The Behemoth booth sat at the base of the escalators leading from the Boston Convention Center’s main entrance down into the main floor of the exposition hall. The other video game and tapletop companies could be found on the floor, too, but one thing in particular made The Behemoth worth visiting first: Café Behemoth, a one-hour press-only meet-and-greet breakfast provided by members of The Behemoth.
The long table of various coffees was accompanied by an even longer table of bagels and spreads – and cookies for a decadent after-breakfast dessert. An assortment of butter, jams, and other spreads rounded out the offering. Members of the press were invited to chow down as they talk to the Behemoth development team and play their games.
Co-founder and artist Dan Paladin was kind enough to walk me around his booth and showcase The Behemoth’s catalog of games, each of which was displayed in its own custom cabinet, including the quirky Back Off Barbarian (think an updated Q-bert with loads more personality) and the strangely brilliant Super Soviet Missle Mastar [sic], whose cabinet featured two mini LCD screens with looped military footage from the 1950s, three industrial button switches, and a bowling ball-sized trackball. It’s a fun mobile game but trust me when I say it really shines as a strangely addicting arcade.
The highlight of the morning, despite the generous breakfast, was getting to play the demo for the upcoming Alien Hominid Invasion, Behemoth’s first true sequel (see our preview article for more info). Dan lamented that, although he acknowledged fans’ cries for sequels to each of The Behemoth’s other games (requests came loud and clear and often), choosing to develop a game solely because of external demands just would not have felt right. Never say never, of course, but The Behemoth feels most comfortable developing and releasing games that its members feel excited to work on, not just games that might be lucrative at the time.
Dan compared working on a video game to grouping 1,000 assumptions of what the audience might like. Everything is put together in one pot and this process often results in a “huge yarn ball of [poop]” that then has to be unraveled into something coherent, a process that sounds as fun in its conception as it sounds daunting in its execution. But the end results are always worth the effort.
Especially when that effort comes with bagels and cream cheese.
Special thanks to everyone at The Behemoth for their hospitality!