When I was creating the video for the upcoming games for September 26 to October 2 (which has a whopping 20 games in it by the way), RKR – Rush Kill Repeat was a bit of a mystery. All its Steam page had were 5 screenshots and a very short description of the game, so I didn’t know what the game was about.
The next day after the video was released, Filip Budd, the developer of the game, reached out to me and told me that if I’m interested, he’d be more than happy to do an interview with me, and of course, I was, so I took him up on that offer!
Here’s the interview I had with Filip Budd:
Cerebro: Hello, roguemates! Cerebro here from roguelites.com, and I’m here with Filip Budd, the developer and publisher of RKR – Rush Kill Repeat, a game that came out last September 30. Hello Filip, how’s it going?
Filip Budd: It is going quite well, thank you!
Cerebro: Awesome! Okay, I have to admit, I have very little knowledge of RKR coming in, so for me as well as the readers of roguelites.com, could you tell us more about the game in general?
Filip: Of course! Originally, RKR was a small game-jam project of mine that was started in 2020. It was made in four days. It featured procedurally generated levels and a monochrome tileset.
The game contained a story that I eventually cut later in development.
As for the gameplay, you run around killing enemies before time kills you. It’s very simple to pick up and play a quick round of the game.
Cerebro: That sounds cool! Anyway, you mentioned that this game is a product of a 4-day game jam. How was the development process been since then?
Filip: After two years of sitting dormant on an old hard drive of mine, I picked up the project sometime in late August of this year. I figured it deserved some more love. One of the first things I did was fix an issue that had been introduced to all GameMaker Studio projects after a Windows update in early 2021. After that came the gameplay.
The base game stayed the same, but I knew I had to do something about the difficulty. Almost all of the feedback that I received during the game jam related to the game’s difficulty.
I also knew that I wanted to change the music in the game. Calm, Lo-Fi beats did not fit the game’s intensity level at ALL. So, I asked Biuuuwulf, someone whom I have worked with in the past, to help me with this project’s soundtrack. We are both super proud of our aspects of this project.
Cerebro: You said something about players giving feedback about the difficulty. Was it too easy or too hard?
Filip: It was WAY too difficult. With the procedural generation came randomly-spawning enemies. There’s no guarantee that enemies will spawn close to you, or that you’ll be able to find and kill all of the enemies before your time runs out. That’s why I implemented the “Move On” feature, which allows players to move to the next room without needing to kill everything.
Some OG fans are disappointed by this feature, claiming it makes the game too easy to beat. My argument is that players don’t have to use it if they don’t want to.
Cerebro: Hmm.. maybe you can add a “Hardcore” mode in the future for those players who wanted an extreme challenge!
Moving on, could you explain a bit further about the gameplay?
Filip: I sure can! The gameplay is similar to that of Enter the Gungeon where the player must navigate through and shoot things using various weapons. Every time you kill an enemy, you get equipped with a new random weapon. If you have power-ups enabled, you may also find yourself equipped with a random power-up.
There are three difficulties at the moment: Normal, Hard, and RDR (Rush, Die, Repeat). As the difficulty increases, the environment’s light decreases. You also move a lot slower as the difficulty gets higher. The number of enemies changes depending on the difficulty you’ve selected, and how many levels you’ve played through.
Cerebro: This is probably a stupid question, but if the difficulty gets high enough, is there a possibility for the entire room to be completely dark?
Filip: It would be cruel to have it completely dark. In fact, 20 minutes before the game was released to the public, I made it so that, if you’re playing on RDR mode, every kill you get speeds you up and makes the lighting in the room brighter. That way, the game STARTS difficult, but it’s ultimately just a small hurdle to overcome.
Cerebro: Haha, I had to ask that just to make sure it didn’t come to the room being completely pitch black!
Filip: Hahaha, I’m sure the players would hate that!
I still have at least a couple of questions to ask regarding the gameplay. The first one is that you mentioned that every kill grants you a random weapon. What happens if your weapon is so good, you don’t want to replace it?
Filip: You don’t have a choice! Giving the player a new weapon each time keeps the player on their feet! It’s stressful going from the Wave Gun to the Sniper; one shoots a wave around the player, while the other requires you to be very precise.
I’ve been considering adding a “reroll” power-up to the game, which would allow the player to get a new gun if they don’t like the one that they currently have.
Cerebro: Ohh, I see! It adds depth to the game because you have to think outside the box on how to work with your weapons. That is actually an amazing mechanic thinking about it!
Filip: Exactly! I’m always trying to come up with new weapon ideas to add to the game, too. Each weapon should act differently from the others.
Cerebro: Yeah, totally! That will add even more depth to the game.
My second question pertains to your initial description of the gameplay in which you said “you run around killing enemies before time kills you”. Is timing out the only way to lose? What if the enemy hits you?
Filip: If an enemy runs into you, you’ll die immediately, but because enemies ALSO die immediately (and you have a gun, haha), you can kill them before they get you.
Cerebro: Ahh I see. I initially thought that only time kills you and that enemy hits decrease the time. Good to have that clarified!
Filip: By the way, killing an enemy increases the time you have left! If you kill a group of enemies right after beginning the game, you have a pretty good headstart.
Cerebro: Oh, good to know that!
Earlier, you mentioned that Biuuuwulf made the music for the game. Did someone else work on the game, or is it a solo dev project for the most part?
Filip: I did all of the programming, art (except for the character design, which was done by a friend of mine who helped with brainstorming during the game jam, I just animated the little guy), and the marketing. With the exception of the fantastic music by Biuuuwulf, it’s safe to say I did everything.
The same friend that helped with brainstorming also helped make the Steam page sound a bit more appealing.
I’m always going to him for feedback on this project.
Cerebro: Looks like he’s very reliable. Good that you have someone like that!
Anyway, the game launched yesterday. How was it?
Filip: For me, the day went by very slowly… I had to go to work, haha! I couldn’t wait to go home and see what people thought about my latest release!! Once I made it home, I saw that someone had already streamed the game, and there were a couple of tweets on Twitter. My Discord server also started to get new members.
I am loving the feedback that I have been receiving.
Cerebro: That is amazing! It had to be nerve-wracking while you were at work!
Filip: For sure it was… I had no idea what people would think! Let’s just say I was very excited to go home that day!
Cerebro: And glad the surprise was for the better!
Now that the launch is behind you, what will the RKR players be looking forward to in the foreseeable future?
Filip: RKR players can look forward to new weapons, customization features, game modes, and much more. I love putting players’ ideas into my games as well, so I always like to say that the future of the game is in the community’s hands!
Cerebro: Sounds good! We’re nearing the end of our interview. Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview with us. Any final shoutouts you want to make?
Check out the Discord server: https://discord.com/invite/2zch5Dv
Buy the game on Steam: RKR – Rush Kill Repeat
And be sure to take a listen to Biuuuwulf on Spotify: Click here
I’m always happy to answer questions people may have, so don’t be a stranger! Let’s start a discussion, roguemates!