Interview with Charles Webb About Ruin of the Reckless

Who is behind this idea and how you got into game development?

Daniel Crockenberg and myself (Charles Webb) got into the idea of making the game as a result of our absolute love for Samurai Gunn… after misunderstanding a quote from Beau Blyth explaining how little he knew about programming.

Explain the game in one sentence.

Ruin of the Reckless is viciously difficult, very cute, rogue-lite where you gain new abilities instead of increasing your stats.

What made you excited about this idea?

We just absolutely loved Nuclear Throne, loved Binding of Isaac… and I’m personally a huge fan of Link to the Past. I thought the melee combat style of LTTP could be translated into a rogue-lite format with success, I wanted to see how it turned out.

What was your biggest struggle while making this game?

I would say the biggest struggle was the legal documentation, paperwork, incorporation proceedings… basically all of the business and legal work that is necessary to start a company like this. We started making games to make games, so becoming part-time amateur lawyers was jarring to say the least.

How long it took you to build it? Do you think you could have finished it earlier, if so why?

Knowing what we know now, we could make a game like this MUCH faster… but knowing what we knew at the time, three years was about right. We had to re-write a lot of important code several times, we had to learn what we ‘didn’t know’ before we could even start teaching ourselves what we needed.

What did you hope for after you’ve released the game and what actually happened?

We hoped for a decent sales, to get mentioned by media, to get mentioned by maybe TotalBiscuit or somebody really big. We had a front page story on Rock Paper-Shotgun, initial sales were good and we have a TON of wishlisters on Steam so I think we actually basically did get what we wanted!

What lessons you’ve learned for future projects from this game?

Build robust debugging tools EARLY, EVERYTHING should be a Finite State Machine, Tweening algorithms are your best friend. Show off what you have early, making things flashy and presentable as early as possible is a to priority.

How many other finished projects do you have?

Ruin of the Reckless is our only full retail release. We have some crappy prototypes collecting cobwebs in the the annals of our hard drives too.

What’s the biggest advice you have for people who want to work in game development?

Well, I know this is the common thing… but I would say start small and work up from there. Make sure your are financially secure. Don’t pin your hopes on a giant success right out of the game. I think what we have accomplished with RotR was really rare and required a lot of luck… and it took us three years and a total devotion to the cause. Even then, it’s not like we’re ‘Vlambeer’ now. That’s my business/life advise. My game design advice is… learn how Finite state machines work, learn how easing algorithms work, and watch this video: Youtube Video, keep things simple. You’ll be okay.

Lastly, how video games influenced your life? How your life has changed with them?

Oh man I think I play too many games. It’s a constant distraction. I love to explore new systems and take the best parts for my own ideas/ world building, I love especially social games like Overwatch I can play with my friends… In some ways… maybe my life revolves around games in an unhealthy way. :/

Ruin of the Reckless for Windows

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Also published on Medium.

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