Cracking the Code to Level Design in Rubber Bandits, Coming To Xbox December 2nd

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With the upcoming celebration brawler quickly launching on Xbox Sport Go, we go behind the scenes of Rubber Bandits with gameplay and stage designers Bo Strandby and Noel Toivio, into the world of sport stage design at Flashbulb Video games.

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How Did You Determine on the Idea of Rubber Bandits?

Rubber Bandits started as a ragdoll controller just like QWOP”, says Strandby. “Gamers needed to independently transfer their legs and arms to move every stage.”

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“We developed in several levels, from rampaging Godzilla-style by a tiny metropolis being shot at by tanks, to a physics-based brawler the place characters smashed environments and fought with correct weapons.”


“It was initially going to be a knight-themed brawler known as Simply A Flesh Wound, like Monty Python’s ‘Holy Grail’film”, provides Toivio.

“That’s true,” laughs Strandby, “Then Lasse (Middelbo Outzen, Lead Artist at Flashbulb Video games) got here into the workplace actually excited in the future and introduced, ‘We’re going to name it Rubber Bandits, and it’s about cops and robbers.’ He got here up with the thought of gathering loot, and we constructed it up from there.”

How Did You Begin Designing the Ranges in Rubber Bandits?

“We had 5 ranges to start out with,” Strandby begins. “We had a dodgeball stage, a hurdles stage, and one the place gamers needed to rush gold bars from a tank to a truck.”

“The extent is meant to be a canvas for the gameplay,” says Toivio. “Whereas we had some stage design concepts already, we needed the themes to come back second to the gameplay.

“The workforce determined it could be extra enjoyable should you may work together with environmental components within the sport, like vehicles. So, we created the ‘Streets’ metropolis stage with high-speed obstacles to keep away from.”

“We needed to be cautious with Rubber Bandits, although,” Toivio continues, “as many fashionable video games have these large shifting ranges, like factories, that didn’t work with the theme of bandits.”

“I imply, who’s attempting to rob a manufacturing facility?” laughs Strandby.

“Precisely!” agrees Toivio. “If it didn’t correlate strongly with the theme, we simply didn’t use it. As an alternative, we tailored this into an airport stage, which makes use of conveyor belts, baggage, and jet engines as obstacles as a substitute.”

airport screenshot

What Stage Design Features Modified Most Throughout Growth?

“Beforehand, we used a countdown for remaining gamers when one participant escaped the extent,” explains Strandby. “Then, Mikkel (Thorsted, Artistic Director at Flashbulb Video games) had the thought of re-introducing gamers as cops to take down different bandits.”

“Noel  was skeptical,” Strandby continues, “however then it helped to implement the cops-and-robbers theme. Typically you think about it otherwise in prototype, after which it makes extra sense once you play it.”

“The cops side additionally performs into the gamers’ intuition to guard their very own win, and take down their mates,” explains Toivio. “Individuals actually wish to win, they usually don’t notice simply how a lot.”

What had been the Greatest Obstacles When Creating the Rubber Bandits Ranges?

“We struggled with telling people who they’re nonetheless taking part in, even when they suppose they’ve completed,” says Toivio, concerning gamers’ changeover from bandit to cop. “We tried to maintain consideration with UI, textual content components, countdowns, and different methods to carry consideration to the character.”


“We discovered to create a enjoyable stage design that doesn’t ‘take over’. In case your character swings a weapon, you don’t need too many tight areas. In any other case, the weapon collides with the setting, moderately than the opponent. Irritating!”

“And we didn’t wish to fatigue gamers,” Toivio continues. “There’s a number of ‘breath of recent air’ ranges to the gameplay per theme. The breaking ground stage within the Museum is bold and wishes a number of new stuff, but in addition retains gamers on their toes.”

What had been A few of Your Favourite Ranges that Didn’t Make the Full Sport?

“We removed the hurdles,” says Strandby. “That was one of many hardest ranges to kill for me.”

“It’s troublesome to know when to cease as a developer,” agrees Toivio. “Hurdles had been there earlier than the Rubber Bandits thought even took place. However it didn’t match the theme.”

“Some ranges are cut-out remnants of the outdated hurdles stage,” Strandby continues, “so not less than it lives on.”

What was Your Favourite Stage to Design?

“The vehicles stage,” says Strandby. “Motion is an phantasm – solely the bushes are shifting correctly, so that you’re constrained to throwing stuff at different gamers, or catching what they throw.” “I preferred the Bouncy Fortress stage,” laughs Toivio, “however all 25 of them had been enjoyable to make.

screenshot concept

“My favorite is the Financial institution hatch stage. You flip a change to flip the bridge over and make gamers fall. It makes use of fascinating interactive mechanics that really feel distinctive to Rubber Bandits.

“Plus one tremendous secret spicy stage on the finish of Arcade mode…”

Rubber Bandits launches on December 2nd 2021 for Xbox consoles and Xbox Sport Go.

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