Band of Bugs, in typical NinjaBee fashion, pushes the boundaries of Xbox Live Arcade. Even being on the cutting edge, NinjaBee still instills confidence in their ability to pull it off. After all, they had Outpost Kaloki X out for the Xbox 360 launch and helped pioneer full campaign DLC when they shipped expansions for it (some are even free!). But I digress.
Chief among their challenges and innovations in Band of Bugs was allowing user created maps into online multiplayer matches. BoB will be the first XBLA title to allow this. But the best part of this feature is how easily and quickly this happens in-game.
After I play a game with someone on a new map and arrive in the post-game lobby, I see the “Save Map” option which allows me to save the map I just played. And if someone wants to just pass a map to me without having to play a whole game it is this simple: they host a match on their map, I join, they quit, post-game lobby appears, I save the map. Quick and easy.
Also, once I create a map it is stamped with my gamertag. So, if I trade my map to someone and they trade it to someone else, the map will always remember that I was the original creator. Hopefully that will encourage people to message the creator of a fun map with a “Thanks” or even a “Got anymore cool maps I can have?” message.
And because the map editor is so easy to use (yet fully featured) I have a feeling that all kinds of people will create maps. What I am interested to see is whose map will be the first to rise to popularity.
In upcoming “Live Integration” posts I will expound upon Xbox Live Vision camera support and DLC.