It’s always exciting to stumble upon a game that resonates with your interests, and Bravery & Greed seems to tick off many boxes for gamers who enjoy platform-fighting games, co-op gameplay with up to four players, pixel art, and stylish animations. As the debut game from Rekka Games, it’s definitely worth checking out.
Théo and Ivann first crossed paths in Angoulême while pursuing their video game studies at Enjmin. After completing their education, they teamed up to create Bravery & Greed, a 2D fighting and dungeon-crawling game infused with roguelite elements. Seven years later, the game was published by Team 17, marking a significant achievement for the duo.
Bravery & Greed is a captivating blend of gameplay that invites players to navigate dark and eerie corridors, battling various monsters along the way while searching for artifacts to enhance their character’s abilities. To make things even more interesting, the game offers randomly generated mazes and surprises, allowing for a range of possible builds and unlockable tarot cards that can alter the game’s rules for each playthrough, leading to a satisfyingly lengthy lifespan and high replay value. Overall, the game is a resounding success, offering excellent gameplay mechanics, great sensations, and an immersive experience that will keep players coming back for more.
Furthermore, Bravery & Greed offers various modes of gameplay, including local, online, or a combination of the two, allowing players to enjoy the experience with their friends. The game’s aesthetics are reminiscent of classic pixel art, yet modern in execution, similar to the beloved Gauntlet franchise but with a side-scrolling perspective. If you’re a fan of the genre, Bravery & Greed is a must-play. The game is available on all major platforms, including Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox, and a free demo with online content is also available.
Finally, since the game’s developers are French, I had the opportunity to ask Ivann a few questions about the game’s development process. Check out the interview below!
The game can seem difficult, especially when you come face-to-face with your first boss haha. 😄 Do you have 2-3 tips for beginners?
As with any well-designed roguelite, Bravery & Greed offers a challenging gameplay experience that will put your skills to the test. Based on my observations, it takes an average of five hours to achieve a successful first run, so it’s essential not to get discouraged and keep trying. One key skill that players must master is the art of rolling, particularly when facing Frostfang, one of the bosses in the first dungeon, who presents a challenging roll test (despite its silky coat!). 😄
It’s crucial to take advantage of the helpful tips provided in the game’s log and complete the class tutorials to master your character fully. Don’t forget to utilize the Warrior’s shield or the Thief’s stealth to deal with priority targets or dodge projectiles before entering a room. As for the Amazon, quickly throwing the Chakram before engaging in melee can interrupt enemies, making them easier to defeat. The Magician’s summon can be used as a wall of free HP to protect yourself from opponents, and it’s better to unsummon and re-summon the summon rather than trying to reposition it carefully.
In addition, it’s essential to refrain from rushing into battle and instead position yourself far from the fray, manage groups of monsters, and take the time to breathe to recover your stamina. By following these tips, players can improve their chances of success and make the most of the game’s challenging and rewarding gameplay.
What is your favorite character and build?
I can understand why you have an affinity for the Thief class, especially since its stealth ability makes it an excellent support character for reviving fallen comrades in multiplayer. It’s particularly satisfying to be able to resurrect all of your teammates during a seemingly hopeless boss fight and change the outcome of the battle. The Thief/Life build, which utilizes homing arrows, can be quite satisfying to play and offers good DPS support for the front line. This build can be particularly effective with the right equipment that benefits from the multitude of arrows.
You worked on the graphic part of the game, which mixes 2D sprites (The Lost Vikings is one of the inspirations, isn’t it?) and 3D decorations, with nice modern visual effects: what was the biggest challenge to obtain this result?
The Lost Vikings touch is a notable influence, along with Metal Slug and Paul Robertson’s sprites from works such as Scott Pilgrim, Mercenary Kings, and the pixel episode of Rick & Morty. It’s worth noting that while the decorations may appear to be in 3D, they are actually 2D pixel art elements placed in a real 3D scene. This is done to maintain pixel perfection and compensate for the camera’s perspective, creating a natural parallax effect. To achieve realistic lighting that conforms to the shapes of objects, the team utilized normal maps, which simulate texture relief. The developers found a tool called Sprite D-Light, which was featuring a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter and reached out to the developer, who was a fan of their pixel art. They were eventually featured in the campaign.
In addition to the techniques mentioned previously, the team utilized post-processing to achieve the final visual rendering of the game. This included color correction to adjust the colorimetry and various effects such as a subtle depth of field and bloom. These elements were used in conjunction with the other techniques to create the final, polished look of the game.
Working with Team17 and releasing its game on consoles is a dream for many people: how did it happen? What was their involvement in the project?
The CEO of Team17 at the time, Debbie Bestwick, contacted you directly on Facebook, which was a surreal experience for someone who grew up playing Worms. You had been posting regularly on social media to build a community and get feedback, and it was Team17 who found you instead of the other way around. After negotiations began, you signed a contract with them in 2018.
Working with Team17 was a valuable experience, as they provided excellent QA and UX feedback that helped improve many features of the game. They also handled the ports to consoles and promoted the game. Having a good publisher is crucial for an independent game developer, especially for the first release, and Team17 played an important role in helping the game reach its full potential.
On Steam, the playable demo actually offers online play, it’s quite rare these days… In short, it’s not really a question, but it’s cool to have done it!
We have a bit of an old-fashioned approach here, and personally, I grew up during the shareware era of PC gaming, playing classics like the original DOOM and others. While I acknowledge that Steam has a fairly lenient refund policy (allowing up to 2 hours of playtime or 15 days after purchase), there’s something special about being able to test a game right away without having to input credit card information. We were concerned about how offering limited online multiplayer might affect sales of the full version of the game, but ultimately we believe it was a wise decision. It’s crucial for players to be able to try out all the features, even if the content is restricted. I believe more game developers should adopt this approach.
What is the future for the game, and for you the team? Updates? A suite ? Something completely different? 🙂
Currently, we’re in the final stages of development for Bravery and Greed. As a show of appreciation for our player community, we’ve added an optional boss and another boss in the kitchen to increase the amount of content available. While we’d like to do more, any future updates will depend on the game’s success in the medium and long term. This is because porting updates to consoles can be quite costly. Additionally, I wanted to express my gratitude for reaching out to me to discuss the game and help spread the word. It’s truly heartwarming, and I believe our game deserves more recognition. After all, the world could always use more co-op roguelites! 😊
As for future projects, I must admit that after dedicating so much time and effort to Bravery and Greed, we will need to take a step back and find inspiration for what’s next. This project has been the biggest challenge of our lives so far, and we need to take a breather before jumping back into the fray!