Interview: 13AM Games (Runbow)
Toronto indie-developers 13AM Games made a big splash with their nine-player multiplayer party game Runbow, and I got the chance to chat with both art lead Shawn Fraser and level designer Justin Fernandes at EGLX 2016 about their project and recently released DLC.
So Runbow has been available to download on the Wii U for quite some time now. How has the reception been since the release in August?
SF: It’s been pretty good, overall.
JF: Yeah, it’s been mostly positive from people who have played it. We got a lot of good reception before it even launched at events, so we’ve just been continually supporting it. The feedback has been good, and we have a dedicated audience now.
I’ve seen that you guys have hit up a lot of expos. Do you find you’ve been pulling in your intended audience or has the demographic that has latched onto your game been a surprise?
JF: Because it’s a party game, I think the intended audience is everybody. We’ve had kids come up and pull in their parents. We’ve had teenagers come up, and adults who pull in their friends. So the audience is anybody who wants to have fun.
Well, the game is definitely fun, in all aspects.
JF: We wanted to make a game that’s fun for hardcore players, and easy for casual people to get into. And it looks like we’ve accomplished that.
Something is working when DLC is in place. What can fans of the game expect when they purchase the recently-released pack? Does it change the game at all?
JF: It dramatically changes the game. We introduced Satura’s Space Adventure, which is an entirely new single player campaign where you actually follow Satura, and we actually give her a backstory. It adds in a little bit of a narrative, and we’ve added all new mechanics for space; you can go in low-gravity zones, and flip upside down.
SF: And space portals – fun, little things. Plus, there is new content for multiplayer, like more arena maps.
JF: On top of that, there are also more costumes.
So does that mean there are more guest characters? Because how much cooler can you get than having Shovel Knight and Guacemelee characters in your game?!
JF: Yeah, we added Lilac [from Freedom Planet] as a free download. So anybody who has the game can go download her.
Now for the million dollar question: can we expect more DLC for Runbow or are you too busy looking forward to an entirely new game?
JF: We’ll leave it ambiguous and say that we have plans [laughs]. We’re always going to support Runbow, but we’re definitely looking into some options.
HUGE thanks to everyone at 13AM Games. They are seriously doing awesome work with Runbow, and you need to check the game out ASAP (if you haven’t already).