Base Wars: The Land is the hugest game to ever hit ROBLOX. User d4rk886 created a game that is universally cherished, as evidenced by the 21 million (and climbing) visits the game has received and the RGC 2012 Users Choice Award it received for Best Game. Though many of our Spotlight articles are about users who are just beginning to pave their paths through ROBLOX, we universally agreed that talking to the creator of Base Wars: The Land was a must. Getting in contact with d4rk886 wasn’t easy–he has a busy schedule and lives in Hong Kong. We finally got the chance to talk with him via Skype, where we talked about future plans (hint: he’s working on a new game, and it’s awesome), and of course, Base Wars: The Land.
D4rk886 is humble about his success on ROBLOX–he notes that Base Wars: The Land, was an educational experience, and that he was learning how to program during the three month period it took to create the game.
“The challenge was to keep players interested in the game. I added a lot of goals for players. They can unlock new weapons and new badges by earning points, and they can battle with different players every day.”
The “goals” he refers to in Base Wars: The Land seemingly never end. Each unlockable weapon is based on the amount of KOs a players earns–the more KOs you acquire, the more powerful weapons become available to you. D4rk886 has taken many familiar tropes from modern multiplayer games and mixed them into a winning combination of team-and vehicle-based combat that users simply can’t stop playing. Yet he insists that the games’ success was unexpected.
“When I started to develop the game, it was just so I could learn how to program,” he says. ”I didn’t think that the game could get to be this big, until more and more players started joining. I decided I’d keep working on it. I’m so lucky to be working on a game like this.”
D4rk886 discovered ROBLOX a few years ago when he saw an ad on a website, and became immediately interested in ROBLOX Studio. He had learned a bit of Java coding prior to joining, so the Lua learning curve wasn’t too steep. Though Base Wars: The Land is his undisputed claim to fame, he’s made other popular titles as well, including Infection Attack II: Mutation!, a zombie survival game that’s been visited nearly 400,000 times. The game features different classes of zombies with different skills–there are your standard walkers, armored zombies that require more bullets, and leaping zombies that can shoot into the air, to name a few. You’ve got to team up with other players online to fight off increasingly large waves of the undead, and if you get infected, you play as a zombie for the duration of the round.
Speaking of forward movement, d4rk886 is also hard at work at his next ROBLOX title, “The Mystic Land”, which is an action-RPG that, even in its beta stages, features some deep gameplay mechanics. I was lucky enough to be able to explore the open world he created, which is populated with all sorts of enemies, and I’m pleased to report that it’s massive. Combat is a throwback to popular RPGs from the past–you click to target your enemy, then click again to launch attacks (the HP damage even briefly floats over their head). You can equip a number of spells to both do additional damage and heal yourself and others, and you can earn more abilities by gaining experience from battle.
D4rk886 also mentioned that he’s developing “The Mystic Land” with touch controls in mind, so that it’s easy to play on mobile devices as well. What I played was more of a framework than a full game, but it showed a lot of promise, and we can’t wait to see where he goes with it.
D4rk886 has become one of the most prolific users on ROBLOX, and has created the most popular game on our platform to date. And it all started with a young kid–who loves gaming and hiking with his family–seeing an ad, and jumping into Studio. Here’s his advice to you:
Always think about what your game is supposed to be, and gain different ideas from movies, books, TV shows, and player suggestions. Think about what makes the games you love to play fun. And always think before you build.