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Roboquest: Developer Interview
Hello true believers! We’ve got another exciting interview lined up, this time with Elliot Yun from RyseUp studios, the creators of The Burning Descent, Winter Break and the early access phenomenon, Roboquest. Roboquest is a fast-paced, action-packed, roguelite FPS that can be played solo or co-op with a friend.
It’s an incredibly fun game that utilises classes, stats, abilities and weapons to provide a rich and diverse run every time. The randomly generated environments offer tons of enemies to shoot away at, and the wide variety of weapons make each playthrough just as exciting as the last. Playing solo is great, but playing with a friend is where this game really shines, providing an experience unlike anything I’ve played in the past, especially in this genre. For those who have PC Game Pass but haven’t had a chance to play it yet, we suggest you stop reading this article, go download it and then come back to read this while you wait. It’s that good.
Anyway, on to the interview.
Firstly, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and the role you have at RyseUp studios?
Hey there, I’m Elliot Yun and my role at RyseUp Studios is pretty diversified and evolved over time. At times I’m a game designer (working mainly on gamefeel but not only), at others a community manager, or narrative designer, or text & localization manager or coordinator of our freelancers (noticeably with our sound designer). At some point in the beginning of RyseUp Studios, I was even in charge of the programming side of things (before meeting our skillful and professional programmers). Most of my RyseUp crewmates are alike with a lot of diverse responsibilities.
How did you start working in the game industry?
I’ve been making paper games and playing video games since I was 5. I spent my entire youth working on games, paper, board or modding video games. At some point in my life, a close relative told me that what I was doing in my free time as a passion was actually a real job and I decided to attend a video game school. There, I met my boss (a teacher at the school) and my current crewmates, with whom we instigated RyseUp Studios seven years ago (or so) after graduating from school. I’d say that I’ve been in the field for basically my entire life.
Roboquest is a game we've had a lot of fun with since it came onto PC Game Pass. How has the release to this service been for the game? What was the process of getting it on the service like?
GamePass is a huge success for us! Thanks to our CEO Milen Ivanov, we’ve been able to enter the GamePass while still in Early Access. We’ve got tons of user feedback and even became one of the most top rated games for the PC GamePass (the score is 4.6 out of 5 now)! We are super-humbled, and it’s motivating the team for even better further updates.
Our CEO worked hard to get the deal, but we must admit that the Xbox team has been open and motivated as well, so the deal went through relatively quickly. The support we’ve been receiving from the Xbox team is incredible, and we hope it’ll get even better in the future.
Roboquest seems to merge gameplay from a few different games. We could be wrong, but we see hints of Borderlands and Overwatch in there, as well as the obvious roguelike influences. What would you say is the team's main inspiration?
You probably won’t believe it, but we didn’t intentionally get inspiration from Borderlands. While creating Roboquest’s art style, we wanted to make something comic and cartoon-ish, lush but not flat. We were inspired by Overwatch and Ratchet & Clank, especially when it came to detalization, and of course when we started to experiment with outlines we noticed some similarity to Borderlands. Regarding the gameplay we took inspiration and references from awesome roguelites such as Dead Cells, Gunfire Reborn and Nuclear Throne.
What do you enjoy most about the game?
It’s hard to pick one particular feature, but I’d say: the team that’s developing it. Every day I see how involved and dedicated we are. The main reason for that is the desire to make the best game possible and readiness to postpone updates, porting and release for that goal. Another big thing in the studio is a crunch-free policy – and it’s not just words in here. A lot of team members work remotely, some of them are also teaching (including our CEO), and nobody is pushing you to die for the sake of a deadline. As for Roboquest itself, it’s gamefeel: its speed, lush colors and artstyle, forward combat and just how you smash enemy robots in so many ways.
Finally, when is the full release planned and is there any news of the future you can share with us?
The team now is in the active phase of development, and the next big thing would be the next big update during this summer. The update will contain a rework of some of our core and oldest systems and a lot of polish on different sides. Also, the Xbox version is planned for the upcoming months, and the full release is planned somewhere in the upcoming year.
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Huge thanks to Elliot, Ana and everyone else from from RyseUp Studios for this interview. We’re super hyped to see what is coming in the future. Please check this out on PC Game Pass if you have it!
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