Guns and Robots | Developer Interview

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Guns and Robots is an upcoming online shooter under development by Masthead Studios Ltd. The game will be launched in the free to play format and has recently begun its beta in January of 2013. We had the opportunity to speak with Orlin Dutskinov, Project Team Leader, at Masthead Studios about Guns and Robots and what we can expect from their robot killing machines.

MMO Attack: Let's start by telling us a little bit about Guns and Robots.
Orlin Dutskinov, Project Team Leader: Guns and Robots is a free-to-play online shooter in which players can create deadly, yet funny looking robots and play with them in different arenas. The game offers humorous experience, fast-paced battles and very rich character customization.

I know character customization plays a large role in the game, what sort of ways can characters customize their robots?
Yes, indeed we point out this as our strong side in the game play. With the robot customization, or more accurately robot creation, we were trying to make something unique, with a lot of humor that not many games can be proud of. We wanted to give the players freedom to build whatever robot they can think of from scratch, using parts. We try our best to keep different parts rolling out and make improvements so players can enjoy variety of weapons, enchantments chassis, body, arms, head, accessories and so on. At that moment we have calculated around several hundred possible combinations!

What we really aim is every robot build to be unique not only by its geometry and visuals, but also in terms of specifications. For example our robots are moving with different speed on different surfaces, shooting with different rate of fire, inflicting different damage and have different overall durability.

One of the coolest parts of the game is all the unique weapon designs, where do you draw inspiration from and do you think you'll ever draw a blank on new weapons to create?
Designs of the weapons are influenced by old sci-fi and horror classics such as works of Cubric, Hitchcock, Tim Burton etc., classic animations like Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, modern animations like Wall-e and some Pixar shorts, Tomek Baginski's shorts and mainly from stuff we find in the dark corners of the streets. :)

Guns and Robots is a free to play game with a cash shop, how do you ensure that it's not characterized as pay to win?
Our shop system is still work in progress, we are updating constantly the prices and credits that players can earn during combat. Our ultimate goal is to ensure a smooth player progression in the game. Unlike many free mmos out there, Guns and Robots has no second currency, which means there are no special modules or parts, that players can buy only with that special currency. All parts and modules in GAR are purchasable with in-game credits earned after each battle. That is why we are developing a matchmaking system that will place every player in the right battle according to his robot strength.

We've noticed quite a few updates coming from Guns and Robots, do you plan on keeping up such a furious pace of updates and new content?
Haha...although our team consists of experienced game developers, we are still pretty small team. Of course this is not an excuse, so we are planning to deliver new updates in the coming weeks with similar pace. New maps and whole new and exiting features( DEVICES) are coming soon.

What sort of future plans do you have in place for the game?
We have recently released the roadmap for Guns and Robots. Player will see in March robot devices and a new arena will open in April. Some of the updates players can look forward to as well are:

- Game modes, such as racing, capture the flag, free for all
- Parties and guilds
- Web player – the game should be playable in your browser, no download required.
- Single player missions

How will the recently announced ranking system play out? And do you plan on having tournaments?
Unlike robot leveling, which will be used for gaining awards and achievements and will play a big part in the ladder system in the future, robot ranking is different thing.
Basically robot ranking determines how strong your robot is, based on the modules it consists of. Every part has its item rating, this includes all parts from engines to rocket launchers. When you build your robot, all item ratings are summed up and the outcome result is your current robot rank. The system is aware of many things, for instance: firepower(weapons) is more important for rank determination, so weapons item rating is much higher than the heads or batteries ratings.

We noticed a contest was recently promoted on your site, do you plan on continuing to do contests throughout the year or is this more of a one-time event?
Yes, we plan to announce new contests on constant basis in the future. When one contest is over you can expect to see a new one soon.

Your open beta has been going on for just over a month now, when do you anticipate a full release?
We want to release the game officially when we believe it has reached its full potential and our design goals. The game still needs features and balance. The full release date is "when it is ready".

Finally what is your favorite part about Guns and Robots and what do you think players will enjoy the most about your game?
What the team and I enjoy the most in the game is the atmosphere. Those zany looking and in the same time dangerous tinheads put in a well designed environment makes it look really great! Addictive robot customization and furious battles with higher rank robots also gives great game play satisfaction.
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