The “cel-shaded” graphical style is a toon shading that can make 3D graphics have a cartoon or comic book look. Jet Set Radio on the Dreamcast was one of the first video games to utilize the “cel-shaded” graphical style. Soon after other games would follow using this graphical style such as Zelda The Wind Waker, Tales of Symphonia and others.
In 2006, I became really intrigued with the cel-shaded graphical style. I was always a fan of the style but in 2006 I also became interested in it from a development standpoint. Earlier in the year, the unreleased CityScape Battle was the first game where I experimented with cel-shaded graphics. At the same time I was experimenting with various other character designs utilizing the cel-shaded style. CityScape Battle was starting to become an ambitious title, so I wanted to do a shorter game in the interim so I could at least get something released in the 2006 calendar year. When I looked over the character designs I created, I just loved the BlockHead characters I created and I choose those characters to create a game around.
With all the previous game releases, I had worked with other artists to create characters or to do the 3D modeling. BlockHeads was the first game where I created every single aspect of the game myself. For better or for worse, I did the character designs, 3D modeling, 3D animations, UI, level design, environment modeling, and everything else. This allowed me to develop the game quickly and with a relatively small budget.
BlockHeads Clash took about 4 months to develop from start to finish. I really wanted it to have a arcade dungeon crawler feel. I spent quite a bit of time creating 2-4 player co-op mode where players could jump in at any moment, similar to the old arcade game Gauntlet. Not only was there a 4 player co-op mode but there was a battle mode where all 4 players could battle as well. I wanted something that was more than just a solo experience.
After the first 1.0 release, I added a Level Editor. As the player progressed through the main game, new items would be unlocked in the Level Editor. Players could then save and share the levels they created. I felt the game needed something more to improve replayability and to foster community activity so that is what the Level Editor was intended to address.