Taking the lead
Neon White is all about blasting through levels as quickly as possible to see just how many seconds you can shave off your time. That offers plenty of fun gameplay-wise, but the real hook comes in from the game’s leaderboards. Seeing what your friends have accomplished, along with the rest of the world, pushes you to give stages just one more run to try and eek out a better time.
The dev team behind Neon White became addicted to the leaderboard aspect just like players have. In an interview with Polygon, lead dev Ben Esposito talked about the moment the leaderboard idea clicked for the dev team, and led to their “aha” moment during development.
“We felt like, Oh, the fun of this game is the optimization. And it’s only heightened by having someone to play against. So, you know, that was kind of the moment when the actual production of the game kicked off.”