Foreign Legion Interview for OnRPG
Buckets of Blood Interview – Buckets of blood and buckets of fun
Questions by Bryan King, OnRPG Moderator and Journalist
Answered by _Pepijn Rijnders, Creative Director Sakari Games
I recently had the chance to sit down with Pepijn Rijnders, a developer over at Sakari Indie, the lead artist for Foreign Legion: Buckets of Blood. FL:BoB is an over the top action third-person shooter that encourages users to gain levels and ranks, unlock and purchase new guns, accessories, and even new armor.
OnRPG: Hello Pepijn, thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with us and our readers. Could you please formally introduce yourself to readers?
Hello everyone my name is Pepijn Rijnders, I am a male human and was born in Eindhoven in 1978. I started creating games back in 1999 when the CD-ROM was hip and people where afraid their computer would explode when the date counter would reach 2000. After working as a 3d artist at various game studios I co-founded Sakari Games. In august 2009 we released our first title Foreign Legion: Buckets of Blood.
OnRPG: In FL:BoB, is there any formal story that is involved? Is there something that players should be aware of or playing? Or is it a game where people can easily just buy the game and become immersed immediately?
The game is all about spilling as much blood as possible. The more gore you generate the more points you get. We created the game as something you want to play during your lunch break. A short burst of fun with no loading times or getting in the story again. It is also pretty easy to play. The controls are the basic WASD to move and mouse too look and shoot. Still there is some depth in the gameplay. You can unlock more weapons by reaching higher ranks. Your choice in weapons has a really big impact on your play style. Plus you can only carry 3 types of weapons so some levels you need to pick your weapons strategically.
OnRPG: What features are available in FL:BoB that separate it from other games?
I think the cartoon style works; it helps the game being light and fun. And it has some sort of guts. Shooting suicide bombers in their explosives for premature detonation has a political ring to it. I think you could see it as a silent statement. It’s a bit of a parody to the real world.
OnRPG: How long did it take to develop Foreign Legion?
The first version we put on steam took us 4 months with 3 people. We outsourced the music and the sound to Noel Wessels, who did a really good job. The game holds a lot more content now since we made an update for our loyal fans. The added content, like character customization, the leveling system, 5 more levels, more weapons and bonus stuff took us an additional 4 months.
OnRPG: What inspiration was used to create this game?
When the US barged into IRAQ for no real reason we made a little game out of protest called Iraq Invaders. It’s a bit like space invaders but tanks roll in and you shoot them to shreds with a bazooka. Now from that I liked to make a similar game in 3d. At the time we were creating the game, we were looking out for battlefield heroes. It seemed cool to play a game just by clicking on a ‘play now’ button in a browser and start shooting. The cartoon style they created really looked impressive. In the end when it came out you had to download 1 gig after pressing the ‘play now’ button and it started an exe from there. That bumped it out a bit. Plus World War II games are not my thing. But again damn DICE created something looking just super cool. I think the cartoon factor is something I myself just miss in a lot of games.
OnRPG: Can you please explain to readers the reasoning behind the name of Foreign Legion: Buckets of Blood?
We did not want to pick sides globally. The foreign Legion army is a mixture of all sorts of people from all sorts of nations. That, and of course they are a very hardcore no questions asked soldiers, made it more universal. The Buckets of Blood subtitle just has a nice ring to it. You can read from it that it’s not taking itself to serious and it keeps various spin-offs possible.
OnRPG: What audiences do you guys think will appreciate this game the most?
People that are not super hardcore gamers and do not have a fortune to spend on their computer and on games. The specs are so low that it’s even possible to play it on a decent netbook and still look good. I think people with a sense of humor also tend to like the game.
OnRPG: FL uses a leveling system that allows players to gain experience and money through doing the missions within the game, what methods are used to prevent players from hitting level 20, stockpiling a lot of weapons, and becoming bored? Are there different difficulties to keep the fun going?
The longer you play the more you unlock. On steam there are also a bunch of achievements that can extend the fun for achievement lovers. The game has an extreme mode you unlock after finishing the game. Only Merlijn Van Holder, who did most of the gameplay, and a handful off hardcore fans can last it a round in that mode. Still the game will full fill your need for blood at some point. But hey 5 bucks for at least 4 hours of proper fun, I think that is a good deal.
OnRPG: Do you guys plan to let users use an SDK to create custom content?
A level editor takes a lot of time to build and might not always interest the majority of our audience. On the bright side, we made the game with unity3d and that’s free now. So I’d rather encourage people to download unity and blender, the programs we used to create the game, form a team and start making your own games. Making games is a fun thing to do.
OnRPG: You guys have had many patches that have been custom tailored to fit the wants and needs from the community, and went so far as to hire another programmer to further enhance the game. How has your community pushed you guys to take that “extra mile” to make FL:BoB the best game it can be?
Well enthusiasm keeps you going I guess. You create games for people to play them. And if they like them you feel like you did your job well. We are completely independent and feel that the community is the best feedback for what people would like.
OnRPG: As the Art Lead for this project, can you explain to users the unique art style that was taken while developing FL?
I can’t really tell where it came from. I think I’m lazy so I exaggerate the stuff I think People like and make that cover up the bits I don’t want to work on. It also might be a heritage from ps2 development. Make your polygons count and keep your shapes visible on a SD TV. Shape is more important than detail to me. A strong shape draws your eyes in the right direction. The bottom line is that I just rebuild the world that is in my head. Good thing that that world is low-poly so performance will never be an issue.
OnRPG: As said on Sakari Indie’s blog, a multiplayer mode will be released soon. Please share some details about what players can expect to see in multiplayer competitive mode and cooperation mode.
Soon is a word I’d rather not use. Let’s say when it’s done. I want to release a multiplayer as bad as or even more than our fans. Gee last year I never even thought we would have fans. But sadly time and people do not always match, so just bear with us. We are working on something to keep you happy in the meanwhile… And what to expect for the multiplayer… well we had so many great ideas from the community, shotgun soccer, chicken hunt, Suicide bomber run… Personally I love the co-op aspect and would like to bring that to the front. Maybe that is because I always get killed all the time in death matches.
OnRPG: Will this multiplayer portion be added as an update, DLC, or as an entirely new game?
This would be a new game. The simple reason for this is that to be independent, meaning you do not have somebody else paying your bills for you, you need money to keep going. Now I believe the game now is really good money for value. Adding a multiplayer mode for free will not generate a lot of income. Not enough to live off anyway. So the multiplayer will be sold separately but we will try to use the stuff you achieved in Buckets of Blood in the Multiplayer. Like carrier level we’ve shown on our blog we’d like to go for new and better looking environments too. We might add some Buckets of blood maps as a bonus. We want the game will have a set of new maps specially designed for multiplayer.
OnRPG: Also released recently on your blog, there will be a Kart vehicle released in future content. How will this play a role in single-player, and can we expect to see it used by players in multiplayer?
Yeah well that came along by introducing Unity3d to a college from an outsource job. We will put the game online during development so people can respond to the gameplay early on. This will also lay the base for some multi-player tests. The karting game might end up as a full FL spinoff game on steam at a super reasonable price. So to answer the question this will not be added as an update to the single player. The game is meant to be the as fun to play as Mario-kart but a lot more aggressive.
OnRPG: Where do you see FL:BoB a year from now?
On all the computers off the readers of this interview next to the other games that will hopefully spin off of this
OnRPG: Thank you again for your time, we really appreciate it.