Video Games

Blaseball, the Absurdist Horror Fantasy Sport That Won a Cult Fanbase, Is Back After a Year-Long Siesta

“Some time ago on, a coin melted and a black hole engulfed the universe.”

When I asked The Game Band designer Stephen Bell, creative director Sam Rosenthal, and game design lead Joel Clark to recall something that happened recently in the world of Blaseball, that’s what they said. I was. Bell enthusiastically offered the explanation, saying he was “practicing.”

Of course, “some time ago” in the world of Blaseball was almost exactly one year before the “expansion age” came to an explosive end. But the rest of the context doesn’t really matter. A black hole swallowed all of his Blaseball. Now The Game Band is ready to bring his Blaseball back to life. will be

expansion, reduction

As Rosenthal explained I interviewed him last year, Blaseball is “an absurdist horror take on fantasy baseball”. Fictional baseball teams such as the Canada Moist Talkers, Kansas City Breath Mints, and Charleston Shoe Thieves play a fictional baseball game run by a simulator over the course of a week.

The viewer “plays” Blaseball by betting (in fictitious currency, no real money involved) on the outcome of these games. Their winnings are exchanged for votes in weekly elections where the community determines new rules for future games. Then the week starts again with more and more ridiculous games being played. Past rule changes have introduced elements such as player-incinerating referees, fourth base, and even giant god-like peanuts. It was all fun for those who were able to follow the increasingly ridiculous plotlines. Well, new fans didn’t come in right away.

But The Game Band wants to change that, so they’re taking a one-year hiatus (or “Grand Siesta” in gaming parlance).

“Above all, we were using this as a space to take a step back and figure out what we wanted to do long-term,” says Rosenthal. “We had a good sense of where it would go if we continued to move forward at our current pace…we were struggling to bring in new people. [hearing] Repeat the same thing over and over. “I feel like I’ve missed the boat. There’s always so much going on here and it’s so hard to keep up.”

at our mercy

Perhaps it was inevitable that The Game Band would find themselves in this situation. After all, Blaseball wasn’t meant to be an overnight hit that quickly became a cult hit when it was released in 2020. It was first conceived as a goofy side project while The Game Band was figuring out what to do with their next full game after the release of Where Cards. autumn. However, it was an unexpected success, forcing The Game Band to reorient studio strategy to keep it going. For a team of about six developers, this was a lot of sudden and unexpected work.

Since then, the Game Band development team has grown to 27 members and now launches Fall Ball. This is the prologue to the next era of Blaseball. Over the next few weeks, various players from Blaseball’s past will fall through the aforementioned black hole (Get it? FALL Ball?) and randomly land on various teams. While that’s going on, viewers can sign up via email to get “commemorative rewards” that the entire fanbase unlocks once they hit a certain milestone number of signups. No, but will take place on an unannounced date after Fall Ball.

Blaseball used to be an entirely browser-based experience, but nothing more. Alongside Fall Ball, The Game Band presents his iOS and his Android apps to launch in time for the new era. The app is a full parity of the website’s functionality and even features push notifications, giving Blaseball the flavor of a traditional sports app like ESPN.

This aligns nicely with some of the changes viewers expect when Blaseball returns to a new era. It’s the same structure, with a week of games, championships and Sunday voting, but Rosenthal says it aims to be more friendly to people who can’t stare at the website all day while watching the games. He wouldn’t share specific details just yet, but said it would be easier to bet on games ahead of time. make it easier for teams to collaborate on voting strategies.

Blaseball is still free to play under these circumstances. But while previously funded in large part through weekly sponsorships from various companies, the next era would introduce optional paid deals. We guarantee that nothing will affect the Blaseball game itself. Especially combined with the social elements of his Blaseball, it’s all tied into elements that allow individuals to customize the user her experience.

With more time to plan, I thought a lot in advance. But part of it is allowing space for improvisation.

Most importantly, Blaseball continues to be at the mercy of its fans. A year-long siesta allowed The Game Band to play into what Clark calls a “possibility space” much further in advance than before. The team departs from the epic, overarching storyline that marked his first two eras, in a “Monster of the Week” format that allows fans to participate without having to read pages of wiki articles about what happened months ago. is supporting But the stories told each week are in the hands of your Sims and fans.

“It gave me a lot of time to plan, so I was able to think it through well in advance,” says Clark. “But part of that is giving room for improvisation, and the nature of the simulation is inherently an emergent narrative engine. We have to improvise, right? Sims we can’t expect? There will be stories that fans tell around Sims that we can’t expect to do, and that they will discover they can do things that we can’t expect. We try to design sexual spaces, give ourselves the tools to improvise, and prepare in advance.

Era of Sustainability

With that comes the hope (if not the promise) that Blaseball will end in a year-long siesta like this final siesta.It’s About Sustainability, The Team Told Me – What They Discussed In the pastClark admits The Game Band have learned a lot about what sustainability means over time. Rosenthal, on the other hand, is optimistic about Blaseball’s prospects, as it now has a much larger team supporting Blaseball and a “more stable base.”

The trio adds that internal processes likely still need refinement. After all, many of his 27 members of The Game Band were hired last year and have never been on the team while the game has been played. It’s a daunting task, but it’s also an exciting creative challenge for your team.

Our commitment to sustainability extends not only to our team, but also to the community that works with them to create the story of Blaseball.

say Bell. “yes [success would mean] We can keep Blaseball’s energy up and continue doing the weird chaotic things we love, but without blocking the door from new fans. “

Broseball’s Fall Ball website has been updated. The first player will drop him from a black hole on October 28th, and the Blaseball app will be released at the same unannounced time as the next era.

Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. you can find her on her twitter @duck valentine.

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