The following interview is with Robin Meijer, producer from Ronimo Games. Follow the team on Twitter: @RonimoGames
Ronimo Games was founded in 2007, and your first game, Swords and Soldiers, debuted in 2009. Since then, the development team has grown by 5 to facilitate the development of Awesomenauts. What was the extra manpower needed for the most, in regards to the creation of Awesomenauts?
Most of the additional manpower was needed for programming the multiplayer aspect of the game. We only had one programmer on our team for most of the development time on Swords & Soldiers, but Awesomenauts was just a lot more complex. We had to develop for two platforms simultaneously, so our programming team has grown from just one guy when we started out to 5 by the time we finished.
You guys also developed your own game engine, the RoniTech engine. Why the decision to develop your own in-house game engine? It seems like a lot of extra work.
It is indeed a lot of work to develop and maintain our own engine, but it also gives us incredible flexibility. Our engine has been designed from the ground up to properly handle 2D-games, and the fact that we’re able to develop new features for it whenever we feel that’s needed is just fantastic.
Swords and Soldiers was released on a variety of platforms. Why the decision to make Awesomenauts a console exclusive? Are there plans to change that down the road?
With Awesomenauts we specifically wanted to bring an experience similar to Defense of the Ancients to console. We haven’t made any decisions about bringing Awesomenauts to other platforms yet, but that’s definitely something we’d like to do a little further down the line.
What kind of multiplayer features can players expect to find within Awesomenauts?
Players can go online on their own or bring two other friends along in split-screen. This is something we really wanted to add, as playing alongside friends is just a great way to learn the game ad simply have fun.
One of the coolest features about Awesomenauts is the fact that there is drop-in/drop-out multiplayer though. That means that whenever you hit “Matchmaking,” you’ll find a match almost instantly. So no more waiting in a lobby for people to join – you can just join a match that’s already in progress. If you can’t immediately find an available match, you’ll start one on your own with the empty slots being filled by bots. Those will be replaced by other players when they enter the matchmaking system themselves.
Awesomenauts provides six playable characters with their own distinct ability sets. Which character do you find yourself favoring over the others?
For me, Clunk is my favorite. He’s definitely slow but can have an incredible amount of health. And just charging into a group of enemy players while charging the Explode ability feels great – players scatter before the winds and most minions are killed in a single blow. It’s easy to over-extend with him, which usually results in my untimely death, but I’m having a good time nonetheless.
What is one feature of Awesomenauts which you believe players will enjoy the most?
I think the drop-in/drop-out multiplayer will appeal to many players, never having to wait to play a game is fun for everyone!
Do you have any plans to release downloadable content in the future?
Definitely, we hope that by adding new characters to the game we can keep the game fresh and enjoyable for everyone. We already have two characters that are almost ready to be released – we just need to do some balance tweaking to get them ready. Unfortunately, we’re not quite sure when these will go live, but it shouldn’t be too long before we expand the playable roster!
A big thanks to Robin Meijer and the Ronimo Games team.
Download Awesomenauts on Xbox Live and on the PlayStation Network.