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PAX Prime 2012 – Hands on with Techtonic Games

Posted on September 11, 2012 AT 03:29pm

When the description of Bust-N-Rush was that it was a past paced game that had no story and you could pick up quests on the fly, I was hesitant. I’m all for the story, and I love to be immersed in deep lore but I’m not one to just say no to a game since because it doesn’t fit exactly what I want. I was sent a demo and a few words about the game, and quickly jumped into it. Sure enough, the game had no story, and the basic premise of the whole thing was to just bust through a metric buttload of rocks. But that was fine. Hell, it was more than fine, it was fun and I couldn’t stop playing. Even my brother took his turn and quickly it turned into a back and forth; an old fashion sibling rivalry. I fell in love with the game before I even got to PAX Prime, and I had nothing but wonderful things to say to the team that I met there.

I met with Scott Miller, CEO of Techtonic Games, Jeromy Maligie, Producer, Leif Dahl, Creative Director, and Scott Washington, Lead Designer on Friday afternoon around a small table. We all looked so tired and quickly fell into chatting about each other and a little background on each of us, which was nice since we didn’t just jump straight into work. We joked about how the game came to light, and Jeromy spoke up. “There’s just something about smashing through things, so we figured why not rocks?”

This simple concept is very effective as the game quickly becomes addictive, and you strive to continue on beating your previous scores, and the team was happy with the reception the game had received so far though they didn’t come this far without some problems. One of the main things they ran into is Kovo’s model; Scott Washington fielded this one. He explained how the model would either randomly start twisting around or fall through the floor without explanation. While the crew could look back and laugh about it, during that time, it was frustrating.

Jeromy also explained that it was also frustrating to get the proper animations down and blend the different ones (running, charging, smashing through things, etc) together without making it look fake or hitching. A fun story was quickly shared and was the solution to the problem: The guys took a bunch of boxes, piled them up high, took turns smashing through them, and recorded it all. Through those videos, they were able to find the right mixture and Kovo’s animations soon followed.

I brought up the fact that the path you run seems to change as you gather different quests. There was a collective nod and Scott Washington spoke up again. He explained that the path you run is made of up varies chunks, and depending on what quests you have, those chunks switch around and become whatever you need. Pointing out that the path is always randomized, the PC is the perfect platform for the game, allowing the engine to crank out the pieces needed for the necessary path ahead.

I questioned them about social networking, and how they were going to use Facebook in their game. Scott Miller spoke up, saying that Facebook was the easiest to integrate into their game and it’s also the easiest to use. You hit a high score, you can post it on your wall, or you complete a long series of quests, you can challenge your friends to try to top it. With the way things are now, Facebook was just the right choice for them. Later on, Scott explained, that they will be looking into Twitter and other networks as the game gathers more steam.

If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out the game, go snag the beta on their site and just try it for yourself! This is definitely something I’m looking forward to especially since my friends and I are extremely competitive. Bust-N-Rush will be available for PC in the near future, and Techtonic has plans for Mac and browser support play. I want to thank all of the guys who sat down with me and allowed me to pick at their brains while simply relaxing, and hope to see more from them soon!

Techtonic is fully prepared to launch Bust-N-Rush this Friday, September 14th, by EA through Origin. They are packaging Bust-N-Rush into the Double-Bust-Bundle that will only be offered through Origin, and which will include:

  • A FREE Standard Edition copy to gift to a lucky friend (for players to get started with Bust-A-Friend Mode)
  • Behind the scenes video of Bust-N-Rush: “Crunch Time Chronicles”
  • Bust-N-Rush wallpapers
  • The Bust-N-Rush Soundtrack
  • New Survival level: Transition Mode (where players can bust all three worlds offered in the Standard Edition simultaneously)
As a gamer for life, I've watched many things come and go. My controller has changed color and shape many times, along with my console. A fan of action RPGs and the like, I'm always willing to give a good game the chance to impress me. || Editor-In-Chief || @GamingMistress || GamingMistress@DigitalNoob.com

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