Tech Support: roBurky Interview (Part Two)

Tech Support: roBurky Interview (Part Two)


More roBurky! Yes! This time we apply 4X magnification to his game wot dus involve space – Reset.

DuBBle: Are Reset and the SOS Mod set in the same universe?

roBurky: What do you think?

DuBBle: I see a huge degree of similarity. Firstly, through the space-faring introduction to Notrium (SOS Mod‘s parent) and also in the spaceship design.

roBurky: Well, yes, the original idea of Reset was as an ending to SOS. It had been playing out in my head in that role for over half a year before I created it as its own game. But it is its own thing, now. The world of Reset has fire made of pixels, for starters.

DuBBle: How was the fire in SOS composed?

roBurky: Lots of little flickery fire images. Like Notrium‘s, but more fiery.

DuBBle: How are the asteroids and the baddies generated in Reset? Do they appear at certain intervals, or is the entire play-area laid out and furnished with toys for the player to stumble upon?

roBurky: You’re breaking the magic here. Asteroids are randomly placed at the start. So there’s a huge map of space terrain you can discover. The little red spaceships and the missiles, well, who knows where they were before you took off, but pretty soon they’re only focused on you.


DuBBle: Sorry for spoling the magic – perhaps modern manhood should come with the recognituon that magic missiles are algorithmic. I’ve tried my hardest to get myself killed – yet it doesn’t seem possible! Can this end-of-life goal be achieved?

roBurky: Sure. Just wait for the air to run out.

DuBBle: How do you run out of air? I was under the impression that air was lost with each successive hull breach!

roBurky: You run out of air by breathing it in. Being unable to be destroyed comes from the idea’s origins as an ending sequence.

DuBBle: Yet the game ends within a prescribed amount of time – so how would one’s lung capacity become an issue?

roBurky: It was going to be just a little interactive cutscene, or credits sequence.

DuBBle: I see. What are the square, blue beings in the final moments of the game?

roBurky: That’s the missiles, breaking apart, for some mysterious reason.


DuBBle: Hm.. I get the feeling there’s a greater story to be told within your universe.

roBurky: There is a story, but I don’t know about a great one. It’s a very simple, primal story. Without any specifics. I had clear ideas of particular emotions I wanted to induce, and only included the elements I thought I needed for that. I took a lot of convincing before I added the text that I did. I didn’t want there to be any more context than what you do.

Phill Cameron: Was the process of building a game around a single musical track difficult? And would you want to do it again?

roBurky: The building a game around a music track was difficult, but I would definitely do it again. It would possibly be a lot easier if I was more familiar with music and music terminology and so on.

Phill Cameron: One thing that I’m seeing that’s interesting, in games like Dark Run is letting the player’s actions add to the musical score that currently exist. Is that something you’d want to progress to?

roBurky: If I had a piece of music that I had the original sequencing file for (or whatever they’re called), timing things might not have taken so much guesswork. I don’t know. That’s like a different approach. I think you would possibly have to have some musical talent to attempt that, because you’re crafting the music alongside the game.

Phill Cameron: There’s always the Audiosurf approach. But that’s kind of the other direction entirely.

roBurky: No, I think Audiosurf is the same direction, just done by algorithm except by hand.

Phill Cameron: By other direction, I merely mean instead of the game shaping the track, the track shapes the game.

roBurky: Oh, I think you’re agreeing with me. I think both Audiosurf and Reset are letting the music shape the game, and stuff like Everyday Shooter is letting the game shape the music.

Phill Cameron: Precisely what I meant. Glad to clear it up.

Why are The Reticule‘s spots of agreement so clear? Why, it’s because we gargle Clearasil each and every day. Thanks to roBurky for willingly participating in our chirade – it really is preferable to the alternative.

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