Quick intro: I am Matthias, the creative lead behind the brand-new Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead game, the latest release in the well-known Bridge Constructor series. Some of you may have noticed that we already went a bit crazy with our previous title Bridge Constructor Portal (available now with Xbox Game Pass), which was based on Valve’s beloved Portal. This time, we are taking it a step further.
By its roots, Bridge Constructor has always been a premium casual puzzle brand, focusing on the challenges of constructing bridge with a selection of materials at hand and testing them under different weight loads. If you build successfully, your cars, trucks or trains will make it across. However, on your way to that successful moment, the whole thing will collapse many times – and watching everything tumble down is actually a big part of the fun and probably one of the main reasons why the genre is so beloved by gamers and content creators alike.
Back in 2012, we started with Bridge Constructor being a traditional approach to the genre. Now with every following sequel we tried to give a new aspect to it: There was the sandboxy BC Playground with badges for different challenges, followed by BC Medieval placed in the Middle Ages offering new mission modes, and even an action-focused BC Stunts, where you have direct control of your vehicles, more along the lines of the Trials games.
Our question always was where to take the brand next and how to explore and cross boundaries. We already began broadening the concept of “bridges” with BC Stunts, where players mainly constructed jump ramps and loops to have the vehicles perform daredevil stunts. We liked the dynamic aspect of it, so Dieter from Headup ventured forth and asked: Could we combine the physics-based gameplay from Bridge Constructor with the equation of “Entrance velocity equals exit velocity” from the Portal games? Bingo! Bridge Constructor Portal came quite unexpected for the most but proved to be a big success. Now the following idea was: What if we create a game in the tradition of Lemmings and The Crazy Machines but use zombies instead of little rodents? With the guys at Headup being great fans of the Walking Dead brand, the idea was spontaneously pitched to AMC. And funnily enough, we were jointly able to secure a deal.
Which takes us directly to the subject of brains: The main challenge in the development was to keep the balance between a complex and resource-demanding physics system and the number of units we could simulate in a level. One of Lemmings’ big appeals was the sheer mass of little sprites on the screen but that was before ragdolls and real-time physics implementation. This posed quite a challenge for the game design. We decided to reduce the number of walkers a bit in favor of offering more diverse puzzles including the use of mobile environment objects to devise lethal traps for the zombies. Yet, the command element from Lemmings still seemed sexy to use, so we implemented it but in a reversed way: In our game you can give commands to the protagonists while enjoying the internally called “Lemmings Schadenfreude Effect” on the walkers.
Balancing all three things – physics system, characters from the show, and the puzzle designs – took its time so we extended the originally scheduled development period by a few months. Which lead to the fact that the game’s release date now coincides with the launch of the next generation of consoles, and we are especially proud that Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead will be one of the truly new games on these great platforms. This is a new area for us as Bridge Constructor has always been more of a mobile and PC brand, and we are excited to see how the first-mover console audience will react to the game.
Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead