With Fieldrunners 2 releasing in the next few weeks, we sat down with developer Subatomic Studios to discuss their upcoming Tower Defense game as well as their future plans. From what we can gather, it looks like Fieldrunners 2 will be a game any iOS owner or TD fan will want to own!
Head on past the break to check out the full interview!
Piki Geek: When and why was Subatomic Studios founded?
Subatomic Studios: Subatomic Studios was founded in early 2008 and was established to bring original, AAA-quality titles to market.
PG:What was the inspiration for the original Fieldrunners?
SS:Back when the iOS SDK was announced in February 2008, we saw it as an opportunity to build a game that we believed would be a great match for the platform. We explored several different game ideas but felt that the touch-screen was a natural fit for tower defense. Everything else evolved from there. The art style was carefully chosen to be as friendly and as accessible as possible, but unique enough to make the game stand out amongst a crowd. We chose a light military theme because it was more grounded and relatable than using aliens, robots, or monsters. We wanted each of the characters to be easily distinguishable on the small screen so we chose colors and silhouettes that were very distinct. And we avoided adding too much complexity (such as a tech tree) so the learning curve was little to non-existent and would allow the game to be easily understood and enjoyed by many. Every choice that we made was carefully scrutinized in order to create the best possible gaming experience for the intended audience and platform.
PG:What are some the major changes and additions made to Fieldrunners 2?
SS:Fieldrunners 2 has been re-written from the ground up in an entirely new engine. This let us use our most obvious new feature, our swarming engine. The fieldrunners now interact with each other like real crowds of people. Large, slow units like tanks can become bottlenecks for smaller, faster units. Fast bikes need to slow down to take corners. Groups can be split into smaller groups and taken out individually. There is a lot that players can do with real swarm dynamics.
We also support revolutionary new multi-level map designs. From a single bridge, the player can create figure-eights, double-loops, and a whole lot of other new maze types. With a field of bridges and trenches and overpasses and building tops, players can create almost limitless unique patterns never seen before in a tower defense game. We plan on having players discover unique new ways of approaching these maps for years to come.
All of this builds towards a larger game experience. We want players to feel connected with the world they’re building. This is not a little five-minute experience. Players are building up mazes, earning towers, making money for items, and in general becoming connected to that world.
PG:The original Fieldrunners has seen a wide variety of ports for various platforms. Will Fieldrunners 2 be the same way?
SS:Porting the original Fieldrunners was a very interesting experience. Part of the reason we brought our game to so many platforms was to test them out and see which would make a good fit for Fieldrunners 2. It also allowed us to develop really awesome connections with the communities on each platform. Now that we’ve built these communities and experimented with the different platforms, we think we’ve got a good sense of the right homes for Fieldrunners 2. We’ll fill everyone in on the specifics after the iOS builds launch, but suffice it to say that ports are something we’ve got our eyes on.
PG:Do you plan on branching out into other genres besides Tower Defense?
SS: Our team has a diverse background. Individually, we’ve worked on titles from Guitar Hero to Zoo Tycoon to Empire Earth. We’re always looking at new ways of playing games. Tower defense happens to be a rich area for that exploration, but it’s not the only one.
And we have already branched out. This isn’t well known, but we made the physics puzzler TinkerBox with Autodesk last year. That game hit the #4 spot in educational games on the iPad, and is used in classrooms across the country to teach basic engineering concepts to high school students.
PG:When will Fieldrunners 2 be released?
SS:Fieldrunners 2 is expected to launch on the iPhone by the end of June or early July.