01 August 2019 (released)
01 August 2019
Game-News got in touch with the developers behind Ruiner and spoke about their fantastic game. We wanted to know more about the development and what they up to next.
Adam Sikora - gameplay designer
Darek Murawski - programmer
Jakub Styliński - co-founder & lead gameplay designer
Marek Roefler - co-founder & lead programmer
Michał ‘Donvius’ Drogomirecki - gameplay designer & animator / VFX artist
Patrycja Polowczyk - junior producer & game tester
Piotr Niedzielski - sound designer
Gamers agree that one of the most impressive aspects to Ruiner is the highly refined combat. What was the process like to get the gunplay and action right?
Adam: The process of designing and polishing combat mechanics was highly iterative. We spent long hours playing and tweaking over and over again until it just felt right. Then we asked focus testers for feedback and it turned out combat was way too hard for an average player. So we tweaked it again and the process continued until we’ve hit the right spot.
Donvius: In the beginning, combat was very chaotic: random, unfair deaths and too many visual effects obscuring action were our biggest problems. We kept changing some variables, tweaked some numbers… and here we are.
From a personal perspective, what is your favourite thing(s) about Ruiner?
Adam: The cutscene in which the hero encounters Watayama and is hacked by Her to kill fast before the time runs out. Everything just falls into place: the atmosphere, music, timer mechanics. The combat on this arena fully captures the premise of RUINER’s gameplay and sets our mind for a challenge.
Donvius: My favourtie things are the Colosseum (the arena mode) and all the gore. Why, it’s because I got to design it all myself and it’s just so much fun. And not to forget the famous Hyperloop text: “activating light speed”. It’s hilarious because it makes no sense and nobody really thinks about it when playing.
Were there any problems during the development of Ruiner? Anything that was a problem to program, design or plan? (Or anything that nearly ruined the game?)
Jakub: Every day, we had to face new problems or, as I like to call it, challenges. It’s just part of development.
Donvius: I remember that one time we had a very tight deadline to deliver a playable build. One day left and 4 enviro levels yet to be optimised. Art team and I were working on it very hard, optimising assets in Maya - a tool that I’ve never used before. Did we make it? Of course we made it!
Adam: Side quests were always problematic. Resetting the city level could block further quest progress, a specific combination of inputs could cause a crash, and hacking cats could prevent the hero from moving. New quest logic bugs were rolling in every day. It took a long time to make it work.
Marek: Literally before every event we had to spend long hours on cooking and fixing builds, often delivering a playable version last minute.
Patrycja: I will never forget the problem we had with the UWP version of Ruiner’s latest update. Once a special build was prepared according to all guidelines, we’ve uploaded it to the Microsoft Dev Centre and waited for the Certification team to approve it. They couldn’t even launch the build and nobody knew why. 2 months and over 100 emails later, our programmer, Darek, found what was causing the blocker. It was one line of code. One digit, to be precise. Change developer mode from 1 to 0.
Darek: I worked on porting Ruiner to Linux and it took a lot of time and effort to fix all the problems with builds. There was no sound in VLC videos due to UE4 lacking support for playing dynamically-buffered sound using OpenAL and I had to implement this feature myself. Another big problem was with the alpha channel in videos. We had to check every open-source video format that supports alphas and find one that would work with our game and has the best compressor.
Was there anything you wanted to include or had to remove for the final version?
Jakub: We had to cut a couple of locations to ensure the best quality for the whole game. A second part of the hub was considered - Rengkok North - but the plans never came to fruition.
Was co-op ever considered for Ruiner?
Jakub: RUINER was our first game, and it was the first time most of us used Unreal Engine. We considered co-op, but decided to fully focus on smooth single-player experience and make it as good as we could.
The music and sound design for Ruiner is phenomenal. How did you manage to produce such great results with the composer?
Piotr: Composes didn’t work on our game, as we decided to license already composed songs. The characteristic and consistent audio was achieved by adjusting sound effects and voice-overs to the sound of music pieces that we chose earlier.
What’s the future for Ruiner?
Patrycja: RUINER has received a few big updates since its launch, the last one being the Cheater Update on 9 October, 2018. Since then, no new content has rolled out and we have no plans of releasing more updates. We’re still supporting players and helping with any issues they may have with the game. But that’s not the end of the story! Right now, we have a SWITCH version cooking that many players have asked for. Crunching Koalas are doing a marvelous job porting RUINER to this platform and soon, we’ll be able to experience all the glorious gory action on a handheld.
Can you share any details on what you guys are working on next?
Jakub: The project we’re working on right now is an exciting challenge for the whole team. We decided to do something different than RUINER, while still remaining true to sci-fi themes. From a top-down, we shifted towards a first-person perspective and we added more verticality to our levels. The game is a shooter set in alien worlds. It offers very fast-paced action with different modes of dynamic movement.