SXSW 2019: Collect, Play, and Build Your Own Party with ‘Blankos Block Party’

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Blankos Block Party

Blankos Block Party is an online virtual world where players will be able to collect Blankos, build their own block parties, create their own game experiences, and invite their friends to visit while jamming out to great music. Blankos Block Party is a casual multiplayer world styled like a giant block party, that includes a vibrant hub where friends can meet, go on scavenger hunts, take on daily challenges, and eventually take part in global online mini-games. You can even explore and play in other player designed block parties as well.

Developed by Mythical Games, with Lead design for Blankos Block Party headed by Mythical Games’ Chief Creative Officer, Jamie Jackson (formerly of FreeStyleGames – DJ Hero, Guitar Hero). It’s unique game that blends Little Big Planet and Minecraft with world building creativity. I had a chance to sit down and talk with Jackson during South by Southwest Gaming 2019.

Blankos Block Party

Blankos are unique digital collectibles that can be traded and customized. This means that there are only designated amounts of Blankos available per type. Some of these fun characters include ‘Billy Bones’ – a mischievous Blanko who likes to show off, ‘El Cha’ – a clueless but funny class clown, and ‘Peanut’ – a lovable clumsy friend who just wants to fit in.

At the SXSW Gaming Opening Party the game appear for its first live demo. While there, Jackson and his team handed out Blanko card packs with characters that could only be collected during SXSW. Each card had a code to redeem in-game when the closed BETA opens. These card packs served as physical representations of the what you would own in the game and included SXSW Gaming exclusive Blankos.

The team wanted to go with this collectible character type route so could build rarity among the players but also community. If I run into someone with the same Blankos character as me then I know we were both at the same event at one time and so forth. And for one lucky patron at the SXSW Gaming Opening Party, they walked away with the single ‘Golden Ticket’ Blanko

Additionally, there will also be customization of Blankos you already own or collect. This is done through the “Blanko Blender.” This blending works by adding Blankos along with various materials and/or toys found within the game in “blender” and blends them all together to make a completely unique blender. This is a unique system and works on a DNA-like system, in which you can throw different Blankos and materials into the blender and get a different blend each time, resulting in a unique Blanko creation of your own.

So what do you do with your unique Blanko? Well, as creator you get to build your own world for Blankos to play in. You get to choose a theme for your world and then put it together hexagon by hexagon. Jackson explained that they wanted to add to the uniqueness and creativity of the game by using hexagons instead of the usual squares to build your world.

The hexagons are just for the base of the world and as you build it up, you can add in different set pieces and toys to completely build out your imagination. These worlds are meant to be played with friends, as the name Block Party suggests. Currently, you can have up to 10 people in your world at a single time. Jackson mentioned that they do plan to expand that out to more people, but that 10 would be a good starting point.

The set pieces that are added in also open up challenges to do within each world. The whole point of these challenges and in general is good vibes. In the demo I played, they had challenges of who could collect the most vibes in a certain amount of time known as vibe-time or even races known as vibe-races. When I got to play, we were in a custom made world for SXSW. My  challenge: to collect 50 vibes around the world in five minutes.

The awesome thing about collecting these vibes is that the user can be creative in how they snag them. My Blanko had to dance on a dance floor, trampoline from block to block, be airlifted by fans, and even use a  paint gun to reach out of reach vibes. The creator can also set barriers that unlock new toys to collect more vibes. In order for me to acquire the paint gun, I had to first collect 20 vibes before it unlocked on the map, and then I had to collect it.

Blankos Block Party

Another creative feature that makes Blankos Block Party unique is that each set piece opens up different challenges and the order of toy placement determines how the challenges are ordered and layered within each world. This means that if you put race toys and then collection toys, the race challenge will be the first challenge needed to be accomplished before the race and vice versa. This just adds to the creativity of the worlds and another feature that allows each world to feel unique and your own.

Blankos Block Party looks to be a fun party game that those who enjoy world building and just spreading good vibes with their friends will enjoy. The uniqueness and freedom to basically create your own game as you collect all the Blankos offers players a lot. From the thrill of collecting vinyl styled Blankos to challenging yourself and friends with new creations, the playability of the game seems endless.

Blankos Block Party is set to have a closed Beta late this summer with hopes of an early access release in sometime in Q4 of 2019.