Exclusive Interview: Reptile’s “Megabyte Punch”

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Now I spend a lot of time on an image board that has got a bit of a nefarious name among those who surf the internet.  And through out all the time that I spent there, I’ve always seen threads about amateur game developers seeking assistance from one another in developing their games, though I never paid them much mind because coming from a game development college myself, looking at game development related posts is one of the last things I wanted to do.  However, when one of the NUReviews staff members told me that a game developed by people from that same board is up on Steam Greenlight, my interest was peaked.  Thus was my introduction to Megabyte Punch, a game developed by Reptile.  If you go and check their website, you’ll see that not only are they up on Steam Greenlight, but they’re also accepting pre-orders for the game and they have a demo up.  The game was described to me as customizable Smash Bros, so I had to try the demo out myself.  I was excitingly surprised when that, as far as simplified descriptions go, that was essentially what the game felt like.  The game is a side-scrolling beat em up much like Super Smash Bros Brawl’s Subspace Emissary, where you control a robot like creature that fights other robot like creatures.  When you destroy an enemy they can sometimes drop a part of their body, which you can then substitute out for parts of your body to add stats or abilities.  Once you have a robot customized to your liking, you can take it into an online battle arena to fight other players.  After playing the demo myself, I decided it would be a good idea to try and hit up the developers for an exclusive interview, and surprised was I when they agreed!

B: So, Why don’t we get a little introduction from you, for those who may not know who you are?

D: I’m Dion Koster, 23 years old.  I have a little company called Reptile where I work together with Tim Remmers on a customizable fighting/beat ’em up game for PC and Mac called Megabyte Punch

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B: Do you have any prior development experience?

D: Yes, I started with Gamemaker and some NDS homebrew.  I’ve made several small/unfinished games.  None really comparable to Megabyte Punch though, it’s going to be bigger then anything I made before.  So it’s pretty exciting! Apart from my own games I did work at Ronimo on Awesomeauts as a Game Design Intern, doing work on bots, balancing and abilities.  I also wrote some of the character’s backstories.  They are among the smartest people I’ve met, it was good fun and I learned a lot.

B: Now, your game, Megabyte Punch, what is it about and what really makes it stand out from the rest?

D: This is my pitch: Megabyte Punch is an in-development electro fighting/beat ’em up game in which you build your own fighter.  As you travel through different environments, you battle other creatures to get their parts.  Parts have their own powers and bonuses, like gun arms for a shoot ability or powerful hips for a devastating pelvic thrust attack.  Then, using the abilities of your customized fighter, you can compete in the tournament or battle against other players in a destructible arena.

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B: What was your inspiration behind Megabyte Punch? Did any of your favorite games play into it?

D:In the beginning, we wanted to make a customizable Smash Bros Melee.  It just seemed like a very good match with the gameplay mechanics and a lot of fun.  The game, as I imagined it, was something I wanted to play and I thought many others would too.  That said, except for the boss battles and tournament modes, it’s very much unlike Smash.  Most of the game (some 5 to 8 hours we’re hearing from testers) is about finding the right parts, battling creatures and beating levels in the single players/co-op mode.

B: How long have you been working on the game? Was it just you two or did you have a team behind you?

D: I started on my own in summer 2011, hijacking a room in my former school to work in pretending to be a master’s student.  Not long after I started Reptile with Time Remmers (who actually was a master’s student) and we continued together.  Reptile has a third member (Dillon De Voor) who sometimes comes out of the woodwork doing small projects or web tech, but he’s not involved with Megabyte Punch.  So yes, its a two man game.  We’ve had some breaks doing freelance work or other side-projects, so the total development time comes down to about one and a half years now.

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B: How does it feel knowing that your game may end up on Steam, allowing it to be more widely available?

D: Amazing! I tend to swing in that regard though.  Looking at our Steam Greenlight page, it doesn’t seem likely to happen any time soon.  But then I look at all the positive comments and feedback we’re getting and jump around thinking we should be able to make it or at least bypass the Greenlight process once it’s finished.  It’s probably a matter of getting word out about the game.  Winning an award would do it too, dreaming is what got me here anyway.

B: For our /v/ and /vg/ readers, where do your vidya allegiances lay?  Are you a PC Master Race, Nintenbaby, etc…? Or are you a far more fabulous Idort?

D: I really don’t pick camps, so I guess I’m pretty fabulous.  I like the NDS to make and play some games on though

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B: What games are you currently looking forward to or even playing when you’re not working on Megabyte Punch?

D: Shockingly few.  Right now I’m interested in Wonderful 101 and I wish they made a new Jet Set Radio damn it!

B: When should we be expecting the game to finally be released?

D: We’re expecting it’ll still take some months to finish it properly, but certainly this year.  Doesn’t that sound like a typical game developer?

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B: Do you have any future projects planned?

D: We don’t have the next project planned yet.  All we know is that we want to do several smaller games after Megabyte Punch with a less abstract art style.  Probably stylish action oriented with depth in either skill or content.

B: Any last words you would like to share?

D: I’d like to plug our Steam Greenlight page, please vote for us if you like the game! Reptile represent and shoutout to AGDG.  And thank you for the interview!

No, thank you Dion, even though you won’t be getting that thank you until after this publishes.  But in seriousness we would like to thank Dion over at Reptile for giving us this opportunity, as excited as you were to get your game on Steam Greenlight, we were excited that you allowed us this opportunity.  You can check out their website here, and if you like them you can pre-order the game for $7.50 and go vote for them on their Greenlight page!

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