to resonate with everyone who played the games, so he had to be a blank slate. We needed him to be anyone.

We only chose to make him a ‘him’, because the English language doesn’t have a good gender neutral pronoun to use. And within our lore, the fact is, there are lots and lots of CommandersVideo, and they are of all sorts of genders--some of which no one has even yet heard of. Also, canonically, he’s 12 feet tall. And Black. And able to fire beams of energy from his visor, as seen in this early concept mock up from BIT.TRIP RUNNER.

Anyway, in keeping with the aesthetic of our first game in the series, BIT.TRIP BEAT, we needed him to look reminiscent of classic games from the early 80s. But like I said, we wanted him to be simplistic--a blank slate. So in designing him, we stripped away basically everything, keeping a silhouette that’s immediately recognizable as human, and went with that.

His charming personality quickly made him the de facto mascot of the BIT.TRIP series, and he’s now starred in 9 games in the series, including Runner3. 

CommanderVideo represents the unbridled awe that we are all born with. The only things is, he hasn’t had it beaten out him. At least, not yet. You see, that’s why he runs. The Timbletot, CommanderVideo’s nemesis, represents all the ugly in the world, and CommanderVideo, frankly, will not stand for it.

His popularity among our fanbase has led to his inclusion in a wonderful community of other video game heroes, including cameos in Super Meat Boy, Retro City Rampage, Super Smash Bros and many others.

His latest adventure in Runner3 ups the ante in the addictive gameplay that our RUNNER series is known for. We decided to keep CommanderVideo on the move for the main game, but for the first time, freed up his movement for our Retro game-within-a-game. Perhaps this hints at where his next adventure might take him…

Because oh no, you have NOT seen the last of CommanderVideo! Not by far.

- Alex

Runner3 is releasing on May 22!

Hey, everyone!

Today's a big day over in Runner3land! After weeks and weeks of asking you all to be patient, we finally have a release date to share with you. 

*Drum roll*

Runner3 is coming to Switch and PC on May 22, and you can pre-order the physical Switch release right here! The physical version will retail for $39.99 and come with an OST sampler, a light-up PVC character strap, a full-color instruction booklet, and a reversible cover. The digital version will retail for $29.99.

We'll have more to say about other platforms in the near future, but in the meantime let's all bask in the glory of finally having a release date for Switch and PC. 

Per the usual, let us know in the comments if you have any questions for us! And thanks, as always, for how patient you've been in the lead-up to the release date reveal!

- Dant

Runner3: A Whole New World

Hey, everyone!

As some of you may have seen already, we've started writing some posts for the Nicalis blog. Longtime readers of this devlog will likely already know some of the info we've been sharing over there, but I thought it might be good to share them here as well! 

And, same as always, let us know in the comments if you have any questions!

- Dant

Hey, everyone! It’s Dant Rambo again, producer/writer on Runner3. If my peculiar name sounds familiar to you, it’s likely because I wrote another post for this blog a mere few weeks ago. Apparently I didn’t burn the place to the ground, because Nicalis has agreed to let me write another one! This time I’ll be talking a little more about the differences (and similarities!) between Runner3 and its predecessors.

I touched on this a bit in my previous post, but Runner3 was a game we wanted to be certain felt necessary. It would have been a disservice to our fans if it were only a half-step forward, so we sat down as a team and asked ourselves if we felt the ideas and inspiration for us to create a new BIT.TRIP RUNNER were truly there. The answer, as you now know, was a resounding “yes.” We had a lot of ideas for what we could do with Runner3. Too many ideas, it turned out. But this ended up being a good problem, as it allowed us to look at the lengthy list and pare it down to what we felt were the best of the best.

One of the first things we agreed on was designing the game so it offered a constant change of scenery for the player. Runner3 consists of three main worlds, but the levels contained within those worlds tend to vary quite a bit from one another. There’s a level in Foodland that takes place inside of a fridge, for example, and another that takes place inside a cheddar cave (good luck figuring out what that looks like). Then there’s Spookyland, where you’ll be running your way through areas like a creepy, doll-filled valley or a decrepit building filled with spooky textbooks and even spookier owls. Trust us when we say you’ll never be able to predict the many sights you’ll see in Runner3.

We also diversified the moveset of the Commanders and their friends, from the double-jump and ground pound to vehicle sections (including a flying eggplant!) and all-new dance moves added to their arsenal. These extras allow the player a little more freedom in terms of how they play the game, and it’s been interesting to see the different playstyles we’ve all developed around the office. Each of us has our own approach to it!

Speaking of playing differently (like that segue?), every level in Runner3 allows the player to take the “Gold Path” or the “Gem Path,” with the option to switch between them as you progress. Those who take the Gold Path will be treated to a more traditional RUNNER level, while those craving a more challenging experience will want to take the Gem Path. Gems, a new type of collectible, are considered the premium currency in the game. They disappear once you collect them, and can be used to purchase most of the juiciest items in the item shop. Which brings me to my next “item”…

Runner3 will have a fully featured item shop, consisting of costumes, accessories and what are likely the goofiest capes to ever appear in a video game. Everything in the shop can be purchased using gold and gems, which is my roundabout way of saying there will be no in-game purchases in Runner3. Keep your stinkin’ money!

And while not technically a new addition, it would be wrong of me to not discuss the Retro Challenges of Runner3. As is customary in the RUNNER series, every level in the game contains a hidden Retro Challenge somewhere within it. No surprises so far, right? Well, the Retro Challenges of Runner3 feature a pretty big series first: You have free movement! In the style of more traditional platformers, players will be able to freely control CommanderVideo. Want him to run left? Go for it! Think he should be heading right? Not a problem! It’s a brand new world filled with brand new possibilities.

I could talk your ear off about the new playable characters, the unlockable puppet shows (narrated by Charles Martinet!) and the many other new additions to the game. But I’ve taken up enough of your time as it is, so I’d like to conclude by talking about one more item: Hero Quests. Hero Quests are optional quests where the player is tasked with assisting characters in the world of Runner3. Sir Strömming, for example, needs you to bring him three salmonberries so that he can make his famous Stargazy Pies. Help him, and you’ll unlock a new playable character in the game. Don’t help him, and that’s alright, too! The choice is entirely yours.

My apologies for writing such a long blog post. There’s just a lot of new stuff in Runner3 and I wanted to make sure to share as much of it as I could! I didn’t quite cover everything, but I think I came pretty close. It’s for the best, as we want to ensure there are still some surprises in store when you play the game!

A huge thanks to those of you who read this whole thing and I’ll be back soon for more!