The evolution of video games after release is a key part of the game development process. Often, some of the best things about a game can come after its release, as a new idea can spark innovation. Or, something from other media can give inspiration for what to do next. This seems to be the case with Path of Exile.
Why? Well, because one of the biggest parts of their game right now is Breach League. Which fans are going nuts over. But how did it come to be? Well, the idea was a “stranger thing”, as Path of Exile dev Nick (who is the head designer of the Breach League) noted during an in-house interview.
He revealed that at the time this idea came around, everyone was raving about the Netflix show “Stranger Things”. At the same time, many players, as well as the team itself, were trying to come up with League concepts for the game. And a recurring thread was to return to Beyond. So, he pitched a Beyond-themed league. The Beyond reminded them of Stranger Things, i.e, a place where the monsters could peer into our world, but we can’t peer into theirs.
Pay very close attention to what you like and what you don’t like, or what keeps drawing you in, and figure out why.
As for the concept development. He liked the idea of the player interacting with a spire to take them to The Beyond. There, all the monsters were visible, but frozen, which would lead to you facing against a Shaper. You would be tasked with killing a specific and unique monster. However, to remain in The Beyond, you’d have to kill lots of monsters, which would keep the portals open.
Fans, and the team, really liked this idea. So, after a vacation to Disney World (don’t ask…), they began tackling the technical problems of this mode. Eventually though, they got it to work. And now, it’s Path of Exile’s most popular thing.
So there you go, sometimes the simplest thing (or the strangest thing) can inspire something pretty awesome.