Ooblets achievements will “follow the in-game goals,” say devs

By Heidi Nicholas,
Ooblets is — apart from a fantastic word in itself — a cosy and colourful mix of farming, town life, creature collecting, and dance battles, all wrapped together with wacky words and the weirdly wonderful Ooblets themselves. It’s currently playable in Early Access, albeit without achievement support, but is well on its way through the roadmap leading to the full launch of the game, so we thought it would be a good time to reach out to the Ooblets team to chat about dance battles, gameplay mechanics, achievements, and, of course, the Ooblets themselves.


There is no combat in Ooblets — one of the first things you learn in the game is that your little Ooblets resolve conflict through dance, with you backing them up as any caring and supportive Ooblet-herder should. “Our early prototypes of Ooblets had traditional RPG combat mechanics but we were never that enamoured with it,” says Glumberland’s Ben Wasser. “The dance battle mechanic actually came about somewhat by accident.” Fans began to speculate on how dancing would be involved in the game after seeing dancing in early promotional videos. “[In order] to not let people down, we brainstormed how we could include dancing and realised we had a great opportunity to replace the battles with dance battles,” Wasser concludes.

Even friendly creature-collection games like Pokemon require you to battle wild creatures into submission before they can join the group. In Ooblets, your little party members enter into a coordinated dance display with the utmost solemnity, until your opponent is beaten, pops out a seed, and scuttles off. You then plant your new pal, and, when it’s ready to be collected — ‘harvested’ didn’t sound quite right here — it can either join your crew or stay at home, don a straw hat, and help out on your farm. It’s an interesting mix to include farming gameplay with creature-collection and dance battles, and Wasser cites inspirations like Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley for the inclusion. “We were inspired by a bunch of farming games, and thought that mixing those elements with creature collection would be a fun take on things,” he says. “Having a home base and areas to cultivate adds an anchor of ownership and personalisation that is sometimes missing from games where you're just adventuring.”

Ooblets

A home and farm give you options for decoration and customisation and the chance to grow a variety of beautifully named Oob crops like Fartichokes and Flootiflowers. These elements greatly add to Ooblets' charm, but also help to round the game out as a fuller, more enjoyable experience. You have a variety of goals to work towards: earning Gummies (money) for decorations, clothes, seeds, and Ooblets accessories, cooking and crafting, researching Ooblets, making friends with the townspeople, helping Mayor Tinstle, fixing and building facilities around the town, and more. "We wanted to do a farming, town life, and creature collection game from the beginning, but pretty much everything else has evolved and shifted throughout development," says Wasser. "Ooblets is our first real game as a studio and we learned so much as we've been working on it. What we've got now is a lot better than what our original ideas of it were."

Ooblets’ non-combative approach also radiates throughout the rest of the game, and is evident in all the gameplay mechanics. No matter what you’re up to, Ooblets feels geared towards a relaxing, rewarding experience, with plenty of in-game celebrations for reaching certain milestones — so how might this be reflected in the achievements? “Our achievements will follow the in-game goals, which are based around helping out, making friends, collecting things, and growing your team. I wouldn't expect any super difficult achievements,” Wasser says. “We did a bunch of achievement systems work earlier on in development but once we got it all hooked up, we realised that it made sense for us to hold off on implementing any achievements until we hit 1.0 due to how Xbox achievements work,” he adds, with ‘1.0’ being the full release of the game. “Once they're added, they're not editable, so we have to be really sure about the structure and contents of the game before we add them, which doesn't work super well with Early Access.”

Port Forward

The current Ooblets roadmap shows the game as launching in full either in late 2021 or early 2022. “Our Early Access has been a really great experience and the positive reaction from players has really helped us keep our stamina up,” Wasser says. At the moment, aside from Badgetown itself and your farm, you can travel to the Halloween-themed Nullwhere or into the Wildlands behind the town, which has a few smaller areas within it. We still have a few updates before the launch of 1.0, with three new regions joining the game — the first, arriving in mid 2021, will be Port Forward. “We're doing things a bit different with Port Forward than we have in the past in terms of how you progress through it,” Wasser says, adding that it’s “less about dance battles and more about a series of mini-games.” The other two regions are still a secret, but Wasser hints that the next update “will be different again from what we've done in the past.” One region will arrive in late 2021 with the other new region joining the game when it launches in full. “We're looking forward to wrapping up the background story surrounding Badgetown's situation and adding in the remaining bits and bobs we've been planning that haven't made it into the game yet,” Wasser says. “We'll also hopefully be launching all our achievements at 1.0!”
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've been a staff writer for TrueAchievements and TrueTrophies since 2019. I love open-worlders, RPGs, and fantasy games, am obsessed with tea, and forever loyal to The Witcher 3 and Red Dead 2.