The butt of all videogames…
Nearer to the end of March, Tuatara Games announced Bare Butt Boxing, a physics-based brawler where aliens have come to earth, just to throw punches at each other and show off their large, comical butts. With Early Access coming later this year and a full console release in 2023, we couldn’t help but want to know a lot more about Bare Butt Boxing and that is precisely why we reached out to Tuatara Games.
We hope you are sitting comfortably, because it’s time to strap in for another Miketendo64 interview, but first, let’s introduce you to Klemen Lozar:
Be my Klementine:
Miketendo64: Before we dive right into the probing questions, we always like to start things off nice and light. Therefore, would you be so kind as to introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
Klemen Lozar: I’m Klemen, founder and CEO of Tuatara Games. After a 6-year career in AAA I started Tuatara to focus on providing top-of-the-line VFX services to various clients in the game industry. From humble beginnings with a single employee in 2019, the company grew to a team just short of 30 in a span of 3 years. Since then, we’ve expanded our business and Bare Butt Boxing is our debut in self-published game development!
Miketendo64: And now to follow-up, what is your role at Tuatara Games and what is the extent of your involvement with Bare Butt Boxing?
Klemen Lozar: As CEO and Creative Director, my role is to drive business operations and oversee all creative endeavours at Tuatara. Besides various creative and technical tasks, my duties as a Game Director on Bare Butt Boxing involve making sure the team has everything that they need to do their best work and high-level scheduling and marketing responsibilities.
Pulling no Punches:
Miketendo64: To properly kick things off, can you tell us a bit about Butt Boxing? What is it and how does it play?
Klemen Lozar: At its core, Bare Butt Boxing is more of a party game than a proper boxing or fighting game. We want it to be accessible to anyone, and we want players to be able to jump in a match quickly and enjoy the mayhem.
In this game you compete for points in timed matches, and you mainly get points by KO’ing your opponents or using charged punches to launch them into traps and pits. Physics play a big part in Bare Butt Boxing, so there is always a little bit of unpredictability in every match.
Miketendo64: With Bare Butt Boxing expected to rumble first on Steam thanks to Early Access later this year, then grace consoles in 2023, how have you found fan reaction since you first announced Bare Butt Boxing during the Mix’s 10th Anniversary Showcase?
Klemen Lozar: We’ve been pleasantly surprised with the very positive reception of the game! For our reveal teaser we decided to focus on presenting the “feel” of the game more than anything else so it has been very validating to see the game resonate with the general public the same way it does with us!
Miketendo64: With months between now and release and the reveal out of the way, how do you intend to keep Bare Butt Boxing in the meantime? Is there a specific marketing campaign you have in mind, comprised of social media shares (tweets, posts and photos) and developer blogs, or other things entirely?
Klemen Lozar: We’re very excited to have partnered with Stride PR, who is helping shape our marketing and release strategy for the game. It’s a robust strategy comprising social media activity, event presence, and streamer outreach. We’re thrilled to bring Bare Butt Boxing to the attention of as many players as we can!
Miketendo64: What’s it like, going from assisting with the visual effects for games Valorant, Fortnite, and Godfall, to making Bare Butt Boxing?
Klemen Lozar: VFX is a pretty special game development discipline because it can be both very artistic and exceedingly technical. As such, a lot of our team members have a very broad range of skills and we all share a big passion for gaming, so it’s been very natural for us to expand into internal game development! So far, we’ve found the experience very rewarding, especially after seeing very positive public reactions to our announcement.
Miketendo64: Being as though Bare Butt Boxing is all about boxing, are you a fan of the sport yourself and do you have any favourite boxers?
Klemen Lozar: I’m personally a very casual fan, but I do admire the sport. Bare Butt Boxing is a very whimsical take on combat sports much more centred around having fun with a group of players engaging in chaotic battles.
Brawling Aliens with Bodacious Butts:
Miketendo64: With aliens crossing the galaxy just to duke it out on Earth, what is so special about this planet of ours to prompt them to come here in the first place?
Klemen Lozar: Our aliens have seen countless planets and civilizations across the universe, but when they reached Earth, they just thought boxing was the coolest thing ever and so they simply decided to join in on the fun! To be fair, it’s likely not the first time these aliens have goofed around on a new planet they’ve discovered. These aliens just want to have a good time.
Miketendo64: On the continued subject of aliens, just how many different species of aliens were created for Bare Butt Boxing? How do they differ from one another and does each species have a name?
Klemen Lozar: The aliens in Bare Butt Boxing are from the same race, yet look wildly different. They can look like fish, frogs, or even robots. Some are made of flesh and others of metal. The mysteries of the bare butt aliens truly know no bounds.
Miketendo64: Being the bodacious butt centric brawler that it is, just how much work went into the creation of the big butts we see on screen?
Klemen Lozar: As you might have noticed from the reveal trailer, the butts in the game are more like a funny touch rather than a central pillar of the game. We felt that with a title like that, people would know that the game doesn’t take itself seriously.
Regarding the butts in-game, it was important for us that they look right of course, but beyond that it’s not like we spend a lot of time developing advanced butt technology or anything like that (although that does sound pretty cool).
Miketendo64: With a variety of levels consisting of hazardous traps, could you provide us with a brief explanation on what kind of traps exist in the game and why they pose such promising dangers?
Klemen Lozar: The hazards in the level are meant to reward players that have precise aim and a good timing sense. Rather than punching an opponent multiple times until you get the KO, you can launch them into a trap or pitfall to kill them instantly. But since these shots are physics-based, things can easily go wrong. Or you can get a lucky trick shot!
As for the kind of traps you’ll encounter in the game, we are still experimenting with level design and testing how far we can push things. We will show more as we get closer to the Early Access release!
In it to Win it:
Miketendo64: In addition to fighters and levels, what other content are you looking to add to Bare Butt Boxing to help feel it out? Outlandish in-game achievements with very silly names and even sillier unlock methods. [Example: “Do Not Fall into the Pit of Death.” Unlock requirement: “Fall into the Pit of Death.”]
Klemen Lozar: We have a couple of ideas on how to add personality to the game beyond the core gameplay. Things can still change at this stage, though, so we’d rather not give too many details yet, but we plan to add silly achievements for sure. We would love to give players the ability to communicate and express themselves during matches.
Miketendo64: How many Game Modes does Bare Butt Boxing utilize and give you give us a little run through each one?
Klemen Lozar: We are currently working on a few game modes which are slight variations of the same core mechanic. For example, there is a main mode where you earn points by knocking opponents down and extra points if you launch them into specific traps. But we are testing out a mode where only launching opponents into traps can knock them down, which changes the dynamic of matches a lot.
Miketendo64: On top of KOs, Bare Butt Boxing is also something of a points game, like you just said above. How do the points factor in with regards to gameplay?
Klemen Lozar: Players will be fighting for points, and KOs are the main way to earn those points. We are also experimenting with different game modes where points could be earned by other means than KO’ing opponents. Our goal is to offer multiple types of matches to keep the game fresh.
Changing the ruleset of matches means we must also change the level design for things to work. In the end, the fun factor is the most important thing for an online game like this, so we will keep on testing the game extensively until we settle on the types of matches that give the best player experience.
Behind the Scenes:
Miketendo64: Being as though Bare Butt Boxing is a game you are actively developing at this present moment in time, gearing it up for its eventual release, how goes the development process currently? Anything in particular you are working on specifically this week?
Klemen Lozar: Currently we’re very focused on additional design research and development. We’re in the process of really defining and evolving our gameplay because it directly inspires the kinds of levels we can create. On the more technical side, our work on Bare Butt Boxing multiplayer technologies is ongoing.
Miketendo64: Being the physics-based brawler that it is, how extensive was the work and experimentation you needed to undertake to get the game to perform as intended?
Klemen Lozar: Physics-based brawler games tend to have pretty floaty, slow-moving characters but with Bare Butt Boxing we’re aiming for a snappier, more intentional experience with tighter controls. This focus causes additional challenges for online multiplayer because we can’t hide any latency errors as easily.
Additionally, due to our smaller size as a studio, we won’t have the benefit of a huge player base at launch, so we have committed to cross-region multiplayer which also has the added benefit of allowing friends to play with each other across the world. Together, however, these decisions combine to present quite the technical challenge, but we’re feeling confident we’ve used the right technologies to tackle both successfully!
Miketendo64: Sound can always make or break a fighting game. How did you go about finding the perfect sound and the person to create it?
Klemen Lozar: Totally, it’s really important in a game like Bare Butt Boxing that each punch and body impact sounds just right. Clement is our sound designer, and he really understands how we want the game to sound impactful, yet funny and light-hearted at the same time.
Miketendo64: Being the butt filled fighter that it is and hopefully, not the butt of any joke, where did the inspiration for Bare Butt Boxing come from?
Klemen Lozar: Bare Butt Boxing started as a small game I made to play with procedural animation a few years ago. As Tuatara grew into a bigger company, I thought expanding on that prototype would be a great way for our team to learn how to make our own games. The project has grown a lot since then, and the team has really put a lot of themselves into what you are seeing today.
Dreaming the “N” Possible:
Miketendo64: Since we are a Nintendo site, with the likes of WayForward being allowed to work on the upcoming Advanced Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp and Brace Yourself Games developing 2019’s Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda, if you had the chance to work on ANY Nintendo IP, which one would be your dream come true and, if you were in charge of the entire project, what kind of game would you like to make?
Klemen Lozar: We are huge Nintendo fans at Tuatara, so the simplest answer is we’d be blessed to work on anything Nintendo-related! Some of our team’s favourite Nintendo games include Zelda, Smash Bros, Mario Kart, Star Fox, Fire Emblem, and Mario, of course.
These franchises are so gigantic, however—even in a hypothetical scenario it wouldn’t be right to be “in charge” of those games. We’d absolutely love to help the teams that have been making these amazing games in any way we can.
Miketendo64: Other than Bare Butt Boxing, are there any other games you have worked on that you would like to recommend to our readers?
Klemen Lozar: While Bare Butt Boxing is our (Tuatara Games) first game as a team, I developed and released a game before called Let Them Come, which is available on Steam, Xbox, PlayStation, iOS and Android!
Miketendo64: Other than Bare Butt Boxing, does Tuatara Games have anything else lined up in the pipeline that gamers the world over could hope to enjoy sometime later in 2022 and 2023?
Klemen Lozar: Despite currently being laser-focused on Bare Butt Boxing, we always love to prototype new gameplay ideas and designs whenever opportunity strikes. Down the line, we’d love to expand our Let Them Come IP, for example, and we have a couple game ideas we think players would enjoy! As we mature as game developers, we’d love to tackle some larger and more complex projects down the line as well.
Miketendo64: Final question, is there anything you would like to say, or any additional comments you would like to add, for our readers and your fans? The floor is yours.
Klemen Lozar: We’d like to thank you for this interview, Jack! It’s been great to chat about our game with you, and it’s really cool to be featured on a Nintendo-focused website. Most of us wouldn’t be working in this industry today if it wasn’t for Nintendo!
And thank you Klemen for speaking so passionately about a game you and your team are still actively developing Bare Butt Boxing. We can’t wait for the eventual release and join in with the mayhem.
About Bare Butt Boxing:
Take control of alien youngsters mesmerized by the sport of boxing as they battle it out all over our beloved planet Earth, unaware of the laws and traditions of human society.
Enjoy the chaos and whimsy of simulated characters and environments in this action arena brawler that will keep you hooked with surprising combat twists and gameplay variety. Board the spaceship, we’re off to the next scrimmage!
- SIMULATED CHAOS – Take control of funny, physics based alien fighters and use crazy power ups to turn the tide of battle.
- ARENA COMBAT – Fight to dominate in different levels, each with their own quirks, hazards and traps.
- ONLINE AND LOCAL MULTIPLAYER – Battle it out against players around the globe or host a local multiplayer couch party.
- GAME MODES – Play with a large variety of game modes with different objectives that keep the gameplay fresh and maximize replayability.