Interview with Melonhead Games - Rooftop Renegade

Interview with Melonhead Games - Rooftop Renegade
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At PAX Aus 2019, we were fortunate enough to be able to speak with Patrick from Melonhead Games about two of their upcoming local multiplayer game – Rooftop Renegade.

Alex: Hello everyone, I’m Alex from Switchaboo and I’m joined here by Patrick from Melonhead Games. How are you today?

Patrick: Not bad, yourself?

A: Good, thank you! Enjoying PAX?

P: Yeah, it’s been pretty good so far; very hectic but great!

A: Very busy!

P: Yeah [laughs].

A: So, tell us a bit about Rooftop Renegade.

P: Rooftop Renegade is a speedrunning platformer where you essentially have to run through a level as quickly as possible and escape some authorities while they shoot up the place to stop you. There’s a single-player mode that has challenge levels and then there’s a multiplayer party mode.

A: So in that multiplayer party mode, there’s a gunner and there’s a runner. What different abilities do the gunners have?

P: The gunners have a pretty simple move set. They have their basic fire which depends on their loadout and they also have a special ability which also depends on the loadout.

A: And does the runner have any special abilities?

P: The runner has three different powers. They’ve got a boost which standardly propels you forward; they’ve got a shift which teleports you through hazards in a horizontal direction; and you’ve also got a launch to boosts you upwards.

A: So what is the goal of the game?

P: The goal of the game is to get the best time. Essentially, to get out of the level as quickly as possible and escape.

A: How long has the game been in development for?

P: It’s been in development for about 18 months now and we’re aiming to release it in around July 2020.

A: So it’s coming along quite nicely then?

P: Yeah, it’s been a pretty smooth development!

A: Beautiful! How many stages will the game have?

P: There are four worlds planned at the moment, each having a minimum of six challenge levels, but how much that scales up depends on how creative we can get.

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A: And will there be different challenges in each individual world?

P: Yeah, so there will be separate challenge levels.

A: So with Rooftop Renegade coming to Nintendo Switch, have you thought about any exclusive features like HD Rumble?

P: The big thing that we want to try out is the Joy-Con movement in order to have a bit of motion control. But at this stage, we haven’t been able to test anything out just yet. We’ll have to see what works.

A: Will there be any online multiplayer?

P: Currently, we’re just sticking with local co-op. We are aiming to have online leaderboards so that people can compare scores. And then the main single-player content will be the challenge modes.

A: So please tell us more about the game’s development and potentially some of the challenges that you’ve experienced.

P: The big thing for us is trying to get the movement to feel as smooth as possible. There’s been a lot of programming challenges with making sure the mechanics are nice and tight and that there’s no latency issues that affect how the mechanics work with each other.

A: And it’s a very fast moving game so I imagine there’s been a lot of focus on getting that frame rate right.

P: Yeah, we have to keep the game at a smooth 60 otherwise some of the mechanics won’t actually hold up. We’re aiming to have a nice and smooth experience on Switch.

A: We’d like to acknowledge everyone in the team. Who else has been working on the game?

P: We have two artists on the team; one focussing on environment and all of our marketing materials and the other is character artist to which he focus on all of our characters and our unique hazards. We have one programmer who is always flat out with everything that I throw at him as the designer [laughs]. But we all pitch in and we help each other with our different fields as we’re all mildly trained in each other’s roles.

A: So is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

P: We really hope everyone enjoys it! Aiming for short bursts of play so we’re looking forward to seeing people on the train.

A: Absolutely! And where can people go to follow Melonhead Games and keep up to date with the progress of Rooftop Renegade?

P: Our Facebook is Melonhead Games, our Twitter is @MelonheadAU, our Instagram is @MelonheadGames and our YouTube is Melonhead Games.

A: Easy to remember! Thank you so much for your time, Patrick.

P: No worries, thank you.

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  • Belinda Cubitt